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Bartolotta Ristorante Di Mare: 'n Seekos -mekka in die woestyn

Bartolotta Ristorante Di Mare: 'n Seekos -mekka in die woestyn

Langs die winkelsentrum binne die Las Vegas By Wynn Casino vind u die naamrestaurant van Paul Bartolotta, Bartolotta Ristorante Di Mare. Hierdie moderne multi -vlak restaurant, 'n seekos mekka in die middel van die woestyn, voldoen aan sy hype.

Aandete by Bartolotta is 'n besonderse ervaring van begin tot einde. Die Italiaans-geïnspireerde spyskaart word in kursusse opgestel, sodat gaste 'n voorsmakie van verskeie gepaste porsies in een maaltyd kan proe, met die groot finale as die gekose vis. Variëteite met eksotiese name, soos orata, scorfano en gallinella, word gereeld ingevlieg en in groot waentjies aan diners aangebied, en die bedieners doen baie moeite om elke vis aan te dui en die voorbereiding daarvan te beskryf. Met dit in gedagte het ek en my man besluit om die seekatslaai, die linguini en mossels en 'n sout-bedekte branzino te deel.

Ek het al in die verlede seekat slaai gehad, maar nog nooit een so lekker geproe nie. Liggies geklee in olyfolie en suurlemoensap, was die Liguriese seekat so sag dat dit in my mond gesmelt het. Bedien met twee klein aartappels en rucola, was dit die perfekte inleiding tot wat nog sou kom. Die volgende pastagereg was linguini met mossels, wat ook heerlik was, met die pasta wat tot 'n perfekte al dente -konsekwentheid gekook is en presies vir my smaak gesout is.

Die hoofgereg, branzino, was bedek met twee pond sout en gekruid met venkel en sitrus. Ons bediener het die kors op 'n kundige manier verwyder en die vis aan die kant van die vis gevul, terwyl hy die lae en stadige kookmetode beskryf het. Bedek met 'n paar nuwe aartappels en gebraaide courgette, dit was die perfekte porsie vir twee. Hierdie kookmetode, wat algemeen op Sicilië voorkom, produseer 'n klam, amper romerige vis met net 'n sweempie sout. Dit is 'n merkwaardige eenvoudige manier om heerlike vis te kook.

Die nageregspyskaart bevat 'n paar Italiaanse standaarde: semifreddo, Liguriese suurlemoenkoek, gelato en sjokolade -amandelkoek. Ons het die sjokolade -amandelkoek gedeel en kon nie gelukkiger gewees het nie. Bedek met tuisgemaakte vanielje -bone gelato, was dit 'n goeie manier om die maaltyd af te sluit.

Die kwaliteit en voorbereiding van die kos en die kennis en diens wat die personeel van Bartolotta bied, is besonders. As u in Vegas is, lief is vir seekos en 'n paar ekstra dollars wil spandeer, beveel ek 'n ete by Bartolotta sterk aan.


Vind romanse in Vegas

Vergeet wat Nicolas Cage u wil laat glo uit sy meesterstuk uit 1992 Wittebrood in Vegas, dat Vegas nie 'n plek vir liefde is nie. Eintlik moet u regtig aandag gee aan die lesse van Nicolas Cage in 1995 en rsquos Verlaat Las Vegas, waar hy agterkom dat Vegas nie 'n plek vir liefde is nie. Maar op grond van die film lyk dit asof Vegas 'n plek is om Elisabeth Shue naak te sien, so die liefde is dalk nie so belangrik nie. Ek was net ses dae in Vegas en vier dae te lank in mdash, en terwyl jy liefde in Sin City kan vind, kan jy uiteindelik romanties vind in die wonderlike versameling restaurante wat nou in die stad is.

Parys die stad is romanties, Parys die hotel en casino is nie. Dit is omdat Parys eeue se geskiedenis en sjarme agter die rug het, terwyl Vegas 'n 60-jarige toeristeval is wat in 'n woestyn gebou is om hedonisme aan te moedig en lewensbesparings te verminder. Hou dit in gedagte, want romanse in Vegas is die uitsondering, nie die reël nie, en die eerste ding wat u moet leer, is die verskil tussen 'n meisie wat op soek is na romanse en 'n meisie wat op soek is na iets anders. Ken jy die pragtige meisie wat alleen by die video poker bar sit? Sy is nie daar vir romanse nie. Sy is daar sodat u haar aan die einde van die nag kan betaal. Elke aantreklike alleenstaande meisie alleen in Vegas moet eintlik as buite perke beskou word. Dit is net veiliger op die manier. Hou by die voor die hand liggende toeriste, en u is in goeie toestand.

Of jy nou alleen na Vegas of met jou beduidende ander gaan, die ware uitdaging is om die skaars romantiese plekke te vind. Aangesien Vegas pragtig en vreeslik is, is hierdie plekke byna altyd restaurante wat voel asof hulle nie in Vegas is nie. U kan enige restaurant wat deel uitmaak van die casino en die rsquos -winkelsentrum uitskakel. Niemand het ooit romanties gevoel in 'n winkelsentrum nie. Wat u nodig het, is 'n restaurant wat heeltemal geïsoleerd voel van die res van Vegas. Dit laat ons met Mandalay Bay en The Wynn/Encore.

