Frequently travelling for business across Canada (mostly West) and the U.S. (periodically), we are privileged with eating in various cities, experiencing the life of the city and through the magic of food, different cultures.

The reason for starting this site was because we can't tell you the number of times we would look on other sites to find reviews of restaurants by the general public, only to come away scratching our heads. Yes, that likely will make us sound like snobs, but hey...there really is no accounting for some people's taste.

Unlike most "reviewers", we never, ever tell the restaurant who we are, or what we are doing. This ensures that we receive no special treatment, and that the establishments aren't on their "best behavior" just because we're there. So you'll hear about the worst of the worst, the best of the best and everything from fast food to luxurious restuarants in our travels, as that is the range and diversity of our palates. Please join us on what has been one hell of a food ride thus far, as we finally unveil, without prejudice, what we really think of the food and let you decide where to eat your next meal.

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Emerils: Miami Beach Florida

BAM! Somebody needs to kick this place up a notch!!

Located in the heart of South Beach Miami, attached to the Loews Hotel is Emeril's restaurant, named after the famous chef Emeril Lagasse. Parking was easy as we opted for valet. The usual cost at Loews for valet parking is $25, however if you get your ticket validated, it is dropped to a mere $16.

Now having dined at several high end restaurants, we expected much better than what we saw at Emerils. The entrance was trendy and impressive, however the seating area left something to be desired, ordinary and rather pedestrian. SJ and I were celebrating our recent engagement, and so we decided to spend it at a place we figured we were assured a fabulous meal. This being said SJ mentioned it to the hostess when she took our reservations and throughout the meal there was no mention of our celebration, quiet odd... Makes you wonder why they even bothered to ask?

In any event, we were seated immediately and handed a wine list to peruse through, but no menus. Soon after, another server arrived to fill our glasses with sparkling water instead of the still we requested. When our waiter arrived we pointed out the mistake and actually had to ask for menus....it seemed as though they had forgotten to give us them in the obvious confusion among the two servers. Our mojitios arrived and after having a few sips we both commented on the fact we were literally eating the mint leaves, as the drinks were very muddled, something we have never experienced before to such a degree...especially not in what is essentially the second home of the mojito. All this had given us time to look at the wine list where we noticed wines ranging from $40 to $4,000. Figuring that we would try something different than our regular gerwurztraminer, We mentioned that we were looking for something sweet in a white wine, but not as sweet as a desert wine. She immediately mentioned that her favorite was ice wine, as if she had not even heard our comment. So when we repeated that were not looking for a desert wine, she said she would have someone who "knew about wine" to come by to assist us. The server who arrived was not the most knowledgeable and had to flip through the wine list several times to finally recommend a wine he thought would fit our needs. Now, understand that neither of us are wine snobs in any way, but wouldn't you have a reasonable expectation that in a restaurant that has several $4000 bottles of wine on the extensive menu, that it would also have a sommolier?? The wine that arrived was nothing close to what we wanted and it was then apparent that this restaurant didn't have anyone knowledgeable enough to recommend a wine....again very odd...the only saving grace was that the bottle was in the lower price scale.

Overall the service was very sporadic and used numerous staff to serve...or not serve in several instances. Again, we actually had to ask for our menus as ample time had passed and we had not received any... When we were ready to place our order, we watched eagerly as our waiter (or the one we assumed was our waiter) walked by 5 times during which both of our menus were closed...the universal signal for "we're ready now". Finally noticing we were ready to order he came over. We got appies to share, calamari and lettuce wraps, with mains of scallops and the 8ounce filet mignon.

Shortly after our order was taken, the waiter arrived to apologize as the kitchen had run out of scallops, so I settled for the spinach and ricotta cheese ravioli instead. At this point we were very disappointed with the overall service and wondered if the food would save the day. 1 hour into our seating we still had not received our appies, this could be due to the server not having taken our food order for about 30 mins into our seating, regardless, this is still unacceptable. Shortly after the 1 hour mark we finally received our appies... And wow did they save the day. The tuna wraps were amazing, with a touch of chili sauce, giving them a little kick. The tuna, fresh and laid on a bed of crispy wonton strips, was absolutely perfect. The calamari was prepared with a New Orleans Olive Salad, Smoked Tomato Sauce, Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese and was equally amazing. Not being a big fan of olives, I couldn't help but devour this dish. Not too many "legs" and lightly breaded. The combination was delightful and unexpected.

Our dishes were cleared and, our waiting staff started to redeem itself...always ensuring that our wine and water glasses were filled, and even going so far as to refold my napkin when I went to use the restroom. Within a decent amount of time our meals arrived...after taking a small detour to another table by mistake. SJ's steak was prepared perfectly, and was the cut and quality one would expect from a place where you pay over $45 for a steak. It had a touch of blue cheese on it which certainly added to the overall taste. My ravioli was huge, and came Roasted Tomato-Sweet Corn “Vierge”, Aged Balsamic Vinegar, Shaved Parmesan Cheese; somewhat bland without it, but tasty one it was added.

After we had finished our meal, the service reverted to it's previous quality. Our plates had been cleared and we had refused dessert, yet waited over 30 minutes for our bill, and actually had to walk up to the server's station to have somebody process our payment, as we had been sitting at our empty table for quite some time waiting.

Overall, I would absolutely NOT recommend this restaurant, unless you are very patient, or have low service standards.

Location visited: Emeril's Miami Beach


Ambiance: Trendy
Cuisine: Contemporary
Presentation: Average
Price: $50/serving
Service: Below Average
Value: Below Average

Emeril's Miami Beach on Urbanspoon

The Meal Truth - Undercover food critics

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