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southern girl

Emeril's (New Orleans)

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I decided to start a new Emeril's thread for three reasons: 1) there have been no posts to the old one since Oct. 2) my first meal was not on the menu 3) my second meal was as hostess for a party of 29-which is yet another completely different view of Emeril's.

Dinner 1- The Chef Chris Challenge

Chris Wilson, Emeril's CDC and I have been acquainted for about 5 years now...each time I go to Emeril's I sit at the Chef's Counter and Chris sends out dish after wonderful dish. This is not the food you see Emeril preparing on his tv shows. I also noticed from looking at the dishes served from the regular menu to the other diners at the chef's counter that there is a conspicuous lack of "essence". In the past, plates were liberally doused with "essence". The regular menu dishes appear to have become more refined and diverse also. Portions remain large. The wine list is deep and fairly priced. And for Emeril fans, he was in NYC awaiting the birth of his child and taping tv shows...

Wine: 1999 Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Folatieres, Paul Pernot

Amuse: Leek and Potato Soup with Caviar Croutons, Vodka Sour Cream and Chive Oil: The velvety green puree arrived piping hot, swirled with the vodka sour cream and chive oil and topped with a thin crouton holding a good two tablespoons of osetra caviar. The gentleman sitting next to me was the lucky recipient of the caviar crouton, as I am allergic. He professed the caviar to be fresh with the proper "pop". I thoroughly enjoyed the light leek flavor blended with the slight bite from the sour cream...there was no discernable flavor of vodka.

Course One: Blue Fin Tuna on Asian Slaw with Crispy Yucca and Sweet Soy Sauce:

Six large, lightly seared slices of bright red blue fin balanced atop a mound of yucca, cabbage, sliced pea pods lightly dressed with the sweet soy sauce and topped with fried yucca ribbons. Very visually appealing. The silky texture of the tuna against the crunchiness of the slaw and yucca ribbons provided an interesting juxtapostion. I am generally not a fan of sweet dressings...but, this one was just sweet enough and very light. I believe the base for the emulsion was soy, ginger, and mirin which had been reduced.

Wine:1999 Chambolle-Musigny, Ghislane Barthod

Course Two: Yukon Gold Potatoes, Proscuitto, Black Truffles and Butternut Ravioli:

An absolutely wonderful dish (my favorite of the evening). Delicate pasta packets filled with roasted butternut squash puree accompanied by sauteed wedges of Yukon gold potatoes sauced with a light truffle cream broth, topped with a chiffonade of proscuitto and copious slices of Perigord truffles. The sweetness of the squash puree was a perfect foil for the saltiness of the proscuitto...and oh those truffles...both in the broth and atop the dish...what a wonderful aroma and flavor :wub: .

Course Three: Warm Lamb Tongue Salad with Frisee, Roasted Peppers, Poached Egg, Parmesan, Basil Oil and Aged Balsamic Vinegar:

Large pieces of warm lamb tongue hidden beneath lightly dressed frisee, topped with a perfectly barely poached egg, julienned roasted red pepper and large pieces of shaved parmesan. (My second favorite course).

Course Four: Bone in Filet Mignon with Sweet Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Haricot Vert and Red Wine Reduction:

A thin piece of filet still attached to the bone atop heavenly garlic mashed potatoes, napped with a classic red wine reduction sauce and served with properly crisp and bright haricot vert. This was my least favorite course of the evening. Although the beef had good flavor and texture, it was served medium...With the thinness of the cut, I doubt they could have served it much rarer though. The potatoes were light and fluffy with just a hint of garlic.

Course Five: Cheese Course: Parmegianno, Maytag Blue, English Cheddar, a Louisiana ash covered goat cheese and camembert served with Toasted Walnuts and French Bread:

All cheeses were properly aged and served the proper temperature

Wine: 1994 Vin Santo "Bianco Dell 'Empolese" Piazzano

Dessert: Banana Cream Pie with Caramel Drizzles:

One of my all time favorites...a huge slice of graham cracker crusted banana cream pie topped with whipped cream, caramel drizzles and shaved Chocolate...rich and wonderful with.

