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Emeril's New Orleans or NOLA

robinsilver Oct 2, 2012 08:07 AM

Any preference on way or the other? We are going with a group of 8 women to NO for a long weekend. One of them wants to go to an Emeril restaurant. We are staying closer to NOLA, but if Emeril's NO is much better, we can do that.

  1. r
    robinsilver Nov 6, 2012 10:08 AM

    I wanted to thank you all for your ideas and replies, including those who have answered me on other threads. Ironically, 5 of us were coming from NY, so we didn't make it due to our storm. Thankfully Delta, who cancelled our original flight, credited us for our airfare, and the tour company that we had booked the hotel through to save some money also refunded all costs to us. We now know a bit of what it was like to live through Katrina. I still have no power after 8 days, and the biggest problem is that it has gotten rather cold, and we are now expecting a Noreaster tomorrow.

    2 Replies
    1. re: robinsilver
      collardman Nov 6, 2012 11:17 AM

      Our hearts go out to everyone up there. We understand when we see the photos, we can smell the smell, and know that recovery is weeks and months, not days.

      But you are well versed in where to come for warmth, electricity, good food and hospitality. Let us know when you can make up your trip

      1. re: robinsilver
        Bill Hunt Nov 7, 2012 08:08 PM

        The folk in the Deep South, and especially NOLA, can directly relate.

        Hope that things DO get better, and kudos to Delta, and the tour operator, for helping.

        Please stay safe, and consider NOLA as a great destination, for a later time.

        Best of luck, and our thoughts and prayers to you, and to your families.


      2. r
        rasputina Oct 5, 2012 02:27 PM

        I'd go to Delmonico's in the garden district.

        13 Replies
        1. re: rasputina
          libstewart Oct 5, 2012 02:40 PM

          I like Delmonico's also - didn't comment because I have not been there in some time. It was a wonderful evening - took the streetcar to the Garden District (the stop is in front of Delmonico's). I remember that we both really enjoyed the evening and it wasn't noisy at all. Had the barbequed shrimp for an appetizer and it was wonderful.

          1. re: rasputina
            Bill Hunt Oct 5, 2012 06:44 PM

            Of the Emeril's restaurants, Delmonico was the weakest. That was from food to service, to food service. Nothing was impressive. We wanted to be impressed, having known the original restaurant, and also being fans of many of Chef Lagasse's other restaurants, but it just did not happen, and at nearly every level. Maybe we expected too much?


            1. re: Bill Hunt
              robinsilver Oct 8, 2012 02:21 PM

              Thanks all for your replies, but it turns out that we couldn't get a reservation for either of those 2 for the night we wanted. I am thinking of GW Finn's as another choice. Any thoughts on that?
              Just so you know, most of those coming are not the ones who would find the Herbsaint menu very appealing.

              1. re: robinsilver
                Gizmo56 Oct 8, 2012 02:46 PM

                GW Fins is among the most consistently well-reviewed restaurants in New Orleans and I think you'll be very happy if that is where you end up. Yes, they source fish from outside Louisiana waters, as well as offering locally-sourced fare, but it is nice to have the variety, and to know that your eating somewhere that makes every effort to offer the best quality peak season seafood.

                Good fairly recent local review here:


                1. re: Gizmo56
                  robinsilver Oct 9, 2012 01:25 PM

                  Thanks, I made the reservation there. Can't believe they took a credit card from me to hold the reservation.

                  1. re: robinsilver
                    Gizmo56 Oct 9, 2012 02:59 PM

                    That's a new practice. I think they are also on OpenTable, and I don't think they can enforce that requirement there.

                    I hope you have a great time in New Orleans and at GW Fins. We'd love your impressions in a trip report afterwards, if convenient.

                    1. re: Gizmo56
                      Bill Hunt Oct 9, 2012 08:17 PM

                      Yes, while I do not recall the credit card, we dine out on our travels so very much, that I could easily have overlooked that requirement?

                      As you mention, we normally just do OT, and if a credit card is required, I never hesitate, as I plan on keeping all reservations - just do not recall such with G W Fins.


                    2. re: robinsilver
                      Bill Hunt Oct 9, 2012 08:16 PM

                      I cannot recall them requesting a credit card, but then we make so many restaurant reservations, that I might have just forgotten?

                      Though we have dined there over a dozen times, I think that the last half-dozen reservations have been through OpenTable, and maybe I have cards on file?

                      OTOH, I have just completed about 20 reservations in London, Paris and Las Vegas, for upcoming trips. I think that about 3/4 did require a credit card.


                  2. re: robinsilver
                    Bill Hunt Oct 9, 2012 08:13 PM

                    I have always had great meals at G W Fins, and have had only one complaint (if you could call it that), and that has been the noise-level on some nights. However, I have expressed the same "issue," and in some normally "quite" restaurants. It is about the crowd that night.

                    While G W Fins did try to open a Chesapeake Bay version, using their local seafood, and some "Tidewater" recipes, the NOLA restaurant has always impressed us with mostly local seafood, and mostly local recipes.

                    In maybe 15 visits, they have never been below "very good," and have often been in the "extremely good," to "great" range.

                    Being "local" to the Gulf Coast and Louisiana, "local" has meaning to both of us, and we've always been impressed, and have enjoyed.

                    Most of all, ENJOY!


                    1. re: Bill Hunt
                      ncara Oct 10, 2012 01:53 AM

                      Ask for a table at GW Fins on the perimeter of the room...that is where we had a table and it was less noisy.

