I think the first time Av and I ate at one of Emeril’s restaurants, it was the 90s and outside New Orleans, he was best-known for saying “bam!” on Food Network. We’ve since eaten at all three of his restaurants in the city — Delmonico, NOLA, and his eponymous Emeril’s. This day, lunch was at his namesake Emeril’s in the Warehouse District, an easy walk from the WWII and Ogden.

Emeril's, New Orleans//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

The tables are set with the forks and spoons upside down and knives facing out.

Bread service includes a nice square of garlic bread, a Hawaiian roll, and a crazy-sweet cornbread muffin
Emeril's, New Orleans//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Let’s get the bad part over with first. I ordered the chicken paillard. It was served with shaved fennel, bitter greens, fingerling chips, and a pink peppercorn – charred lemon vinaigrette. The chicken itself was bland, though, and I even took the charred lemon half and squeezed its juice over the meat to try to help things. I cut a little further into the piece of chicken (which wasn’t the flat and even that one expects paillard to be) and it hadn’t been butchered correctly as it had a big piece of the cartilage inside with a large area of brown/pink around it.
Yucky Chicken Paillard at Emeril's, New Orleans//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

I’m used to chicken paillard at Frank Stitt’s Bottega where it looks like this — pretty and thin yet juicy and delicious. What I was served was too thick, and tasteless. Didn’t eat it. Even the little chips on top hadn’t been salted.

*But* Av’s dish was really good. He ordered the andoille-crusted drum with grilled vegetables, shoestring potatoes, glazed pecans, and meunière sauce. The sauce was odd, though, because there was something sweet about it, and meunière isn’t sweet. Nevertheless, the fish itself was incredible.
Andoille-Crusted Drum, Emeril's, New Orleans//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Service was lacking and they were obviously just trying to turn tables as there were conventioneers trying to get in. Oh well. We half-joked about running down the street to Cochon where we knew we’d get a good lunch.

Tom Fitzmorris released his list of his eight five-fleur restaurants. Making the cut:
La Petite Grocery
Restaurant August
Commander’s Palace
La Provence
Pelican Club

Of the above, we’ve never been to Dakota, Pardo’s, or Pelican Club. Will have to change that sometime soon. And I hope Tom continues to have better experiences at Emeril’s than we do.

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