ELV remembers when the Dome of the Sea in the Dunes Hotel was the ne plus ultra of seafood restaurants in the High Mojave Desert. Actually, for about thirty years it was the only seafood restaurant around here. We remember with fondness the harpist who traveled around the restaurant on a moving track, playing melodically mediocre light classical tunes to distract the diners from the time-worn, tired and tepid recipes being served up (frozen sole almandine anyone?)

Now we have two seafood restaurants (RM Seafood and Bartolotta Ristorante di Mare) that compete with the best in the country. Le Bernadin in NYC is generally considered the best seafood restaurant in America, but nothing Eric Ripert served us in January (at a highly disappointing lunch there) competes with our last two meals at RM. Click here to hear my first review of RM Seafood, shortly after it opened in 2005. (FYI: The service flaws I complained of at the time were corrected long ago.)

Rick Moonen has been blowing us away with his innovative (and politically correct/sustainable) seafood recipes ever since we first wandered into Oceana in New York way back in 1994. Since moving here four years ago, he has firmly established himself as one celebrity chef who is always at the stoves and dedicated to his kitchen. At one time he was the only chef in New York to hold six stars from the New York Times ( 3 stars each for Oceana and Molyvos where he was also the Executive Chef).

It’s an outrage that he didn’t merit a Michelin star for the superior swimmers he cooks every night at the Mandalay Bay (BTW: His steak and short ribs are stunning as well.) RM’s sleek and warm dining room remains one of the most comfortable, intimate and charming on the Strip, and if he’d just install a wandering harpist, all would be right with the world.


In the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino

3930 Las Vegas Blvd. South

Las Vegas, NV 89119



4 thoughts on “RM SEAFOOD

  1. I agree with you John, Chef Moonen is more than deserving of recognition by Michelin and also the James Beard Foundation.

    His knowledge of not only seafood, but the sugar content of different types of peaches (paired with silky foie gras), is incredible-and it shows in his cuisine.

    In my book, while some of the other upscale fish restaurants in town are quite good, I think RM’s overall cuisine, (which focuses on seafood), ranks it as the top seafood restaurant in town.

  2. We ate at the downstairs RM Seafood restaurant on Wednesday and I got the Restaurant Week menu with the crab cake and scallops. The food was okay but pretty pedestrian. My scallops were gritty and I thought the red pepper coulis was too sweet and overpowered the scallops. The service was really annoying too with the waiter taking everyone’s plates as soon as people finished, even though other people were still eating.

    I wasn’t planning on going back there, is the upstairs restaurant worth a second chance?

  3. I would definately recommend the upstairs dining room. We found the service to be almost too attentive. Not to the point of taking plates away too fast like you experienced at the Cafe. (But how many times can they scrape the crumbs off the table cloth!).

    Really, they were very gracious and all of the wait staff were well-informed as to how the dishes were prepared and the source of the ingredients. The wine service was especially good.

  4. We ate upstairs a couple of weeks ago and everything was superb. Even my abalone dish was cooked perfectly and every dish on the table was completely on point. Sommelier/GM Jeff Eichelberger is a consummate professional and is creating a amazing list of sustainably farmed wines to compliment Chef Moonen’s sustainable food philosophies. I have always been a big fan of Rick Moonen the person and now I am an extremely big fan of Rick Moonen the Chef!

    PS. The Ice Cream game is the perfect way the end the meal, especially after two bottles of wine!

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