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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Hot Hostess Watch – BOTERO

From pigs to babes:

“Las chicas es son muy caliente!” is how Columbian sculptor/artist Fernando Botero would say it, and ELV could make a joke about how finely sculpted Shantel, Jennifer, Alyssa and the muy atractiva chica Sara {not pictured} — are, but he won’t.

But he will tell you they are so apasionado-inducing that he and his staff would eat at Botero even if Chef Mark LoRusso were cooking up nothing but tocino with cocido.

A Not-So-Happy New Year For Restaurants

ELV POSTS CORRECTION: We mistakenly reported that Woo in The Palazzo had closed. We discovered last night that reports of its death had been greatly exaggerated. All bets are off, however, on its chances for survival. ELV blames his staff and regrets the error.

Now, back to reality.

The headline in Nation’s Restaurant News in June said: “Vegas refuses to fold as economy craps out.” By late September that same banner read: “Hard luck befalls Las Vegas following U.S. housing bust.”

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