Emeril Lagasse's Flagship New Orleans Restaurant Reopens After Major Renovation

After months of renovations, Emeril's, the renowned New Orleans restaurant, has reopened with EJ Lagasse, the son of Emeril Lagasse, stepping into the role of head chef EJ's culinary journey, enriched by experiences in iconic eateries in New York and Europe, has now come full circle. The restaurant, which was renovated after a legendary 33-year run, introduces a fresh seasonal tasting menu that showcases EJ's global inspirations while also paying homage to the timeless classics that have defined Emeril's legacy for over three decades.

EJ's passion for the culinary arts was evident from a young age. In fact, he expressed his desire to follow in his father's footsteps at the tender age of 8. He told Tasting Table's "Shared Tastes," "It was so early that I don't think any responsible parent could take that seriously." But Emeril Sr. helped his son gain experience by showing him some of the best cooking around the world. And now, at age 20, EJ and his team are poised to reintroduce diners to the culinary treasures inspired by local Louisiana farmers and fishermen — a vision initially conceived by his father.

The young chef opened up about the renovation in a recent interview with Tasting Table. "What we wanted to accomplish ... was [to] bring Emeril's back to its roots, back to its fundamentals. We had a lot of time over COVID to think about it." There's not been a detail too small for the father and son duo, who are not simply changing hands within the family business, but updating an iconic venue and portions of the menu as old as the incoming chef himself. 

Innovation and tradition

The renovations to Emeril's have culminated in a brand-new layout. "We've got a new space, we've really done a lot to it, and I'm excited for people to see it, but it's a lot of legacy in that building. A lot of people have been in that building before myself and my team, and now we get to pay our respects to them as we reopen," EJ told Tasting Table, adding "It really is a complete rebuild. Walls have been taken down, new walls have been put up, new glass has been put up. It's a new stove, it's new pans, it's the whole nine yards. It's everything new ... We're taking Emeril's and bringing it to today, and bringing it to a contemporary place from an aesthetic standpoint."

Diners hoping to get a glimpse of chef EJ crafting his culinary masterpieces will appreciate the full-height window that puts the dazzling kitchen theatrics on display. Notably, the kitchen now boasts a custom Molteni oven adorned in the iconic Emeril green, along with gleaming stainless steel and pristine white countertops — a state-of-the-art wonderland. With just 34 seats, the dining room's elegant dark wood and velvet accents were designed for comfort. Expect to experience the same carefully curated, world-class wine service Emeril's is known for in the dining room. The Wine Bar At Emeril's adjacent to the restaurant will also be opening at the same time, serving small plates.

A menu to honor a legacy

EJ and his team will be offering two tasting menus nightly, each focusing on local products and inspired by Emeril's long standing legacy. "It's paying respect. It's tipping our toes, if you will, to the people that have been in there before, the people that created these dishes before — mainly, my father — and utilizing new techniques, contemporary techniques to present dishes that have been around since 1990," EJ said. "On the flip side, with the seasonal menu, it's a hyper focus on the seasonality of produce here in the state of Louisiana, and a focus on finding and sourcing the best of the best for our guests."

The chef suggests proudly that they love "supporting the Gulf Coast region when it comes to our produce." The seasonal tasting menu promises regional flavors, newly interpreted through EJ's culinary work and travel. Look for Louisiana blue crab, scorpion fish, and local quail with refined presentations and ingredient combinations. Of course, longstanding Emeril's favorites like Potato Alexa, with creamy Parmesan Mornay sauce, truffle and potato skins, and smoked salmon cheesecake will be available on the classics tasting menu as well.

Emeril's New Orleans is now open for dining. For reservations and additional information, please visit Emeril's restaurant website.