Mandalaybaai kry punte vir Mix van die internasionaal bekroonde sjef Alain Ducasse. Ongelooflike kos en die beste uitsig in die stad sorg vir 'n baie romantiese aand. As u van die 64ste verdieping af soos 'n superskurk van 'n Bond -film wil uitkyk oor u kriminele domein, is Mix die regte plek. Die Wynn en Encore bied egter 'n funksie waarmee Mandalaybaai kan meeding: watervalle. Daar is iets oor 'n goeie waterval wat elke ete in 'n romantiese een verander. Gelukkig loop The Wynn oor van hulle. Of jy nou die fantastiese watervalvertoning by SW Steakhouse geniet of ontspan met 'n bietjie teppanyaki by Okada, die watervalle by The Wynn sorg vir 'n ongelooflike romantiese agtergrond. My nuwe gunsteling het egter nie 'n waterval nie. Nee, Bartolotta het sy eie privaat meer. Afgesonderd en intiem, hierdie & ldquoristorante di mare & rdquo (lees: bootvragte Italiaanse seekos) is my stem vir die mees romantiese plek in Vegas. Ek het twee weke gelede daar geëet saam met 'n vriend van my, en ondanks die feit dat ons albei vriendinne het, het ons amper uitgemaak. Dit is ' s daardie romanties.

Die vind van die perfekte romantiese plek is 'n uitdaging in 'n klas-verhongerde woestyn soos die Vegas Strip. As u slim daaroor is, kan u 'n restaurant kry wat u sal help om die benjamiene wat u net by die craps-tafel weggespoel het, te vergeet. As romanse nie u ding is nie, praat dan met die warm jong ding in die video poker bar. Dit gee nie om as jy haar na Margaritaville neem nie, solank jy die geld aan die einde van die nag op die kommode laat.


All Star Chefs Piekniek in die Vallei van Vuur

'N Groep bekende sjefs met buiteposte in die witwarm Las Vegas kom bymekaar vir 'n koel piekniek op 4 Julie in die Nevada-woestyn.

Die meeste mense sou nie 'n plek kies wat die Vallei van Vuur genoem word vir 'n piekniek nie, maar dan werk die meeste mense nie by die braai van professionele kombuise nie. Dit lyk asof sjefs 'n ander verhouding tot hitte het as die res van ons, veral sjefs met restaurante in die warm Las Vegas. "Ons het selfs voetbal op die rotse gespeel," sê sjef Paul Bartolotta van Bartolotta Ristorante di Mare in Wynn Las Vegas. "Dit was nogal mal."

Vir hierdie piekniek op die vierde Julie in die woestyn, het Bartolotta en sy vriende, insluitend Todd English of Olives Las Vegas, Bradley Ogden van Bradley Ogden in Las Vegas en Wynn Las Vegas & aposs uitvoerende vise -president van restaurante, Elizabeth Blau — op pad na die staat Valley of Fire parkeer, 'n uur buite Vegas, vir 'n klein vakansie. Die piekniekgangers het 'n paar eie geregte oorgedra, plus 'n paar van sjefs wat ten minste hierdie keer nie kon bywoon nie. Bartolotta & aposs ryk Italiaanse tuna, witboontjie en rucola -slaai het die Middellandse See na die woestyn gebring. Engels het 'n piekniekklassieker, aartappelslaai, verryk met drie soorte mosterd. En Craftsteak & aposs Tom Colicchio het peperoncini (ingelegde soetrissies) by sy suurlemoen -kekerertjieslaai gevoeg vir 'n lekker happie.

Nadat die slaaie begin is, het die groep begin toebroodjies uitpak. Rokerige spek en verkruimelde bloukaas het Ogden & aposs se knapperige hoendersubs onweerstaanbaar gemaak. Emeril Lagasse van Emeril & aposs New Orleans Fish House Las Vegas verskaf pikante muffulettas, gevul met salami, mortadella, provolone -kaas en olyfslaai. As nagereg het die sjef Sherry Yard van Wolfgang Puck & aposs Spago (wat 'n buitepos in Las Vegas het) 'n afskilferige, botterige, bytgrootte nektarientert bygedra en hoeveel weet niemand. Hulle is so vinnig verslind dat daar geen kans was om dit te tel nie.


The Fine Dining Restaurants of Vegas “ Top Chef ”

Die Houston Chronicle het onlangs 'n stuk oor gedoen Top sjef, erken die sjefs en lekker restaurante van Vegas. Hier is die lys.

Die sjef Alessandro Stratta se weelderige Alex bedien wat hy die Franse Riviera noem. Ons noem dit wonderbaarlik. Alles oor die onderneming - die weelderige interieur, die kundige diens, die uitstekende kos - is die beste van sy spel. Alex word gehuisves in Wynn Las Vegas, met 'n verleentheid van kookkuns, en bied geregte soos John Dory met fondant -aartappel, seeforel met verkoolde inktvis, knapperige varkbuik met ertjies en Serrano -ham, gebraaide Amerikaanse Wagyu -ribbetjies met uie konfyt en gebraaide skurfte met geskroeide foie gras. As u van plan is, kan u net sowel die proe -spyskaart van $ 295 insluit, insluitend wyne. U lewe immers net een keer.

(Fotokrediet/sterbulletins: sjef Alessandro se skepping#8217)

Bartolotta Ristorante di Mare

Daar is 'n rede Paul Bartolotta het vanjaar die beste sjef in die suidweste gewen met die James Beard -toekennings van#8217. Sy restaurant in Wynn Las Vegas word deur voedselkritici beskryf as een van die asemrowendste seekoservarings ter wêreld. Daar is baie geskryf oor die restaurant se manier waarop seediere daagliks ingevlieg word. Maar die ware maat is u eie smaak: kies die hele branzino (seebaars), orata (brasem) of geroosterde aragosta (stekelkreef). Van die klein mossels in knoffel -tamatiesous tot die seekosrisotto tot die tarbot, Bartolotta wil beïndruk. En beïndruk hy doen. Die pryse kan Poseidon skok, maar u sal ver moet reis om 'n beter Italiaanse seekoservaring te vind.

BLT Burger

Uitstekende restaurante ly moontlik onder hierdie ekonomie, wat van 'n burger (veral 'n goeie een) 'n logiese aandete maak. Sjef Laurent Tourondel, gesien in Afdeling 4, weet van 'n goeie burger, en sy BLT Burger in Mirage is gereed om die Amerikaanse Amerikaanse maaltyd voor te sit, gekombineer met kundige friet en dik melkskommels. Die spoggerige restaurant laat jou soos 'n volwasse speler voel terwyl jy met gemaklike kosse soos mozzarella-stokkies, uieringe, nacho's, s ’mores en Krispy Kreme-broodpoeding gekombineer word. Moeilik om te weerstaan, so moenie probeer nie.

