ELV note: As proud as we are of this recently published article in VEGAS magazine, our happiness is muted by the fact that Kerry Simon was recently admitted to a local hospital because of pneumonia. To anyone suffering from multiple system atrophy, as Simon is, such an illness is a very serious condition, and does not portend any kind of healthy recovery. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Simon and his family.
(Rainbow cauliflower, from Carson Kitchen’s farm fresh menu.)
If someone had told me a year ago that Kerry Simon’s Carson Kitchen would be both a raging success and the spark of a restaurant renaissance, I would have looked at them with the same bemusement I usually reserve for conspiracy theorists and Chicago Cubs fans. A year ago (or three, 10, or 20 years ago), Downtown Las Vegas was a restaurant wasteland. The idea that young couples, suburbanites, professionals, and entire families would come here to eat seemed as far-fetched as having a mob lawyer for a mayor.
The above picture is of New Mexican chilies. It was taken two years ago during the southern New Mexico chile harvest. The chilies pictured are call New Mexican or Anaheim chilies, depending on with whom you are speaking. They can range from somewhat mild to medium hot to Scotch Bonnet hot, depending upon the batch and where they are grown.
Having said that, a grandma-friendly, totally sweet, heat-free New Mexican chile in New Mexico is rarer than a heterosexual male at a Lady Gaga concert.
When André Rochat closed his namesake restaurant downtown in 2009, it’s safe to say that nary a tear was shed around the ELV offices.
The story of the cheesecloth-skinned chef tossing me from Alize (one of three restaurants he once owned) in 2002 is pretty well known in our humble burg, and we never tire of showing the (mostly) rave review/profile we wrote about him (in April 1999) that inexplicably set him off and led to our banishment. (Yes, we didn’t care for a few items, and felt some wine bottles were massively overpriced, but on the whole, we sang his praises left and right.)