Chef Donald Link (also of Cochon, Cochon Butcher, and Pêche Seafood Grill) turns out food that sparkles with robust flavors and top-grade ingredients at this casually upscale restaurant. Small plates and starters such as a daily gumbo, charcuterie, and house-made pastas are mainstays. Don't overlook the rich and flavorful Louisiana shrimp and fish ceviche. Also irresistible is the muscovy duck leg confit with dirty rice and citrus gastrique. For dessert, banana brown-butter tart will ensure return trips. The plates provide most of the color in the lighthearted, often noisy, rooms. The wine list is expertly compiled and reasonably priced. The restaurant serves an abbreviated "bistro menu" between lunch and dinner.
Nov 13, 2012
My wife and I went to this restaurant last week. We were in New Orleans for only a couple of days and wanted to try some of the new, better restaurants in the area. After trying Domenica (again) for amazing pizza lunch the day prior, we considered Cochon, August, Root, and a few others before settling on Herbsaint for our last night out. We had read good reviews of Herbsaint and were excited by the menu we found online. Unfortunately our dinner
experience was marred and nearly ruined by the behavior of our waitress. She was haughty, snobby, rude and seemingly barely able to tolerate our presence. Upon arrival we were seated quickly for our reservation and then approached by a male waiter whole introduced himself nicely and took our drink order. Then, a large group arrived and our waiter was apparently reassigned to the large group and a young blonde female waitress, very tall, took over our table. I suspect she was upset with her waiter colleague for getting the large group and having to wait on the smaller table of my wife and I, but that is speculation. Whatever the reason, she was immediately rude and unfriendly. When we informed her that we planned to share a few of the smaller plates, she could barely contain her displeasure. When I asked questions about the menu, she barely answered and did so with a sneer as if I was some country bumpkin who shouldn't dare to be in her exalted presence. She neglected us most of our short time there, barely checking on us or keeping us informed as to where our food was. She never smiled or frankly spoke beyond what we prompted from her. She never said thanks or offered any suggestions or context to the menu, even when asked. We came in early, for a 6 pm reservation, so it was not because she was busy and trying to keep her head above water in the rush. Maybe she was having a bad day, but she sure seemed to have an issue with us. This felt personal and as if she was judging us and disliking us. It was really uncomfortable for both my wife and I and compromised what was supposed to be a date night at a high-end restaurant while on a quick vacation. It is hard to describe specifically what she did besides being neglectful, having a really bad attitude, and clearly feeling superior and unhappy to be dealing with us. It was very insulting and frankly embarrassing to be treated that way. What is truly unfortunate is that the food was extraordinary.. Everything we ate was very tasty and was exactly what we were looking for. It is a real shame that our waitress made this a negative experience and treated us so poorly. We have eaten in fine restaurants all over the country. The food at Herbsaint could stand up just about anywhere. I have never had a "run-in" with a waiter like this in my life. I have never even reviewed a restaurant online before now. I have wracked my brain and tried to think of what I might have done to make this woman have such a problem with my wife and I. I'm sure this had more to do with her than us, but it was absolutely unacceptable and has changed us from people who might have been an advocate and long-time fan and repeat customer of Herbsaint, to someone who will now describe it as the most awful service experience of my life.
Sep 19, 2012
We visited New Orleans in May of this year and stumbled upon the Herbsaint restaurant. What a great surprise. The food was some of the best we have had in New Orleans. We sat outside and watched the trolley cars go by. This is not a busy area of town (more residential) so there were no crowds passing by as we dined. Overall--a great experience.
Jun 24, 2009
The food at Herbsaint was perfectly prepared using fresh ingredients in creative combinations. The starters, entree, and desert were all top notch. I was able to enjoy a delicious, reasonably priced wine by-the-glass. Our waitor was attentive without imposing. I would rank this gourmet restaurant among NOLA's top 3, and is by far the best value. The walk to Herbsaint from my French Quarter hotel was lovely. The reason I rate atmoshpere a 4 and
not 5 is that my husband and I would have been closely sandwiched between tables of two persons, making intimacy a challenge. We opted to sit outside, which was lovely. Some folks leaving the restaurant were oblivious to the outdoor diners and imposed their conversation and/or smoking on us.
May 25, 2008
Update: I did get a nice email from Donald Link the chef and owner of Herbsaint. He was not in the kitchen that night and He graciously apologized and offered us a return as their treat. We won't be in NOLA anytime soon, but acknowledging that the restaurant broke down that night and offering us a complimentary night goes a long way. I have adjusted my ratings to balance my scathing report. Although they completely failed the night of our
visit, the chef offered a good faith response and a generous if not worthless offer.