Bouchon

Dit is 'n bietjie moeite om Thomas Keller se bruisende bistro in die Venesiaanse Venezia -toring te vind. Maar u belonings is baie in hierdie groot kafee van die sjef wie se Franse wasgoed een van die gewildste eetervarings ter wêreld is. Bouchon bedien Franse Franse bistro -geregte, insluitend bokkaasslaai, eendkonfyt, gebraaide skaapboud, croque madame, brandade, steakfrites en profiteroles. Dit is huislike kos in 'n informele omgewing wat ontbyt, middagete en aandete bied. Die brood is hemels. Moenie die rillette van salm misloop nie (en verskoning om nog meer brood te eet). Die rou kroeg is gereed om oesters en 'n koue glas Sancerre voor te sit. In die middel van die woestyn voel jy of jy in Parys is.

Craftsteak

Hoofbeoordelaar Tom Colicchio se chique steakhouse in MGM Grand is waarskynlik die beste Top sjef restaurant. Dieselfde laseroog wat Colicchio op deelnemers oplei, is gefokus op sy spyskaart met gebraaide en gebraaide vleis bo -op die beeshoop. Maar soos ons gesien het in seisoen 6 ’s episode met Natalie Portman, Craftsteak is meer as 'n koei -tempel; dit bedien ook onberispelike seekos en die mees ongerepte groente. As u 'n begeerte het om Vegas te verblind, sal u dit nie in hierdie taamlike ernstige eetkamer vind nie. Maar u kry kundige diens en uitstekende kos.


Vir sjefs in Las Vegas word die kans langer

Robert Martinez, 'n 33-jarige kelner by Rao's in die Caesars-paleis, het gesê dat hierdie swaargewigte 'n waaier van $ 100-rekeninge gehad het en dit aan almal in die personeel gegee het, en 'n vrygewige fooi van $ 12 000 tot $ 15 000 tjeks gegee het.

Maar nou, sê Kevin Carter, 'n 49-jarige kelner by Craftsteak in die MGM Grand Hotel and Casino, "die walvisse het getrek."

Verlede jaar was 'n vierde van die restaurante met die hoogste wins in die land in Las Vegas. Maar die fees het oorgegaan na hongersnood. Minder onthullers kom aan, en hulle spandeer minder. Terwyl die ekonomie op dreef kom, is meer as 5 000 voedsel- en restaurantwerkers hier werkloos.

"Ons kyk uit en ons sien elke straalvliegtuig kom en gaan," sê Michael N. Baker (50), 'n kelner vir agt jaar in die Top of the World -restaurant in die Stratosphere Casino Hotel -toring. 'Hulle was die hele dag lank gestapel,' het hy bygevoeg. 'Toe was daar niks daar buite nie. Dit was skrikwekkend. ”

Baie van die 2 900 restaurante in die stad word deur moegheid gepla.

'Dit was goud, en skielik het dit goud geword,' het Malcolm M. Knapp gesê, wat aan die hoof is van 'n restaurantkonsultantfirma wat sy naam dra.

Bill Lerner, 'n skoolhoof van Union Gaming, 'n navorsingsonderneming, het gesê dat daar 'te veel vyfster-restaurante, shows, spa's-te veel bekende sjefs' is.

On the Strip, naby Circus Circus, is die gapende leegte van die Echelon-projek van $ 4,8 miljard wat verlede Augustus gestaak is saam met sy 12 tot 15 nuwe restaurante, waaronder dié van sjefs soos David Chang van Momofuku Ko in Manhattan.

Die onvoltooide, spieëlblou oog van die Fontainebleau-toring van $ 2,9 miljard, teenoor Circus Circus, hang soos 'n profesie oor die stad. Dit het bankrot geraak en 6 000 poste saamgeneem.

Maar in die heelal van die woestynrestaurante het daar nou 'n spieëlbeeld ontstaan ​​wat redding of ondergang kan beteken: die CityCenter -projek van $ 8,5 miljard.

Die CityCenter-casino, hotel, konvensiesentrum, winkelsentrum, woon- en vermaaklikheidsmetropool wemel van konstruksiekrane en glinster in die son van 100 grade.Dit lyk soos 'n hallusinogene Red Grooms-parodie van die Las Vegas Strip. Die ontwikkeling strek oor 'n kwartmyl, van die Bellagio tot by die Monte Carlo Resort and Casino, en sal na verwagting in Desember oopmaak.

Ongeveer 30 restaurante moet die mengelmoes van sewe geboue bewoon - van tapse torings tot kristallyne skerwe - ontwerp deur agt beroemde argitekte, waaronder Sir Norman Foster en Daniel Libeskind. Die konsepte van geliefde sjefs word vertoon en tereggestel, waaronder Pierre Gagnaire, Michael Mina, Masayoshi Takayama, Wolfgang Puck en Jean-Georges Vongerichten.

Vir sommige bied CityCenter, ontwikkel deur MGM Mirage en Dubai World, skatte wat die gons en gejaag oorskry: 4000 kos- en restaurantgeleenthede, 'n derde van die 12.000 nuwe werksgeleenthede in die kompleks.

Maar as dit bestaande restaurante kannibaliseer, kan dit hierdie eens slaperige spoorwegstop wat deur 'n groot hoeveelheid sand omring word, verder verwond.

Sin City het reeds 'n sandkas geword met aansporings, afslag en promosies, waar selfs luukse eiendomme soos die Bellagio gratis hotelaande aanbied, plus dobbel-, kos- en drankkoepons aan hul klubkaartklante.

