Archive for the ‘The List’

EATING LAS VEGAS – The 50 Essential Restaurants – 2014

October 31, 2014 By: John Curtas Category: EATING LAS VEGAS - The 50 Essential Restaurants, The List 12 Comments →

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Here it is food fans: our inclusive, independent, infallible, indispensable, indomitable, inevitable, individual, incorruptible index of Las Vegas 50 most “essential” restaurants. It represents our educated opinion of the best food and restaurant experiences Las Vegas has to offer, in descending order of importance to our food scene.

Put another way, these are the restaurants I would take another food writer, gourmet, world-class chef, or ardent food fan to if they asked me to take them on the ultimate epicurean tour of Vegas, and we had a month to complete the task. (For those of you who are wondering: every one of these places has been visited multiple times by yours truly. Many of them have fed us at least a half a dozen times, and in ten of them we’ve eaten more meals than we can count.)

Readers of the last printed edition of this title, will notice that 21 of the 50 entries are new — that’s how much our food scene has changed since we released the 2013 edition in November, 2012. The year ahead may be a quieter one as far as new openings are concerned, but don’t bet on it.

There may finally be enough interest (and affluent warm bodies) downtown to finally give that area some traction in the finer foods department (thank you Kerry Simon), and the venerable Strip hotels are going to be upping their games now that some of their stores are starting to show their age (are you listening MGM and Caesars?) Smaller hotels with a few, top flight offerings seem to be the wave of the future (à la the SLS), although Resorts World might be a behemoth that changes the game the way the Bellagio did in 1998.

All of us at Eating Las Vegas hope this will be the start of a tradition — that of releasing our 50 Essential list every Nevada Day/Halloween. We will be updating some of the reviews throughout the year, and you can look forward to our “new look” Web site coming on-line within the month, which will make accessing the 50 Essential much easier, as well as all past and current content.

In the meantime we will continue to give you Las Vegas’s only erudite, incisive, unfettered and un-compromised opinions on its restaurant and dining scene….and never forget that we at ELV stand by our ELV Guarantee: All Opinions Right Or Your Money Back!

THE TOP 10

1. Joël Robuchon

2. Restaurant Guy Savoy

3. L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon

4. Raku/Sweets Raku

5. Carnevino

6. Twist by Pierre Gagnaire

7. Bartolotta Ristorante di Mare

8. Kabuto Edomae Sushi

9. Picasso

10. Estiatorio Milos

THE REST OF THE BEST

11. Yonaka

12. China Poblano

13. Julian Serrano

14. Sage

15. Allegro

16. China MaMa

17. Mizumi

18. Le Cirque

19. db Brasserie

20. Giada – The Restaurant (on Earth – The Planet)

21. Rose.Rabbit.Lie.

22. Yusho

23. Carson Kitchen

24. Spago

25. Lotus of Siam

26. Michael Mina

27. CUT

28. Bouchon

29. Bazaar Meat

30. Eiffel Tower Restaurant

31. Forte

32. Due Forni

33.  Jaleo

34. Rao’s

35. District One

36. Chada Thai

37.  Cleo

38. I-Naba

39. Sen of Japan

40. B&B Ristorante

41. Monta

42. Nakamura-Ya

43. Mint Indian Bistro

44. Marche Bacchus

45. Ku Noodle

46. El Sombrero

47. Desnudo Tacos/47.1 Rodeo Tacos Barbacoa estilo Hidalgo

48. Zen Japanese Curry

49.  The Goodwich

50.  Art of Flavors

Honorable mention: Delmonico; Chocolate & Spice Bakery; La Comida; Wing Lei, Botero; Katsuya by Starck; Honey Salt; Prime; Table 10; Mundo; Comme Ça; Top of the World; Aloha Speciaties; Soyo; O Face Doughnuts; Bin 702; Border Grill; Tacos El Gordo; Buddy V’s; Herbs & Rye.

