Savor the Flavor
Destrehan High senior Hannah Bodin doubles as New Orleans food critic
Emeril’s Gulf Coast Fish House
Bam! Located at 3300 West Beach Blvd. in Gulfport, Miss., it is none other than the infamous Emeril himself.
When stepping into Emeril’s Gulf Coast Fish House, the magnificent service is what makes this experience unforgettable.
The plush ambiance and the delectable rolls, the skillet of warm cornbread drizzled with honey butter, and the luscious specialty drinks are particularly memorable.
The color shirt I was wearing determined the color of the napkin placed on my lap. The attention to detail surpassed my expectations.
The servers took orders at eye-level with the customers and were personable throughout the whole experience.
I began with an appetizer of perfectly golden fried green tomatoes served with shrimp remoulade, baby greens and mirliton pickles.
Not too greasy yet not too crunchy - simply perfection, and the servers made sure the table was clean throughout the entire meal.
When dinner arrived, I enjoyed the Andouille sausage and crusted Texas redfish served with shoestring potatoes, grilled vegetables, glazed pecans and Creole meuniere butter sauce.
The warm pecan pie not only topped off the evening, but also melted my heart with sugary goodness. It was served with a milk chocolate Jack Daniels ice cream and other chocolate sauces.
The tour of the kitchen is what really made this food voyage complete.
My eyes did not know whether to turn to the pastry chef finalizing a dessert, or to the cleanest machinery and utensils that I have ever seen.
Overall this experience was one to value.
Like the head chef, Steve D'Angelo says, “Everyone here at Emeril’s Gulf Coast Fish House is equal and with passion for what he or she does, everyone can walk out feeling successful when the day is through.”
Antoine’s old-style French restaurant is located on St. Louis Street in the New Orleans French Quarter.
I felt like I stepped into an old 1930 movie when I entered the dining rooms which were adorned with white linen table tops.
The walls were decorated with photographs of famous people who have eaten there, but I couldn’t stay long and had only enough time for an appetizer and dessert.
The appetizer consisted of large Louisiana shrimp served with Antoine's delectable remoulade dressing. I also enjoyed the rich chocolate layer cake with a fruity raspberry sauce and whipped cream.
The slice they serve you is enough for two people to enjoy, and is a best bet for chocolate lovers because it is very rich in texture and taste.
I was given a tour of the restaurant and each room offered its own atmosphere with a vast collection of art, china and glassware.
Antoine’s is also known for its extensive wine cellar.
The restaurant struck me as a place you could go to enjoy a romantic dinner, dessert and a great bottle of wine.
No matter what era you are in when you eat at Antoine’s - the restaurant’s history will be with you.
Brennan’s is located in the heart of the French Quarter at 417 Royal Street and its character trademark is fine dining.
I knew when I stepped through the doors that I was going to have a true New Orleans dining experience with a rich setting of the waiters in black coats and white linens everywhere.
I could hear a hush around the table as my guests and I sipped shrimp etouffe and Creole soups with hot crusty French bread.
The only sound heard was the waiters whisking around to serve your every need.
My guests and I arrived in the early afternoon and were seated at a table overlooking the beautiful courtyard. We chose lunch menu items and were pleasantly surprised.
The seafood salad consisted of large gulf shrimp with a delectable vinaigrette dressing.
The Brennan’s salad was served with braised asparagus and a light hollandaise sauce.
The pepper tournedos I chose were cooked medium well and savory juices poured out when sliced, but the chicken florentine dish was my favorite.
The savory chicken presentation was served in a light florentine sauce and potatoes adorned the plate.
The highlight of the meal was when I heard the waiter whisper to me in that southern New Orleans drawl, “Hey sugar, you want to help me cook some bananas foster?”
The flavors marry in this delectable desert and it is a signature dish for Brennan’s.
There is another hush around the table as the desert is served and all I can think is C’est Bon!
Drago’s Seafood Restaurant
When stepping into Drago’s, the smell of bubbling garlic butter sauce encases your senses.
I was seated right away and my guest and I started the dinner with crab claws.
This little delight was made of fresh Louisiana crab fingers lightly battered and fried.
The view of the oyster bar caught my eye while waiting for our entrees and I was tempted to indulge, but I ordered another dish instead.
I enjoyed the chicken romano - a cheese crusted chicken breast, sautéed and served over penne pasta with marinara sauce.
Delectable, delicious, and delightful are all words that struck my mind after tasting the first bite.
My guest enjoyed the crab cake platter which consists of shrimp and crabmeat cakes topped with velvety crabmeat au gratin sauce and served with linguini.
Dessert was even better. The hot brownie a la mode I ordered consisted of a whipped cream tower hidden atop a wonderful vanilla ice cream cake and chocolate sauce.
The evening was one to remember and let us not forget, when the smell of garlic butter is in the air, you’ll know to stop at Drago’s and enjoy the enchanting experience.
Commander’s Palace Restuarant
All that Jazz! And brunch at Commander’s Palace was just that.
A jazzy band, festive balloons, great service, and sensational food surrounded me as soon as I entered the dining room.
To begin, I had a demi serving of three soups: gumbo, turtle and soup du jour of shrimp and mirliton - each one better than the one before.
The garlic and black pepper crusted wild shrimp started off the entrees.
This dish consisted of whiskey, roasted garlic and wild mushroom ragout over charred chiles, whipped brie grits and black truffle butter.
My guest enjoyed the griddle seared gulf fish. Speckled trout was chosen and cooked with herbsaint braised fennel with sweet onions, slow roasted tomatoes, grilled lobster butter and crushed parsley sauce.
The cuisine was more than anticipated for.
For dessert, I ordered bread pudding soufflé with rum sauce.
It was served as the Jazz combo played “When The Saints Go Marching In.”
This tasty treat is truly the queen of Creole desserts.
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