“In the lexicon of lip-smacking, an epicure is fastidious in his choice and enjoyment of food, just a soupçon more expert than a gastronome; a gourmet is a connoisseur of the exotic, taste buds attuned to the calibrations of deliciousness, who savors the masterly techniques of great chefs; a gourmand is a hearty bon vivant who enjoys food without truffles and flourishes; a glutton overindulges greedily, the word rooted in the Latin for ‘one who devours’. … After eating, an epicure gives a thin smile of satisfaction; a gastronome, burping into his napkin, praises the food in a magazine; a gourmet, repressing his burp, criticizes the food in the same magazine; a gourmand belches happily and tells everybody where he ate; a glutton embraces the white porcelain altar, or, more plainly, he barfs”. – William Safire

If we had to define the local food writing establishment, we at ELV would classify Max Jacobson as a the ultimate gourmet (may his palate and wit return sometime soon), Heidi Knapp Rinella as a gastronome, and Brock Radke and Jim Begley as gourmands.


What are you?

Top Tastes of 2011 in Las Vegas Weekly

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.

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Eat These Now – Two Pizzas at DUE FORNI

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Brock Radke threw down the gauntlet this week by comparing Summerlin pizza (mainly Grimaldi’s and Due Forni) favorably to the superior pies being produced at the east end of town (by Settebello and the original Grimaldi’s). ELV, demonstrating the diplomacy and pizza sense for which he is known, will not take sides in, nor enter this forno fray, but rather, simply chime in by suggesting two pizzas at DF that are worth a special trip: the thin-crusted piccante — strewn with hot soppressata, bufala mozz and fresno peppers —  and the signature Due Forni pie — a mélange (ELV loves him his mélanges) of San Marzano tomatoes, house made sausage, Nueske bacon and pequillo peppers.

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