Assorted Cookies

Definitely not your tv Emeril food!

Will post Dinner 2 shortly.

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Excellent report, SG. I've heard many people rag on Elzar's personality quirks and TV schtick, but I've never heard anyone say anything bad about the actual food. The next time I'm in New Orleans, I'm going to seriously try to arrange meals in Emeril's and in NOLA.

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Dinner Two

Dinner for 29!!! I played hostess/den mother to a group of 29 disheartened Alabama fans to dinner the Sat. of the SEC basketball tournament (our team had lost badly to the worst team in the conference on Thursday...so I was a bit concerned about how many would actually stick around for the dinner, since we had guaranteed 29 participants). Luckily all 29 food obsessed folks stuck around. New Orleans is not a bad place to find yourself with lots of time on your hands for dining.

First a bit about booking such a large group. Emeril's made it as simple and pleasurable as something like this can be. Mary Beth, who is in charge of group bookings truly knows how to accommodate. I did make a few "special requests"...all of which were honored. One must preselect the menu options...and each course provides an adequate number of dishes to choose from. The restaurant has three rooms for private parties. We had the middle sized of the three. It was perfect for the size of the group. Four tables of eight with plenty of room for movement of both service personnel and guests (at the same time) :raz: .

The room is red brick on two sides, a wall of attractive glass fronted racked wines, and the fourth a partial brick wall with a deep crimson velvet curtain which seperates the room from the rest of the restaurant.

Here is the menu and the courses I enjoyed are listed first...

Our table chose to abandon the wines I selected for a combination of cocktails for some and 1998 Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Clos St. Jacques Domaine Fourrier en Magnum

*Oyster Rockefeller Bisque- A bright green, creamy spinach bisque with a hint of pernod beneath crisp, plump fried oysters topped with melted brie. The soup arrived piping hot and the oysters crispy and the cheese still runny...quite a feat when served a group this large. Very tasty.

-New Orleans Barbecue Shrimp with a Petite Rosemary Biscuit

-Sauteed Crab Cakes with a Southwestern Jalapeno and Sweet Corn Tartar Sauce and sizzled Leeks

Salad

Butter Lettuce Wedge Drizzled with a Warm Bacon-Black Eyed Pea Vinaigrette with Balsamic Braised Onions, Spiced Walnuts & Pears, Topped with Roquefort Blue Cheese: A half head of very fresh butter lettuce...the balck eyed peas in the vinaigrette were properly cooked not mushy as one might fear. Large hunks of crisp sweet slab bacon and creamy chunks of roquefort...for a salad, quite nice :raz: .

Entrees

*Roasted American Rack of Lamb with a Creole Mustard Crust, Rosemary Creamed Potatoes and a Rosemary Jus:

Four large perfectly rare, tender, juicy chops perched atop the creamed potatoes. I really enjoyed the flavor the crispy creole mustard added to the lamb. The potatoes had a great texture, but, a tad too much rosemary for my taste. Overall though...a very good dish.

Dessert:

Emeril's Dessert Storm: And what a storm it was each table received a large plate with 6 full sized desserts on each plate and two large bowls, one containing sorbets and the other ice cream and cookies...at this point I got up to "make the rounds" but, did manage a bite of banana cream pie and an excellent key lime pie...also on the plate...there was some type of cheesecake, a bread pudding, bourbon pecan pie...and one other which escapes my memory.

Wines for the group:

1998 Givry "CLos de la Brulee", J.M. Boillot

2001 Merlot "Casina", La Prendina

The food and the service were a hit...empty plates and smiles...along with a request for dinner next year at the Emeril's Buckhead (which is slated to open in June) when the SEC tournament heads to Atlanta.

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Deacon's post made me realize the topic title is confusing...It should read Emeril's (New Orleans)...as both meals were at home base...I slipped into the Southern abbreviation (NOLA) for New Orleans...sorry for the confusion...I have requested the title be changed...

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My preference, when dining Emeril in New Orleans, is Delmonico's on St Charles. Neil has always done exceptional food.