Sommige toeriste wat ekonomies is, vlug uit hul casino's om buite die strook te eet. Maar restaurante in die buurt is onder toenemende druk van die Strip af, aangesien inwoners soos nog nooit tevore deur casino's met 'n "verblyfpakket" wat restaurant -etes insluit, voorgehou word nie.

Te midde van die smouse en kaartjieblaaie vir begeleide motors ding daar 'n duizelingwekkende oorvloed aan winskopies mee. Dit sluit reuse-aanbiedinge in vir die “$ 5,99 New York Steak N Eggs” by Bill's Gamblin 'Hall & Saloon, die reuse-advertensiebord by die Tropicana Casino & amp Resort met sy "Legendary Lobster Special $ 19,95" en die uiteindelike ooreenkoms, die advertensieborde van Siegel Suites. verkondig "Leef hier eet gratis."

Aan die hoë kant is daar 'n woestynfeest met geadverteerde "somersmaak -spyskaarte" by die MGM Grand ($ 60 by Craftsteak, $ 59 by Shibuya, $ 45 by SeaBlue, $ 39 by Nobhill Tavern). By Aureole and Mix in die Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino is daar nuwe prix fixe -spyskaarte. Mario Batali en David Burke in die Venesiër bied ook Wolfgang Puck by Spago in Caesars Palace en 'Taste of Wynn'-promosies (insluitend $ 36-spyskaarte by Society Café Encore en Daniel Boulud Brasserie) aan.

Steve Wynn, die voorsitter van Wynn Resorts, het gesê dat sy kliënte "nie die bottel Margaux koop nie, en dat hulle nie soveel bestel nie - maar hulle is hier." Sy Wynn en Encore, net soos verskeie eiendomme aan die hoë kant, het 'n besetting van 90 persent.

Wynn het gesê dat hy aangemoedig word dat "die boekingsvenster elke maand langer word - dit was vroeër 90 dae, dan 30 verlede herfs, nou kom dit terug - en ook besprekings is aan die gang."

Verlede jaar “val die hemelruim en mense skrik”, sê Elizabeth Blau, 'n restaurantkonsultant. 'Nou het dinge gestabiliseer.'

Maar vir baie restauranteurs in Las Vegas is flat nog steeds die nuutste ding, en vir sommige, "met 10 persent laer, dit is die nuwe woonstel", sê Joseph Bastianich, vennoot van Mario Batali in drie restaurante by die Venetian Resort Hotel and Casino.

Mnr. Bastianich het gesê dat sy Carnevino Italian Steakhouse in die Palazzo in die Venesiaan vanjaar $ 18 miljoen se inkomste beloop, maar nou "verwag ons $ 13 miljoen tot $ 14 miljoen."

Sirio Maccioni, 'n pionier in fynproewers in Las Vegas met sy restaurante Le Cirque en Osteria del Circo in die Bellagio, het gewaarsku dat 'dit baie lank sal neem voordat dit weer terugkeer soos dit was'. Hy het opgemerk dat die inkomste uit sy restaurante onlangs met 5 tot 10 persent gedaal het, en dat dit verlede jaar met 25 persent gedaal het.

Kelners by hoë kwaliteit eiendomme het 'n afname in wenke van 20 tot 50 persent gehad. 'Ons ledetal het sedert verlede jaar met 10 of 11 persent gedaal,' sê D. Taylor, sekretaris -tesourier van die Culinary Workers Union Local 226, wat 50 000 voedsel- en drankwerkers en ander werknemers in hotelle en casino's verteenwoordig.

Mnr. Martinez van Rao's het gesê dat die personeel ingestem het om die werksweek van 5 dae na 4 en op die werksdag van 8 uur tot 6 te verminder, net om al hul werk te red. Hy beraam dat die gemiddelde tjekkoste vir sy tafels $ 30 tot $ 50 was.

En 'n grimmige resessiespel van musikale leerstoel het begin. Francisco Rufino, 'n 33-jarige braaikok in die casino-hotel in Parys, die afgelope nege jaar, is daar na 'n kafee gestamp weens besnoeiings in 'n casino-restaurant. 'Op sy beurt het ek 'n ander kok, wat ontslaan is, verplaas,' het hy gesê.

Tog het baie nog hoop. Mnr. Bastianich beplan 'n restaurant in die Venesiaanse, met die voorlopige titel Nancy's Luncheonette, en bied die kos aan van Nancy Silverton, sy Los Angeles -vennoot in Osteria Mozza saam met Batali.

Mnr. Maccioni, wat gesê het dat hy 75 is, het nie daarvan weerhou om 'n restaurant met 'n Toskaanse tema in CityCenter te open nie-"met 175 sitplekke en 'n pragtige kroeg," het hy gesê-om Sirio genoem te word.

Die restauranteurs van die stad het skaars opgehou om tot 'n verstommende vlak te styg deur verfynde verhemelte luukse te bied. Die 300-sitplek Carnevino bied bronverifieerde beesvleis, wat sewe weke lank drooggemaak is in sy eie verouderingsfasiliteit in Las Vegas, waar rekenaarskyfies lugvloei en humiditeit beheer.

En die 230-sitplek Bartolotta Ristorante di Mare in die Wynn vlieg elke week 'n ton seekos in van die Middellandse See, insluitend krappies uit Venesië en keiserlike rooi garnale uit Marokko. Van die vis word lewendig afgelewer, en dit word alles vervoer "op passasiersvliegtuie wat vlieg, of my vis daarop is of nie," sê Paul Bartolotta (48), wat eens by Taillevent in Parys opgelei het en by Spiaggia gekook het. Chicago.

Rick Moonen by RM Seafood in die Mandalaybaai bied drie soorte ooskus aan die ooskus, sowel as lewende Dungeness -krappe en krewe van Maine. 'U moet mal wees om volhoubare seekos in die middel van die woestyn te wil aanbied,' het mnr. Moonen, wat in 2002 met drie sterre van The New York Times bekroon is vir sy werk by RM Seafood in Manhattan, en nou, soos Mnr. Bartolotta woon hier.

