500BestSquareBarbecue Shrimp @ Emeril’s

Emeril Lagasse’s finest renovation of a great old New Orleans dish is what he did with barbecue shrimp. He completely rethought the preparation, and came up with a somewhat different dish–but a very good one. Emeril started by peeling the shrimp before cooking them. Peeled barbecue shrimp were never very good, because so much flavor and fat comes from the heads and shells. The chef solved that problem by cooking the heads and shells down into a stock so intense that it’s essentially a shrimp demi-glace. The peeled shrimp are then cooked in a peppery butter sauce to which some of this shrimp essence is added, making for a dark, thick sauce that glows with flavor. It’s good either as an appetizer or as an entree, and the rosemary-flavored biscuits that come with them have their own fans. It’s served not only at Emeril’s but also NOLA and Delmonico.

Emeril’s. Warehouse District: 800 Tchoupitoulas. 504-528-9393.

This is among the 500 best dishes in New Orleans area restaurants. Click here for a list of the other 499.

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