Best Restaurant When Someone Else Pays (2010)

Emeril's Miami Beach

You can start with gumbo of the day ($9), followed by pan-seared free-range chicken over Louisiana oyster-spinach bread pudding ($28), and complete the meal with a trio of sorbets made with fresh, local fruit ($5). That's a nice dinner conceptualized by America's most famous chef and brought to consistently fresh fruition by chef de cuisine Brandon Benack. You can enjoy it in the big, easy confines of the elegant dining room, or seated at a food bar that faces the open kitchen, or outdoors overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. But save that experience for when someone else isn't paying. With Mr. or Ms. Generosity footing the bill, why not begin with crisply fried Louisiana oysters, served with pickled vegetables and horseradish-yuzu tartar sauce ($13)? Oysters, as you know, are not especially filling, so how about a hunk of succulent Maine lobster tossed with gnocchi thermidor-style, meaning with wild mushrooms and Parmesan shavings in sherry-Creole mustard cream ($14). You'll have to hold off on the hickory-smoked beef short ribs with Louisiana crawfish coleslaw and sweet potato biscuit ($12.50) for another occasion — guests who order three appetizers are looked upon as being boorish. Yellowtail snapper with Creole tomato glaze, crab-mirleton relish, and citrus butter sauce ($38) will obliterate the perception that Emeril's is just a place for tourists, as will the red onion-smoked bacon marmalade and homemade Worcestershire sauce that elevates a juicy filet mignon ($46). Pile it on with truffled mac and cheese flecked with pancetta ($8.50), and add the pièce de resistance via banana cream pie ($10) or bread pudding three ways — a lavish dessert that involves whiskey sauce, Godiva liqueur, and dulce de leche ($9). At meal's end, you might casually mention that Emeril's also serves a damn good brunch, and hope your host picks up on the hint.

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Location Details

1601 Collins Ave.
Miami Beach FL 33139
305-695-4550

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