If we told you why he was here we’d have to kill you.* But here Alan Richman was last week and we caught up with him at D.O.C.G. (where he spent most of the meal verbally dueling with Scott Conant), and Carnevino (where he wanted to try the super-aged “riserva” steaks).
As many a New York restaurateur knows, Richman loves scouring and deciphering wine lists with the intensity of a rabbi dissecting the Talmud, and jousting with sommeliers like a Jewish Knight of the Templar(?) battling the infidels.** But he does it all with good humor…and with the stakes (if not the prices) a lot lower in Vegas than New York, everyone here (especially the chefs and somms) can have a good laugh around him.
At Carnevino, the 14-time James Beard Award-winning journalist found his 7 1/2 month rib eye to be “reminiscent of blue cheese” in aroma, and discussed the overall “lack of marbling” of all steaks with Executive Chef Nicole Brisson, who listened as he recounted his last piece of well-marbled meat of “maybe 7-8 years ago.” All of us agreed the marbling of true prime steaks seems to be a thing of the past, and the next day, Batali/Bastianich Executive Chef Zach Allen explained why his current steaks seem so lean:
“…with the floods and heat wave that the Midwest had this spring/early summer, the cattle got stressed and didn’t finish well. We’re noticing some issues in our current beef, (but they) looked much better when I was leaving, so beef in 1.5 months will be back to good marbling. It’s always tough when you’re dealing with a product that is so easily affected by nature…of course we could switch farms and have something more consistent (with added supplements, hormones, etc) but that’s nothing that we will ever think of.”
Bravo to Carnevino for maintaining such high and healthful standards….and thanks to Uncle Alan for picking up the hefty ($400+) price tag.
In the Palazzo Hotel and Casino
3325 Las Vegas Blvd. South
Las Vegas, NV 89109
* Whatever he did, he did right beside us….as you’ll be able to watch sometime next year.
** His ex-wife is Lettie Teague, wine columnist for the Wall Street Journal.