Emeril. He’s an institution, as much as a recognizable household name. He’s made cooking fun and easy for everyone, and has restaurants in New Orleans, Las Vegas, Orlando and Miami, Atlanta, as well as Gulfport. He owns the trademark Emeril’s, as well as famed Delmonico’s Restaurants. Las Vegas’ Emeril’s New Orleans Fish House, ensconced in the MGM, has made its home here since 1995, though undergoing a major remodel two years ago. The restaurant is sexy, and the food is exciting. Their wine list is more than fifty pages, and their service staff makes each diner feel like there’s a team of servers that exist just to cater to their needs.Read More ...
Emeril’s New Orleans Fish House at the MGM is a mature restaurant that’s been in Las Vegas for more than a decade. It is one of a number of restaurants that Emeril Lagasse owns, and is overseen by Chef de Cuisine Jean Paul Labadie.
Emeril’s is located in the studio walk at the MGM, surrounded by an impressive assortment of fine dining restaurants, many also headed by recognizable names. After sauntering down “Celebrity Chef Row,” Emeril’s sits like a familiar old friend.
Past the entrance, the first focal point is the bar, lying front and center in the restaurant. The back side of the bar is glass, with a sliding ladder that allows access to a neatly displayed array of wines. The décor inside is hip and neon, but in moderation. It’s tasteful, and trendy.
The seating in Emeril’s is varied, with intimate and cozy as well as formal seating. There’s a long, curved bench around the back side of the bar, with tables spaced fairly close together. The remainder of the restaurant is filled with more traditional table-and-chair seating. For as busy as Emeril’s quickly gets, the noise level is well controlled. Reservations are recommended.
We dined at Emeril’s on a Wednesday evening with an early reservation. We arrived on time and were immediately shown to our table. The tables were covered in heavy linen tablecloths, and set with Emeril’s New Orleans Fishhouse emblazoned plates, and full silverware settings. After our servers introduced themselves and took our drink order, a server delivered a basket of corn muffins and focaccia, and butter. It was a light but savory beginning to the meal.
Emeril Lagasse may be an institution, and we may all feel like his recipes are easy and quick, but dining at his restaurant and trying the food as it’s intended to be served is an entirely new world. Far from “bam,” “smell-a-vision,” and the other kitschy terms we’ve come to know and occasionally mock, Emeril’s embodies delicious food, stunningly presented by a staff that takes competence to new levels.
Our servers (especially Derek), were more than responsive. They had recommendations, and were so accommodating that there was little they weren’t prepared for. When I requested a glass of milk, the unflappable response was “Whole or 2%?” They even asked about the order we wanted our dishes delivered to us. Our plates and silverware were replaced between each course, after a staff member came by with a tool to sweep up crumbs from our table. It felt very luxurious, like there was an endless cast, catering to our every need.
We tried something new, and ordered the six-course Chef’s Tasting Menu, as well as several appetizers. This provided a small taste of an exciting array of different dishes. An optional wine package was available with the tasting menu, for those who wish a wine paired with each dish.
We began with an appetizer, the Blue Crab and Roasted Pepper Fondue. The presentation had as much impact as the dish. It was lovely. The fondue was served in a small flat bowl, topped by a big pile of crab pieces. Beside the bowl was an avocado, roasted cipollini onion, and tomato salad, as well as cumin-and-chile-dusted breadsticks. The salad was acidic, and cut through the richness of the crab and cheese beautifully.
Our first item from the tasting menu to arrive was a Creole Shrimp Remoulade salad. It featured mixed baby greens, avocado, flavor-infused oils, and Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. This salad also had a liberal, delectable amount of capers. The salt of the capers, and the cheese, and the cold shrimp was almost a finger-licking marriage of flavors. Only the linen tablecloths and napkins kept decorum in place.
Our second starter was the Tempura Fried Sushi Salmon Roll. It was served with wasabi and pickled ginger, as well as a spicy cucumber salad. A crumb coating on the outside of the sushi was crispy, and the salmon tender and perfect. It was topped with a cilantro crème fraîche. Salmon is an assertive flavor, and the creamy cilantro topping balanced it out well.
Our final starter to arrive was the Avocado and Blue Crab Cakes. The crab cakes were simply arranged, three on a plate, naked, with a mango, papaya and macadamia nut salad in a spicy cilantro dressing. The salad, again, served as a wonderful contrast, with the citrus providing balance. The macadamias lent a great crunchy aspect.
Thus finished with our appetizers, we moved into high gear with the remainder of our tasting menu. Derek arrived with a Sweet Soy glazed Maine Sea Scallop. It was a single scallop set on sautéed shiitake mushrooms and green onions, and the plate was drizzled with Chinese mustard sauce. It was sweet and succulent, and the mustard sauce pungent and tangy. The dish packed a terrific punch.
Our next dish that arrived was Pan Seared Atlantic Salmon on sautéed rock shrimp. It was on a bed of julienned vegetables, and surrounded by a roasted tomato coulis. Sometimes the small touches make all of the difference in a dish being merely good, and truly memorable. The salmon was perfectly seared by itself, and the shrimp was a wonderful addition. The well seasoned, lovely julienned vegetables, though, are what completed this dish, and made it sing.
Our next course was the Pecan Crusted Texas Redfish. It arrived on grilled vegetables, with a portion of stone ground grits, and topped with Creole meuniere butter sauce. Not a grits fan, this dish converted me. The buttery sauce, the nutty crust, the vegetables all contributed to a solid, savory dish that would appeal to anyone’s need for comfort food.
For our final entree, we received a Grilled Filet of Beef on gruyere mashed potatoes. Wickedly, the filet was topped with a blue crabmeat hollandaise sauce, and drizzled with Emeril’s Worcestershire sauce. My companion and I were at odds over who was lucky enough to get the last bite of this treat. The beef was beautifully grilled and the potatoes thick and cheesy. Again, there was contrast, with the Worcestershire to cut through the cheese and the rich ingredients, for balance. But the coup de gras was the over-the-top, lick-the-plate-clean hollandaise sauce, with a more-than-liberal dose of crab.
What tasting menu would be complete without a decadent dessert? Not one at Emeril’s, to be certain. After the final round of table sweeping, dish and silverware replacement, Derek returned with our last course. It was Apple Cheesecake, and was complete with crumb topping, caramel sauce, and whipped cream, garnished with a mint leaf. Though we were full to the brim, this was the perfect crowning touch to a lovely meal. The cheesecake was light, and the apples full of flavor. As with all the dishes, the plating was artful, and the dish a tasty treat from beginning to end.
This meal was truly exciting to write about. Emeril’s isn’t just hype. It’s quality ingredients prepared with an eye for balancing sweet with savory, and rich with refreshing. In fact, their strong suit is balancing exceptional seafood and fish with top-notch service. Don’t be afraid to try a tasting menu – it’s a little taste of a number of great dishes.
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Emeril, you should really stop by and eat in your restaurant. We ordered the seafood platter. The shrimp were overcooked and rubbery. The oysters were lying on a bed of salt, which was more like chopped glass .Try chewing an oyster with pieces of glass in them. When we complained, we were ignored and presented with the overpriced bill. My advise is don't let the name Emeril fool you into thinking this is a good place.Stay away!