I love spaghetti alla carbonara. Italians proved you can never have too much deliciousness when they put pasta, egg, cheese, and bacon into one hearty forkful of goodness. So I was excited and intrigued to see a version of this dish as a starter at Herbsaint in New Orleans. On the menu, look for “Housemade Spaghetti with Guanciale and Fried-Poached Farm Egg.”
This restaurant is one of the gems of Chef Donald Link (Cochon, Cochon Butcher, Peche). It’s located in the Central Business District on Saint Charles Avenue, which is right along the parade route during Mardi Gras. If you visit New Orleans and stay downtown, in the French Quarter, or in the Garden District, you can take a streetcar or a short cab ride. When I went it was a beautiful not-to-hot day, so we enjoyed a walk.
After we arrived, got seated, and browsed the menu, I thought, “This dish is so decadent, I really don’t NEED to eat more than starter-sized portion, right?” (By the way, the answer is “No, you always need more pasta alla carbonara”). And if the traditional dish isn’t decadent enough, this small plate is topped with a fried-poached egg AND a crispy piece of cured pork cheek (which is called guanciale in Italy). After just half the dish (I shared, believe it or not), I felt so joyous and satiated that I almost forgot we had lamb neck and duck leg coming.
Do you have a favorite oh-so-satisfying dish? I know I’m always looking for new eats (in New Orleans or elsewhere). Please share any recommendations by commenting below, or send me a line on Twitter (@southernbeets).