The Perfect Lunch: Emeril’s Nola

As much as I love the Food Network and Celebrity chefs I have never been to one of their restaurants.  That is until our day in New Orleans this past weekend.  The week of our play I started looking for some fun places to eat.  We were going to do brunch so we there thinking maybe the Court of Two Sisters.  When we couldn’t get reservations there I started looking around and decided to got to Emeril’s Nola.

Upon entering the restaurant we gave the hostess our names.  She printed a ticket and got us to follow her to an elevator.  Seriously I’d never been to a restaurant where you needed to take an elevator to your table.  We were seated close to the railings were we could see down to the first level.  The hostess pulled out our chairs and placed our napkins on our laps.  At that moment we realized what we thought was going to be a casual version of a fancy chef’s cuisine was going to be anything but.  Our waiter came to us and asked what drinks we wanted.  I had read that they made their own Bloody Mary mix and bell pepper infused vodka.  Nanie loves those so she got that and I asked for a glass of Riesling, my favorite white wine.  While we waited on our drinks we had another waiter come to us with a bread service.  Never seen that before either.  They had warm brioche and jalapeno cornbread with whipped butter.  Our drink came and I’m pretty sure we were in heaven.  Nanie said the best Bloody Mary she’d ever had and I can promise I have never had a glass to Riesling so good.

Next came appetizers.  Because of her asthma Nanie can’t do shrimp but I was dying to get the New Orleans style BBQ shrimp.  Since she couldn’t eat that she got the crab meat imperial.  For those of you that don’t know NOLA BBQ shrimp does not contain actual BBQ sauce but instead is a blend of spices and butter that make the most perfect sauce.  The imperial was full of HUGE hunks of crab with mushrooms and cream and cheese and was served with fresh baked bread.  Two thumbs waaaay up on these dishes. We also figured if we were going to live it up we might as well so we also ordered a bowl of tomato basil and garlic infused soup. I thought this was good.  Maybe lacking a little spice but still really good.

Then onto the entrees.  I chose the duck confit and fried egg pizza.  It also had fresh arugula, Parmesan and truffle oil.  I am an adventurous eater so I was excited for this dish.  It did not disappoint.  The duck was the perfect amount of salt.  The truffle oil was just enough and the runny yoke of the fried egg made it all perfect.  Nanie chose a crawfish and churizo pasta with cherry tomatoes and mint.  She loved hers as well.

Lastly was dessert.  We went for something neither one of us had never had, creme brulee.  We got a trio of brulees including a vanilla one with fresh fruit, a chocolate one with an almond biscotte and a coconut one with a coconut truffle.  The vanilla was my favorite.  We also both had our first espressos.  I enjoyed it.  A little bitter but good with dessert.  Nanie however as a very avid coffee drinker didn’t know what to do.  She didn’t love it but she tried it for me.

I can genuinely say I think that this was the best eating experience I’ve ever had.  The food was extremely enjoyable.  The portions sizes weren’t super small.  The prices were extremely reasonable considering the kind of restaurant it was.  I would recommend it to anyone and everyone!  I also really enjoyed the time with my Nanie.  Very few people would have been so excited to have this experience the same way I did and I’m glad I did it with her.

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