Sunday, March 24, 2013

e2 Emeril's Eatery

Outside patio and entrance.

Corn muffins served with lunch - moist and a good way to whet your appetite but save room!

I was lucky enough to be invited to try e2 Emeril's Eatery in uptown Charlotte just a few weeks ago. Most folks know Emeril from television but now he owns more than a dozen restaurants across the country in places such as Orlando, Las Vegas and New Orleans. Charlotte's  e2 is located on the Levine Avenue of the Arts between the Mint Museum uptown and the Bechtler Museum. Inside is a full bar and plenty of table seating. There is also a nice patio for al fresco dining. We sat at the bar (there is also a "Food Bar" where you can sit and watch the food being prepared) and enjoyed tasting portions of several of the most popular dishes. My favorite dishes that we tried include the oyster shooter, the signature barbecued shrimp, the pasta with housemade sausage and the apple crepes (photos below). The burger was also good and I enjoyed the corn muffins (above). Other lunch options include chicken and waffle, fresh fish sandwich (this sounded really good!), shrimp and grits and NC Rainbow trout. Several salads and soups are also available including a "gumbo of the day" and there are gluten free items available. 

I did not indulge in any of the stellar looking drinks, although we did sample the house made limoncello - delicious! e2 has a nice drink list, which includes not only classic cocktails, beers and an impressive wine list but also special signature and New Orleans style drinks executed by mixologist Miki Nikolic. His soon to be famous Grass Hopper cocktail includes wheatgrass, hendrick's gin, jalepeno simple syrup, lime juice and cucumber water - yum! Other signature options include a Bacon + Maple, a Pumpkin Spice, and a Prickly Moon with prickly pear juice. New Orleans cocktails include a Sazerac, Bijou, Ramos Gin Fizz and more. I look forward to returning for dinner so that I can sample some of these! 

e2 takes reservations for lunch and dinner and is a great place for a business lunch, a special occasion or a "just because" let's go out! A special 3 course "lunch crunch" menu is offered for $24 with a guarantee of a 40 minute lunch. Adjoining the main restaurant is e2Go, a place where you can grab a sandwich, salad or soup for an even quicker lunch. 

During lunch I had the pleasure of chatting with General Manager Jeff Wakem who also made sure we had everything we needed and were able to taste lots of different dishes. Jeff has worked directly with Emeril in different locations and Emeril himself visits each of his restaurants from time to time. Check out e2 and you never know, you just might see him there yourself!

Oyster Shooter - with spicy New Orleans style Bloody Mary mix and a pickled haricot vert. This was unique and so good - for all you raw oyster fans!

Wood Oven Oyster on the Half Shell - with bacon, onions, spinach and parmesan reggiano. A great choice - love this simple preparation.

The bar, including several homemade liquors. 

Emeril's New Orleans Barbecued Shrimp served with rosemary biscuits. Delicious taste - one of my favorite options - after devouring the large shrimp, the sauce paired so well with the tasty biscuits.

Yellowfin tuna tartare with cucumber, jalepeno, avocado, cilantro and ponzu. Fresh and simple.

Pasta course: with housemade fennel sausage, broccoli rabe and parmesan reggiano. Loved the sausage in this delicious warm-you-up dish.

Chef de Cuisine, Brian Mottola.

Half of "The Burger" with fries.

Special side of the day - warm potato salad.

Honey crisp apple crepes with bacon-maple syrup and house made vanilla ice cream. Utterly scrumptious! I also snagged a piece of the famous banana cream pie to go. It has chocolate shavings and delicious caramel sauce - definitely a good one to share. My family ate it before I could take a photo! Other dessert options include blue corn brioche bread pudding, espresso pudding and (what I want to try next time) - sweet potato cheesecake!

E2 Emeril's Eatery on Urbanspoon

Disclosure: The meal described in this review was complimentary.