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Monday, January 5, 2015

Red Hot Ember: Dining at L'Auberge Lake Charles' Steakhouse

I've really come to appreciate Lake Charles through my recent travels to their corner of Louisiana. There's way more going on amid the rice and crawfish ponds than even the natives give themselves credit for. And with a thriving casino industry bringing folks in from Texas as well as some huge industrial developments, I can only imagine that the next couple years will really see Lake Charles shine. I've had the pleasure of staying at the L'Auberge Casino and Resort quite a few times, and I'm no rookie at dining at their steakhouse, either. The Ember Grille & Wine Bar helmed by Chef Mark Chapman routinely puts out some amazing food. This past August I attended the Travel Media Showcase in Lake Charles which brought food bloggers and travel destinations from across the country to Southwest Louisiana. It's essentially a place to get to know fellow travel journalists and mingle with destination marketers, possibly planning out some future culinary adventures. If they are anywhere close to being as tasty as this one, I'll be delighted!

The Ember Prime "Tomahawk": 40 oz. Ribeye Carved Table-side
The Ember Prime "Tomahawk": 40 oz. Ribeye Carved Table-side

The night before the Showcase began we were treated to dinner at Ember, which once again has never failed to impress. Here's a collection of the evening's dishes. I went ahead and started this blog post with their signature steak, the 40oz prime tomahawk ribeye, carved tableside. Many other dishes follow below, each providing their own signature styles and flavors. I'd try to pick a favorite, but that's nearly impossible. I'll give you a hint though, one of the dishes made the list of the 10 best things I ate in 2014! That isn't meant to take away from the rest of these plates of beauty, though!

American Kobe Beef Carpaccio: Fried Capers, Scallions, Mustard Oil, Creamy Horseradish, Shaved Reggiano Parmesan
American Kobe Beef Carpaccio: Fried Capers, Scallions, Mustard Oil, Creamy Horseradish, Shaved Reggiano Parmesan

Quail & Waffle: Herb and Roasted Garlic Savory Waffle,  Tahitian Vanilla Infused Maples Syrup
Quail & Waffle: Herb and Roasted Garlic Savory Waffle,
Tahitian Vanilla Infused Maples Syrup

BBQ Pecan-Bacon Wrapped Shrimp: Aged Smoked Cheddar Grits,  Candied Onion Shoot
BBQ Pecan-Bacon Wrapped Shrimp: Aged Smoked Cheddar Grits,
Candied Onion Shoot

Lamb Lollichops: Tzatziki Dipping Sauce, Gremolata Vinaigrette
Lamb Lollichops: Tzatziki Dipping Sauce, Gremolata Vinaigrette

Ember Salad Trio

Stuffed Rabbit Loin: Pancetta Wrapped, Potato Purée, Natural Jus
Stuffed Rabbit Loin: Pancetta Wrapped, Potato Purée, Natural Jus

Japanese Kobe Strip Loin
Japanese Kobe Strip Loin

Photos by Dan Jones with tommysTV.