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Jul 25, 2007 09:51 AM


I am been reading mixed reviews about Delmonico on different boards with reviews. I know it is very expensive. We have been to Delmonico in Vegas and it was fantastic. Been to NOLA and we had a horrible experience. I was wondering if I should take a shot at Delmonico on our upcoming visit in August. I don't mind spending $$$ for a great meal, just want to make sure it is worth it. Any comments? Thanks.

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  1. I know that I am probable in the minority, but I don't really appreciate any of Emerils restaurants. I think that you could probabley find some place better to go if you don't mind spending money.

    2 Replies
    1. re: localfoodie

      I agree that you can do much better. I also generally avoid Emeril's restaurants. I did take a group to bruch at Delmonico last Sunday, and it was not as good as it should have been at the price.

      1. re: Blumie

        Based on my husband's experiences (he goes 4-5 times a year for work), I'd suggest putting August on the top of you list, and skip the Emeril places.

    2. My husband and I also had a wonderful experience at Demonico in Vegas and decided to try the NOLA version in May with another couple. It was excellent! The steak was amazing, 3 sides were perfect for sharing, and the desserts to die for. I also had an escargot appetizer that was out of this world. Prompted one of my dinner partners to try it for the first time and now he's hooked. The service was attentive, but unobtrusive.

      I've also been to NOLA and found Delmonico to be better. I plan to try Emeril's next time I'm in town.

      1. localfoodie: you are Not in the minority with your point of view. Emerils' establishments have been dwindling in quality for years. i think the absentee chef is o.k. if you are at the top of your game and extremely respected in the "back of the house" world. if not, your not going to get quality cooks who want to work their way up the ladder - Emeril had that pull 5 years ago, but has been losing steam since. stick with the new garde big guns: Besh, Spicer, Boswell,... and you'll be pleasantly surprised

        1. I've only been to NOLA, and I liked it a lot less than some of the other "big names" here in town; I'm actually a big K-Paul's fan, but some will disagree. You would be better off spending your time and money at a place like Brigtsen's, August, Bayona, the list goes on and on. I might be wrong, but I doubt the Delmonico in Vegas had anything much different to offer than the restaurant here.

          From what I understand about Delmonico, they have recently shifted the focus to even more of a steakhouse feel. Has anyone dined there recently?

          13 Replies
          1. re: kmnola

            It mystifies me as to why the people who post on this board want to Demonize Emeril Lagasse.

            1. re: Tonto

              Funny, I don't see anyone demonizing him. I see that some people like his restaurants, others don't.

              1. re: Tonto

                Emeril = Demon? No. Emeril = great chef that became a food network puppet and forgot that "chef" means running a restaurant, not a studio kitchen? Yes.

                1. re: Tonto


                  I can tell you my absolute worst dining experience in New Orleans was at NOLA.
                  I posted about it a while back..and yes, it really was that bad.

                  The thing is, people expect to have a great dining experience at Emeril restaurants because of who he is, and the apperance of dedication to quality on his show. From what I experienced, I found his restaurant to be nothing more than a tourist trap. And because of that, I'll never go to another restaurant of his again.

                  Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me.

                  1. re: Tonto

                    I'm sorry if you misread what I wrote; I hardly think I "demonized" Emeril. In fact, I happen to really like Emeril. It's just that I believe this city has such a wide variety of restaurants to offer--even outside the usual "top 5" everyone mentions--that I think it's worth experiencing those places unique to New Orleans rather than visiting a restaurant that you've basically already been to. That is all.

                    1. re: kmnola

                      I agree with all the comments made. There are lots of great chefs in this city and maybe Emeril's three have fallen short of the mark in many estimations. I personally have never had a negative experience in his establishments. But all that aside. The man and his celebrity earned or not has been a cheerleader and fund raiser for this city that no other chef could have achieved and for that he gets high marks in my opinion.

                      1. re: Tonto

                        It's funny that you should say that about Emeril after the storm because as I recall he did nothing the first year after. Whereas other chefs life Chris Montero (bacco), Hailey Gable(Ralph Brennan Restaurant Group) John Besh(Restaurant August) and others were actually here cooking for workers and reopening their restaurants right away to help bring the city back. All I remember of Emeril was the negative publicity after he moved his headquarters to Atlanta and was probably going to wash his hands of it.

                        1. re: localfoodie

                          You know, I heard this sentiment a lot right after Katrina about Emeril, and it turned out not to be true. He may not have been here feeding people with his own two hands, but it turns out that instead, he was going around the country raising millions of dollars for New Orleans. I even remember a Chris Rose column taking back a lot of the bad things he said about Emeril after hearing the whole story. Emeril's base is back in N.O., no? And as I recall, he was in the kitchen at Emeril's an awful lot last year. He's done a lot for the Gulf Coast as well; his wife is from there.

                          1. re: JGrey

                            I really do not know if he moved it back. I did hear from some of the managment in the local restaurants that he did not pay his salaried employess during the evacuation. Thats pretty mean to me. You would think that he would have been able to do that.

                            1. re: JGrey

                              That is what I meant JGrey. Millions of dollars. Last I looked his headquarters was still on St Charles.

                            2. re: localfoodie

                              I do remember hearing from a speaker at a convention at Tulane that he had tried desperately to bring people back and bring food to people working in New Orleans, but there was some bureaucratic-red-tape reason that it didn't happen. I heard this last fall and I can't remember the details, but I'll update if it comes back to me.

                              1. re: kmnola

                                Red Tape = his people crunched the #'s and found that business interuption insurance was much more profitable than opening. That, to me, is the difference between a chef and a restauranteur... the chefs do it for the food. the other guys do it for the bottom line. It doesnt matter what you think about Emeril personally - it has nothing to do with him. He doesn't make his own decisions. I believe that he wanted to come back and give a hand but his "people" told him what was financially beneficial rather than what was the right thing to do. P.S. The fundraising he did just after the hurricane went into what he called an "employee relief fund". Every restaurant employee was given a weeks pay, then laid off. But all of his office people where kept on. Again, the hostility aint against the man - its against the machine that surrounds him.

                                1. re: iknowwhatitmeans

                                  Thanks--it was partly along the lines of that, and partly along the lines of what they could and could not do with foodservice. Can't agree more with what you've said about the hostility toward the establishment and not toward the man. It's understandably difficult for some to separate the two.

                    2. I've been to both the LV and the NOLA versions of Delmonico. IMHO I found that the LV one was a lot better. the LV version just felt more polished in everything they did, from the servers to the food. Also, the LV one isn't nearly as loud.

                      I'm heading to NOLA this weekend and am bypassing any of Emeril's Restaurants mainly because I've been to all of them before, but also because since I'm going on a tasting tour, I really would like to actually eat food prepared by the chef that owns the restaurant or that the restaurant is known for. I'm not saying that it is horrible of Emeril not to be cooking in his own restaurants (a lot of chefs don't), but a city like NOLA has so many great chefs/restaurants, that it seems like a waste to go and visit but not eat any of their food.