John Curtas is …

Critics

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Dumbed Down Ducasse

They come in waves, but it begins as a trickle. First a couple, then another, then a four-top of salesmen in cheap suits slides by. A few curious souls from the bar pop their heads in. “Wow,” you hear them say, “this place is one of those famous French chefs (sic).” Then the elevators expel four, six, eight, a dozen hungry souls in various stages of convention dress: the obligatory Dockers and Rockports —  adorned with the customary jewelry of the day: name tags, badges and lavalieres. Before long a group of twenty streams in — dressed for a big night at the Outback — all ready to spend the company’s money at this hi-falutin’ joint 64 floors above the Las Vegas Strip. “Gol-o-ly,” you can practically hear them saying to themselves. “This place ain’t like nuthin’ back home.” Before too much longer they’re presented with a menu of familiar sounding items that appear at their tables as small Trojan Horse plates of food that sounded like one thing, appeared as another, and tasted like something else entirely, and before they know it, the mind-numbing bill is presented to someone who will willingly pay it because it ain’t comin’ out of his pocket and a rape will just have occurred without the victim even knowing they were penetrated.

Welcome to Rivea.

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CHOW Time

Hating Mr. Chow is practically a right of passage for most food writers.

This is understandable because the food at Mr. Chow has always been pretty much beside the point. Because Mr. Chow, for the uninitiated among you, has always been about the scene. But it’s also about a certain slice of social history, and the “exaggerated elegance” (Frank Bruni’s words) of Chinese cuisine. But most of all, Mr. Chow is about status. But that is about to change, at least in Vegas. Allow us to explain.

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Major Awards 2015

http://cdn.redriderleglamps.com/media/catalog/product/cache/1/image/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/c/h/christmas-story-50-inch-leg-lamp-full-size-crate-1000-web.jpg(Fra-gil-e, must be Italian)

It’s that time of the year again food fans: time for the Eating Las Vegas Major Awards!

The only awards that truly address the pressing issues of the day, such as: Who has the best hummus? Or, why is ELV invariably, unassailably, indubitably right about virtually EVERYTHING in the Las Vegas food world?

Yeah, yeah, we know we’ve already handed out those stuffy, starched, well-researched, highly-appropriate Desert Companion awards, but c’mon….they’re no fun. Here’s where we give you the straight scoop, the real poop and the no-dupe from a staff that eats out more than every other writer, critic, blogger, reviewer and Yelper in Vegas put together!!!!

So here goes:

CHEF OF THE YEAR WHO LOOKS LIKE HE’S NOT OLD ENOUGH TO VOTE AWARD: Wil Bergerhausen at Le Cirque.

GASTROPUB OF THE YEAR CO-OWNED BY A FILIPINO CHEF WITH AN ENGLISH HUSBAND WHO’S COOKING HIS ASS OFF AWARD: The Smashed Pig.

BEST RESTAURANT THAT’S CLOSEST TO MY HOUSE AWARD: Flock & Fowl.

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