First with my weekly gig on Nevada Public Radio, and then with every magazine and weekly published in town, I started amassing a library of meals, reviews, experiences, tastes, and sensations that would one day give me the storehouse of information needed to catalogue all of the noteworthy eateries surrounding us.
For years, I imagined the book would be entitled “The Restaurants of Las Vegas,” and for years I knew I would be the one to write it. (Whether anyone would read it was never in doubt, given the booming popularity of Vegas and its food scene throughout the 90s.)
But the 90s came and went, and then 9/11 hit and put a damper on things, and by the early aughts my dream had receded to but a whisper in the back of my brain — a receding hum of hope that maybe, someday, Las Vegas residents and tourists would have reliable guide to tell them where to find the best food in town. And again, through it all, there was no doubt in my mind who would be the one to write it. (It never occurred to me that I would need help to write it, but as it turned out, I did.)
When Alain Ducasse (2004) and Joël Robuchon (2005) arrived, it signaled the start of a French Revolution of a different sort. Soon thereafter, Guy Savoy and Pierre Gagnaire expanded their brands here, and suddenly the whole world was paying attention to our culinary scene, and taking it much more seriously than it had before, even eclipsing the interest shown after the Bellagio opened in 1998.
Michelin came and went in ‘o8 and ’09, but still no book from yours truly.
I had pretty much given up on my authorship ambitions when Al Mancini approached me in the Spring of 2010 and asked if I was interested in doing a dueling critics thing in a book with him and Max Jacobson. Seeing a chance to finally do what I’d dreamed of doing for fifteen years, I jumped at the chance. From the get-go, I’ve always been more than a little proud that the book takes its name from this web site. (That original title was a bit stuffy, after all.)
Now, after a three year hiatus, we’re back with a bigger, better and more wide-reaching book than ever before. God bless Al Mancini for thinking of it, and Huntington Press for publishing it, and my new co-authors for diving in with me to re-start the franchise.
If you travel to Las Vegas, or live in Las Vegas, or eat out in Las Vegas, or know people who do, or wonder about being in Las Vegas and/or eating in Las Vegas, you need this book.
I guarantee it will make you hungry, and take care of any arguments you ever have about “where should we eat?”
Yours truly is trying a case in the Eighth Judicial District Court this week, so his eating and drinking and posting about such has been seriously curtailed.
Trial lawyer-ing is our day job, our passion, the thing we were born to do, and the thing that pays the bills, so we are asking our loyal readers for patience until the jury returns its verdict.
Once that happens — sometime today or tomorrow — we shall resume the eating, drinking and offending for which we are known.
ELV note: Yours truly is not in the habit of suing restaurants. We love restaurants, chefs, cooks and restaurateurs. We also know that anyone can get food poisoning any time at any place (you could, conceivably, get a bad clam at Joel Robuchon), and a single incident of illness would not be actionable, as we say in the law. But over three dozen incidents from a single establishment in one week is beyond the pale. So many illnesses in so short of time manifests practiced negligence on the part of management. Therefore, as a public health service, we hereby offer the following commercial.
ELV has become so well known as a restaurant critic that some people (including the Food Gal®, his long suffering assistant, and his accountant) forget that he is also a lawyer, as in: he practices law.
He’s pretty damn good at it too — having accumulated decades of experience in numerous facets of the profession (civil, injury, business, litigation, criminal, domestic, corporate, and real estate).
He is also well-versed in the nuances of divorce law and will happily help those who need to unwind the knot with a significant other.
And by “unwind the knot with a significant other” he means he will happily refer you to an attorney who specializes in human behavior at its worst. (High powered business executives and incarcerated felons are pieces of cake next to a housewife who caught her husband boinking the au pair.)
With this in mind, he is using this space, at his accountant’s suggestion to remind his loyal readers that there could be gold in them thar hills against the business that made them very sick. Any who were injured should feel free to contact him at:
John A. Curtas
3275 South Jones Blvd. Suite 105
Las Vegas, NV 89146
firstname.lastname@example.org (see our classy ad – with Greek columns and everything! – in the box on the right below)
….where he will happily refer you to competent legal representation.
But wait there’s more!
As a further public service, any who retain him will be happily steered to a tapas restaurant that won’t send them to the hospital.