The Palazzo Restaurants – Part One

Now that it’s been open for 6 months, and I’ve eaten in every restaurant there at least twice, I thought I’d give you a quick rundown of what’s worth eating in, and what’s not, in the Palazzo.

It couldn’t be a worse time to open a bunch of fancy food emporiums – what with the recession….er….uh….I mean: economic downturn and all – but you have to give the Venetian/Palazzo credit(?) for flying in the face of eating out adversity and asking Charlie Trotter, Wolfgang Puck, Mario Batali and Emeril Lagasse to strut their high priced stuff for Sheldon Adelson’s conventioneers – who aren’t spending quite as freely as they were when these places were on the drawing boards.

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KLAS TV Channel 8 (CBS) Restaurant of the Week-PAYARD BISTRO and PATISSERIE

HAPPY (belated) FOURTH OF JULY! Since hot dogs and badly-grilled burgers aren’t’s thing, we thought we’d provide a patriotic history lesson with this week’s featured restaurant. We’ve chosen a French restaurant as our ROTW on our nation’s birthday because:

1) There would be no Independence Day if the French government hadn’t supplied the Continental Congress and Army with money, food, arms, clothing, ships and soldiers during the Revolutionary War;

2) The American flag is red, white, and blue as a tribute to France (and its flag) and its contribution to our independence;

3) The French gave us the Statue of Liberty;

4) Without France, there would be no: restaurants (which is a French word and a French invention), napoleons, eclairs, croque monsieur, crepes, omelettes, eggs Benedict, souffles, creme brulee, profiteroles, Roquefort, madeleines, bouillabaisse, French bread, French cheese, French fries, French wine or French pastries. Not to mention rouget barbet en ecailles de pommes de terre crousillantes or pigeon en feuillete au chou nouveau et au foie gras. Finally, and most importantly;

5) Without the French, we’d all have pasty complexions and bad teeth and still be eating flavorless food with names like toad in the hole and spotted dick.

So let’s celebrate the Fourth (and the Fourteenth – Bastille Day) in style, and give thanks to our beloved sister country that has given, and continues to give us, loads of good grub and guys who can cook it. And here’s a look at our best French bistro, presided over by the estimable Francois Payard (and his able lieutenant –
Gregory Gorreau) – two of the best chefs in America, and two guys who know how to run a top notch eatery & pastry shop.

RAKU Rocks!

Paul Bartolotta goes there. Rick Moonen goes there. Joe Isidori and David Varley just went, and uber-wine guys Jaime Smith and Ken Fredrickson can’t stay away. In fact every chef and foodie in town is making a pilgrimage these days to an obscure corner of a run-down strip mall that houses this tiny, 30-seat sanctuary of serious Japanese robatayaki cooking.

Raku has only been open two months, but it is probably the single most exciting off-Strip restaurant to open in the past two years. And in terms of finely-tuned food, nothing off the Strip can match it.

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