Archive for the ‘Liquor/Liqueur/Libations’
Over the past couple weeks, as is our position, Mr. Curtas and I have eaten out on our own, and have noted some new dishes of the season’s menu change that deserve their due recognition. We’ve taken the best of the best and are bringing to you those that really struck a chord with us.
For anyone wanting to take up the fun little occasion of a “Dine Around”, this would be a great guide for it. Why did I do a top 9 instead of a top 10? Well, you could say that last spot is for YOU, dear reader, to tell me in the comments your top pick in new spring menu items. I look forward to reading it, and maybe even trying it out for myself…
New Executive Chef Paul Lee is making full use of his new position as “fine dining guy to keep your eye on” by really veering away from the commonplace, the expected, and the national dining character itself. While everyone is tripping over themselves trying to chip this and gelee that, Chef Lee is de-complexifying things. These scallops were indeed scallops, but the specter of a spicy green curry and nutty roasted pistachios added to its natural sweetness and buttery flavor. Each bite (I took mine with the endive salad) finishes off with nutty roasted Sicilian pistachios and tangy, umami tamarind vinaigrette. It wasn’t in your face, but it was really in your head. If I had to really describe it, it would be the difference between a pretty lady coming up and ripping your shirt off, and the same just giving you a wink from across the room. Paul Lee is really exemplifying the maxim “Less is more”.
Foie Gras with Rhubarb compote – Public House in The Venetian:
Danged near everywhere, I’m seeing this massive influx of rhubarb, especially rhubarb and foie gras. I think I’ve seen four in the past couple weeks that all had that same formula. I think this was the best example of it (I have yet to try the Foie Gras w/ rhubarb 3-ways by John Courtney at Pinot Brasserie.) because of simply the quality of the brioche, the range in flavor of the compote and jus, and the technical precision of the foie. Each bite had that livery richness, a perfect level of salt, not too much sweetness, and a beautiful blend of spice notes from the jus. While I usually prefer to err on the savory side of the foie gras spectrum, this was a wonderful example of the sweet side.
ELV just saw a Budweiser commercial which claims that Anheuser-Busch “….might be America’s best known local* brewer.”
Which might might be the biggest crock of shit — from an industry that specializes in crocks of shit — we’ve ever heard.
* Anheuser-Busch makes over 11 billion bottles of beer a year, at thirteen different bottling plants**, and pockets almost $40 billion a year doing it.
** Local brewer my ass***.
*** Speaking of giant asses, that seems to be what this poor young woman has stuck on her ribcage:
It’s that time of the year food fans. The time when yours truly begins researching in earnest for the next edition of EATING LAS VEGAS – The 50 Essential Restaurants. Truth be told, our research (read: eating) never stops, but things heat up quickly once the weather warms, and we now start cruising old haunts and new faces (sometimes 3-4 in a day) to see who’s in and who’s out.
When it comes to those old haunts, usually a few swings at the menu is enough to tell us if the chefs have lost their fastball. One who still has a major league heater is JULIAN SERRANO.
Anyone who’s talked food with me in the past week will attest to my vigor in recommending this hip little spot down in Henderson. If you can remember way way back when people couldn’t stop talking about Insert Coins because it was a new, cool idea? Then, in our embarrassment at having had high hopes for a bar/arcade (I am loathe to use the portmanteau: Barcade) which were quickly dashed by what became one of the least appealing bars downtown, we quickly developed a Pavlovian gag-reflex against the concept? Well, I do; that’s why the overbearing theme for my visits here at Hi-Scores were just “Surprise”. A preface: I’m not even a ‘video game guy’, and even without that much interest in the subject (I’ll shoot up some Zombies when I’m there if the mood strikes, but that’s it) Hi-Scores and The Players Club stands very well on its own. I have to say that there is no other restaurant or bar that has surprised me so thoroughly, in almost every facet.
First: While these are technically two separate places, there are only a couple differences. Primarily, it’s a matter of atmosphere; the Hi-Scores side caters to a bit of a younger crowd, and is the primary video-game-centric side. This is the side that has a slightly longer tap-list, is a bit more of a high energy setting, and has a ton of old arcade cabinet games, racing chairs, tabletop Pac-Man, and a row of modern gaming consoles on projectors. The best part about this is that they are all free; not one red cent you’ll have to divert from your beer tab. The other side is a more upscale venue. It’s quieter, more relaxed, and just has a few Golden Tee type games. They have a very solid list of whiskies and especially tequilas (look up that Casa Dragones tequila in the picture, it’s WORLD class), and is more cocktail focused than it is beer. Aside from that, both sides have the same menu, same beer bottle list, and same craft cocktail list.
Comparison is the root of all unhappiness. – Cicero
In a somewhat disjointed but pointed retort to our “My Kind Of Town” post, When are you moving writes:
I think its a bit crude of you to slap Vegas upside the head on your way back in from your reports of Chicago.
Amanda has bartending in her blood. She comes from a family of serious foodies and meticulous mixologists (Dad Coop whips up potent potables at Carnevino), and she has beautified the bar at several top shelf operations up and down the Strip. (She has also done some serious modeling, and looks pretty damn good in next to nothing, which has zero relevance to her drink-mixing skills, but gave us a good excuse to link to those tasty snaps.)