restaurants / American

Lonely Planet review

It might seem easy to deride Emeril Lagasse, still the most famous celebrity chef in America. The cynic in you wants to think he’s overrated. But come visit NOLA, his French Quarter outpost, and your palette will say, ‘Hey, this is damn good.’ Of course, Emeril’s not in the kitchen ‘Bam!’-ing your food up, but whoever is does a great job with blackberry stout glazed ribs, buttermilk cornbread pudding and other sexed-up contemporary executions. This is one of the few top-end New Orleans restaurants that successfully whips some California-style fusion hip into Louisiana classics, but the top draw may be the waiters, who are enthusiastic and friendly as hell.