BOTERO – The Return Of Mark LoRusso

Mark LoRusso deserves to be a show horse. Not that he’s a showy or flashy guy. Far from it. He’s one of those humble, workaholic chefs who prefers to let his cuisine do the talking. As the Chef de Cuisine of Michael Mina’s Aqua (now Michael Mina), he was that kitchen’s secret weapon, and a guy whose reputation among fellow chefs was exalted long before the public had ever heard of him.

His work at Tableau in the Wynn from 2005-2007 earned him Chef of the Year honors in ’07 from KNPR, and when he’s on his game (which is just about every day and night) the guy is the Tiger Woods of kitchen consistency. Unfortunately, what he’s being asked to do at Botero is the equivalent of chaining a thoroughbred to a milk wagon — and then asking it to make deliveries at 50 miles an hour. Thus has the show horse become a work horse, and because of it, the results are mixed.

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What the f…k?

Rumor has it that Switch, the Mark Poidevin-helmed restaurant slated to open soon at Encore at Wynn….or Encore at THE Wynn or THE Encore at THE Wynn, will have a design and decor that switches mid-way through every evening. Get it? This change-o-rama will include: a ceiling that turns over, window and wall coverings that transform themselves….and costume conversions for the entire staff….once a night every night.

Just what these apparel mutations might be is anyone’s guess: Trousers to mini-skirts? Blazers to wife-beaters? Or perhaps from this to this?

And what the f…k does any of this have to do with food? The mind reels.

Steverino’s favorite in-house decor-guy Roger Thomas is the mind behind this design, to which ELV can only say: Go get ’em Rog! But watch out for all them moving parts!