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Saturday, January 1, 2011

Restaurant August

Across the street from our hotel,the Windsor Court, sits Restaurant August, a  gourmet delight. Located in an old brick building, the restaurant consists of a series of rooms on the ground floor. Two exposed brick walled dining rooms flank a smaller room paneled in warm woods. The layout resembles a series of parlors flowing one into another. Tables are not too close, so one is not forced to overhear conversations. A nice touch. Crisp white linens, shining silverware and groupings of stemware ready for wine and water give the place a restrained and elegant feel.  

Restaurant August is also  phenomenally popular. According to the concierge at the Windsor Court, it was a minor miracle that we were able to get a reservation on short notice. It seems that Mr. Wonderful has reservation karma. It 's also possible that the day before New Year's Eve is a quiet time.
The food and service were terrific -- no wonder it is such a popular place.  Our waiter, an ex-marine, knew his wines, made good suggestions, and was pleasantly conversational without losing track of any of his other customers.

As a first course, I chose a soup with apple and tiny turnips in a velouté of celeriac. The presentation was lovely. First, the soup bowl arrives with the vegetables in the middle. Next, the soup "sauce" is poured on top of the vegetables.  Finally, smell the aroma and eat!

I followed up the soup with a sophisticated spicy gumbo with shrimps and sausage over rice. A good thing that there were baguettes on the table so that none of the sauce would be left behind.
Finally, a custard made with cheese and topped with walnuts and Aleppo honey. [I had to have this dessert since we'd been to Aleppo in November.] The simple white bread toast rectangles supplied an element of neutral crunch to this luscious end to a perfect meal.
Now here is the really good news.  Chef John Besh, who owns Restaurant August, has 6 other restaurants that we can't wait to visit!

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