I always enjoy visiting New Orleans. Although I have visited several times, I have never taken the opportunity to eat at one of its most famous restaurants, Emeril’s. In case you live under a rock, Emeril is arguably the most famous chef in the world.
Like the late Paul Prudhomme (rest in peace, buddy), he worked as the executive chef at the Commanders Palace (possibly the only restaurant in New Orleans more famous than Emeril’s). I am normally wary of “celebrity chef” restaurants as they often seem to be nothing more than overpriced tourist traps. However, number of locals who is opinions I trust strongly recommended that I give Emeril a shot. I’m glad I did. It’s not a cheap night out, but I highly recommend it for a great meal.
The restaurant is in the Warehouse District, a part of the city that is much quieter then the famous French Quarter. However, it is quite close to the French quarter so if you are staying in that area you can easily make it on foot, or with a short cab ride if the weather is bad. I noticed several other upscale restaurants in the neighborhood as we were outside waiting for our table.
The interior was done in warm shades with lots of light colored wood. It has a modern feel without being too cold. I liked it, but was not amazed. But ultimately it was the food that I came for.
After waiting for a little while we were taken to our table. The staff was very friendly, but also very busy. Overall I was very pleased with the service as it was the attentiveness you would expect at a high-end restaurant without feeling stuffy.
I am a big fan of gumbo and andouille sausage. So I decided to start with their gumbo. It was delicious and I relished every bite.
For my main course I chose fish. Andouille-encrusted drum to be exact. it too was delicious and included an amazing sauce along with some crunchy shoestring potatoes to balance out the softer texture of the fish and the sausage.
Chuck ordered a pork chop that was like nothing I had ever seen. He shared some with me and it too was covered in an amazing sauce. New Orleans chefs are influenced heavily by French cuisine, so they know how to make a mean sauce, and Emeril is no exception!
Chuck also ordered a side of baked beans which were surprisingly tasty. They had a nice balance of sweetness and tanginess to them.