Emeril’s Delmonico- Central City (New Orleans, USA)

I walked into Emeril’s Delmonico with high expectations since it was my first time at an Emeril Lagasse restaurant. We wanted to try at least one of his three restaurants before leaving New Orleans.  The choices were Emeril’s Delmonico, Emerill’s and Nola Restaurant. We decided to try Delmonico’s given the location and type of food. Emeril’s Delmonico is located in the historic garden district right on St. Charles in a beautiful building and serves traditional creole food.  We were seated at the piano bar while we waited for our table. Towards the end of the night people were dancing and the ambiance was fantastic. The decor is elegant and full of history.
We were immediately greeted at our table with water and a basket of bread and butter. The server was very attentive and went through all the specials and answered all our questions. 
Our first starter dish was the dry aged New York strip carpaccio, arugula, caper and pecorino. The description sounded delicious and the presentation was great; however I was very disappointed with the actual taste. I love beef carpaccio and order it often whenever it is offered on a menu. However, this carpaccio dish was covered in a mayonnaise sauce and capers. I attempted to clear the sauce to the side but it still took away from the rich flavors of the meat and pecorino cheese. Typically, this dish is served plain with shaved pieces of beef, pecorino cheese, arugula, drizzled with olive oil. Overall, neither of us liked it and weren’t impressed. 
The next starter dish was the barbecued shrimp over baked grit cake. Now, this dish was what I expected of an Emeril’s restaurant. The flavor, presentation and creativity were all there. The barbecued shrimp sauce was one of the best we have had in New Orleans (second to Mr. B’s). I have never had grits served as a cake and really enjoyed it.
For the main course, the Count ordered the dry aged moulard duck breast served with sweet corn choux, Swiss chard, roasted poblano and cheddar grits drizzled with a house made tasso jam ($29).  The meat was so dry which was a surprise since duck is a fattier meat and tends to be juicy. Overall, it was not a dish worth $29. It certainly didn’t taste like a $29 dollar dish although the presentation and service were five star. 

The next entree was the jerk spiced lamb sirloin served with pickled pork braised collard greens, black eyed pea cake, mango chow chow and house made pickapeppa sauce ($32).  I don’t know what it was about the dish but I really disliked it and couldn’t touch plate. I am not a picky eater at all but there was something with this dish that did not sit right. I expected a lot more and was disappointed as soon as I took the first bite.  

As a result of the above, a side plate of fries were ordered. The fries themselves were not crispy. The skin was soft and some of the insides hard. However, the tart lemon sauce which it was mixed in was good. Perhaps that is why the skins were soft and soggy. 
We should have known to leave without having dessert but decided to try something else to sweeten our taste buds . Two chocolate cheesecake bites were ordered. Again, nothing special. Nothing to remember. And nothing to set apart Emeril’s Delmonico from all the other wonderful restaurants in New Orleans. For the prices and and name, we  both thought we were in for a real treat only to leave the restaurant disappointed. There are so many wonderful, delicious and reasonably priced restaurants in New Orleans. It does depend on what you are looking for. If you are looking for a classy and elegant ambiance then you will enjoy this restaurant. However, if you want a really great New Orleans dining experience I would recommend going to one of the many other great restaurants (Mr. B’s and Commander’s Palace to name a few). 
Emeril's Delmonico on Urbanspoon

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