Table 10: Emeril Lagasse’s fine-dining experience
There might be no bigger celebrity chef than Emeril Lagasse. How many other chefs are known just by their first name? So it could be intimidating for the person he chooses to represent his cuisine to find the balance between the classic Emeril dishes he built his reputation on and modern interpretations of where that cuisine is headed.
At Table 10, chef James Richards expertly keeps that balance. The restaurant has always been considered Emeril’s fine-dining outlet in Las Vegas.
Richards respects the tried-and-true dishes, and he should. The classics are some of the best meals on the menu. No experience at a Lagasse outpost should start without Emeril’s New Orleans BBQ, which features plump Gulf shrimp bathed in a ridiculously balanced barbecue sauce. It’s part sweet, part heat, part tangy, part BAM! For seafood lovers, don't miss the ahi tuna tartare, lovingly glazed with a sweet sesame vinaigrette. Emeril’s Louisiana crab cake has a perfect consistency, just enough crunch on the outside and all that soft, delicious blue crab beneath. The plate is made whole by a mango-cucumber slaw with jalapeno lime dressing.
The snack menu features more modern concepts. Charred English peas, Emeril's interpretation of edamame, are made addictive by the simple topping of lemon zest, sea salt and red chili flakes. Candied North Country bacon is baked, not fried, with a sweet maple glaze courtesy of Noble Tonic 01 (that decadent syrup aged in bourbon barrels).
Main courses again offer options both standard and new. The Harris Ranch filet mignon falls into the category of the former. The meat is topped with bone marrow butter, giving the cut an even more melt-in-your-mouth feel. One of the newer dishes is farro verde. This vegetarian choice uses the increasingly popular European grain as the base and tops it with all types of healthy goodies—asparagus, English snap peas, sugar snap peas and Black Tuscan kale. Mascarpone is added as a finishing element and gives the grain some zing.
To get the full Emeril experience, one must finish with Emeril’s banana cream pie. This massive take on the favorite has converted many who do not like bananas. Elsewhere, white-chocolate malasadas are a tribute to Emeril’s youth—his mother was Portuguese and he worked in a Portuguese bakery as a teen. These bite-sized doughnuts are delightful. And the panna cotta has been updated, with a lovely intermingling of blueberries and Meyer lemon freshening up the flavors.
The French Tickler shows that balancing many elements isn’t just a specialty of the food here, but that it translates over to the drinks as well. Skyy Infusions pineapple vodka, Green Chartreuse, homemade lemon-vanilla sour, sweet heat syrup and egg whites create a smooth, frothy cocktail that is, to paraphrase Emeril, kicked up a notch.
With its interplay between old and new, Table 10 has kicked it up another notch, too.
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