Archive for the ‘Zines’

Ottavia Bourdain Has a Beef with Someone’s Meat

July 17, 2012 By: John Curtas Category: Celebrity Chef Hell, Chefs, Critics, Food, Zines 46 Comments →

ELV update: Well the mystery meat mystery has been solved folks! Susan Stapleton reported earlier today that Charlie Palmer, he of Charlie Palmer Steak fessed up and issued a public apology to Anthony and Ottavia Bourdain for the steak he served them 12 days ago.  And Bourdain graciously accepted. For the record ELV regrets his mistake in identifying the hotel the Bourdains were staying in. Had he been a more diligent reporter, he would’ve sought confirmation of the information he received.

Geez Louise! What a tempest in a teapot!

Anthony Bourdain and Ottavia Busia - 8th Annual Can-Do Awards Dinner

Ottavia Bourdain, whom Grub Street New York describes as “foodie  royalty” was in Las Vegas two weeks ago to take in a UFC match, shoot machine guns and drink a lot of Amaretto with her husband Tony. (more…)

Plus Ca Change, Plus C’est La Meme Chose

July 14, 2012 By: John Curtas Category: Critics, Zines 6 Comments →

In the beginning there was James Beard* and there was curry and that was it. – Nora Ephron

Are you one of those who think America’s food revolution started in the 1980s…or later?

If you read David Chang’s “Lucky Peach” you might have the impression it started a decade ago.


Holy Publicity Batman! ELV is in the New York Times!

June 28, 2012 By: John Curtas Category: Critics, Zines 5 Comments →

Issac Brekken for the New York Times

Yes, it’s true: ELV, the man, the myth, the book, the website and even his pesky, irritating co-authors were featured yesterday in the Dining & Wine section of the New York Times.

As the Times pretty much represents the Holy Grail of food publicity America, wethinks this represents the pinnacle of our restaurant writing career, and will, accordingly, become more insufferable, imperious, infuriating, elitist  and condescending than ever.

But we ask our loyal readers not to fret, as we promise to remember all the little people as we bask in the glow of our new-found fame.

And, as there is a certain da Vinci-esque look…

….to the photo they ran, you may henceforth refer to ELV as “Foodie Jesus.”

That is all.


June 03, 2012 By: John Curtas Category: Chefs, Food, Wine, Zines 6 Comments →

ELV note: As you may know, we write the “So Many Dinners” column for VEGAS magazine — a column that highlights noteworthy restaurants from around our valley. This month’s feature explores the origins of Vintner Grill, and since the ‘zine isn’t running it on its website, we at ELV thought you’d might like to peruse the gustatory gusto with which we gratifyingly gallivanted to (and gushed over) this galvanizing grill.


It’s safe to say that when Vintner Grill opened on December 6, 2006, no one associated with the project had the slightest idea it would become Las Vegas’ most prominent neighborhood restaurant. Who could have predicted that its sleek interior and swanky bar were destined to become the hotspot for everyone from serious oenophiles to socialites to celebrity chefs? These days, it all feels like a forgone conclusion, and five years on, you are as likely to run into Nicolas Cage as you are a power broker on the gorgeous outdoor patio. And if you think you see Andre Agassi and Stephie Graf , Bette Midler, or Steve Wynn sitting in a corner booth, you probably do.


ELV Gets Cheesed Off

May 30, 2012 By: John Curtas Category: Critics, Food, Zines 23 Comments →

When a fellow critic says something truly idiotic (in print no less) along the lines of: “The cheeses at Morels are every bit as ripe and well conditioned as anything I’ve had at Robuchon or Savoy,” ELV has two choices: he can either let the stench of such know-nothingness hang in the air like the odor of sun-baked Limburger, or he can set the record straight (and, once again, call out the never-ending cheer-leading that passes for food reporting in our humble burg).

Guess which path we’re taking?


The Ghosts of the GOLDEN STEER

March 31, 2012 By: John Curtas Category: Food, Zines 8 Comments →

ELV note: The following story appears (albeit in highly truncated form) in the current issue of VEGAS magazine. Since they haven’t posted it yet on their website, we thought you might like to take a tour of this iconic eatery, as seen through the eyes of the owner, waiters and celebs who have populated it since 1958.

The Ghosts of the GOLDEN STEER

There are ghosts in the booths at the Golden Steer. Lots of them. Sit in any of them on a busy evening and they will work their charms on you.

