Once in awhile, I like to eat at these restaurants. I can't do it very often for obvious, money-related reasons - but when I can, I overindulge and love it. The best one I've ever been to was probably the (now closed) Wolfgang Puck's in Niagara Falls. One of the best meals of my life. If you ever find yourself in a city where he has a restaurant, please, God, GO.
A close second to Wolfgang would definitely have to be Emeril. Maybe I have a bit of a sweet spot for him because he was one of the first chefs I really got into watching on the Food Network. Remember when he'd have some of his audience members (or special guests that I'd never heard of) sitting at the front at that table, just waiting to be served? God, how I longed to be any of them. The main reason I think I liked him then was because he wasn't fancy about his food. I ate at the (now closed) Miami location of one of his restaurants and it blew my face off, it was so good. All I remember was that instead of wrapping a filet mignon in bacon, he made a bacon marmalade and drizzled it all over the plate. I can't begin to describe to you what that tasted like. Man. I still think about that sometimes.
I really, really wanted to eat at the Orlando location when I was there last week, but time didn't allow me that luxury. This is most definitely what I would have got. Just look at this beast.
He has locations in New Orleans (Louisiana), Charlotte (North Carolina), Orlando (Florida), Las Vegas (Nevada) and Bethlehem (Pennsylvania).
I've only eaten at a Bobby Flay's restaurant once and wasn't impressed, so that's all I'll say about that. If I'm lucky enough to eat at other ones like Scott Conant's Scarpetta or Geoffrey Zakarian's Lambs Club, you'll be sure to hear about it.