Thursday, July 09, 2009

We Give Emeril Another Chance

A few weeks ago I reported here about our trip to New Orleans and a sad return visit to Emeril Lagasse's NOLA Restaurant. I believe I said it had become a tourist trap.

Emeril's Gulf Coast Fish House, Gulfport, MississippiA few days ago we drove over to Biloxi, Mississippi to spend a night at the Isle of Capri Casino. For lunch we went to nearby Gulfport to eat at Emeril’s Gulf Coast Fish House, in the Island View Casino.

We were pleased to find that Emeril's special touch was alive and well in Gulfport. From the fresh cornbread at the start to the caramelized lemon meringue pie everything was a hit.

We started off with the gumbo of the day -- seafood gumbo. It was shrimp and oyster gumbo in a rich, dark roux with lots of shrimps and lots of oysters. Best of all the oysters hadn't been simmering in the broth all morning. Apparently they were added just before serving -- they weren't so much cooked as warmed through. This made them soft and delicate and one step from raw. A nice homemade touch.

Jack had his favorite main course, buttermilk battered fried chicken breast on a bed of mashed bourbon sweet potatoes with green beans, and I had the grilled chicken on a salad of baby spinach and pecans with a light brown sugar and bacon vinaigrette.

We ended up with the lemon and vanilla bean tart with thick meringue browned under the salamander and topped with a drizzle of fresh-made caramel sauce.

It was a wonderful meal and now if they can just get NOLA back on track...

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