Archive for the ‘The List’

Our Favorite Italians – Restaurant Division

December 09, 2013 By: John Curtas Category: Food, Reviews, The List 15 Comments →

As long as we’re thinking like an Italian these days, this might be a good time to point you to ELV’S FAVORITE ITALIAN RESTAURANTS (Las Vegas Division).

The Top Five are, in order:

1. (toss up) Allegro (for Neapolitan cooking at its finest)/B & B Ristorante (for the best pasta in Vegas)

3. Carnevino – possibly the best steakhouse in the country; certainly the best Italian steakhouse in the country.

4. Rao’sItalian-American cooking at its finest

5. Buddy V’s – a worthy newcomer that, like Rao’s, does its Italian-American ancestry proud.

Special Honorable Mention:  Nakamura-Ya – which is technically a Japanese restaurant, but which does pasta better than just about any true Italian restaurant not named one of the above.

Some of you might be wondering about the omissions of perennial favorites Circo and Sirio, to which we can only say: one is closing soon (Circo) and Sirio is now being run exclusively by its hotel’s F & B department, with nary a Maccioni on site, save for an occasional p.r. appearance. None of these developments bodes well for the future of upscale, Italian eats in our humble burg.

Indeed, when considered along with the recent, without-fanfare closing of Valentino at the Venetian, and the shifting fortunes of whatever is going on at Piero Selvaggio’s flagship in Santa Monica, one might conclude that sophisticated Italian cooking is going the way of French haute cuisine in fast becoming a gastronomic artifact, as the great food of this gourmet mecca gets drowned under a sea of red sauce.

Which leads us to:


The Bottom 5 are, in order:


Face it. They’re all terrible and you know it.

Bests and Worsts

June 28, 2013 By: John Curtas Category: Celebrity Chef Hell, Chefs, Food, Openings, Rant, Reviews, The List 20 Comments →

Best Night to Dine Out – Thursday

Worst Night to Dine Out – Saturday

Worst parking – MGM Grand

Worst Valet – MGM Grand

Worst Oversight in Posting This List Yesterday – Yonaka

Best Candidate for Best New Restaurant of 2013 (so far): (toss-up) Yonaka/Hops & Harvest


Just Thought You’d Like to Know…the State of the Vegas Dining Scene

March 25, 2013 By: John Curtas Category: Chefs, Food, Openings, Reviews, The List, Wake 6 Comments →

Picture 1 of 1

As the first quarter careens towards its close, our staff thought it was time to take stock of Las Vegas’s dining scene and share a summary of our recent experiences.

And by “recent experiences” we mean the scenes of the crimes at some recent restaurants….along with the usual gossip, gall and gallivanting for which we are known.

Let’s start with the bad news first, shall we? (more…)

The List

April 29, 2012 By: John Curtas Category: The List 5 Comments →

Think you can keep up with ELV in an eating week?

Or even two of them?

Don’t even try, pilgrim.

The list:


East Ocean Dim Sum




The List

March 21, 2012 By: John Curtas Category: The List 5 Comments →

Has  ELV eaten out more than anyone in the history of Las Vegas?

No doubt about it.


EATING LAS VEGAS Top 10 Announced

November 14, 2011 By: John Curtas Category: Chefs, Critics, Events, Food, Reviews, The List 6 Comments →

The Top 10 Restaurants in Las Vegas, according to EATING LAS VEGAS – The 50 Essential Restaurants are (in alphabetical order):

Bar Masa


Estiatorio Milos

Guy Savoy

Joel Robuchon

L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon

Le Cirque

Michael Mina



The List

September 22, 2011 By: John Curtas Category: The List 4 Comments →

Being a restaurant critic is like being a horse put out to stud; it sounds like a good idea until you have to do it on command all the time.Colman Andrews

Being a restaurant critic is like being a porn star; most schmucks think they would like it and could do it, but wouldn’t and can’t. – ELV

Here’s where we’ve eaten in the past two weeks:

Central (four times)


J & J Szechuan

Flame Kabob

The Barrymore


P. J. Clarke’s



Island Sushi (twice)

Marche Bacchus

Sushi Fever





Comme Ça

Mon Ami Gabi

The New York List

July 21, 2011 By: John Curtas Category: Food, The List, Travel 3 Comments →

Where we ate in NYC… in order of awesomeness:

Food Network’s Kitchen Stadium



Le Cirque

Fatty Cue





Jacques Torres


Amy’s Bread



Pizza Box

Esquire’s Best Restaurant Cities (Vegas is #6)

December 26, 2010 By: John Curtas Category: Chefs, Critics, Food, The List, Travel, Zines 2 Comments →

America’s Best Restaurant Cities: 2010 Edition

A decade ago it was easy enough to contend that if you wanted the best French food you’d go to France, the best Italian food you’d go to Italy, and the best Japanese food you’d go to Japan. But if the last ten years have shown gastronomes anything, it’s that food the equal of any in the world is now to be found in the USA. And not just in New York or San Francisco. Cities like Chicago, Houston, Washington, and Boston have enormous breadth and depth in many ethnic categories.

An Insider’s Guide to EATING LAS VEGAS – The 50 Essential Restaurants

November 18, 2010 By: John Curtas Category: Chefs, Commercial, Critics, Events, Food, Interviews, Openings, Reviews, The List, Zines 17 Comments →

ImageIllustration: Chris Morris

What happens when three food critics get together and try to pick the city’s 50 best restaurants? We ask the Weekly’s John Curtas, who teamed up with Max Jacobson and Al Mancini on Eating Las Vegas: The 50 Essential Restaurants, out this week on Huntington Press.

Did the three of you approach the project planning to include 50 restaurants, or did you arrive at that number once you evaluated Las Vegas’ food scene?

I think the 50 kind of evolved. My first top-50 list had 75 restaurants on it, but 50’s a good round number. Vegas probably doesn’t have enough of a broad-based culinary scene to do a top 100.