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by Derek Holden
April 25, 2004
From journal Week at South Beach
March 19, 2004
I dined there twice - the first time with a group of 8, the second with my parents. Both times the service was outstanding - totally gracious, keeping your visit there smooth as silk, so you never need to worry about a thing. Emeril's Miami Beach is located in the Loews Miami Beach Hotel, in the recently rennovated Art Deco section of the property. The restaurant is spacious, decorated in various shades of whites and neutral, natural colors, seating about 180. Like all his locations, there is a small selection of seating at the "tasting bar" - a counter area where you can eat and watch the kitchen in action. Large doors lead to a very nice outdoor café area that seats about 40, and overlooks well-manicured lawns and pool area and the beach.
The wine list is massive, with selections ranging from the $40 range to well into the $600+ range - so something for every taste. If it is overwhelming, pick something that suits your price range; the choices are all excellent.
Appetizers included items like French onion soup, seared scallops with a melon compote, salads, and the signature lobster cheesecake - rather filling for an appetizer for one, but very tasty and unusual dish.
The main dishes arrive as works of art, tempting the taste buds before you even begin to eat - it's almost a shame to dig into them. Fish - scallops, snapper, grouper, more - cooked to perfection, maintaining the taste and firmness of the fish without overcooking, yet high quality and baked well enough that it flakes apart at the touch of your fork. Pasta, chicken, pork, steak - this kitchen could produce no wrong when it came to culinary delights.
And finally on to desserts ... I always, always save room for dessert at Emeril's (which sometimes is difficult, considering how hard it is to resist the rest of the menu!). Key lime pie - light, creamy, different than most Key lime pies but delicious. Fruit plate, loaded with the freshest, brightest tropical fruits like mango, melons, kiwi, papaya. Crème bruleé. Sinfully rich banana creme pie. And the piece de resistance, Emeril's signature chocolate mousse, which is served hot, with a rich chocolate/Grand Marnier sauce, poured inside. So heavenly that you'll moan with every bite ... big enough to share, but so fantastic you won't want to.
Emeril's new Miami Beach location has landed firmly as my favorite among his many restaurants, but like all of his locations, you will always be rewarded in quality of service, beautiful decor, excellent food, and atmosphere.
Lunch: Mon-Sun, 11:30a-2:00p
Dinner: Sun-Thu, 5:30p-10:00pm, Fri & Sat, 5:30p-11:00p
From journal Florida for Non-Tourists