Maar meneer Moonen en ander vind dat luukse hulle deesdae net so ver kan neem. By sy slanke restaurant van $ 6 miljoen met 'n nautiese tema, is die volume hoër, maar die tjekgemiddeld, wat vroeër $ 65 tot $ 70 was, is nou "in die veertigerjare". Drie maande gelede moes mnr. Moonen sy 80-sitplekke, RM Seafood Upstairs, met 'n gemiddelde tjek van $ 120, sluit. 'Dit was 'n vreeslike dag,' het hy gesê, 'maar ons heropen in die herfs.'

Alessandro Stratta het gesê dat sy gemaklike restaurant in Wynn Las Vegas, Stratta, met die gemiddelde tjekkoste van $ 60, "vanjaar 30 persent besiger is as verlede jaar." Maar sy eksklusiewe restaurant, Alex, met 'n gemiddelde tjek van $ 320 per persoon, het 'n afname van 15 persent en is nou vier dae oop in plaas van vyf.

In hierdie ekonomie, sê David McIntyre, vise -president vir kos en drank by die MGM Grand, "is dit nie genoeg om net 'n prix fixe -spyskaart te kry nie, u moet u produk herdefinieer."

Dus het die casino se Nobhill Tavern sy spyskaarte herontdek en nou is daar 'n daling van 40 persent per tjek, 'het mnr. McIntyre gesê. 'Maar ons het nou 'n toename van 60 % in totale volume.

En hoewel die 66-sitplek Joël Robuchon nog steeds 'n 16-gang $ 385-spyskaart bied, bedien dit nou twee kursusse vir $ 89.

Daarom word daar nie algemeen op die koms van mededingende restaurante by CityCenter gewag nie.

'Ek wens niemand kwaad toe nie,' het mnr. Bartolotta gesê, 'maar het ons nog 20 restaurante nodig? Nee, nou jaag almal om 'n deel van 'n krimpende tert.

Maar Bart Mahoney, vise -president vir kos en drank van die CityCenter -vennoot MGM Mirage, het gesê dat "ons hoop om die mark te laat groei."

Robert Goldstein, die 54-jarige president van 'n mededinger, die Venesiaan, klink besonders oor CityCenter terwyl hy in sy kantoor op die tweede verdieping sit en uitkyk op die casino se kenmerkende replikas van 90 persent van die Campanile en die brug van die sug. 'Dit gaan nie die einde van die wêreld wees nie, en dit sal nie die toerisme in Las Vegas weer begin nie,' het hy gesê. 'Dit is nog 'n projek wat in 'n moeilike tyd begin.'

Hy verwys na 'n voorbladartikel van Life van 20 Junie 1955, wat hy 'n raamwerk gemaak het wat 'n cancan -danser uitbeeld en 'Las Vegas - Is Boom overextended?'

Hy het bygevoeg: 'Las Vegas is nou 'n bietjie af, en op die oomblik is die stad oorbou. Maar dink u regtig dat dit alles sal verdwyn en na swart gaan? ”


Fortune -etes

Ek het Danny Meyer, alwetende restaurateur van New York, gebel en vir hom gesê ek het 'n vraag oor Las Vegas.

Voordat ek kon aangaan, het hy my afgesny.

'Die antwoord is geld,' het hy gesê. "Wat is die vraag?"

Dit sou dit gewees het: Waarom kan sjefs nie nee sê nie?

Vandag gaan almal na Las Vegas om te dobbel, behalwe sjefs, wat soontoe gaan met hul lotgevalle. Noem 'n sjef wat 'n kookboek (goed) gepubliseer het, 'n James Beard -toekenning (beter) gewen het, gereeld op televisie verskyn (beste) of sy eie kookprogram (boerpot) het, en iemand uit Vegas sal bel. Die nuwe leuse van die Vegas hotel mob: Kill 'em with cash.

Voordat ekutives in Vegas die wonderlike winspotensiaal van voedsel ontdek het, was ek mal daaroor. Nie by die buffette nie, daardie voerkrale vir die mensdom. Ek praat van 'n vroeër tyd, toe elke hotel drie soorte restaurante gehad het - nie meer nie, nie minder nie. Hulle het oor die stad gepraat op dieselfde manier as wat die Brown Derby van Hollywood gepraat het, en nou is hulle weg.

Die koffiewinkels was gemeenskapsentrums, spilpunte van politieke, sosiale en soms selfs gesinslewe. Die beste was in die Caesars -paleis, waar ek in 1968 Thanksgiving -ete saam met die hotel se hoof van dobbelary, 'n ou familievriend, geëet het. Hy wou my 'n goeie uitstuur gee voordat ek na Vietnam vertrek, en hy het 'n paar tafels bymekaargesit en ek het kalkoen geëet en saam met sy gesin gestop. Daarna het sy vrou my haar pienk Pontiac -cabriolet aan my geleen om deur die stad te ry, en hy het my 'n vertoonmeisie geleen vir toe ek nie in die stad rondry nie.

Die casino -vertoonlokale was nie net bedoel vir loopbaanmeisies wat verdwaal het nie. Hulle het ook gesorg vir koninklike eet (gewoonlik op prima rib) voordat Steve en Eydie die verhoog pak. Die sitkamer in die vertoonlokaal is byna altyd in teaterstyl, en u kry nie 'n gratis optrede tydens aandete nie, tensy u lus is om in King Arthur's Arena te spring (invallende leërs! Dansende meisies!). Die fynproewerskamers was vir hoë rollers - hulle is nog nie walvisse genoem nie. Byna almal was verplig, 'n praktyk wat tot in die negentigerjare vasgehou het. Die fynproewerskamers beskik oor die algemeen oor die mooiste gastronomie plus die eerste groeiende Bordeaux uit slegte jare. Hulle het wonderlike name gehad: Sultan's Table at the Dunes, die Regency Room by die Sands Palace Court by Caesars Palace House of Lords in die Sahara en die Candlelight Room by die Flamingo.

