You can’t go to New Orleans without tasting Emeril. He has many establishments in the city including Emeril’s New Orleans (classic Emeril), NOLA (funky, casual) and Emeril’s Delmonico (dry-aged steaks and charcuterie). There is a reason he has emerged as one of the world’s most prized chefs, and it resonates in each and every bite.
Troy and I are thrilled to spend the evening at Emeril’s Delmonico with Chef de Cuisine Spencer Minch and PR front man Jeff Hinson. As we walk in, it feels like Frank Sinatra may appear at the bar and tip his hat to us. It is stately, warm and screams martini.
We go on a tour of the restaurant and find ourselves in “Chef Minch’s baby” as Jeff says—the 55° sausage and wine cellar. This is where the chef brings a modern flair to the age-old art form of charcuterie. One of Chef Minch’s specialties is perfecting the flavors of his uniquely preserved meats. “This stuff takes four weeks to two years to age” and includes “hams made from chestnut pigs, andouille, cured fat, capocollo, chorizo and speck”.
As the tour comes to a close, we are seated and the chef makes his way to the kitchen. Dinner begins with a Moroccan spiced lamb sirloin. The lamb cleverly appears three times in this dish—once as the top house sirloin, again in the house made merguez sausage (spicy, red and often found in North African cuisine) and finally in the finishing reduction. The spice rub shines through this dish and smells of New Orleans culture.
Next we taste Chef Spencer’s rabbit crepes. Surrounded by pancetta, mushrooms and fennel, these trifolded crepes ooze mascarpone cheese. The dish is unexpected and pleasing.
Now for the star of the show, Chef Minch’s grand charcuterie tasting. Beautiful and grandiose, this plate drips with skill. As we taste our way around the butcher block, we are educated in the preserved meats of Chef Spencer. Pancetta wrapped dates, pickled tongue with horseradish cream, Spanish style lomo, American summer sausage and kielbasa take us through a flavor explosion. Nuances crawl all over my taste buds and leave me wanting more.
Our BEST way to experience Emeril’s Delmonico is to belly up to the bar for a handcrafted martini (or New Orleans Sazerac) and a grand charcuterie tasting plate. Enjoy with friends and be sure to try the fried sausage stuffed olives. Bliss.
To learn more about Spencer Minch and follow his recommendations around New Orleans, see his Chef Rec here.
If you want a taste of Emeril’s Delmonico tonight, try your hand at Emeril Lagasse’s recipe for crispy confit of pork for dinner.
Next up, Chef Spencer says a few words about working with Chef Emeril Lagasse.