                      1. re: ncara
                        robinsilver Oct 10, 2012 09:13 AM

                        I tried making the reservation on OT, but they won't take it for 8 people.
                        For all you OT fans, I just found out something when I tried to make a reservation somewhere that we go to often here in NY. I couldn't get a table at all on OT, but when I called, I could, and that was for 4 people, so not the same issue. Try it.

                        1. re: robinsilver
                          Bill Hunt Oct 10, 2012 08:33 PM

                          I use OT a lot, and it seldom disappoints me, BUT, when I cannot get what I want, when I want it, a call often gets me the desired table, when I need it.

                          Some restaurants do NOT list all tables on OT, so never hesitate to call. You might be surprised.

                          I have also found that AMEX Platinum, or Centurion Concierge, can secure some tables, that even a call will not reveal, at least to me. My wife has become a big fan of that service. I have similar on two other cards, but cannot comment, as we have never used those - yet. A year ago, I was striking out badly in NYC. I grumbled, and moaned, and with two calls, my wife had an ideal table, at a great time, plus her limo service ready for us. She has become an "animal," and seems to be on a first-name basis with the ladies and gentlemen at AMEX. She has impressed me greatly. Not sure why she keeps me around - reaching the upper shelves without a ladder?


                        2. re: ncara
                          Bill Hunt Oct 10, 2012 08:26 PM

                          We have often been seated along the windows, if we are not hosting a larger group. When we have (depends on the size, and on the notice), the interior is a bit loud for me, but their private room has been nice.

                          I agree with you, that the perimeter is quieter, than the center of the room, and I do like that.


                2. i
                  ilikeNOLA Oct 5, 2012 08:29 AM

                  We have had better food and service at Emeril's. NOLA was not enjoyable.

                  1. c
                    collardman Oct 2, 2012 12:51 PM

                    My call is that they are close enough for me and both consistant that I choose by the atmosphere I want, usually for my guests. Emeril's is a more dressy and a bit of a see and be seen place. NOLA more informal atmosphere and also a bit louder.

                    I've seen groups of women have great times in both places but NOLA seems to me to have more bachlorette dinners. Maybe the menus might help you choose.

                    While it may not matter to you, NOLA is having there 20th anniversary this month and is going to have a number of dishes from the original menu. I'm going to try to get there this month just to hit some of the classic N.O. dishes (without going to G or the A's)

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: collardman
                      Bill Hunt Oct 2, 2012 09:56 PM

                      I have found the opposite, regarding the "loudness factor," but then have only dined in the upper-most section at NOLA. The one rub that I have had at Emeril's has been the noise.

                      The service has been very good, to great, at both, but Emeril's has always had an added "fun quotient," that NOLA seemed to lack.

                      Just my personal observations,


                      1. re: Bill Hunt
                        ncara Oct 4, 2012 12:12 PM

                        Though I enjoyed my meals in both locations, I have to say I would lean towards NOLA. I found Emerils to be "too busy"...too much commotion.....too many waiters, busboys, etc...I started getting dizzy if I watched what was going on around me. Loved NOLAs shrimp and grits, disappointed in Emerils Drum, but loved the pasta with smoked mushrooms and the coconut custard pie.

                        1. re: ncara
                          Bill Hunt Oct 4, 2012 07:37 PM

                          That is one aspect too. We have always gotten quiet, and undivided attention at NOLA (unlike some others, who have posted of a higher noise level).


                          1. re: ncara
                            robinsilver Oct 5, 2012 08:18 AM

                            Shrimp and grits is one of my favorites, so that does it! Bill, thanks you said what you did about the noise level not being so bad, but we have been known to be noisy ourselves, so shouldn't complain.
                            We are a group of 50 & 60-something women who act like 30 something women.

                            1. re: robinsilver
                              Bill Hunt Oct 5, 2012 06:41 PM

                              I have only dined upstairs, and maybe on "slower nights," but the noise level at NOLA was lower, for us on those dining experiences, than at Emeril's (the eponymous restaurant).

                              OTOH, our dining at MiLa (a restaurant that I do not consider "loud") was ruined on one trip, due to a party of 6, who screamed and shouted for about 2 hours. Even closer than my table for 12, was a 4-top, trying to have a business dinner, and they could not converse. The noise level was way, way over the top. However, when that one offending party left, the noise level went down, to where others could almost whisper. Had I only dined at MiLa that one time, and during the party near-by, I would have reviewed them as being FAR too noisy. Glad that I had other experiences.

                              As for Shrimp & Grits, plus BBQ Shrimp, we were very impressed.

                              At NOLA, we must have hit them on the "whisper nights."

                              Our groups ranged from late 20's to early 90's, and all enjoyed NOLA.


                      2. g
                        Gizmo56 Oct 2, 2012 08:47 AM

                        I think the flagship Emeril's in the Warehouse District is the better choice, though NOLA is also very good. At the former, try Emeril's take on BBQ shrimp as your app, the Andouille-crusted Drum as your entree, and Banana Cream Pie for dessert.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: Gizmo56
                          GDPhalp Oct 2, 2012 11:17 AM

                          I would agree with the above post - Emerl's is a better choice. While neither I would consider spectacular, both are rock solid. Every time you go, you can expect the same level of food/service. Banana cream pie is a must, smoked mushroom angel hair app & pork chop are also nice choices. Inevitably, I usually wish I'd gone somewhere else, but thats more of a reflection on how great of a food city New Orleans is.

                          1. re: Gizmo56
                            Bill Hunt Oct 2, 2012 09:53 PM

                            Though I have greatly enjoyed both (Emeril's a bit longer ago), I agree with you. Neither would be bad, but I would give the final "nod" to Emeril's (the eponymous restaurant).

                            Tough call, but there is no "wrong answer" in that question - just degrees of "better."


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