Not at first, mind you, but soon enough. At first you won’t see them, or hear them (that will come later). Initially, all you will notice is a plaque or picture named after a very famous (and long dead) person. “Wow,” you’ll say to yourself, “this booth is named after Frank Sinatra.” Then you will look around and see another one with a picture of Marilyn Monroe above it, or John Wayne, or Joe DiMaggio, and you will start to wonder if these are more than mere decorations. “Oh yes, a waiter will tell you. “This is where they sat, and many of them had these booths named for them when they were still alive and coming here all the time.”


Diner Time Machine – PEPPERMILL

March 03, 2012 By: John Curtas Category: Food, Zines 3 Comments →

ELV note: The following article appears in the current edition of VEGAS magazine, but since we couldn’t find it online, our staff thought you might like to read it in this format.

Picture 1 of 1

Diner Time Machine

by John Curtas

The Peppermill exists within a space-time continuum of its own creation. What has become a time warp anomaly, burst upon Vegas’s restaurant universe on December 26, 1972 — when Richard Nixon was still celebrating his landslide second election, the Vietnam war was dragging on, and neckties were wider than a baby’s bib. On that day, William Paganetti and Nate Carisali opened an offshoot of their Reno “Peppermill Inn” in a free-standing building on Las Vegas Boulevard South, across the street from the Stardust Hotel and Casino. Little did they know they were boldly going where no restaurant has gone before or since.


101 Crazy-Awesome Desserts in Grub Street

February 14, 2012 By: John Curtas Category: Food, Zines Comments Off

ELV note: The following article appears in today’s Grub Street, and can be accessed in its original form by clicking here. Or you can scroll down to read it and continue to the slideshow on the Grub Street site. Congrats to Comme Ça, Crystal Whitford (Spago) and Theresa Gwizdaloski (RM Seafood) for their recognition. (Their desserts are numbers 55-57 of the slide show.)

Crystal Whitford’s Amaretto Eskimo Pie at Spago

It’s time to think seriously about sweets: When Valentine’s Day is around the corner, and the doldrums of winter (even one this mild) have taken hold, there’s something about dessert that speaks to everyone. And these days, more than ever, pastry is getting the due that it deserves: Food & Wine is launching a search for the country’s best new pastry chef; Top Chef keeps churning out seasons of its pastry-only spinoff; Johnny Iuzzini and Michael Laiskonis were rightfully heralded as stars when they recently departed their respective restaurants; and every other show on TV is about cake wars. We won’t call it a sugar renaissance, because dessert never went away, but pastry is undeniably playing a larger part in the culinary conversation than it ever has before.


Romantically Speaking, Things Have Changed Around Here

February 13, 2012 By: John Curtas Category: Wake Up With the Wagners, Zines 3 Comments →

ELV stumbled across an old issue of Las Vegas Life magazine last week — the February 1999 issue to be precise — and looked up an old article of his about the “Most Romantic Restaurants” in town for Valentine’s Day. Thirteen years ago, his top 10 spots for romantic dining were:

1) Suzette’s (In the Santa Fe Hotel – yes, this was our #1 romantic restaurants…yikes!)

2) Palace Court (In Caesars — still missed)

3) Top of the World (still spectacular)

4) Monte Carlo Room (the gourmet room in the Desert Inn)

5) Prime (which remains one of the most gorgeous restaurants anywhere – see above)

6) Aristocrat (anyone remember it?)

7) Ferraro’s (pink neon and all)

8) Terraza (Caesars – where Rao’s now sits)

9) Stefano’s (singing waiters and all)

10) Le Cirque (which shows we had some good taste and sense even then)

If you saw us on Wake Up with the Wagners last Friday, you saw our list of most romantic, price is no object places today now includes:

– miX

- Eiffel Tower Restaurant

- Twist by Pierre Gagnaire

- Picasso

- Bartolotta Ristorante di Mare

- Le Cirque

- Prime

- Sage

A list that has, on the whole, much better food and nary a sliver of pink neon in sight.

Where Romance is Always in the Air

February 07, 2012 By: John Curtas Category: Chefs, Events, Food, Zines 2 Comments →

ELV note: The following article appears in this month’s issue of VEGAS magazine, and can be accessed in its original, on-line form by clicking here, or you can continue reading below. If you’re considering eating at ETR this Valentine’s Day, you’d be well-served to make your reservation immediately…which might already be too late. Keep in mind though, that the restaurant is also open for lunch, and might have tables available for a midday soirée a deux!

Sin City turns into the city of love every Valentine’s Day, when Vegas’s five-star dining establishments prepare special menus for couples from all over the country wanting une table pour deux. And no place hits all the right love notes better than Eiffel Tower Restaurant.