Emeril's New Orleans review- It's not you, it's me.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013
I can't say I really wanted to go to Emeril's New Orleans flagship restaurant. On t.v. I'm more of a John Besh girl, really, though how can you know that when you only see them on t.v.? But, I had heard you really had to experience this if you were in New Orleans, and now I am sure that was true- ten years ago

Don't get me wrong- there is nothing wrong with the restaurant, or the food, or the service. The service is top notch- and the wait staff move around in the shadows unheard and almost unseen so your food is magically delivered to you and anything unnecessary whisked away.  But after a few years of occasionally eating at higher end places, I expect to have an 'aha' moment when I eat there, I expect a revelation of sorts. And for me, there simply was none.

Now madpoet, he felt he had a mini one with the appetizer- fried oysters and frog legs in a sea urchin sauce. The oysters and frog legs were good, the sauce was amazing. He felt that one rated high enough to warrant a plus.

My meal was very ordinary. I'm gluten free, so that limits what I can have. There was a special I thought sounded yummy- scallops with a blue cheese sauce. I requested that but was told the topping was a sprinkled bread crumb, and the chef refused to deviate for my allergy. Disappointing, but I chose another gluten free item- the salmon with potatoes and andouille. Never having had andouille, I was excited to be wowed by the flavor- the spices- something that it brought to the plate. But it brought nothing to the plate. Except for the sauce on my personally- too rare- salmon, the entire meal was forgettable. And I like raw salmon. This just had no flavor at all.

It's probably me. Maybe I was spoiled by Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill in Vegas. Maybe watching food network has made me a food snob- and I want to critique everything like I'm a judge on "Chopped". Still, I was un-moved by the food. Disappointed.

Madpoet also enjoyed the signature dessert- banana cream pie. We were told it was what made Emeril famous, and he said it was fabulous. Accompanied by dark espresso he enjoyed the large chunks of banana, the balanced sweetness and the flavor profile.

I also found the gluten free key lime pie to be a nice, tart finish to the meal; and as a gluten free person it is always a treat when someone creates a pie you can enjoy.

If I were to return to the crescent city, and I sincerely hope I can, I would not rush back to Emeril's. I think they may have lost some edge to new, riskier chefs and perhaps need to be updated with some of the New Orleans "bam!" I expected to find. I will say, in closing, our vegan friend was simply overwhelmed by the fresh vegan pasta the chef prepared- so if you are vegan they are very accommodating and offer a real treat.

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