As u die afgelope paar jaar in Vegas was, dink u waarskynlik dat dit 'n wonderlike restaurantstad geword het. Jy mag reg wees. Dit is net nie 'n baie goeie kosstad nie. Die hotelrestaurante - niemand gee om vir die ander soorte nie - is almal dieselfde, grillerig en duur. Hulle het geen beduidende verskille nie, behalwe vir hul versierings, wat redelik verstommend kan wees, van Limoges-porselein tot met swane-gevulde strandmere. Tog, wanneer elke restaurant $ 6 miljoen tot $ 10 miljoen kos om te bou, oortref ooreenkomste die onderskeid. Dit is die vloek van die te welvarende: daar is net soveel plekke waar 'n persoon met onbeperkte geld kan inkopies doen.

Lekker eet in Vegas gaan oor die glinsterende en die nuwe. Dit is 'n eksklusiewe korporatiewe kombuis vir die massas. Dit gaan oor die sitplek van baie mense en dit vinnig na die casino's en die vertoonlokale bring. Die meeste kliënte ploeg binne negentig minute deur hul proe -spyskaarte, maar al wat u hoef te doen is om te vra en die kos kom nog vinniger. Grootte is nie beperk tot vierkante beeldmateriaal nie. Kubieke voet tel ook baie. Restaurante moet nie net breed wees nie, hulle moet ook hoog wees-twee en veertig voet in die geval van Aureole. Is almal gelukkig? Ek is bevrees dit is so.

Hier is 'n nuusbrief: Hierdie nuwe restaurante verander nie net die stad nie. Hulle verander ook die lekker eetgoed in Amerika. Dit is groot nuus. Vegas is tot 40 miljoen grootoogbesoekers per jaar, en hul enigste verpligte ontspanningsaktiwiteit, behalwe om dom te wees, is om te eet. Vegas is nou die sjabloon waar lesse oor eet goed ingeprent word in die kollektiewe bewussyn van Amerika.

Onervare kliënte kom agter dat luukse restaurante sintuiglike oorgawe bied, gekombineer met gastronomiese eenvormigheid. As hulle hul geld in San Francisco of New York spandeer, leer hulle dalk iets anders, maar hulle gaan nie na dié stede om volwaardige gaste te word nie, nie meer nie. Hul skoollokale is restaurante wat gerig is op byeenkomste, uitgawes en uitgawes, vakansies sonder geskiedenis of tradisies, restaurante wat tien jaar gelede nie bestaan ​​het nie.

Hier is die eerste ontstellende boodskap: hulle word geleer dat 'n restaurant wonderlik kan wees, selfs al het dit geen verlede, geen persoonlikheid en geen uniekheid nie. Amerika het voedselstandaardisering uitgevind om vyftien sent hamburgers te verkoop, en nou is die monster los.

Besoekers aan Vegas glo dat die eet in die restaurant van sjef Guy Savoy in Caesars Palace nie anders is as om in sy restaurant in Parys te eet nie, en dat die eet in Daniel Boulud Brasserie in Vegas dieselfde is as om by Daniel in New York te eet. (Guy Savoy in Vegas is inderdaad bedoel om 'n kulinêre replika te wees, maar Boulud se ietwat toevallige plek in die Wynn verskil aansienlik van die vlagskip van New York.) Vir gemiddelde Amerikaners - absoluut tevrede met aanpassings en te onverskillig of te blasé om omgee om oorspronklike te ervaar. —Vegas het die regte ding geword.

Ek weet nie eers meer wat die name aan restaurante beteken nie. Verteenwoordig Daniel Boulud en Guy Savoy regte mense vir diegene wat in hul restaurante eet, of is dit bloot logo's? Miskien word Bobby Flay en Emeril Lagasse as vlees en bloed beskou omdat hulle op TV gesien word. Almal anders is 'n handelsmerk. Vir neofiete is sjefs nie meer mense wat kook nie.

Die skuldige hier is handelsmerk, wat sinnelose replikasie is. Charlie Palmer, 'n sjef met twee Vegas-restaurante, beplan 'n woonstel-hotel, die volgende (maar beslis nie finale) stap in die skep van 'n omvattende Charlie Palmer-leefstyl. Dit gebeur in die naam van ons twee groot Amerikaanse ambisies, om geld te verdien en om pret te hê.

Die wesenlike uiteensetting van die lekker eetervaring is die voorkoms van beroemde sjefs. Ek het na dertien restaurante in Vegas gegaan, en slegs drie sjefs was daar: Paul Bartolotta van Bartolotta Ristorante di Mare in die Wynn Guy Savoy, in die stad vir die opening van sy restaurant in Caesars Palace en Tom Colicchio, wat Craftsteak in die MGM Grand bedryf . Colicchio was toevallig in die stad en het 'n episode van Top sjef vir Bravo, om nie aan te dui dat hy nie tussen die take in die kombuis geswoeg het nie. Sjefs met restaurante in Vegas verdien waarskynlik $ 300,000 tot $ 750,000 per jaar, basies vir die gebruik van hul naam. 'N Paar wat gereeld aan die werk kom, kan ekstra bonusse verdien om op te daag.

Die meeste restaurante in Vegas, ongeag die koste, is 'n eksklusiewe franchise. Hulle het groot name, groot begrotings en weinig anders. Hulle is uitklophoue. Dit is tragies, want franchising vernietig kreatiwiteit. Dit stop die ontwikkeling van sjefs. Dit mislei kliënte. Gevestigde restauranteienaars stem meestal nie saam met my nie.

