Last night we had dinner at Emeril's for our friend Jon's birthday and it was really good. I was actually pleasantly surprised by the whole thing because it was much better than I thought it would be. I tend to be fairly put off by Emeril's TV persona, and it annoys the life out of me that he puts little paper bags of his "Essence" (a spice mix) in the frozen shrimp that has his name on it at the grocery store. (The bags get all slimy and I think essence is kind of an ooky name, but anyway). I expected the food to be very tradional New Orleans food and very rich. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the menu had tons of options, including appetizers, soups and salads, entrees, small plates, not so small plates, specialties, and a 3 course tastes of Spain special that my dear boyfriend had and said was very good. I ordered crispy crawfish filled squash blossoms that were quite good- although very big, which ended up being a lot of fried food, and the oyster stuffed quail saltimbocca which was amazing. It came with two quail so I ate one and saved the other with the intention of having it today. Instead, I ate it in the car on the way home. It made delicious post bar food. :) For dessert I had the dark chocolate torte, which was rich and yummy. I also tried bites of a mussel soup, the escargot, and the boudin with collard greens. All were very good. I'd heard that the service wasn't the best, but our servers were great.
The wine menu is so big it has a table of contents, although there is only one page of wines by the glass. I think the choices were pretty good though. I had a glass of Walnut City Wineworks Reserve (2006) Pinot Noir, which is one of my favorites (in part because I've been wine tasting there before).
There were two funny very "Emeril-y" things I noticed at the restaurant. You can buy a bottle of "Emeril" wine (grown in Chile) and the bathrooms have tiles with various pictures of Emeril on them intersperced with their regular wall tiles. So I would totally recommend giving Emeril's a try....as long as you don't mind the fact that he's watching you pee. Haha!