Get your Jay D's Louisiana Barbecue Sauce, Molasses Mustard and Spicy & Sweet BBQ Rub!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Put it all on 18 Steak

A couple of weeks ago my Chief Confusion Coordinator, Blair Loup, and I got the chance to sit down to a wonderful feast at L’Auberge Baton Rouge’s 18 Steak with their PR Manager, Julie Collins. Hanging out with Julie at the Stadium Bar & Grill’s Jameson Dinner in March proved to be a lovely dining experience, so naturally we were pumped to get the invite to try out 18 Steak! I’ve had the fortune of being treated to some amazing meals at the Ember Grille & Wine Bar at the L’Auberge in Lake Charles a few times, so I eagerly anticipated what 18 Steak would have to offer. I had been to 18 Steak a couple times for private events like the Mount Gay Rum Dinner, but this would be my first time to eat off the regular menu.


The evening began at the bar where the ladies and I each enjoyed an Old Fashioned made with George Dickel Whisky - good stuff if you haven’t tried it. The dining room features something of a whiskey barrel theme. You can tell a lot of thought, creative use of whiskey barrels, and attention to detail went into its construction. Julie set us up with a really nice booth overlooking the river and the party commenced. By party, I mean I looked through their iPad wine list for days. The impressive selection entertained me for quite a while. Chef Samantha Foglesong grabbed my attention right away with some creative appetizers. I highly recommend stopping by to check out what Chef is slinging. Who knows... maybe you’ll see me there. I’ll be the guy with the Cowboy Ribeye sitting between two ladies gabbing and giggling about Harry Potter nonsense. At least, that's what happened on this occasion, but I loved it. 

Foie gras is essentially a fattened duck or goose liver that can be prepared in a number of ways. Pictured below is 18 Steak's take on liver and onions. Foie gras can be a texture problem for some, but the taste of this particular dish is well balanced. The fattiness of the liver combined with the crunch of the foie gras crouton and pickled onions sends a pop of flavors and consistencies to the palate. I enjoyed the pickling of the onions. It helped brighten up the heavy flavor of the foie gras.

Liver & Onions: Seared Foie Gras, Foie Gras Crouton, and Pickled Onions

The Lobster Spring Rolls were presented beautifully. The colors from the vegetables on the plate really made the dish stand out visually. Our server suggested we treat the spring roll as the filling in a lettuce wrap. This lit up the flavors inside the roll and made for a refreshing starter to our meal.

Lobster Spring Roll with Bok Choy and Cilantro
Lobster Spring Roll with Bok Choy and Cilantro

18 Steak tops their crab cake with a creamy lump crab ravigote. The crab cake featured a perfectly crunchy shell while maintaining a pleasantly succulent inside. Combined with the cool, creamy ravigote, the crab cake had all the elements of savory seasonings and textures you could ask for.

Jumbo Lump Crab Cake with Ground Mustard and Crab Ravigote
Jumbo Lump Crab Cake with Ground Mustard and Crab Ravigote 
The Corn Macque Choux is a classic dish at a southerner's gathering, but 18 Steak has given this classic a delightful makeover. The rich spiciness of tasso adds a new level of zing to this already delightfully zesty side dish. Presented in a corn husk, this is dish is a must-order for me.

Sweet Corn Maque Choux
Sweet Corn Maque Choux 
I'm a big fan of oysters so I had to try to the fried Gulf oysters Rockefellar! The oysters were skillfully fried with a nice crunch and juicy center. The wilted, creamy spinach underneath complimented the crunch of the oysters. If you're an oyster fan, you won't want to pass this one up.

Gulf Oysters with Rockefeller Pernod, Wilted Spinach, and Ricotta Salata
Gulf Oysters with Rockefeller Pernod, Wilted Spinach, and Ricotta Salata 
New Orleans Style BBQ Shrimp is a familiar flavor. Sometimes when outside of New Orleans recreating this classic is tricky, but 18 Steak hit the nail on the head. Jumbo Gulf shrimp were cloaked in a decadent, savory sauce and topped with buttery breadsticks. Definitely dip the breadsticks in the buttery mixture.

Wood Grilled BBQ Shrimp with Lobster Dumplings and Rustic Stone Focaccia Breadsticks
Wood Grilled BBQ Shrimp with Lobster Dumplings and Rustic Stone Focaccia Breadsticks 

"Where have you been all my life?" is the first thought that crossed my mind when I took a bite of the 18 Steak mac n' cheese. Not only was the macaroni thick and creamy, but the tasso ham added a pleasant saltiness and spiciness to the dish. On top is basically a fried cheese puff. Before you go thinking "that's too much cheese," please stop yourself. There is no way a dish with cheese in its name can have too much cheese. Also, the crunchiness of the crouton really adds something special to the much loved comfort food. If you try it and still think it's too much, send it my way.

Macaroni and Cheese with Tasso Ham and Fontina Stuffed Crouton
Macaroni and Cheese with Tasso Ham and Fontina Stuffed Crouton

Julie had the Wagyu flatiron steak. Wagyu is a breed of Japanese cows and is known for it's intense and consistent marbling. This marbling helps create an extremely juicy steak. Pictured below is the Wagyu Flatiron with a Bleu Cheese Crust, a "Steak Enhancer" at 18 Steak and a harmonious pairing.

12 oz. Flat Iron Wagyu Steak also aged for 45 Days and grilled over Mesquite, Hickory and Pecan woods with a Bleu Cheese Crust
12 oz. Flat Iron Wagyu Steak aged for 45 Days and grilled over Mesquite, Hickory and Pecan woods with a Bleu Cheese Crust

While there were some incredible looking dishes to tempt me, I had to go for the steak. My top choice in steaks is pretty much always a bone ribeye. This time I went with the center cut ribeye. A nice sear on the outside out a charred crust on the gorgeous prime steak and I included some foie gras butter on the side.

16 oz. Center Cut Ribeye aged for 45 days and grilled over Mesquite, Hickory and Pecan woods with Foie Gras Butter
16 oz. Center Cut Ribeye aged for 45 days and grilled over Mesquite, Hickory and Pecan woods with Foie Gras Butter

Bite and Booze Bonus: Seriously... don't skip on the Macaroni or the Corn Maque Choux - they might change your life. Also try the Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Fresh Sage, Brown Butter and Maple Syrup... a little sweet and very savory.

18 STEAK on Urbanspoon