Ek het Drew Nieporent, die beroemde restaurateur van New York, gevra of hy dink dat 'n replika van 'n gekoesterde onderneming beter is as die oorspronklike van 'n sjef wat nie berug is nie, en hy antwoord: 'Die afslag is beter.' Hy het 'n tak van Nobu in die Hard oopgemaak Rock Hotel & amp Casino - toe ek in Vegas was, was dit die moeilikste bespreking. Hy sê: 'Hierdie groot ontwikkelaars bel eerder iemand soos ek as om iets nuuts en oorspronklik te skep. Dit is maklik, en dit is verpak. Dit is eintlik van die kaarte af. Hulle dink dit is moeiteloos, en vir iemand met geld is dit die geval. ' goed soos Spago in Beverly Hills. Ek weet nie of dit so is nie, maar is 'n Spago wat 85 persent so goed is as die oorspronklike beter as 'n hoteloperateur wat 'n restaurant oopmaak?

Ek het by Nobu in New York en in Vegas geëet. Dieselfde geld vir Spago in Beverly Hills en in Vegas. Die probleem is dat hulle nie 85 persent is nie. Ek gee 60 persent aan Nobu in Vegas, deels omdat die besoedeling slordig is en deels omdat die gewrig chaoties is. Spago in Vegas drops under 50 percent because it’s not nearly as ambitious as the estimable Spago in Beverly Hills and because the food seems to be ecuted mechanically—the famous Chinese chicken salad looked and tasted as though it had been assembled in a Cuisinart.

Trotter is correct in principle: If those restaurants were at 85 percent, they might be acceptable, but they’re not close. They lack animation and spirit. Most are classy looking, but they look like the creations of hotel corporations, not restaurateurs, and the most exciting day for a hotel ecutive is the one in which a chandelier salesman stops by. There are no adventures in dining in Las Vegas. Missing are independent-minded restaurants, such as Montrachet in New York and Charlie Trotter’s in Chicago, the places that launched the careers of Nieporent and Trotter.

Visitors to Vegas are getting the message that restaurants aren’t worth patronizing if they haven’t made a name for themselves somewhere else.

Even before Las Vegas ecutives created their new economic prototype—hotels, casinos, and restaurants as revenue partners—hotel dining in America had undergone a revival. Owners realized that restaurants could bring life, as well as customers, to the terrible void that was their lobbies and bars. And if they brought in restaurants with the right names, the seats were practically presold. Only beloved old Broadway musicals are more of a sure thing. Vegas gets no credit for ending the terrible ennui that was hotel dining. What it has done brilliantly is work out a particular ambience problem. It created a perverse form of alfresco dining, seating areas open not to the air but to the noise and lights of the casino. To some guests, this constitutes entertainment. At the very least, the clatter is an excuse for people dining together to engage in no conversation whatsoever.

Hotel planners follow systems, like card counters at blackjack tables. The architect David Rockwell, who designed the interior of the Mohegan Sun in Connecticut, calls the climactic design element at every Vegas hotel the Big Weenie. He explains, “It can be a lake, a volcano, a sphinx, a pyramid.“

There are Restaurant Weenies, too. The most famous is Aureole’s four-story wine tower, which features “wine angels“ soaring up and down on wires—they have a lot more in common with rappelling Army Rangers to me. The ultimate Restaurant Weenies are at Alain Ducasse’s Mix in Las Vegas, on the sixty-fourth floor of the Hotel at Mandalay Bay. Above the bar, suspended from the ceiling, is an intimate seating area my showgirl-quality waitress described as “a strawberry that’s landed in the dessert.“ In the dining room is a huge white amorphous blob, a kind of space platform, possibly representing a champagne bubble. Celebrities canoodle in both the berry and the bubble.

The most normal-looking restaurant I visited was Michael Mina’s. It has low ceilings, an open kitchen, and simplicity of design. I never ate in one similar to it. The overly colorful Bartolotta Ristorante di Mare is a tribute to a time-honored fishing technique—toss a stick of dynamite into a lake and splatter bits and pieces of things everywhere. The room has several centerpieces, Mini-Weenies, huge urns that appear to serve no apparent purpose, although they are large enough to hide the bodies that the Mob used to bury in the desert. Oddly, this restaurant also offers one of the most serene and attractive dining options in Vegas, cabana-style tables circling an artificial lake. Such a wacky indoor-outdoor contrast could exist only in the mind of a Vegas entrepreneur.

Absent from Vegas restaurants are women. Don’t expect hatcheck girls. There are none. Don’t look for female celebrity chefs. Not represented. Mother Nature doesn’t get much respect, either. In Vegas, the natural world exists only in bogus form. Hotel owners love ordering up artificial lakes or indoor gardens, and most are predictably calming, an exception being Wynn’s Lake of Dreams. I found it unsettling to eat while staring out at a bunch of semi-immersed statues that seemed to represent naked gamblers drowning themselves after losing their shirts. At Bartolotta Ristorante di Mare, just as the chef was telling me that he wanted his restaurant to feel as though it were on the coast of Italy with speedboats roaring by, along came a vacuum-cleaning machine about the size of a Zamboni, noisily sweeping the carpet outside his front door.

Noticeably missing from Vegas restaurants are smells, which are sucked away with uncanny efficiency. Hotels are continually invaded by tourist bodies sweaty from walking up and down the Strip. Once a magical string of lights, the Strip has been transformed into a garish indoor-outdoor mall with a scorching pedestrian walkway. Walkers walk in. Walkers cool off. Walkers walk out. The coefficient of perspiration—my term—must be stupendous. Without gigantic ventilation systems, hotels would ripen. Think of the crew quarters on nuclear submarines. Still, something is lost when restaurants become as sterile as operating rooms.

Another lesson: The natural world never wins in Vegas.

Las Vegas is essentially artificial, a cubic zirconium. The hotels shimmer in the desert, one part Imax, one part simulacrum, one part mirage. The city offers one great experience that no other major city on earth can match, free parking for one and all. (You can upgrade to valet parking at no additional charge.) The restaurants are the apex of American extravagance. They have the tallest ceilings, the biggest rooms, the largest portions, and the maximum prices. This, by the way, is good news for struggling chefs across the country. The people who visit Las Vegas are learning to pay staggering prices for food.

