John Curtas is …

Cafe Bleu becomes TECHNIQUE

There are many reasons why anyone who cares about good, fresh food should patronize Technique — the restaurant at Le Cordon Bleu cooking school formerly known as Cafe Bleu — not the least of which is price.

Even more worthwhile is the fact that you’re dining inside a classroom (although it most definitely resembles a nice, well-appointed, casual restaurant), and the meal you are served is part of the curriculum — so essentially your meal becomes part of the student’s education in the culinary and hospitality arts.

As in all culinary schools, every student cycles through the restaurant at all the stations, so your waitron one day may be your pizza maker the next, but that’s part of the fun (for the diner anyway) and all of them are eager to hear what you think of the food, the service, and everything down to the napkin folding.

In other words, a meal at Technique is low key, interactive dining, and you do yourself and the students a disservice if you don’t quiz them on the recipes, and offer constructive feedback about your entire experience.

Along with those deliciously low prices (it’s hard to spend more than $20 on lunch for two, or $50 pour un diner pour deux), you get attention to detail that too many restaurants lack these days: good linens, wine at the right temperature poured correctly (if very carefully), attentive service more interested in whether you’re enjoying yourself, rather than making a buck, and piping hot, handcrafted food that makes up for in enthusiasm what it may occasionally lack in sophistication.

Our lunch with two uber-p.r. gals: Nikkole “Call Me Nikki” Liesse and Karry “Kall Me Karry” Rathje, consisted of a huge. portabello mushroom sandwich (resembling a burger in size and meatiness), a chicken croissant sandwich featuring a large chicken breast on a good-if-overmatched croissant, and a sautéed pork loin atop a mountain of sweet potato puree. (In case you haven’t guessed, the bang for your buck ratio here is portabello-esque.) We also enjoyed a margherita pizza that probably suffered from us standing over the poor bloke who was finishing it. Everything else was nicely presented, modestly seasoned, and darn tasty…in other words, just what you’d expect from a student kitchen.

Of more jaw dropping quality were the excellent molten chocolate cake and almost Le Cirque-worthy creme brulée — making us think we chanced upon a bunch of top-flight pastry students who just happened to be cooking savory that week.

Regardless, a meal at Technique is worth it for reasons far beyond just the food. It is part of our community, and it, and the chefs it trains, work hard every day to raise our level of culinary discourse and appreciation.

In other words, it’s practically your civic duty to go.

TECHNIQUE

(Open for lunch and dinner Tuesday through Friday)

In Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts

1451 Center Crossing Road

Las Vegas, NV 89144

702.365.7690

http://www.chefs.edu/Las-Vegas/Restaurant

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11 Responses to Cafe Bleu becomes TECHNIQUE

  • Are reservations generally required or advised?

  • Of all the things going on in the valley, you waste time promoting some shitty, publicly traded culinary school.
    Why would anyone want to try an over cooked pork loin with a gob of baby food and all the other hacked out novice items their putting out. no offense to aspiring chefs, but thats just reality at a LCB school.
    Man with all this hoo-hum, looks like tasting lasvegas is taking the lead role in providing dining perspective for las vegas.

  • To the funny guy I think you actually read before you say something so ignorant.

  • Señor Curtas,
    Ya ever get that feeling of you’re damned if you do or damned if ya don’t? Keep up the good work my friend…..

  • Sounds like funny’s panties are a bit tight today. Hope he gets a some relief tomorrow with the start of a new week.

    Thanks for the review. While some may only want reviews of the celebrity joints, or the places that spend money on advertising like a politician the week before election day, it’s nice to know that the “Eating” in ELV isn’t limited to these (sometimes overhyped) places. It’s good to hear there are alternatives in town.

    Keep up the fine research and entertaining reviews.

  • Thank you ELV for this review. It’s vital to support culinary schools with restaurants because it’s such an important part of the training of a Chef. They have to gain a knowledge of front-of-house service and the coordination between the kitchen and dining room. (And that’s just a small example of their studies).

    Taking the time to support the students and providing constructive criticism serves to support the local restaurants who may someday hire them. And for you, Mr. Funny, some of these students just might be in the kitchen at one of your preferred restaurants next year.

  • I don’t know….I think this “funny” guy is dead on with his comments! LOL

    For the record, I’d very much like to cover some of the goings on at Le Cordon Bleu or any other culinary educational facility in Las Vegas and plan on doing so in the coming months. I guess I’m going to join the “hoo-hum” crowd too.

    Good post, John. Now stop trashing my Green Valley in the other ones!

    Mike

  • The comments left by the Funny guy are ignorant and beyond belief. Has this wonderful school wronged you somehow. I have eaten at this school and been on this campus. These are students no different from any other. They are trying to pursue what they love doing and working towards making a living doing it. Get a grip funny guy and take a look at your own miserable life before you trash others.

  • John, I have a life so I’ve got time to read only one Las Vegas food blog and it’s yours.

    Thanks for the lighthearted skewering that is your forte, and special thanks for not incorporating lame political viewpoints in your reviews (like a certain other Las Vegas food blog shilled here that I just checked out for the first and last time…)

  • I would encourage you to return for dinner. We were just there last week and enjoyed a 5-course meal for $15 (3 courses for $12) (AND you can get a restaurant.com coupon!) It was a very enjoyable experience. We’ll be back!

  • I’ve been there for lunch & dinner. Nice wine list. Service is slow but very attentive. I use the time to talk to the students and hear their culinary goals. You can watch the students cook from your table. I found the tour of the school to be interesting but it may only be available lunchtime.

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