Eating Las Vegas

John Curtas is …

“The Donald” arrives, and with characteristic modesty, names his restaurant after himself.

DJT The Restaurant opens Monday, April 7, 2008 right off the lobby of the Trump International Hotel and right across the street from Nordstrom’s (how con-VEEN-ient!) It’s a small, dark, 65 seat, club-like space-lilliputian by Vegas standards-with a bar that opens onto a good, old fashioned, no-gambling, hotel lobby loaded with enough glitz and “quality babes” to keep Trump knee-deep in apprentices for seasons to come.

Taking no cues from the owner’s hairstyle, menu is simplicity itself, with 10 starters and mains that are mercifully light on introductory prose (chilled sweet pea soup, duck confit, sous vide halibut, et al…), but we’re confident Executive Chef Joe Isidori and Chef d’Cuisine David Varley (late of the ill-fated Company experiment in the Luxor), will make it dazzle if allowed to follow their muse. Having Lucas Riemens (late of Guy Savoy) man the front of the house is a plus as well. No doubt gourmands will line up to taste slices of true pata negra jamon Iberico, but we’re more interested in Mr. Trump’s bibb wedge salad-that has to be more interesting than it sounds.

It’s now April 12, 2008, and I’m still swooning from the fabulous food Chefs Isidori and Varley laid before me and The Food Gal last night. A full article and review will be forthcoming, but in the meantime feast your eyes on some tasty snaps….

Breaking Martorano’s Balls

We don’t know what’s more offensive about this ode to the Sopranos in the Rio: the glare, the stare, the unappetizing tats, or the $23 meatball on the menu.

The egotistical entreaty: “Don’t break my balls.” printed on the menu is a lame, preemptive strike against any Paulie Walnuts wannabe who might complain about the excessive prices, and the highly mediocre Southern Italian food. Single diners aren’t allowed at tables (even when the place is empty, and likely to remain that way for hours), and no one is allowed to drink cocktails in the dining room for fear of corrupting such innovative recipes as chicken parmagiana and veal marsala.

That $23 meatball, is no joke either, and whether you are a meatball, or just love them, you’ll find better ones at Rao’s just down the street.

John’s Tweets

John at Work Restaurant reviews, quips, picks and pans-with some seriously salivating history-from the man who eats his way through Sin City every day.
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