Cheese – milk’s leap toward immortality. – Clifton Fadiman
How many times have we thought of that quote while we biting into a bit of fermented curd? Just about every time we eat a piece of great cheese…that’s how many.
Ten years ago, good cheese in Vegas restaurants was as hard to find as an ethical County Commissioner. These days, correctly curdled milk is ubiquitous in our better places, and better, hard-working politicians are everywhere in our humble burg.
Connection? We at ELV certainly think so.
Can you prove otherwise?
Regardless, a good edible example of our new-found fromage frankness is the imported Italian cheese platter at Sirio. These beauties are brought in every week from Italia by Chef Vincenzo Scarmiglia, and include 5-year aged Parmigiano-Reggiano, Castelmagno and Castelrosso — each a haunting cow’s milk cheese of unparalleled depth, and earthy, umami-charged richness.
They like to serve them with the wonderful salumi platters here, at the beginning of the meal, but we prefer them the French way (quelle horreur!) immediately after the savory courses as sort of a pre-dessert. No matter when you take them, you will find yourself swooning over three of the world’s greatest cheeses.
“But ELV,” you’re probably asking yourself right about now, “what oh what shall I conclude my Italian meal with after feasting on such fromage fabulousness?”
Fear not, my liege, for before you finds your fillip of fun, in the form of Sirio’s infusions. In this case, three house made “cellos” of uncommon depth and intensity:
As bright, smooth and sparkling as the mixed berry and lemon cellos were, it was the black truffle that caught our attention. Scarmiglia and super-somm Jeff Eichelberger told us last season’s truffle shavings are mixed with Madagascar vanilla bean syrup, then allowed to sit and settle as they’re macerated (“lagered”) with grain alcohol for a year. Instead of the classic, earthy truffle smell, Eichelberger described whiffs of cream soda and toffee on the nose. ELV thought it smelled like chocolate cake and tasted like vanilla alcohol….albeit the smoothest, least biting, pure grain vanilla alcohol you could imagine.
In all, it was an honest, home-grown, uncorrupted, pure sensation on the palate — the sort you don’t get from the bottled stuff you buy.
Unlike our politicians, we hope this is one local product that doesn’t stay un-bought.
In the Aria Hotel and Casino
3730 Las Vegas Blvd. South
Las Vegas, NV 89109