John Curtas is …

Letter of the Week

ELV note: Once we announced the impending closure of Fleur de Lys, a few readers wondered if the quality would drop off as it plays out the string. The following letter addresses that concern, and also brings to light a situation we have (distressingly/frequently) heard about over the past few months, to wit: The amateurish-to-absent service at RM Upstairs.

Dear ELV,

We dined at Fleur de Lys Saturday night, and it was very good (with the possible exception of the veal ravioli). The truffled soup and souffle were great. Fleur de Lys was not, however, as good as Sage on Friday night. Sage was a revelation — my sincere thanks to Mr. Curtas for recommending it on this site.

Julian Serrano lived up to its billing and more. I’m dreaming of a return to Las Vegas to work through the rest of the menus at both Julian Serrano and Sage.

RM Upstairs was the unfortunate, lone disappointment. The food was frequently brilliant, but that’s easily the worst service I’ve ever experienced at an upscale restaurant. I really hope they figure things out — the fact that the table of folks behind us actually got up and left may drive the point home.

I’m sorry to hear our disappointing RM service experience was not unique, for the food was often very, very good.

Thanks again for steering my party in the right direction and for your always entertaining and insightful writing. (Eating Las Vegas note: It warms the cockles of ELV’s heart to know that some of his readers recognize and appreciate his genius.)

Foodily yours,

Frustrated Foodie Fan

Dear Triple F,

As happy as we are for Rick Moonen’s newfound celebrity, wethinks no competent management has been minding the store there for some time now. ELV shares your pain, and hopes RM Upstairs gets its act together soon.

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6 Responses to Letter of the Week

  • Interesting. I experienced serious service issues at RM Seafood Upstairs back in May. Rick was even in the house and came over to say hello to our party prior to us being seated.

  • I ate at David Ross and Jeff Meeker of egullet.org as well last month. It seemed that Rick was more interested in gabbing with his friends then minding the kitchen. The pacing between courses was terrible.

  • Wow, timely post as my wife and I ate at both Sage and Julian Serrano last week. Julian Serrano was good food, well prepared and well served, but lacking in the WOW factor.

    Sage, on the other hand, was OUTSTANDING. Interesting food, well prepared and served, and the sommelier recommended a great wine in a reasonable price range. If we had had a little more prior information, we would gone with the chef’s tasting menu (and we certainly will next time).

  • The service and food at RM Seafood Upstairs were both outstanding last Saturday night. We were a party of four and ordered the tasting menu with wine pairing. Each course was brought out by four servers so we were served simultaneously. Finished dishes were cleared quickly. Each wine was presented and described. Pacing was on the mark. It was a great meal.

  • As happy as we are for Rick Moonen’s newfound celebrity, wethinks no competent management has been minding the store there for some time now. ELV shares your pain, and hopes RM Upstairs gets its act together soon. – I usually respect and appreciate your thoughts Mr. Curtas but I must disagree with your above stated opinion. What would you attribute to blowing thru 4 Executive Chefs, 14 sous chefs 7 General Managers and 13 managers in 5 years at RM Seafood? Two words, Rick Moonen. We all appreciate Adam Sobel and Gerald Chin’s talents in the kitchen and those two gentlemen Mr. Moonen doesn’t deserve. It saddens me Mr. Curtas that in all your years in Las Vegas and knowing what Rick is about, you, Max and Al continue to trumpet this evil human being as a great chef. Problem is, Las Vegans are becoming increasingly aware thru restaurant social circles the reality of this evil and dark human being. Instead of listening to Mr. Moonen’s FOH excuses time after time, year after year I suggest you start at the top my friend….

  • ELV is more than aware of the pluses and minuses of RM’s personality, but we have never witnessed the “evil being” referenced above.
    Like the other critics in town, we appreciate the fineness of the food and try to leave personality traits out of our judgments.
    If having a difficult, bombastic, egotistic, and slightly crazy personality disqualified people for what they do, ELV would’ve been run out of town on a rail years ago….

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