In honor of the Winter in Venice festival going on at the Venetian/Palazzo today (especially the “How to Italian” food festival starting this morning), we at ELV thought a little music was in order:
Archive for the ‘Miscellaneous’
He’s a worrywart, a raconteur, and a perfectionist. He’s thin-skinned one moment and a charmer the next. His love and loyalty to his family is only exceeded by his ability to drive them crazy. And if you work for him, he can also be an occasional, colossal pain in the ass. In other words, he’s just like my father. One of my many regrets in life is that the two of them never met.
To all of our loyal food fans: Please be advised that ELV’s self-imposed sabbatical will soon come to an end, and he shall resume posting articles this weekend.
As for the reason for said sabbatical, we can only say that making a living had something to do with it, and sometimes the drudgery of everyday life gets in the way of our eating….and sleeping.
Now that we’re caught up on the latter, we can resume the former.
Be talkin’ to you soon.
Best and bon appetit,
Anything too stupid to be spoken is sung. – Voltaire
ELV note: Yours truly is often accused of hating music. This is not true. ELV doesn’t hate music, he hates trite, tuneless, sappy, commercial, derivative, copycat, not-an-original-thought-anywhere music. Music that sounds like everyone else’s music. And jazz. ELV really, really, really hates jazz. And Guns ‘n Roses. He really hates Guns ‘n Roses. Other than that, he loves the stuff. Sort of.
THE TOP 66 JUKE BOX SONGS OF ALL TIME*
You know the drill.
You’ve been there a hundred times.
You’re in some bar with a friend or three. You’re a little drunk, but not too. You might be hitting on new meat or playfully noodling your significant other. Everyone’s happy and chattering away. Tunes are playing on the Rock-Ola or Wurlizter, but no one’s paying close attention.
Over in the corner, there might even be a few people boogieing away and singing along to some mildly inoffensive ditty from J. Geil’s, Billy Idol, Chili Peppers, Violent Femmes or Smash Mouth. Good times.
Then, just when things start peaking (a buddy has you in stitches, someone buys a round, she touches your knee/licks your ear/gently brushes the Amazing Python of Love, etc.) some punk-ass, lame-dick, shriveled-gonad pussy (or, even worse, some brain-dead, seen-better-days-bimbo) proudly strolls to the juke and punches in an hour of musical shite like Depeche Mode, “Satisfaction,” “We Built This City on Rock and Roll,” or anything from the Rolling Stones, Aerosmith, Fleetwood Mac or, heaven forbid, the Eagles (Joe Walsh excepted).
And do you know what happens next?
You know what happens next, don’t you?
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.
If ELV could wave a magic wand over the proceedings, he would use his powers to inspire the three gentlemen above (Piero Selvaggio, Sonny Ahuja and Luciano Pellegrini) to make a deal to bring a small, stylish, casual Italian trattoria to downtown Las Vegas, serving real Italian food and good wines to people who don’t think cheeseburgers, pizzas and tacos are the only sustenance on earth.
With the new director of F&B over at the Mandalay Bay getting all sorts of attention for being a Cicerone (the beer version of a sommelier, for those not in the know), the beer-loving eyes of the food community have been waiting for a little insight into what Sarah Johnson has in mind. Those of you who have been obsessively glazing over this year’s schedule of events for Bon Appetit’s Vegas Uncork’d will have already noticed a new event among the Robuchon Luncheons and conspicuously consumed caviar, a BEER GARDEN! I’ll give you all a second to fish the monocle out of your champagne.
Yes, Hubert Keller talked himself into another DJ set, but this time his beatboxing ministrations will be to the tune of an Alsatian Brasserie menu by himself and consistent partner-in-crime Chef Laurent Pillard. PROBABLY going to be the coolest of the events, and no less cool for the help of the main beerographer, Sarah Johnson. The smart and witty and sexually attractive people who read my stuff may remember a very cool pairings dinner where Sarah and Aureole Sommelier had a fun little competition of the pairings sort.
So I thought, “Hey, let’s talk to Sarah Johnson. Get inside her dome-piece. Slowly assimilate her life Write a cool little interview, innocently.” Here’s the straight dope, people.
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.