Archive for the ‘Zines’

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.


Adam Rapoport Wants to be Interviewed

October 19, 2011 By: John Curtas Category: Events, Interviews, Zines 5 Comments →

Here’s what the p.r. invitation said:

Las Vegas is known for its casinos and nightlife, but the culinary scene is quickly becoming the rising star on The Strip.

Adam Rapoport, the new celebrity editor-in-chief at Bon Appétit, is visiting Las Vegas Wednesday, October 26, to meet with people like yourself and discuss Vegas Uncork’d 2012. Here are some things that Adam can speak about that would be a good fit for your readers:

Why Las Vegas is an important place in today’s epicurean landscape


Petite Purveyor of Prime

October 03, 2011 By: John Curtas Category: Chefs, Food, Zines 5 Comments →

ELV note: The following article appears in this month’s issue of VEGAS magazine. Click here to read it in its original format, or continue reading below…and try not to start salivating for a superior steak.

How Nicole Brisson Handles the Manliest Meat in the World

When you ask to see the chef in most steakhouses, a big, brawny guy appears looking like he knows his way around a side of beef. Not so at Mario Batali’s Carnevino. Instead, a pint-size female walks out looking no bigger than a filet mignon. Nicole Brisson is 5-foot-2 and has talents and responsibilities that make her unique in the world of porterhouses and prime. As executive chef, she supervises the cooking and the (almost all male) staff of 120 employees at what may be the best steakhouse in America—serving what are certainly the oldest aged steaks anywhere, along with authentic eats given the weighty Batali/Bastianich seal of approval. It doesn’t get more exalted than that in the steak or Italian food world.


John Arena Makes a Pizza…and Heats Things Up

September 01, 2011 By: John Curtas Category: Chefs, Food, Reviews, Zines 5 Comments →

John Arena makes a pizza with the ease of someone tying their shoe. He can teach, talk, toss and transform a few simple ingredients into something other-worldly to eat, in about the time it’s takes you to read these first few paragraphs.

At the drop of a hat, he’ll also tell you all about extended dough fermentation*, and how you can detect quality in the practice of pizza professionals by the bubbles on the cooked crust. (Long fermentation of the sourdough = bubbly crust = crispy/soft/yeasty/tang to the bite.)

He’s also one of our great restaurant philosophers on the theory and practice of successful operations — especially as concerns whether a place needs to grow and change with the times, or stick to doing a few things well. (He is more in the latter camp, while ELV swings both ways, depending on how the economic winds are blowing.) More young whippersnappers should pay attention to his advice and his operation — still going strong for over thirty years.

Arena, like Pizza Bianco’s Chris Bianco (and many others) thinks the type of oven isn’t as important as the care and feeding of what goes into it. Here is a recent essay of his for on the importance (or not) of your heat source for baking your pies. In his opinion, it all comes down to different strokes for different pizzaiolos:


By John Arena

Lately, like many of us across the country I’ve been thinking about heat. Now, I’m no stranger to intense heat. I’ve been working in front of a pizza oven for over 40 years and I live in Las Vegas where one day last week the temperature topped out at 119 degrees. So, let’s just say heat is a big part of my life.