That left plenty of time to dwell upon menu choices, and it occurred to me that a guest's request of a side of red onion-smoked bacon marmalade with his 16-ounce prime cowboy rib eye might have been a mistake; it usually comes with the filet. Our waiter asked if he still wanted the regular rib eye accompaniments of crawfish compound butter and red wine bordelaise, to which the guest answered affirmatively. "Do you want the butter served on top of the steak?" the waiter then inquired. "Yes." The wide, thin plank of meat arrived smothered in the marmalade; upon request, the crawfish butter was brought, as well as a timbale of blue cheese — as a fill-in, I suppose, for the blue cheese glaçage that usually glazes the filet we didn't order. The steak was too salty in spots and lacked sizzle and sear (who knows how long it sat beneath the heat lamp); it barely leaked juice when cut. Mashed potatoes on the plate were adequate in flavor but not quite adequate as the accompaniment to a $48 entrée.

The marmalade was delicious.

Andouille-crusted Texas redfish is an Emeril's signature, but there is hardly any sausage flavor in the breadcrumb coating. The fillet of fish is centered atop a ragout of fingerling potatoes, crimini mushrooms, and Parmesan shavings in a coffee-hued, Creole-seasoned butter sauce. Pan-seared yellowtail snapper proved a cleaner, lighter preparation — the crisp-skinned fillet surrounded by lumps of crab meat sautéed with mirleton (chayote) and a disconcerting spike of raw garlic in a bright citrus-based butter sauce.

Joe Rocco

Location Info


Emeril's Miami Beach

1601 Collins Ave.
Miami Beach, FL 33139

Category: Restaurant > Cajun

Region: South Beach


Lunch Monday through Saturday 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.; dinner Sunday through Thursday 6 to 10:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday 6 to 11 p.m.; brunch Sunday 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

After main course plates were cleared, desserts were offered on the house. When nearly ten minutes passed and said sweets were still not forthcoming, I began to wonder about etiquette: When can you politely inquire about a course you're not paying for? Then delicate Meyer lemon crêpes with vanilla bean sauce and fresh ripe blackberries arrived — well worth the wait. So was a tall wedge of banana cream pie featuring chilled chunks of the fruit suspended in dense vanilla custard, with a moist banana/graham cracker crust and whipped cream, caramel drizzles, and dark chocolate shavings on top. A trio of bread pudding muffins — traditional, white chocolate, and strawberry with a dulce de leche center — was more distinctive for variety than character, but there are plenty of enticing flavors on the plate.

Sunday brunch brings limited choices of three courses for $32. The only omelet offered is not stuffed with andouille sausage but with French feta cheese, spinach, and cherry tomatoes. Still, the outdoor terrace and Atlantic vista are beautiful in the daylight, and entrées such as Grand Marnier French toast and eggs Tchoupitoulas (poached, on English muffin, with apple-smoked bacon, asparagus, and lump crab hollandaise) were prepared with aplomb.

Emeril Lagasse is one of the real good guys in the industry: kind, dedicated, charitable. He's also got chops as a chef; if he isn't Thomas Keller, neither is he simply a male Paula Deen. Even longtime antagonist Anthony Bourdain has come around to taking Lagasse's cooking skills seriously. All of which makes the menu and execution at his eponymous restaurant so disappointing. It's understood that this is a corporate venture using Emeril's name, but Emeril — Bam! — it's your name!

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