My wife and I are Food Network junkies. It is by far the most watched channel on our television and on nights where we deem the food TV offering to be inadequate (i.e. any night that Ace of Cakes is on), we don’t watch TV. So, on our recent “mini honeymoon” in New Orleans I wanted to make sure that we went to the flagship restaurant of one of the original Food TV personalities, Emeril Legasse.
On our first night in the Crescent City, we were able to secure an 8:30 reservation at Emeril’s. Emeril’s is located just outside the French Quarter, and since my beautiful bride and I were dressed to the nines, we took a cab from our French Quarter hotel to the restaurant.
We were about a half hour early for our reservation, so we took a spot at the bar. We were surprised at how empty the bar was, but being that it was a Sunday night I suppose we should not have been that surprised. Our drinks were solid creations, and the bar staff was friendly and interactive.
At around 8:30, the hostess came and found us and escorted us to the first table in the dining room. Although not the best of seats, we had no complaints as the decor was warm and welcoming.
I perused the wine list and decided upon a bottle of Australian bubbly, 2005 Wolf Blass. It was a delightful bottle, reviewed in our sister publication, Parched No More.
Our appetizer was a little in the avant-garde direction, as we chose a Warm Mississippi Rabbit Remoulade. This was a layered dish that included fried green tomatoes, Benton’s Bacon, local grapefruit, and horseradish gastrique. While my wife struggled with the fact that it was a rabbit (as we have one as a pet), it was heavenly. The combination of grapefruit and horseradish made a perfect balance.
Our salad choices were a Baby Spinach Salad for my wife and a Root Beer Braised Bacon Salad for me. Comprised of a bed of baby spinach with fresh strawberries, goat cheese, spiced almonds, crisp potato and warm Chourice-Pimenton vinaigrette, my wife’s salad got rave reviews. And my salad was the most unique salad I have ever consumed. Made up of Abita Root Beer braised Niman Ranch Pork Belly with citrus slaw, marinated yucca, heirloom radish, shaved jalapeno, goat cheese and pork cracklings, the salad literally melted in my mouth.
After a few sips of the bubbly and a bite or two of the delectable cornbread muffins, we were ready for our main course. My wife’s choice was a Saffron-Chili Dusted Jumbo Gulf Shrimp with brown butter-sweet potato grits, skillet beans, Benton’s bacon, smoked corn and mango chow chow. My wife is not a huge seafood fan, but this choice worked for her discerning palate. My choice was a Duck Schnitzel that was accompanied by roasted shallots, confit – frisée salad, haricots verts and lemon butter sauce. It was perfectly prepared and expertly presented.
Our meal closed with two desserts, which is an oddity for us. We chose Vanilla Bean Creme Brulee and Emeril’s Banana Cream Pie. We found the creme brule to be lackluster (we didn’t even finish it), but the banana creme pie was magnificint. It had a very unique checkered filling that offered the perfect balance of banana and sweetness.
Our bill with tax and tip was $200, but our dining pleasure far outweighed any monetary expenditure. It was an amazing meal and wonderful evening. Just what you are looking for on a mini-honeymoon.