Archive for the ‘Zines’

What’s Next For Vegas? in Real Eats

February 06, 2012 By: John Curtas Category: Chefs, Food, Zines 6 Comments →

ELV has been a pretty busy boy lately, whipping out articles left and right for a variety of traditional and on-line media. As we said in an earlier post, the national and international media has stopped assigning our dining scene to the warmed-over steam table, and everyone seems interested in Las Vegas again.

Click here to read our take on the current status of our dining scene — written for Real Eats, Barbara Fairchild’s newest, online food ‘zine.

The 7 Best Restaurants for High Rollers?

February 03, 2012 By: John Curtas Category: Zines 4 Comments →

Click here to read our most recent interview in Business Insider about Vegas’ top tables for high rollers and other well-heeled gourmands.

As our loyal readers know, we could’ve easily listed 50, but the author, Matthew Kassel, wanted to keep the list within the range of lucky dice rolls.

FYI: this is the fourth interview/article we’ve done in the past couple of months for a national or international ‘zine about the fine dining scene in our humble burg. Each of them, including The Guardian in the United Kingdom, have wanted to know where the best and most expensive tables in in town are. No one was asking such questions two years ago.

Does this portend a possible resurgence of our fine dining scene? Are better times ahead? Can ELV look forward to more food and wine bacchanalian nights in his future — in the manner to which he has become accustomed?

Hope springs eternal.

Top Tastes of 2011 in Las Vegas Weekly

December 30, 2011 By: John Curtas Category: Chefs, Critics, Food, Las Vegas Weekly, Reviews, Zines 5 Comments →

ELV note: Click here to read this article in its original format, or scroll below to see what Brock, Jim and ELV thought were their top bites of 2011.

On the plate, it was a very good year. In revisiting their best bites of 2011, the Weekly food critics will get you salivating for 2012.


John Curtas

1. Oxtail Bucatini with Oxtail Sauce (Le Cirque, at Bellagio) This Gregory Pugin dish looks like a plain, savory custard but unspools to reveal bucatini strands hiding insanely rich braised oxtail. It’s a meat dish made by angels with a devilish calorie count, and it might be the biggest umami bomb of the year.

2. Roasted Sea Bass over Arugula (Due Forni, 3555 S. Town Center Dr.) Take a talented Italian chef (Carlos Buscaglia) and give him an 800 degree oven and a juicy piece of branzino—in a minute or two he can turn out a crispy, succulent seafood wonder, atop a bed of tangy arugula sprinkled with capers. The best off-Strip seafood dish I had this year.


BREAD & BUTTER Reviewed in Las Vegas Weekly

December 08, 2011 By: John Curtas Category: Chefs, Food, Reviews, Zines 3 Comments →

ELV note: This review appears in today’s edition of the Las Vegas Weekly. Click here to read it in its original format, or continue scrolling below.


Henderson, the final frontier. These are the voyages of the foodship Herrinterprise. Its ongoing mission: to explore strange new neighborhoods; to seek out new life-enhancing foods and civilized lunches; to boldly go where no sensible restaurant has gone before!


Holiday Dining the LE CIRQUE and CIRCO Way

December 04, 2011 By: John Curtas Category: Chefs, Food, Zines 6 Comments →

ELV note: The following article appears in the current issue of VEGAS magazine that hit newsstands and mailboxes on Friday. Click here to read it in its original format (where you’ll see more tasty snaps of the restaurants and the food), or continuing scrolling below.

Circo’s Champagne raspberry zabaione is a holiday favorite
Langoustines with osetra caviar and apple-vodka geleé at Le Cirque

When Sirio Maccioni and his sons, Mario, Marco, and Mauro, took Steve Wynn up on his offer to open at Bellagio in 1998, they chose the opposite route of other celebrity chefs.

Instead of exaggerated, overblown versions of the restaurants that made them famous, they went small. In the case of Le Cirque, they asked hospitality designer Adam Tihany to create a tranquil jewel box amidst the casino cacophony. With Circo, they wanted it to be festive and fun, but on a personal scale, and nothing like the boisterous behemoths that then and now characterize many a Strip dining room. What Tihany dialed up were two of his greatest designs ever: two restaurants that remain, 13 years later, the most convivial places in Las Vegas to celebrate the holidays… or any occasion.


John Tesar – Dallas’ Bad Boy Chef

November 26, 2011 By: John Curtas Category: Chefs, Zines 1 Comment →

John Tesar at the Mansion on Turtle CreekJohn Tesar in happier days

Photo by Kevin Marple

Profanity? Violence? Bigotry? Pornographers? Drinking on the job? In restaurant kitchens?  This article in Dallas Magazine of a couple of months ago has it all, and paints John Tesar as a self-consumed chef with horns and a pitchfork, and  Anthony Boudain’s muse or bitch — depending on your perspective.

When he was manning the stoves as Rick Moonen’s #1 at RM Seafood between 2004-2006, we just thought of him as a soft-spoken guy who could cook the bejesus out of seafood.

Read the (long) article and decide for yourself — amidst the threats, tears and recriminations — just how bad a boy he is. You might also wonder about cooks and owners who get put off by ethnic slurs and cursing in kitchens (isn’t that par for the course?), and the ADD and self-destructiveness that drives so many people in the restaurant business.


Merci beaucoup to editor, regular Vegas visitor and Friend of ELV Jeff Meeker for sending us the article.

PLATE Luncheon at SAGE

November 09, 2011 By: John Curtas Category: Chefs, Events, Food, Zines 3 Comments →

Hobnobbing with talented chefs and publishers of fancy food magazines is something ELV is uniquely suited for.


Ted Allen Cooks His Favorite Pretentious Foodie Bullshit Meal

November 07, 2011 By: John Curtas Category: Chefs, Food, Zines 1 Comment →

ELV note: This is just too funny not to post. Merci beaucoup to FFF (Favorite Foodie Friend) Scott Abramowitz for putting us on to this. The Onion rocks!

Celebrity Chef Ted Allen Cooks His Favorite Pretentious Foodie Bullshit Meal

BTW: ELV loves some kind of stupid something or other with his expensive fish. And don’t forget the pureed baby turnips!

WEERA THAI in Las Vegas Weekly

October 26, 2011 By: John Curtas Category: Chefs, Food, Reviews, Zines 1 Comment →

ELV note: The following article/review was posted today on the Las Vegas Weekly website, and will appear in print tomorrow. Click here to read it  in its on-line format (slightly edited from how it appears below) , or continue below.



Photo: Beverly Poppe

Thai restaurants in America too often come in a one-size-fits-all formula. One Panang curry or pad prik king can taste pretty much like any other, most curries all come from the same cans, and if you’ve had one larb you’ve had them all. Most Thai restaurateurs don’t deviate from these formulas – in fact they depend on them – because they know it is this familiarity that helps them capture the customers who crave the sweet-savory-spicy trifecta of flavors for which this cuisine is famous. (more…)

Researching Dinner at CAFE DE JAPON

October 25, 2011 By: John Curtas Category: Critics, Food, Openings, Reviews, Zines 5 Comments →

Picture 1 of 5

If you saw Al Mancini’s review of Cafe de Japon in CityLife last week, you read his tepid, if generally positive review of this unique Japanese cafe. Al is not known for for his superlatives (especially when it comes to Asian cuisines he has no interest in learning about), so ELV thought he’d ladle on a few.