I've only experienced one of Emeril Lagasse's New Orleans restaurants before years ago when we ate at Emeril's Delmonico at a dinner for a cousin graduating from Dillard University. I had the trout that was on the menu at the time and it was unbelievable, I literally still think about it. So we were exited to try Emeril's newest casual, concept restaurant Meril, especially since Serena Williams and her celebrity friends recently dined there for her wedding rehearsal dinner. That alone made me really want to see this spot, so we decided to eat there to celebrate our own wedding anniversary (22 years!) and the pic below is a view from our table.
Meril, named after Emeril's daughter (I thought it was a shortened take on his name, and maybe it still is) is located on Girod Street in the Warehouse District in New Orleans. It's a nice sized, elegantly decorated restaurant with lots of room between tables, there's a huge bar area when you walk in and on the other side of the restaurant, there's an open style kitchen. There are large screen tv's throughout making Meril a nice, sophisticated spot to sit and sip and enjoy a Saints game, especially if you're looking for something that's a step or three above your average sports bar. The night we ate there they sat us directly in front of one of the many flat screen tv's in the restaurant and needless to say the Mr. was thrilled. The Saints were playing the Carolina Panthers that night and the Saints ended up winning that game 31-21. Meril is a stylish restaurant with a certain polish but without being stuffy, because look, Saints fans can get LOUD, and they were no different inside Meril.
Meril specializes in tapas or small plates, so go ready to order a couple different dishes to taste between you and your dining companions. We chose the Fried Oyster Salad (YUM), the Duck Confit Flatbread with banana butter... BANANA. BUTTER. This dish was beyond. SO, so good. And TRUST, you could definitely taste the banana butter in that dish. We got the Fried Rock Shrimp Tacos as our third dish, and believe me, all of it was tasty.
The Fried Oyster Salad, with watercress, goat cheese, apple smoked bacon and sweet pepper vinaigrette.
Our Duck Confit Flatbread with that banana butter. The flatbread was thin and crisp and the slight sweetness from the banana butter balanced the savory flavors of the duck confit. Perfect.
Close up of the Duck Confit Flatbread.
Our yummy Fried Rock Shrimp Tacos with cilantro and sambal mayo.
We opted for the Lemon Ice Box Pie which was near flawless for dessert. It was just the right amount of sweet and tart without being overly sugary. Overly sweet desserts are a turnoff for me and this definitely was not that. Even the whipped cream was lite. I italicized the word "lite" because the Mr. always thinks I'm trying to trick myself when I refer to any dessert as "lite" lol.
I couldn't pass up a cappuccino when it was offered and I'm glad I didn't. It was the perfectly smooth ending to our small plates meal.
This is the tray of sweeteners that comes out with your coffee. Simple syrup, brown sugar, white sugar, Splenda and Sweet 'N Low in cute little glass containers. At the end of our meal, we both agreed that Meril was now on our list of regular spots to frequent. Definitely going to be back.