HERBSAINT is a fairly large restaurant in the Garden District. It is part of the Link Group which also runs “peche” and Cochon. It is has a good sized bar area, a dining room next to the kitchen window with 2 sides of street windows and an additional smaller dining room in the back near the wine storage and hanging meat cabinet (where they cure their own meat, some as much as 2 years old. They also make sausage and lardo and age lamb). It is noisy with a more lively buzz in the front room. I saw several tables of celebrating parties with mixed ages and dress in the dining rooms.
Tables are covered with paper over the cloth but they do have cloth napkins. The helpful service was fairly quickly paced with little chit-chat. In the room where we sat, next to the street window, you could see the numerous kitchen staff working but their female chef, Rebecca Wilcomb, was off that night. It is an a la carte menu with a huge and interesting wine list.
The warm light bread is quickly brought to the table. It has a great crust and a nice airy chew. We started with the gumbo which was brought out still steaming to the table. We split one serving and it was plenty. The nicely spicy dish was full of flavors, containing lots of duck, sausage and other fun treats. A winner.
The shrimp and potatoes were nicely shrimpy with potatoes that had been lightly fried on one side and then coated with crumbs, but were still perfectly soft in the interior. A wonderful combination of tastes and textures with a tasty broth full of saffron and basil that begged to be mopped up with the nice bread.
The snapper was tender and perfectly cooked and served with a curried lentil rice, that looked a lot like dirty rice. They were wonderful together. The Mediterranean style fish with the tomato sauce made a perfect fusion with the Indian style rice – really full of flavors and a great melding.
The lamb lasagna which was made with very thin layers of pasta and flavorful large chunks of lamb was great with the lightly dressed salad. The lasagna was cooked to a nice crunch on the top with the rich layers of flavor underneath – it was an amazing number of layers.
The brown butter pie with ice cream had an amazing crust and caramelized banana slices on top all sitting on delicious caramel sauce. It made me think of buttermilk pie. It was totally yummy x3 and went perfectly with after dinner drinks of a little rye and fernet branca.