Emeril Lagasse combines exotic South Seas flavors with a touch of jazz in this luxurious resort restaurant.
Lagasse’s second Orlando outpost is hidden in the depths of family-friendly Royal Pacific resort and made up like a lush cavern. A very long, gurgling lily pond surrounded by low booths runs through the center. Subdued strains of Dixie jazz are juxtaposed with the nouveau tiki decor to create an unmistakable atmosphere.
The kitchen tweaks a number of Pacific Rim standards (crispy whole fish, pork variations), adding enough sides to turn most dishes into platters. Starters such as Polynesian crab cakes with ginger-scallion and papaya salsa appetizers deftly blend mildly sweet seafood and spiced fruit. The wok produces at least two successes–snapper with Asian pesto and Gulf shrimp and smoked ham-vegetable-noodle combo. The famous banana-cream pie slice is rich, piled high with fruit and large enough for two people.