Recently one of my friend’s parents came to visit her, and they were very kind and took me out to dinner with them. We ended up going to Emeril’s Chop House at the Sands Casino. I had high expectations because if somebody who is as famous as Emeril is going to put his name on a restaurant, the food needs to be good. We started our meal off with some calamari.
I enjoy calamari, but am normally not a huge lover of it. I will say, this was some of the best calamari I have ever had. At first glance, we were confused as to why it didn’t come out with any sauce, but after the first bite we understood why. The calamari was already coated in a spicy sauce, and it was amazing. For somebody who doesn’t enjoy spicy foods, it might have been too much, but I thought it was the perfect amount of spice. In it there was also smoked tomato, hot peppers, basil, and parmesan. The fried peppers added even more of a kick. The peppers were good on their own, but when you took one pepepr and added it with one piece of calamari, it was the perfect balance. I would recommend anyone who goes there to order it.
(please note that the presentation of the calamari was better than what is pictured. We got a bit too eager to eat and I was unable to take a picture before we dug our forks in).
I was torn between the duck, the ahi tuna, and the salmon. Luckily, one of my friends wanted the salmon and the other wanted the ahi tuna, so it worked out perfectly – especially since I had been craving duck for a few weeks. When the duck first came out, I was a bit confused because every time I’ve ordered duck, it has come out in small slices and not as a leg. I took one bite and I no longer wished it had come out in small slices. I hardly needed a knife to get it off the bone, it was cooked so perfectly. At first glance I didn’t think I would be able to eat the entire leg but I happily devoured it. It was by far one of the best ducks I’ve ever had. It also came with house smoked kielbasa, risotto with wild mushrooms, and parmesan. The Polish side in me was excited for the kielbasa, but it unfortunately didn’t taste like kielbasa. It wasn’t spicy, the cut was much bigger than what is typical, and it tasted much more like pork than it normally does. It was good, but not what I wanted, and I ended up hardly eating it. The risotto with wild mushrooms was tasty, but nothing to rave about.
I tried a bit of my friend’s sesame crusted ahi tuna and it was very good, but I enjoyed the duck much more. Her meal also came with soba noodles, lemongrass-miso emulsion, and pickled mirliton. I didn’t get a chance to try the noodles or pickled mirliton, but she said she really enjoyed it.
My other friend ordered the grilled wild salmon (pictured at the top), and it was served with crimson lentils, apple-radish slaw, baby arugula, and balsamic reduction. She is a vegetarian, but occasionally eats fish. I wanted to try a bite of her salmon but because she couldn’t try a bite of my food, I didn’t want to ask. She said it was very delicious though. We all ended up clearing or almost clearing our plate, and leaving the restaurant stuffed.
The decor was very modern and I really liked the artwork they had hanging up. The service was also very good. I appreciated how they didn’t get their food out too quickly because it gave me time to digest between the appetizer and my entree. Normally slower service is seen as a bad quality, but in this case I thought it was good timing. The prices are expensive, but if you’re looking for a nice meal out this is a great restaurant to go to. My only complaint is that it is located in the casino. Since my two other friends and I are under 21, we had to be escorted to the restaurant by a security guard, then security guards took shifts standing outside the restaurant and watching us until we finished our meal, and after we were escorted back out. The security guard said a lot of people who are under 21 go to the restaurant so it isn’t uncommon for them to have to do this. In my opinion though, it is a nuisance and they shouldn’t have put the restaurant inside the casino. All in all, the location of it is my only complaint. I had a fantastic meal and a great time with my friend’s parents.
Emeril’s Chop House
77 Sands Boulevard at the Sands Bethlehem
Bethlehem, PA 18015
Dinner: Sun-Thur 5-10pm; Fri-Sat 5-11pm
Bar: Mon-Sun opens at 4:30pm