Friday, March 22, 2013

Emeril's Delmonico – New Orleans

1300 St. Charles Avenue
New Orleans, LA 70130

The food, the ambiance, the flare of old New Orleans all wrapped up in one sweet package.  Waking into the door way of Delmonico’s is stepping back to the 1920’s the elegance and clean lines of the décor can be observed from the hostess station.  The polite staff that are always there to refill your water glass before it is even half full is typical of the service you will receive. 

When Emeril Lagasse first purchased this 100 year old establishment the people of New Orleans were afraid that he would change the charm and cultural history of the building.  Perhaps they had thought he had gone too Hollywood on them.  New Orleans was pleasantly surprised to find that Mr. Lagasse had made the building an updated version of what it once was glamour and sophistication but no pretension allowed in the building.  It does not matter if you are the King of England or just a young couple celebrating your anniversary every one is treated as though they are special.  Just like in the times of the roaring 20’s it did not matter who you were you were just there to enjoy the atmosphere and enjoy a drink or two.   Yes, Mr. Lagasse got this one right. 

His food in not pretentious as you may expect when you walk in the door.  It is sophistication with a twist.  It can best be described as Old New Orleans with an up do. 

Although you may be overwhelmed by the menu at first glance my best recommendation is pick what screams at you first.  The Louisiana Crab Stuffed Artichoke is made with oregano, pecorino and smoked tomato.  Do not be scared to order it as it is not made like most stuffed artichokes.  The part of the artichoke that is stuffed is the heart of the artichoke.  It was so rich and filling I had to stop eating it as I had my eye on dessert. 

The salads are refreshing however I strongly recommend the soup of the day. The tomato crab bisque was fabulous.  Rich, smooth and creamy just like it should be made without LUMPS!!! 

The entrees are quite extensive from Dry Aged Moulard Duck Breast to the Louisiana Drum Meuniere.  My suggestion is the Louisiana Drum Meuniere made with fresh local blue crab, olive oil poached artichoke, roasted fingerling potatoes, and young arugula  grape tomatoes the flavor is an explosion in your mouth.  You do not know what to expect, is it tart, is it tangy, it is good!

A favorite of the locals is the Cuban Chorizo Stuffed Duroc Pork Loin made with red bean and rice congri, crisp plantains, mojo isleño, and Old New Orleans rum jus.  Rich with a spicy under flavoring the pork was done to perfection and tender.  You could see that the chef knew what resting meat meant.  If you want to experience what the locals already know then give this one a whirl.

The desserts are so fabulous you would think that this would be the one dish that was not perfection on the plate but you would be wrong.  There is always a dessert of the day and this day it was Strawberry Pie.  It is made for one with fresh strawberry and light crust.  However, if you are a traditional Emeril fan then you must have the Coconut Cream Pie.  It is just as good as his famous Banana Cream Pie that is served at his Restaurant in Las Vegas.  Rich creamy smooth with light flakey crust simply to die for.

This place rates a 4 Forks Up – service, ambiance, menu selections, taste, flavor and prices are not too outrageous as you might find at some other restaurants which I will be discussing later.  If you are visiting New Orleans this is must stop on your tour.  Emeril has 3 locations in New Orleans but this one is the one to visit if you want old fashion flare and touch of intimacy the other restaurants are in the French Quarter and rely on foot traffic.  Reservations are highly recommended.