EATING LAS VEGAS – The 50 Essential Restaurants – Hits the Home Stretch

September 26, 2014 By: John Curtas Category: EATING LAS VEGAS - The 50 Essential Restaurants, The List 3 Comments →

 

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ELV, the man, the myth, the arbiter of all things culinary in Las Vegas, has hit the home stretch in listing the 50 Essential Restaurants® of Las Vegas.

Below are the first 36.

Care to validate, vandalize, vilify, or vet any of his picks for their vacuity?

Or perhaps vouchsafe some of your own volition?

Then please vacate this vellum and veer to the comments section.

But, verily, be sure to verbalize your vehement and venomous vexation with his vaunted, viable, vulpine, veritable, venerable, voluble and voluptuous vichyssoise  without vituperation or verbosity.

Lest we vanquish you.

And you may call me V.

The List:

1. Joël Robuchon

2. Restaurant Guy Savoy

3. L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon

4. Raku/Sweets Raku

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Hot Hostesses Celebrate the Top 25 Essential Restaurants of Las Vegas

September 06, 2014 By: John Curtas Category: Chefs, EATING LAS VEGAS - The 50 Essential Restaurants, Hot Hostess Watch, The List 1 Comment →

In honor of us reaching the halfway point of EATING LAS VEGAS – The 50 Essential Restaurants, our staff thought a celebration was in order. And by “celebration” we mean posting more pictures of the incandescently torrid, steamy, loosen-you-collar caliente hostesses we’ve been meeting lately.

Leading off, we have Julia:

…who always greats you with a smile at Rose.Rabbit.Lie.

But RRL is so trés chaud these days, one hot hostess is not enough. That’s why Samantha and Kassidy:

…are always on hand at a second hostess desk to lead you to your table among the jugglers and acrobats that seem to accost you at every turn. (To be fair, many seem to enjoy the festivities here, but we think all the noise just distracts you from Wes Holton’s exceptional food.)

If, like ELV, it’s serenity you seek with your sustenance, then we suggest a seating by Hailey:

…at Chef Johnny Church’s MTO Cafe downtown.

Regardless of your savory or sweet sagaciousness, all four of these gals saucily scan and scamper to safeguard your satisfaction preceding whatever saturnalia you seek.

And for that, we salute them.

The List:

1. Joël Robuchon

2. Restaurant Guy Savoy

3. L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon

4. Raku/Sweets Raku

5. Carnevino

6. Twist by Pierre Gagnaire

7. Bartolotta Ristorante di Mare

8. Kabuto Edomae Sushi

9. Picasso

10. Estiatorio Milos

11. Yonaka Modern Japanese

12. China Poblano

13. Julian Serrano

14. Sage

15. Allegro

16. China MaMa

17. Mizumi

18. Le Cirque

19. db Brasserie

20. Giada – The Restaurant (on Earth – The Planet)

21. Rose.Rabbit.Lie.

22. Yusho

23. Carson Kitchen

24. Spago

25. Lotus of Siam

Summer Doldrums

June 09, 2014 By: John Curtas Category: Celebrity Chef Hell, Chefs, Openings, Rant, The List 15 Comments →

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It’s not even officially Summer yet and the mercury has already topped 100 degrees for a solid week.

ELV is glad the days are heating up, because that’s the only thing that’s hot in Vegas these days.

Our restaurant scene may seem muy caliente to some — with Daniel Boulud, Guy Fieri, Mathias Merges and Giada What’s-Her-Name all opening new joints in the last two months — but it’s still pretty boring with a capital “B” from where we’re sitting.

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Our Favorite Italians – Restaurant Division

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

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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:

ELV’S WORST ITALIAN RESTAURANTS

The Bottom 5 are, in order:

1)-5) EVERY ITALIAN RESTAURANT IN EVERY NEIGHBORHOOD IN LAS VEGAS

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 →

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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

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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 →

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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:

Lakeside

East Ocean Dim Sum

Sirio

Kabuto

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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.

(more…)

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

CUT

Estiatorio Milos

Guy Savoy

Joel Robuchon

L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon

Le Cirque

Michael Mina

Picasso

Twist