Yes, this is an unusual suggestion. I really am telling you to go to a steakhouse. Read why….
Even though I was finally getting the chance to dine for lunch at one of Emeril Lagasse’s restaurants, Delmonico Steakhouse in Las Vegas, I was quite skeptical of what I was actually going to eat.
Interesting story; I had already crazily researched the vegetarian options for dinner at his original New Orleans Delmonico restaurant when I was there over Thanksgiving with my family. While my mom, dad and brother are also vegetarian, they were not necessarily down to head to a steakhouse for dinner. Since I was pretty sure I was going to get vetoed on the dinner plans, I had the forethought to create a back-up agenda and sneakily suggest we just have dessert at Delmonico to celebrate my mom’s birthday. And of course being the researcher I am, I already knew at least one dessert I would be ordering for the table…the highly recommended banana cream pie. Sadly, that dream was squashed quickly when I got a unanimous “no” on heading to Delmonico, even if just for dessert. Sad Face.
So, when I happened to be walking through the Shops at the Palazzo in Las Vegas on my way to the convention center for a work conference, I was super excited when I saw Delmonico Steakhouse. I figured this was my chance to finally eat at this restaurant and it was a major score because I was on an expense budget through my company. I was able to convince my co-worker to come with me to lunch since we both had the same time off from our conference duties (which was to help manage the booth at the conference, but sounds so much better when you refer to it as being a “booth babe”). I didn’t have time to do any research on the Vegas location (since sometimes menus can vary by location), so this was a random, amazing find. Ironically, I was taking my chances on Emeril’s known meaty culinary talents to carry me through lunch, hoping not to have to resort to eating a boring salad.
We started with the truffle parmesan potato chips, which when we finally got them (the service was really slow) were simply delicious. I was trying really hard to not gorge on the homemade potato chips, but that damn truffle and parmesan combination makes them irresistible! I was waiting to hold out for my grilled cheese and heirloom tomato soup, which of course I confirmed were both vegetarian prior to ordering.
Finally when my lunch arrived, I was impressed with how good it looked. This was not your typical grilled cheese and tomato soup. The cheese in the sandwich was actually a very tasty and fluffy homemade ricotta cheese with finely chopped local basil in it. The white bread was a nice thickness and was impressively toasted to perfection; crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. What made this grilled cheese the best I have ever had was that it was not the standard greasy grilled cheese; where when you take one bite and a bunch of grease oozes out the other end from the cheese or overly buttered bread. No, this was superior excellence on a plate and Chef Emeril got it more than right!
To complement the sandwich was a light heirloom tomato puree. It was very simple with little added to it so you really could taste the zestiness of the tomatoes. Honestly, this was hands-down one of the BEST grilled cheese and tomato soups I have ever had. If you are vegetarian and find yourself near a Delmonico in New Orleans or Las Vegas, you NEED to get this grilled cheese. And if you are a die-hard meat-eater, skip the steak and go veggie for one meal (or at least get this as an appetizer)! I promise you won’t regret it.
Oh, and on a recent trip back to Vegas, I finally had the chance to get that banana cream pie (which is covered in caramel sauce, chocolate shavings and lots of whipped cream). It is also a must. And HUGE, so plan to share! Or not…..