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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WEERA THAI in Las Vegas Weekly

ELV note: The following article/review was posted today on the Las Vegas Weekly website, and will appear in print tomorrow. Click here to read it  in its on-line format (slightly edited from how it appears below) , or continue below.



Photo: Beverly Poppe

Thai restaurants in America too often come in a one-size-fits-all formula. One Panang curry or pad prik king can taste pretty much like any other, most curries all come from the same cans, and if you’ve had one larb you’ve had them all. Most Thai restaurateurs don’t deviate from these formulas – in fact they depend on them – because they know it is this familiarity that helps them capture the customers who crave the sweet-savory-spicy trifecta of flavors for which this cuisine is famous. Continue reading “WEERA THAI in Las Vegas Weekly”

Best Brunches in Las Vegas Weekly

ELV note: This article appeared in the LVWeekly last Thursday when we were out of town. Our staff thought you might like to view it in this format and file these tasty choices away should you be thinking about where to grab a nosh this weekend.

By: Jim Begley, John Curtas and Brock Radke

Thu, Jul 14, 2011 (midnight)


First’s cinnamon bun French toast

Beverly Poppe

The Weekly food crew guides you to the best Vegas has to offer in sweet, savory, delectable brunchiness.


Bar + Bistro This cozy space has held several restaurants over the past 10 years, none within a bouquerones’ width of what chef Beni Velazquez is doing with his modern tapas menu. A groovy new bar has added some urban cool to the space, and Velazquez’s Hangover Brunch keeps the joint jumpin’ with a cangrejo Benedict mofongo (lump crabmeat with plantain-garlic mash, topped with a fried quail egg), house-made black currant scones and a brioche/flan French toast that will soothe your hunger and headache simultaneously. For those who want to keep the party going, “recovery libations”—sangria, mojitos, Bloody Marys and mimosas—are only $5 apiece. At the Arts Factory, 107 Charleston Blvd., 202-6060. Brunch served Saturday & Sunday, 11 a.m.-3 p.m., dishes priced individually. —JOHN CURTAS

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