New menu promises to please all palates
By Michelle Farnham
June 2, 2019
MIRAMAR BEACH – Emeril’s Coastal Italian has unveiled its new menu, and invites
your crew to gather round the table for sips and sustenance.
“It was time to shake it up, and with the weather getting hotter, it was time to do
some lighter fare,” admitted ECI Chef de Cuisine Frank Szymanski, who leads the
kitchen of Emeril Lagasse’s Grand Boulevard eatery as it nears its 2-year
anniversary. “We’ll continue changing the menu as the seasons go, we’ll bring back
some of the favorites here and there, and try to give everybody something they like.”
Enjoy their new “social cocktail,” Rosé All Day, a deliciously sweet blend of JNSQ
Rosé Cru, Aperol, Cocchi Rosa, maraschino cherry, and lime juice, presented in an
elegant glass decanter to serve the whole table.
Szymanski said they wanted to do their take on the New Orleans classic: the
muffuletta sandwich. They came up with the Muffuletta Chop Salad, piling salumi,
provolone, olive salad, and toasted sesame seeds atop a slab of iceberg. Torn
muffuletta bread makes an appearance as the crotons to finish this satisfying salad.
On the starters menu, the kitchen has revamped its appetizer meatball, and now
presents the ECI Meatballs: a house-made trio served with lemon whipped ricotta
and the most perfectly chewy-crusty bread. You’ll also notice the Lasagna
Bolognese has been reimagined, now served in a more generous portion.
The Point Judith Calamari fries up the seafood – fresh in from Massachusetts –
with artichokes, pepperoncini, and olives.
Named for his New England hometown, Lagasse’s Fall River Clam Chowder brings
together potatoes, bacon, a little bit of cream, and fresh clam meat.
“We do house-made oyster crackers because I love them with chowder,” Szymanski
said. “We started talking about it, and Emeril said, “’Well then, let’s make oyster
crackers!’ so we did!”
The Pepperoni Flatbread is great for sharing – or not, your choice. The kitchen
brings a little heat with fresh jalapeño slices and roasted red onion, fresh out of the
brick oven. Where other flatbreads may fall flat, this one rises to the challenge.
Bring your appetite and buckle up for the 8-ounce ECI Wagyu Burger, served with a
veritable tower of fried rosemary garlic shoestring potatoes.
“We had a lot of people ask for burgers, so we figured we’d do it more Italian-style,
using Raines Farm beef from Louisiana. It’s just such a great product, done with
Taleggio (an aromatic but mild, fruity cheese), roasted tomatoes, and balsamic
onions on a brioche bun. One of our Homebase employees came by, got the burger
and asked, ‘Did you give me extra fries?’ and I said, “No, that’s how it comes.’ I
looked over a few minutes later and they were all gone. They disappear really
No trip to ECI is complete without dessert, like the Olive Oil Cake – mascarpone
mousse, Marcona almonds and salted caramel – and Chef Emeril’s Banana Cream
Pie, which is so chock full of bananas it’s, well, bananas.
“Emeril has been doing the banana cream pie for about 30 years,” Szymanski said.
“This is the original, and there’s this or some variation of it at every one of his
restaurants. If you don’t have it on the menu, it’s a problem!”
In addition to this new menu, ECI keeps things interesting with ever-changing
specials. On this day, the kitchen was making a lobster and crawfish bisque,
swordfish crudo, blistered shishito peppers, and a grilled triple tail with charred
“Right now the soft shells are beautiful; we’re starting to see some lionfish, beautiful
scallops. We talk to our fishermen and get an idea of what they’re going out to get,
and we’ll base specials on that.”
Emeril’s Coastal Italian is located at 435 Grand Boulevard in Miramar Beach,
welcoming patrons from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, 10:30 on Fridays and Saturdays.
Photos by Michelle Farnham