Friday, February 11, 2011

Emeril's Orlando at Universal Studios Citywalk

Emeril's Orlando on Urbanspoon

Last weekend, my hubby, Eric, and I had the wonderful fortune to celebrate our 10 year wedding anniversary (he's probably thinking more of 10 LOOOONNGG years), and to celebrate in style, we went (where else?) to Orlando where we originally spent part of our honeymoon for Universal Studios Islands of Adventure (because we love being like little kids) and stayed at the Grand Bohemian Hotel at Celebrations (more on that in the next post).

Saturday night after a busy theme park day (and stinking like the Jurassic Park water ride), we ventured for the 1st time to Emerils at Citywalk Universal Studios, Zagat rated and rated #1 theme park restaurant in Orlando (although it's not inside the actual theme park).  After changing in the car, we were seated upstairs near all the wine (bonus) and immediately had about 3 servers attend to us.  We were given a complimentary crispy pork wonton (they had Eric at crispy and pork) with a lovely (can't remember what) sauce underneath since we were celebrating our anniversary.  Great start so far!

We opted for the calamari (crispy, a bit bland without the tapenade but with their special herb vinegar I requested, delicious!) for appetizer, followed by our main entrees.  Enjoying my coconut mojito, we received our main course in no time following our appetizer; Eric ordered the duck with a honey ginger sauce (lick the plate fantastic sauce), ginger infused rice, and baby bok choy.  His dish was perfection; I think he was actually grunting with pleasure, caveman style.  I had the pan seared scallops with candied oyster mushrooms and red wine butter sauce and butternut squash puree - scallops were melt in your mouth delectable, and the mushrooms and squash were a heavenly accompaniment.  The suggested glass of Pinot Grigio was a great wine pairing (although I'm no wine expert). 

We finished the night with the bitter chocolate grand marnier souffle with a complimentary scoop of vanilla ice cream.  Perfect ending to a perfect day.  If you feel like celebrating a special occasion, and you're in Orlando, you cannot go wrong at this place.  Emeril Lagasse is a well deserved James Beard Foundation award winner, and his restaurant shows the pride and expertise he has with food, preparation, service, and just indulging oneself.  I'm just thankful I wore a loose dress to fit all that food.

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