Monday, June 8, 2009

The Umlaut Stands for Ümph

We were so enthralled with Chef John Besh's Restaurant August that we went to another of his restaurants for an early lunch the next day, the casual brasserie Lüke.
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By the time we left, this place was packed just like Restaurant August was the night before. We weren't the only ones in love with Besh's cuisine. Please cross your fingers that he turns out to be a cool guy on Top Chef Masters. I'm going to be very sad if he's an asshole, even if I'm already rooting for Michael Cimarusti and Wylie Dufresne without having seen the show yet.

We like Besh's food because it's simple, it's hearty, and it's good. Lunch at Lüke really embodied this. I am jealous of people who work near Lüke because the lunch deals are completely insane.

The "express lunch" of the day consisted of a cup of seafood gumbo and a white bean cassoulet slow-cooked with garlic sausage, smoked bacon, and duck confit. The price? Just $15.
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And it all tasted wonderful!

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Chock-full of seafood and rich meaty yumminess.

Can you believe this dish?
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It was awesome piled upon awesome piled upon awesome on a bed of awesome. Mr. Monkey liked the sausage the most. I liked the duck the most. Together, we cleaned the plate.

We also ordered an omelet of local crabmeat, asparagus, housemade fromage blanc, and chives ($16).
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Stuffed to max with crabulousness. In the interest of full disclosure, we did salt and pepper it, as well as add a bit of Tabasco.

The omelet came with these golden frites.
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Totally irresistible and eaten in droves.

I spied that spätzle was among the sides available. I got it. I love spätzle ($5).
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So cute and bouncy and fun.

The cassoulet was definitely king, though. You would be lucky to try it.

Next: Witnessing the wonders of water wildlife.


  1. umlauts have always been my favorite accent mark. so happy.

    gumbo. yum.

  2. I'm not surprised that Tater has a favorite accent mark. I was expecting the infamous photo that caused your fall! Please post it asap.

  3. I just determined last night that skinny fries are my favorite kind. So much better than their thick cousins.

    Meanwhile I'm most jealous of all the good food you're eating. Cajun/Creole is one of my all time favorite food groups.

  4. The omelette looks fantastic. And what a great lunch special.

  5. I have never tried this spätzle that you write about, but it looks like my kinda carb. I have yet to meet a carb I didn't like.

  6. the omelet looks right up my alley. and, of course, fries are always welcome.

  7. I sit here drinking beer and eating pizza. Ugh.

  8. Besh competed on The Next Iron Chef and came off as quite likeable. I've also read a couple articles about him in Food & Wine. I don't think he'll disappoint you on TCM.

  9. The picture of Mr. Monkey is great!! I could totally see that in a magazine ad, or a book cover about soup :)

  10. That gumbo looks a lot better than the tomato soup we had earlier...and the crab omelette, Mmmmmm

    Not sure what spätzle is, but it looks good =)

  11. That is the best photo of Mr. Monkey ever. Please send me an email of the things I need to get to take pictures like you. kthxbye.

  12. from the first picture, i've had "luuuuuuke. i am your faaaaaaaaatha" in my head.

    god, i'm weird.

  13. decadent monkeys are my favorite monkeys.

  14. Looks amazing. I can't wait for my trip to New Orleans. I might have to add this to my list...

  15. This may be random -- but the ceiling in that restaurant is gorgeous!

  16. I'd like that omelette please.

    Cool pics!


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