Star Power: e2 Emeril’s Eatery

The new restaurant from celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse opens uptown



Citrus Tea Lacquered Five-Day Duck on a bed of slow cooked Anson Mills farro with stir-fried vegetables

The evening crowd at e2 Emeril’s Eatery, the new casual-dining destination from celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse, is surprisingly diverse—perhaps a nod to the TV cooking star’s universal appeal. In the dining room, divided in half by a decorative glass wall, a table of lively college students sits next to an older couple enjoying a quiet meal, while a few feet away, a group of women laughs over cocktails. And while the chef’s food bar—arguably the best seats in the house if you enjoy watching a professional kitchen at work—is empty, there are bonus views straight into the bustling kitchen from nearly every seat. A bar area with flat-screen TVs and a sports bar feel opens into the unfussy dining room, with a combination of high-tops, regular tables, and banquettes. Broad windows overlook Levine Avenue of the Arts, which is nice—except when the large screen on the side of the Knight Theater projects blindingly into the restaurant.

The menu from Chef de Cuisine Justin Sells, who has previously worked in Lagasse’s restaurants in New Orleans and Orlando, is just as eclectic as the patrons. A raw and chilled menu gives way to a seafood-heavy selection of starters, followed by salads, a roster of Southern-inspired entrées, and finally steaks. Shaved Iberico Ham Two Ways ($14) and Barbecued Niman Ranch Lamb Ribs ($12) keep company with shrimp cocktail ($12) and a New Orleans-style gumbo of the day ($8) on the starters menu. Although the prices feel upscale, the atmosphere is stubbornly casual, with servers in jeans and plaid button-downs. It’s easy to overlook this disconnect when the service is prompt and the servers are knowledgeable, even down to the details of the farm that grew the microgreens atop the Scottish Salmon Crudo ($10)—Tega Hills Farm in South Carolina.

Despite the somewhat scattered menu, there are plenty of tempting options. A Ceviche Avelar ($9) is delicate and refreshing, if small. The Citrus Tea Lacquered Five-Day Duck ($30) with slow-cooked farro, stir-fried zucchini, and shiitake mushrooms, is tender and buttery, but missed a contrasting crispness in texture. The Herb Roasted Ashley Farms Chicken ($22) is juicy and sweet, a generous portion on a bed of baby carrots, marble potatoes, and creamy Sea Island red peas.

As a lunch spot, e2 holds the most promise: servers are efficient, and the casual-but-upscale atmosphere is a good match for a business-minded lunch crowd. But given the recent addition of patio dining (a great spot for sipping a signature cocktail like the Prickly Moon, a mixture of moonshine, prickly pear juice, hibiscus syrup, lime juice, and maraschino liqueur), complimentary valet service, and a chance for the menu to mature, it’s a welcome addition to the uptown dining scene.

Location:
135 Levine Avenue of the Arts, Ste. 100
704-414-4787

 

More »Related Stories

Earl's Grocery in Elizabeth

A new bodega from the owners of Carpe Diem

Tupelo Honey: Old South and New

Tupelo Honey fills a void in South End left by a beloved establishment

Guest Post From Asheville: Beer Like Grandma Used To Make

Asheville's Wicked Weed Brewery has a Milk & Cookies Stout, but wouldn't you rather have milk and cookies instead?

Mountain Cabin Cuisine: Stone Mountain Grill

This restauant offers familiar cuisine in a warm atmosphere

We invite your responses and discussion. Please refrain from personal attacks, profanity, commercial promotion, or non sequiturs.

Add your comment:

Newsletters

Stay up-to-date on all things Charlotte by siging up for our newsletters. Learn more by clicking here.

Blogs »


Dusk Till Dawn

Jarvis Holliday Chronicles Charlotte's Nightlife and Social Scene, Straight No Chaser

After-Work Events, College Football Kickoff Parties, Great Gatsby Gala, Cruel Summer Brunch Party, and More - Aug. 21-24

There’s something for everyone on this list of social events taking place over the next few days.

Comments


On Tap

Matt McKenzie on Craft Beer in Charlotte

Events at Heist, Triple C and Unknown highlight this weekend in Charlotte beer

Your guide to the latest in the local craft community

Comments


Charlotte at Home

Creating Your Space in the Queen City

Planning for the Fall Landscape

An Extension Master Gardener helps us prepare

Comments


Dine & Dish

News, Notes, and Gossip About the Charlotte Restaurant Scene

All Things Green Chile

The green chile is a pepper that ought to be celebrated, and Chuy's in SouthPark is ready to spotlight the spicy treat with drinks and dishes

Comments


Poking the Hornet's Nest

Greg Lacour on Politics

The Charlotte Area's Soldier-Cops

Military surplus for Charlotte-area cops: Four armored vehicles in Cabarrus, six grenade launchers in Cleveland, 230 assault rifles in Gaston.

Comments