With celebrity chef Emeril seemingly appearing every day on television The Food Channel (he was certainly not present in the restaurant on any of the three visits I have paid here) this has become the hot spot in town, with reservations at a premium and attitude to match. It is a much less likeable place than the Pelican Club, though it appeared to be a well-oiled machine. If you reserve you can sit at the food bar, which is just a blowtorch away from the chefs preparing the main courses. The first time I went they were chatty and gave us extra dishes to try, but on the last two visits it was just flat out cooking with no time for chitchat, and no free nibbles. It is fun to see them working though. A kale gumbo was a weak dish, just a basic vegetable soup (11/20) but barbecued shrimps were much better (15/20). Double cut pork chop was ridiculously big but excellent, covered in a chipotle glaze and served with sweet potatoes (15/20). A grilled salmon on a bed of creamed corn garnished with crab and with julienned vegetables was also very good (14/20).
They did produce the best dessert we had in New Orleans, a highly competent Grand Marnier soufflé. The wine list was encyclopaedic but bereft of notes and there was no sommelier to help. Be warned that they stiff you on the dessert wine if you order by the glass – though charging USD 10 for a glass of Bonny Doon Vin de Glaciere (USD 8 elsewhere) they brought an insultingly small glass and half filled it – this could not have been more than a sixth of a half bottle at most. This was deeply stingy and they were quite unapologetic about it.