Check out my exclusive review of Emeril’s Orlando located at CityWalk at the Universal Orlando Resort!
Orlando has a ton of great fine dining options to choose from, however none are as good for New Orleans style as Emeril’s Orlando located at CityWalk. I had the opportunity last week to get a good look at the amazing food, top quality wine and the people that make Emeril’s Orlando one of the best restaurants that Orlando has to offer!
The restaurant itself is a two-story building located overlooking the waterways at CityWalk. The restaurant, which has hardwood floors, stone walls and an iron staircase has a very industrial feel. The staircase leads you up to two private rooms, a 10,000 bottle wine collection and a chef’s tasting room which sits 8 people. Now that we have a beautiful location lets talk about the people who make it happen!
Of course Emeril Lagasse is the owner of Emeril’s Orlando however Chef Braselman brings the food to life! Chef Doug Braselman has over 14 years of culinary experience and has worked for most of his career in New Orleans. Braselman became the Chef de Cuisine for Emeril’s Orlando in April of 2015 and has brought his flavor and his expertise with him!
The General Manager Andy Vaughn is not only the GM of the restaurant but is also the master in charge of the extensive 10,000 bottle wine list at Emeril’s Orlando! Vaughn rose from a table buser in 2002 to GM of one of the most popular restaurants at Universal Orlando! Along his path Vaughn became the sommelier for the restaurant, which he still enjoys today!
Now for the star of the show: The FOOD!
Throughout the night, I had a wide variety of food that really showcased what Emeril’s Orlando and Chef Braselman had to offer! After a wonderful amuse bouche, the food started rolling out!
We started out the night with the Tuna Crudo. The Tuna Crudo came with a chili aioli, roasted pine nuts, ponzu, nori chips, and pork belly. For drinks, we paired the tuna with a 2013 Pierre Sparr Riesling from France. The tuna was high quality, and the sauce and pork belly really rounded out the start of our food adventure!
We then moved on to the Blackened Redfish and Grits. This dish was served on a bed of rice grits with a jumbo shrimp and some tomato-fennel stew. The fish was wonderful with just the right amount of heat from the seasoning. I also loved the stew and the shrimp in this dish! We paired this course with a 2013 Joseph Drouhin Saint-Veran from France.
Next we tried a first for me, duck wings. The crispy duck wings came tossed in a sticky chili glaze and a blue cheese vinaigrette. These wings were some of the best wings I have ever had and will never crave chicken wings again! The wings were full of flavor and fell right off the bone! We paired the wings with a 2013 Patz & Hall Pinot from Sonoma, California.
Sticking with the duck, we then moved onto the Honey Lacquered Duck. The duck came served on southern cooked greens with cilantro and a sweet tea glaze. This dish reminded me of a traditional peking duck dish. We paired this duck with a 2013 Syrah Melville from California. This dish was one of my favorites of the evening! The duck was crispy on the outside, tender inside and packed full of wonderful flavor!
For our last entree we had the Creekstone Ribeye with a 2013 Kuleto Indian Ink from Napa Valley. This perfectly grilled ribeye was served with a crawfish-cheddar poutine. The steak was drizzled with an arugula chimichurri sauce. The steak was wonderful and cooked to perfection and who doesn’t love some fries with crawfish and cheese! SO GOOD!
Just when you think you are done, the desserts come out! Chef sent out a dessert sampler for me to try some of their offerings. On the platter was the Banana Cream Pie, which is a signature dish at Emeril’s Orlando. Also on the platter was the Key Lime Pie, Cookies and Creme Cheesecake, fresh fruit sorbet, and the Milk Chocolate and Banana Bread Pudding with a Peanut Butter Ice Cream on top! Each dessert I tried was great flavor and quality, however the banana cream pie was the winner in my opinion!
Emeril’s Orlando has everything you would want in a fine dining restaurant! A beautiful spot, great food, amazing drinks and a staff to make sure it is executed wonderfully! I know that this was not my last trip to Emeril’s Orlando! I cannot wait to get back and try some more of the wonderful food that this team has to offer!