John Curtas is …

POSTRIO Lunch – Can’t Stop The Music!

By all accounts, we at ELV should loathe Postrio.

It’s just another cog in the Wolfgang Puck empire; a recent face lift drained it of all personality; it’s located in the fake Piazza San Marco in the Venetian Grand Canal Shoppes; you have to sit out in the open and endure one bad aria after another (sung at ear-splitting levels); tourists are everywhere; conversation is difficult; the menu is all over the map (literally), and it ain’t exactly cheap.

But aside from those drawbacks, it’s one of our favorite places in town. And that is because it is almost impossible to get a bad meal here.

In fact, we’ve never had a bad meal here. We’ve never even had a bad bite.

For years this kitchen was the domain of John LaGrone — who has now moved into the corporate chef realm of the Puck empire and put Mark Sandoval in charge. Earlier this year they also changed the decor, turning it from a semi-fancy joint to a downright casual cafe. We can’t say we’re big fans of the re-design (almost everyone has to sit “outside” near those dreaded singers), but once the food starts showing up, all sins are forgiven.

That food will be chosen from a menu that is overwhelming in its attempt to provide “…something for everyone,” as head corporate chef David Robins explained to us. Twelve apps, seven pizzas, twelve main courses and five more “From the Mesquite Grill,” give all but the pickiest diners plenty to choose from.

No matter what is chosen, however, will invariably be well-cooked and perfectly seasoned — no mean feat when a kitchen has to navigate waters as fraught with menu cliches as fried calamari (that taste of the sea, not the starch), tuna tartare (spicy and excellent), fish and chips (about the best in town), pork schnitzel (that would make Puck’s mom proud), and a Greek salad that our staff could find no fault with.

In keeping with the season Sandoval pumpkins it up with a cardamom-spiced soup (rich without being heavy), and turkey-shaped, pumpkin tortelloni with sage brown butter that will have you licking the plate. Before we got to the little critters however, we first fought our table for the last bite of the trio of house made sausages and the mesquite-grilled steak skewers — two starters that were both drop your fork delicious.

And let us not forget warhorses like a first-rate prime burger with Vermont cheddar, or those multiple pizzas, all of which are top shelf renditions of the genres.

How Sandoval and his crew do all of these items at such a high level is beyond our feeble brains, but week in and week out, this kitchen does more kinds of cooking well than just about any other place in town.

Now if we could just get the singers to shut up, we might finally enjoy ourselves.*

Our lunch for two pictured above came to $58 + a $13 tip. The desserts were comped.

POSTRIO

In the Grand Canal Shoppes at the Venetian (when they spell it “shoppes”, you know they saw you comin’.)

3355 Las Vegas Blvd. South

Las Vegas, NV 89109-8941

702.796.1110

www.wolfgangpuck.com

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* Why does ELV hate music in restaurants so much? Because it ruins both the music and the food.

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