Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Emeril Lagasse's e2 emeril's eatery bringing Creole to Charlotte

The e2 menu will feature an eclectic selection of appetizers, salads, seafood and steaks, as well as some of Emeril’s New Orleans and Southern-style dishes, homemade desserts and modern American classics with a twist.  The centerpiece of the eatery features counter seating for 18 guests bordering the open kitchen; guests can interact with the chefs as they work at their various cooking stations – the grill, plancha and wood-burning oven.

Emeril selected Justin Sells, a veteran of his kitchens in New Orleans and Orlando, as chef de cuisine for e2 emeril’s eatery. Jeff Wakem, formerly of Emeril’s Tchoup Chop in Orlando, is general manager. Working alongside Sells and Wakem is sous and pastry chef Stephanie Nikolic, previously Emeril’s pastry chef at Delmonico Steakhouse in Las Vegas.

Emeril Lagasse
Chef Emeril Lagasse is the chef/proprietor of e2 emeril's eatery in uptown Charlotte as well as 12 other award-winning restaurants.  Emeril's creative approach to Creole cuisine is best summarized as "new" New Orleans cooking.  In 2002, Emeril established the Emeril Lagasse Foundation to support children's art and educational programs that inspire and mentor young people. To date, the Foundation has given more than $5 million to children's causes.

Justin Sells, Chef de Cuisine, is originally from the Northwest.  Cooking has always been an influence in Justin Sells life. Growing up on the Pacific-Rim cuisine of the Northwest, simplicity and cleanliness were big influences. These simple principles helped him develop a natural harmony and respect for ingredients, but ultimately led him to New Orleans to discover the bold, rustic flavors and seasonings of Louisiana's native cuisine.  Today, he leads the kitchen team at the Chef Emeril's new Charlotte restaurant, e2 emeril's eatery in Uptown, where he strives to maintain Chef Emeril's standards for flavorful, delicious cooking and integrates North Carolina's great local products in to his daily menus.

Justin Sells
The restaurant is broken up in to different sections making it look smaller than it actually is.  I sat near the host stand with my back to the windows facing Levine.  It took me a minute to realize the changing light in the room was caused by the mammoth digital screen on the building across the street.  It wasn’t enough to harm my experience; it just lent a more urban feel to the evening.

The staff is very friendly, knowledgeable and helpful as I chose dinner along with wine pairings.  Following are the items I ordered which ranged from fresh to Louisiana savory to Southern chic.  But I enjoyed the meal every step of the way as well as the pairings that I chose with each course.

Ceviche Avelar ($9) with sweet corn, chickpeas, red onion, green bell pepper and cilantro.
Paired with Szigeti Sparkling Gruner Veltliner, Austria, NV ($11)

Confit Niman Ranch Pork Cheeks ($10) over dirty rice with apple and brussels sprout.
Paired with Four Graces Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2009 ($17)

Barbecued Niman Ranch Lamb Ribs ($12) and plancha vegetables.
Paired with Warwick "Old Vine" Pinotage, Stellenbosch 2009 ($12)

 Contact Information
e2 emeril's eatery
(704) 414.4787
135 Levine Ave Of The Arts Ste 100
Charlotte, NC 28202
E2 Emeril's Eatery on Urbanspoon

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