(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:
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.
ELV note: We’ve been as busy as a beaver this fall — writing for a various ‘zines and trying to finish the copy for the fourth edition of EATING LAS VEGAS – The 50 Essential Restaurants. Oh yes, and we also took a two-week trip to Germany and Alsace (that we’ll be writing about as soon as the book gets done), and we got engaged to be married AND we’ve been trying to keep up with our day job — saving the taxpayers’ money at the City of Las Vegas. As a result, our nights have been shorter and our ELV posts have been fewer. So, with all that in mind, we thought this would be a good time to post our recently published article in VEGAS magazine, highlighting our ideas for where to best have a bacchanalian blowout over the holidays. Read on, happy holidays, and we’ll resume more regular postings once all this hubbub subsides.
(Le Cirque puts its spin on egg salad)
Dining in Las Vegas is extravagant any time of year, but during the holidays, our temples of gastronomic delight really pull out all the stops—and stoppers.
In Las Vegas, creating a holiday environment all year-round is our specialty. But during our winter holidays (when, granted, you might have to look for snow in the Bellagio Conservatory rather than outside), the city’s best restaurants stage the ultimate in over-the-top dining—featuring très luxe products from around the globe brought in to satisfy gourmands looking to dress up, dine out, and drink it all in, the Vegas way.
As the French invented both the modern restaurant and Champagne, you can be assured a holiday meal at Joël Robuchon (MGM Grand, 702-891-7925) will be second to none. James Beard Award–winning Executive Chef Claude Le-Tohic (pictured above with the man himself) is a truffle snob of the best kind, and by Christmas Day, his menu is usually festooned with the finest black truffles. “After about mid-December, the white truffles start declining in quality,” he explains. “That’s when we start using truffes noires, which are much better when cooked. Many of our customers request them over the holidays.” Thus can you find these gorgeous fungi adorning everything from a mousseline served with a semi-soft boiled egg with Comté cheese to a white onion tart with smoked bacon that proves the rest of the world has nothing on the French when it comes to crafting an umami bomb.
ELV note: Anyone who knows us, knows that Thanksgiving is our favorite day of the year. It is a distinctly American holiday that, despite every retail and market effort to the contrary, has yet to be co-opted by capitalism and bad taste. Thanksgiving is all about food, family and friends and that’s it. (We would say “football” also, but the NFL’s craven marketing — and too many crappy contests — is fast taking that element out of the equation for many.) Regardless, Thanksgiving is a time to feast and remember, and we at Eating Las Vegas always like to use the day to remind you of “The World’s Greatest String Bean Recipe.” So, here it is Thanksgiving feasters — for the 12th year in a row — our remembrance of beanie days gone by:
As a prelude to this year’s Thanksgiving, ELV’s staff thought a trip down memory lane was in order. More specifically, a return to a few commentaries he did on Nevada Public radio about his favorite holiday….including not one, not two, but THREE recipes for the world’s greatest bean dish — featured for years on News 88.9 FM KNPR-Nevada Public Radio, and now brought to the readers of Eating Las Vegas for your shared enjoyment and delectation. ELV promises you, if you make them once, your Thanksgiving table will never again be without this sweet, savory and sour treatment of these luscious legumes.