November 20, 1995

Chef Emeril Lagasse's degustation menu, a seven-course tasting menu that changes daily, is one of the finest dining experiences one could have, in my humble opinion. If you're ever in New Orleans, go to Emeril's, order the degustation and just let him feed you.

Amuse Bouche:
Homemade Hog's Head Cheese on Goat Cheese Crouton

Smoked Atlantic Salmon and Spinach Cakes with
Choupiquette Caviar, Traditional Garnishes,
Infused Oils and a Chive Sour Cream

Pan Seared Scallops with a Saffron Asparagus
Risotto, Fried Spinach, Parmesan Cheese and a
Saffron Tomato Broth

1994 King Estate Oregon Pinot Gris

Pan Crispy Flounder with a Lump Crab and
Wild & Exotic Mushroom Relish, Shaved Black Winter
Truffles, a Drizzle of Red Pepper Paint and a
Lemon Truffle Butter Sauce

1993 Puligny-Montrachet, Joseph Drouhin

Roulade of Magret Duck Breast filled with an Avocado and
Fig Duxelle on a Bed of Wild Mushroom Bread Pudding
topped with Seared Hudson Valley Foie Gras
and a Port Wine Blackberry-Strawberry Reduction Sauce

1992 Sky Mt. Veeder Zinfandel

Roasted Lamb Chop with Truffle Mashed Bourbon Sweet
Potatoes, Apple Mint Relish, Fresh Rosemary and a
Lamb Reduction Sauce

1991 Corison Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Assorted Chicory Farms Cheese, Toasted Walnut
and Raisin Bread with a Cranberry Orange Gastrique

Flourless Chocolate Cake with Whipped Cream, Raspberry
Sauce and Hawaiian Vintage Chocolate Sauce

An Assortment of Emeril's Creole Bonbons,
with a Drizzle of Chocolate Sauce.

With the dessert we ordered a Fonseca 20 Year Old Tawny Port, and the lagniappe came when the waiter asked us how we enjoyed the meal, and my dining companion Rich Hawkins replied, "Disappointed." The waiter was shocked. "How were you disappointed?" he asked incredulously. "I'm disappointed that it's over, and that there are no more courses!" replied Rich. "Hmmmmm," mused the waiter. "There could be ... there could be another course ..." And lo and behold, there was!

The price for this meal was seventy-five dollars, and an additional forty-five dollars for the specially chosen wine package. It was the most money I had ever spent on a single meal up until that time (the price had gone up a bit since the last time I had had the degustation), but I don't think I've ever enjoyed a meal quite so much in my life.


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Chuck Taggart (e-mail chuck)