We at ELV are not sure if Marche Bacchus even qualifies for the coveted title of Best-Off-Strip-Restaurant-That’s-Not-In-Chinatown anymore, but we do know this: it’s still our favorite restaurant in Vegas, and the only one we ever want to go to to wile away a weekend afternoon, sipping spectacular wine (at the best prices in town) and engaging in our usual witty display of epicurean aphorisms and gastronomic bon mots.
The unevenness of recent meals (since David Middleton left for db Brasserie) has given us pause — sometimes we swoon, sometimes we scowl — but bringing Luciano Pellegrini on board as consulting chef should improve things. So tired has this menu become that changing the whole enchilada into an Italian trattoria seems like a good idea — even if the regulars will scream like banshees if they can’t get their precious croque Monsieur, steak frites or so-so salmon (which, to be blunt, aren’t so precious anymore).
In that regard, we actually feel sorry for owners Rhonda and Jeff Wyatt. They’ve built up a nice business catering to the middle-brow tastes of their customers, and they know that one menu tweak (or a buck or two price increase) will have complaints cascading down upon them — by folks who conveniently forget they’re saving at least 50% on what a bottle of wine would cost them anywhere else in Vegas.
Another reason we sympathize with the Wyatts is that good help is hard to find. Ask any waitron or cook working east or west of Las Vegas Boulevard South and they will tell you where they really want to be is in on of our mega-hotels…’cuz that’s where the $$$ is. Who can blame them? But because of this grass-is-greener mentality, keeping staff happy (and actually on staff) is almost impossible for locally-owned places (e.g. Middleton, David).
But through it all, MB has kept its service in Premier Grand Cru Classé form. The welcome is always warm; the waitstaff rarely off its game. And there’s no beating the fake lake view and al fresco atmosphere, either. With Pellegrini working his magic, perhaps the food will once again be worthy of the ambiance.
Favorite dishes: Luciano Pellegrini’s pastas; Hope is springing eternal for the rest of the menu; Wine.
2620 Regatta Drive