Emeril's Miami Beach looks just as it did the day it opened at the St. Moritz Hotel (part of the Loews) in November 2003. Two large, lofty dining rooms are visible to guests as they approach the host's podium. The bigger one to the left is a handsome assemblage of linen-topped tables and gracefully curved banquettes in a neutral pastel setting, with twin wine-storage towers dominating the design and blocking sight lines. To the right is the smaller arena, which is enlivened by a ten-seat "food bar" fronting a bustling open kitchen framed in bright glass panels of varying patterns. It's the only vivid color displayed in the restaurant, and the cooks in the backdrop provide the sole drama; one would guess this space that would fill first. Yet it was nearly empty on a Saturday evening, while many of the outdoor patio seats were occupied and just about every table was taken in the other room. Either folks' fascination with watching chefs perform has greatly waned, or Emeril's management team is oblivious to customers' desires. After recent visits, my guess is the latter — assuming there even is a management team. That the men's bathroom is being used as a storage facility for dining room chairs might suggest otherwise. So does the service, but... More >>>