This past Saturday was arguably one of the most beautiful days I’ve ever experienced while living in New Orleans. The sun was out, the temperature was cool, and the breeze was blowing. We spent our morning in Audubon park and then our afternoon sunning ourselves on the back patio. Feeling rejuvenated by the gorgeous weather, we decided to use the clear, cool night wisely and cross off another restaurant on my list. The verdict? Lilette, located on the corner of Magazine and Antonine, which turned out to be the perfect choice. We made our reservations online (love that feature) for 6 p.m. and the sun was just beginning to set as we walked into the restaurant. It didn’t take me long to notice that Kate Hudson was also dining there, looking magnificent, sipping on bubbly, and enjoying some oysters on the half shell. Good enough for the stars? Good enough for me!
We sat and enjoyed warm bread and butter before our waitress came to take our orders. She was very knowledgeable and with her help we decided on the white truffle parmigiano toast with wild mushrooms, marrow and veal glace and the Alaskan king crab claws with passionfruit butter as our appetizers. Both dishes were exceptional tasting but I must say that, for the price, their sizes were a let down. Especially the crab claws, which offered a hefty price tag of $14 but not very much crab meat. After spending five minutes desperately trying to find more crab meat inside the claw to dip in the butter, I finally gave up and asked our waitress for some more bread. The bread did the trick and, once again, I succumbed to passionfruit butter heaven.
For our entrees, we went pretty traditional and ordered what the waitress had recommended as some of the most popular choices. My love ordered the grilled hanger steak with fries and marrowed bordelaise; while I ordered the paneed black drum with Israeli cous cous, leeks, tomato, and ver jus mussel butter. Our entrees were much more reasonable, giving us a lot of food for a price tag in the twenty-something range. We both agreed that the steak was slightly salty but that my dish was absolute perfection. The fish had a flavorful crust on the outside and was moist and flaky on the inside. The cous cous lightened the dish and its caviar-like texture made it fun to eat. Delightfully filling but not too rich, Lilette’s paneed black drum is arguably one of the best fish dishes I have ever had.
Having reached our spending limit we opted against dessert (although I really don’t think I would have had room for it anyway) and left the restaurant full and happy. Perhaps next time we’ll go for lunch and sit outside when the weather warms up. I sure do hope it warms up soon.
Truffle Toast with Mushrooms and Veal Glace
Alaskan Crab Claws with Passionfruit Butter
Black Drum with Israeli Cous Cous and Mussels