Restaurant Week: Emeril's Fish House

March 15, 2013
On our fourth day of Restaurant Week, we dined at Emeril's Fish House. It's one of the few restaurants I've never experienced at MGM Grand. We had 6 o'clock reservations and we were seated promptly. All three of us chose the Restaurant Week menu for $50.13. We started with salads: the Heirloom Tomato Salad - Spanish Blue Cheese, Red Onion, Basil, Herb Vinaigrette and Aged Balsamic Vinegar and the Caesar Salad - Romaine Hearts, Parmesan Cheese, Roasted Garlic Grissini and Creamy House Made Dressing. The tomatoes weren't as hearty as we'd hope, but the blue cheese was high octane and really stellar. I had hoped the Caesar house dressing would be like what's offered at Delmonico. Unfortunately, it wasn't. This romaine was overdressed and the dressing was too sweet for my liking.

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Our second course was Shrimp & Andouille Pork Sausage Gumbo - Okra & Long Grain Rice and Chef Emeril's Fall River Clam Chowder - Apple Smoked Bacon & Idaho Potatoes. I was torn between the two but went with the Gumbo since we were in Emeril's house. The chowder, however, was the better choice. It was velvety and the clams were perfectly tender. The Gumbo lacked "Bam!" it was really mild. Though, not overly salty like many I tried in New Orleans.

We sampled each of the options for the third course: Horseradish Grilled Blue Shrimp - Patty pan Squash, Zucchini & Pearl Couscous and Preserved Meyer Lemon, Chef Emeril's Sweet Barbecued Atlantic Salmon - Spicy Andouille Pork Sausage Hash, Crystal Fried Onion Crust and Emeril's House made Worcestershire and Grilled Double Cut Pork Chop - Chive Blossom & Yukon Gold Potato Puree, and Wilted Spinach.

The shrimp was the winning dish. It was well seasoned and not a bit overcooked. I wish I had ordered it, instead I had the BBQ Salmon. I ordered it since "fish house" is in the name and I've never had salmon barbequed. In short, I was very underwhelmed. It was underseasoned and lacked pizazz. The sweetness hid the natural salmon flavor. The hash was so overly salty I couldn't eat it. The double cut pork chop was prepared medium. It was cooked to order, but it was tough! And also terribly bland. Yet, the spinach was so salty it was inedible.

I welcomed dessert and when it was delivered our server said "and now, for the best part!" Sadly, it was the best part. The didn't have the Lemon & Angel Food Cake Trifle that was posted online. So, I decided to give Emeril's Banana Cream Pie another chance. I had it before at Delmonico and it was served frozen. Thankfully, this was one was ice crystal free. It seemed to have more cream than banana; it was nothing I'd rave about or even order again, but it was pretty good. The guys chose the butter and bread pudding. This was the highlight of the night. Tender, gooey bread, and slightly sweet.

Service was attentive. However, I found dinner service a bit odd. Each course was brought out on an enormous tray with each dish covered and then placed on a stand. The covers were removed and then the food would sit until a few servers could gather to serve all dishes at the same time. It looked like a parade of room service, then you see the food sitting there and you're left thinking "serve it to me or I'll serve it to myself." I don't know if it was amplified because we sat at the table next to their prepping area - we saw this process for every diner in our back corner of the room. I can't recall ever paying such attention to the manner in which food was served. I was annoyed with the distraction.

We were on such a roll with our Restaurant Week meals I knew it was too good to last. At least, we helped out Three Square. Emeril's Fish House is a one and done experience. Frankly, it is sad that this place remains but Seablue was replaced. They had stellar seafood. I miss it.

Emeril's New Orleans Fish House on Urbanspoon


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