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Deacon's post made me realize the topic title is confusing...It should read Emeril's (New Orleans)...as both meals were at home base...I slipped into the Southern abbreviation (NOLA) for New Orleans...sorry for the confusion...I have requested the title be changed...

I was about to ask about that... thanks for clarifying.

Last time we went to NO for the weekend we could not get reservations at Emeril's but we did have dinner at NOLA and Delmonico. Both were superb.

FM

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Deacon's post made me realize the topic title is confusing...It should read Emeril's (New Orleans)...as both meals were at home base...I slipped into the Southern abbreviation (NOLA) for New Orleans...sorry for the confusion...I have requested the title be changed...

I was about to ask about that... thanks for clarifying.

Last time we went to NO for the weekend we could not get reservations at Emeril's but we did have dinner at NOLA and Delmonico. Both were superb.

FM

Ate at Nola a couple of years ago...and dammit, I loved it.

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I've said in the past here that a tasting menu at Emeril's was about the best meal I've had in the United States. I suspect Chris Wilson was responsible for it. Quite wonderful. Glad to read similar praise.

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I've said in the past here that a tasting menu at Emeril's was about the best meal I've had in the United States.  I suspect Chris Wilson was responsible for it.  Quite wonderful.  Glad to read similar praise.

I'm glad to see a chef get the praise that is usually bestowed upon his better known celebrity equivalent. I, for one, love to showcase my staff's talents...

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Hate to spoil the party but the meals that our group of foodies tried at Emeril's and the underwhelming NOLA were some of the worst we have had anywhere in the world.

We are not just talking about bad for the style of restaurant - the food was unacceptable even in a $10 dive!

When I asked to go to NOLA my foodie friend who had already endured a month in New Orleans begged me not to make her go there again. After the first dishes were tasted I could understand her concern.

The meals at Emeril's were so bad that they became Fawlty Towers meals. Our US friends will probably not understand the allusion, but it is the only way I can describe it. Our food was inedible, the service indescribable and the only thing we wanted to do was escape.

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A #1 American Fawlty Towers fan here. Too f......bad public television finds it demographically unfeasible to air it. These are the same doofuses that refuse to air CHEF! too.

I liked Nola...Hate Emeril...

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Too f......bad public television finds it demographically unfeasible to air it.

Maybe it wasn't aired in the hinterlands, but in NYC it was on so much that anyone interested could see it often enough to memorize each episode.

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Too f......bad public television finds it demographically unfeasible to air it.

Maybe it wasn't aired in the hinterlands, but in NYC it was on so much that anyone interested could see it often enough to memorize each episode.

This would have been pretty easy as there were only about a dozen episodes...

"Please don't mind Manuel, he's from Barcelona you know..."

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The meals at Emeril's were so bad that they became Fawlty Towers meals.

After calling his new waiter, Manuel, a "waste of space," and popping him in the forehead with a spoon, Emeril proceeded to do "the funny walk." When several customers from Mississippi walked in the front door, Emeril told his staff: "Don't mention the Civil War." When last spotted, Emeril was in his underwear in the entranceway, straddling Manuel and about to brain him with a frying pan. . . .

Hey, it's funnier than Emeril's sitcom material. . . .

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i had a very good meal at emeril's, and a so-so meal at nola. i usually recommend emeril's and tell people to not bother with nola. in fairness, though, i've only been to eat once. it's tough to judge a place with one trip.

i recall the portions for the tasting menu at emeril's being ridiculously large (not a completely horrible thing) and the service being relaxed, friendly, and efficient. i'd return.

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The one time I ate at one of Emeril's restaurants (the fish house in Vegas), I had an excellent meal. He is the one responsible for getting the ball rolling on my interest in food. However, I think he lifted that lamb's tongue dish from Molto. Babbo

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Yes...but, it's been over a year. It is a very busy spot (a larger restaurant than New Orleans...and turns the tables more quickly). The food was okay...the service was okay. It was a step below Emeril's New Orleans, as it caters more to tourists than locals.

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Thanks!

I assume it's the best place at Universal (if not, let me know). Any suggestions on what to order (seafood in particular)?

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