The French Have Two Ways of Cooking Meat…

The French have two ways of cooking meat: almost raw or to death.

This prime, aged, Nebraska rib eye is the former and all the better for it.

It was bloody rare, fork-tender, full of rich, roasted, beefy, mineral flavor, and seasoned by a Stradivarius with salt and pepper.

That Bordelaise sauce on the upper right was no slouch either, and neither were the pommes purée to the left.

At first glance we thought the kitchen had shorted us on that sauce (in ELV’s world, too much is never enough), but after a sip from the tiny serving spoon, we knew we were in the presence of greatness. So rich, so velvety, so winy, it felt like the point of singularity for all the beef flavor in the world.

It was a Bordelaise fit for the gods, made by mere mortals as an homage to the ethereal.

Yeah, it was that good. Especially if you know anything about French mother sauces and demi-glaces. A mere dab or two was enough to flavor the steak, but that didn’t keep us from drinking the rest straight from the cup.

The whole kit and kaboodle cost $76 — which may seem like a lot for an 18 oz. steak — but we can’t remember when we’ve had such serious steer…slathered so sinfully with so succulent a savory.

Just thought you’d like to know.


Mandarin Oriental at City Center




PINOT Envy Times Deux 2: a Good Day to DEUX

An interesting idea, credited to the Keeper of the Keys to this blog – Mr. John Curtas- is two critics taking in the same meal, writing a couple articles blind of each other’s impressions, and seeing where that leaves them.  This was doubly fortuitous, as in the making I learned of a crazy-good restaurant, easily overlooked for lack of PR, Pinot Brasserie.  Judging by our overlapping cares and qualms with the Franco-foods, it makes for an interesting look at things.

Pinot Brasserie, perhaps the most overlooked restaurant on the strip, has been punching out what can only be called “some seriously good food”.  Now I am generally loath to talk about food in the way people usually describe a burger stuffed bacon and hair gel, but the dishes coming from the hands of Chefs Eric Lhuiller and John Courtney are definitely -seriously- serious.  The menu has a ton of old-school French staples, from escargot to lobster bisque, precicely what you’d expect from a Brasserie but missing the specter of pomp and pernicious hoity-toity-isms so often looming in even the most traditionally casual French concepts.  A “bouchon” is no longer synonymous with friendly home-spun Lyonnaise sausage-huts, and a “bistro” is anything but modest or moderate, but a brasserie still clings to it’s roots as relaxed.

Chefs Eric and John. Dang, them CHOPS!

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