DB BRASSERIE Deliciously Beckons

May 15, 2014 By: John Curtas Category: Chefs, Food, Liquor/Liqueur/Libations, Openings, Reviews, Wine

http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/5321dfbdf92ea167710121f5/%20DB%20Brasserie%20rendering%20by%20Jeffrey%20Beers%20International%203-thumb.jpg

ELV note: Daniel Boulud is back, and gastronomes everywhere are licking their chops. But before we dive into reviewing his new spot db Brasserie (opened just three weeks ago), perhaps a little history lesson is in order.

When it was announced ten years ago that Daniel Boulud would be coming to Las Vegas (at the Wynn Hotel and Casino), no one in Las Vegas was happier than yours truly. When the Daniel Boulud Brasserie opened there in May of 2005, no one was a bigger fan or more loyal customer.

When Philippe Rispoli — the on-premises chef de cuisine who made the restaurant hum — was shown the door in ‘o7, things went downhill rapidly. Between the Wynn’s wanting to steak-i-fy the place, and a kitchen crew that had neither the heart nor the chops for true French food, it was pretty much a relief when they closed the joint (on July 4, 2010), so as to no longer sully the name of one of America’s greatest chefs.

But Boulud — being neither a fool nor a bad businessman — knew there was still gold in them thar hills; he just needed the Great Recession to recede a bit more before throwing down for another try in our humble burg. This time he’s maintaining more control (he owns the restaurant in partnership with the hotel, we’re told), and this time he’s gonna stick.

Read the rest of this entry →

Sipping and Savoring Santa Barbara (County)

May 11, 2014 By: John Curtas Category: Food, Travel, Wine, Zines

This article first appeared in John Mariani’s Virtual Gourmet a few weeks ago. Click here to read it in the original format, or continue as you wish with the text below.

Solvang, California used to be a paragon of kitsch, corny architecture and lots and lots of butter cookies. When last we visited a little over ten years ago, it was at the tail end of its “outlet store phase” (as one local put it to us), and the Danish bakeries barely outnumbered the vacant storefronts – which is really saying something. These days, a great ableskiver, cheese Danish, or thin, Danish pancake accosts your waistline on almost every corner, but the real reason to come here is that this (formerly) sleepy little hamlet – known affectionately for decades as “Little Denmark” – has quietly become the wine capital of central California.

Read the rest of this entry →

Mother’s Day Memo: Eat at Home

May 09, 2014 By: John Curtas Category: Rant, Wake Up With the Wagners

It’s the absolute, lead pipe cinch, without a doubt, out-and-out, consummate,  worst day of the year to eat in a restaurant.

Read the rest of this entry →

Letter of the Week – Fine Wine (Gouging) Times

May 01, 2014 By: John Curtas Category: Letter of the Week, Wine

http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Film/Pix/pictures/2009/9/9/1252495743978/Paul-Giamatti-drinking-a--001.jpg

Dear ELV,

One of my first great dining experiences was with my father at Picasso in 1998, and it remains one of the best meals of my life. I’ve returned to Las Vegas dozens of times since then, first for the innumerable temptations your city offers a young man and, as I’ve aged, increasingly for the food.

I believe any frequent visitor to Las Vegas understands and accepts there is a surcharge for the fun. The games favor the house, “complimentary” wi-fi is $25, and food will cost a bit more than back home, even if home is New York or Chicago. What the visitor gets in return, especially folks like me who live as far from New York and Chicago as Las Vegas, is unparalleled access to things like gourmet restaurants. It’s a long, long shot that I could get a seat at Marea, Daniel Boulud, and Per Se on back-to-back-to-back nights, but I can eat at Guy Savoy, Twist, and Sage on any given trip.

Read the rest of this entry →

7 Reasons You Shouldn’t Line Up to Eat at Giada’s New Restaurant

April 29, 2014 By: John Curtas Category: Celebrity Chef Hell, Food, Openings

http://ethnicelebs.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/Giada-De-Laurentiis.jpg

Who cares if she can cook?

After reading this bought-and-paid-for piece of public relations drivel today, we at ELV thought the record ought to be set straight about why restaurants like Giada’s should be approached gingerly, if at all, and always with a sense of healthy skepticism about what is really going on.

So, let’s go over the 7 Reasons You Shouldn’t Line Up to Eat at Giada’s New Restaurant:

Read the rest of this entry →

In Defense of the Whiskey Pairing

April 28, 2014 By: mitchell Category: Liquor/Liqueur/Libations

Could you imagine being some old shepherd in the rolling moors of Scotland, in the times of antiquity?  You scrape out your livelihood, everything you own either generations old or slung together from the fauna around you, your whole world a tiny blip of stacked stones in an endless sea of nature.  But there is one thing in your life, seemingly pulled out of the ether with prestidigitation, that brightens your eyes, livens your disposition, and warms your heart.  It’s the ol’ water of life, that crystal clear brown liquid, whiskey.

Read the rest of this entry →

You Should Go To YUSHO

April 21, 2014 By: John Curtas Category: Chefs, Food, Openings

Matthias Merges Makes Merry Mixology

Picture 1 of 1

Draught Cocktail Degustation

Bold, compelling, uncompromising, intense, and one-of-a-kind were just a few of the phrases that leapt to mind as we sampled about 40% of Yusho’s menu last week — and all six of the house-made, draught cocktails pictured above.

“Totally unlike anything the Strip has seen since China Poblano opened in 2010,” was the other.

To say that we were impressed is an understatement. To say we weren’t expecting to be would be equally accurate.

Read the rest of this entry →

In the News: EL SOMBRERO Closes, WILD Gets Tamed

April 14, 2014 By: John Curtas Category: Chefs, Food, Wake

After a 64 year run, Las Vegas’s oldest restaurant has closed its doors for good. José and Teresa Aragon (who took the business over from Jose’s uncle, Clemente Griego, in 1970), have fried their last sopaipilla and ladled their last batch of  sweet and smokey salsa.

Read the rest of this entry →

Hot Hostess Watch – Ary at POSTRIO

April 12, 2014 By: John Curtas Category: Chefs, Hot Hostess Watch

When we asked Ary at Postrio if she would be our next Hot Hostess®, she was understandably surprised:

Security!

Picture 1 of 1

Then she blushed:

Picture 1 of 1

Then she graciously allowed us to use her picture to advertise the fact that Mark Andelbradt has now taken over the reigns of this Wolfgang Puck warhorse in the Grand Canal Shoppes:

Picture 1 of 1

After meeting Aryanna, we’re not so sure now what we’re more excited about: eating Andelbradt’s updated menu (debuting in a month or two, he assures us), or being seated by her.

For the time being, it’s just nice to know there are two reasons to go there.

POSTRIO

In the Grand Canal Shoppes at the Venetian

3377 Las Vegas Blvd. South

Las Vegas, NV 89109

702.796.1110

www.wolfgangpuck.com/restaurants/fine-dining/3821

SUZUYA PASTRIES Featured on My News 3

April 11, 2014 By: John Curtas Category: Chefs, Food, Wake Up With the Wagners

More Hidden Gems

(Hard to find but worth it!)

1.    SUZUYA PASTRIES & CREPES – 7225 South Durango Dr.

2.    I-NABA – 3210 South Decatur Blvd.

3.    YUNNAN GARDEN – 3934 Schiff Dr.

4.    SHOKU RAMEN-YA – 470 East Windmill Ln.