Emeril Lagasse’s imprint is easy to spot on the menu here, from the subtle Louisiana influences on some dishes to the more obvious inclusions of things like his signature banana cream pie. That may a good or bad thing, depending on your feelings about the celebrity chef, but you really should forget about that entirely because this delightful restaurant stands on its own as a creation that, if you didn’t know better, was completely outside of Lagasse’s world. The dining room is warmly lit, heavy on the rich woods, and supremely comfortable. Start with the candied bacon served with maple syrup or the fried Great Lakes smelt with lemon mayo, and work your way up to Colorado filet or, better yet, the Hawaiian snapper, simply dressed and steamed to perfection. The menu is seasonal so details may change, but it is also wide-ranging and eclectic from things like suckling pig to lobster spaghetti to sea scallops, so there should be something for just about every taste. And if you want to finish off with the banana cream pie, we certainly won’t blame you, but do consider the malasadas, which are like cinnamon powdered donut holes stuffed with white chocolate. Bam, indeed.
- Rick Garman