Surf and turf at Michael Mina’s goes for $85. Rack of lamb at Joël Robuchon’s L’Atelier, $55. Colicchio’s ten-ounce Kobe filet, $110. My meal for two at the newly opened Guy Savoy was about $500 without wine. The last man I knew who operated an all-comp room was Trotter. He opened at the MGM Grand in 1994 and was out of business a little more than a year later. A nonrival restaurateur said of Trotter’s failure, “He did tasting menus, the same as he was doing in Chicago. That’s just what a person who has lost $50,000 gambling wants to eat—minuscule portions for four hours.“


4 thoughts on &ldquo RM SEAFOOD &rdquo

I agree with you John, Chef Moonen is more than deserving of recognition by Michelin and also the James Beard Foundation.

His knowledge of not only seafood, but the sugar content of different types of peaches (paired with silky foie gras), is incredible-and it shows in his cuisine.

In my book, while some of the other upscale fish restaurants in town are quite good, I think RM’s overall cuisine, (which focuses on seafood), ranks it as the top seafood restaurant in town.

We ate at the downstairs RM Seafood restaurant on Wednesday and I got the Restaurant Week menu with the crab cake and scallops. The food was okay but pretty pedestrian. My scallops were gritty and I thought the red pepper coulis was too sweet and overpowered the scallops. The service was really annoying too with the waiter taking everyone’s plates as soon as people finished, even though other people were still eating.

I wasn’t planning on going back there, is the upstairs restaurant worth a second chance?

I would definately recommend the upstairs dining room. We found the service to be almost too attentive. Not to the point of taking plates away too fast like you experienced at the Cafe. (But how many times can they scrape the crumbs off the table cloth!).

Really, they were very gracious and all of the wait staff were well-informed as to how the dishes were prepared and the source of the ingredients. The wine service was especially good.

We ate upstairs a couple of weeks ago and everything was superb. Even my abalone dish was cooked perfectly and every dish on the table was completely on point. Sommelier/GM Jeff Eichelberger is a consummate professional and is creating a amazing list of sustainably farmed wines to compliment Chef Moonen’s sustainable food philosophies. I have always been a big fan of Rick Moonen the person and now I am an extremely big fan of Rick Moonen the Chef!

PS. The Ice Cream game is the perfect way the end the meal, especially after two bottles of wine!


10 GREAT MEALS

If you eat one meal in Las Vegas, do it at Lotus. (Well, that and breakfast at the Wynn buffet – see below.) Yes, this Thai dive has been lauded coast to coast, but it still feels like one of the city’s best-kept secrets, largely due to its location. It’s tucked away inside Commercial Center, one of Vegas’ most famously dodgy strip malls, east of the Strip. Stores run the gamut from Serge’s Showgirl Wigs to a Filipino Christian church to a variety of sex clubs licensed (but poorly concealed) as novelty shops and health spas. Don’t let that put you off some of the best Thai food west of the Mississippi. Easy-to-miss, the walls of this diminutive dining room are plastered with the hundreds of press clippings that justifiably praise chef Saipin Chutima’s cooking. Avoid the bafflingly bad lunch buffet and request the Chiang Mai menu to try her northern specialties like sai ua (country pork sausage full of basil) and kai soi (curry noodles garnished with pickled vegetable, red shallots and lime). A warning: Trust the waiters on the heat levels or you’ll leave with seared taste buds. From the main menu, try seared scallops with chile and mint leaves, tangy beef jerky and fried, salted fish chunks. Cool down with the other big surprise: Lotus’s incredible wine list, full of hard-to-find Rieslings that perfectly douse the flames.

INFO: 953 E. Sahara Ave. (702) 735-3033

2) Rosemary’s Restaurant

This mostly-locals spot on Sahara, just ten minutes west of the Strip, serves incredible comfort food derived from the Southern and Midwestern roots of chefs Michael and Wendy Jordan, influenced by France. If it sounds like a strange combo, you’ll be converted when you try the dishes. The menu changes often, but some items thankfully never go away, like Hugo’s Texas BBQ shrimp, served over Maytag bleu-cheese-laced coleslaw. Other standouts include thick pork chops with hopping John (rice and peas seasoned with fatback) and Creole mustard reduction and striped bass with crispy skin atop a hash of andouille sausage, rock shrimp, and fingerling potatoes with a Creole meuniére sauce. The best time to go is Sunday nights, when chefs and sommeliers come here on their nights off, bottles of wine are half-price and you can eat at the bar or one of the high tables surrounding it and overhear some of the best restaurant-industry gossip in Las Vegas.

INFO: 8125 W. Sahara Ave. (702) 869-2251 rosemaryrestaurant.com

3) Bartolotta Ristorante di Mare

One of the most extravagant Mediterranean seafood experiences, well, ever, Bartolotta receives a daily shipment of langoustines, cuttlefish, and prehistoric-looking slipper lobster from the Ionian, Tyrrhenian, Adriatic and Ligurian seas. Chef Paul Bartolotta (formerly of San Domenico in New York, Spiaggia in Chicago and still a household name in his native Milwaukee), is nearly always in the kitchen, ensuring the astounding quality of everything that comes out. The theatrical bi-level room – with neo-Baroque chandeliers and tented outdoor dining loggias surrounding a lake – is maximalist. The best dishes – fish you can choose from a cart piled high and then simply grilled with olive oil, lemon and parsley – are minimalist. The best way to eat at Bartolotta is family-style. Bring along as many friends as you can and order either the Menu di Paranza or the Gran Menu di Mare (for $135 and $155 per person), and allow the chef to prepare a meal of the day’s best ingredients. In a town filled with big-ticket restaurants, this is one so very worth the splurge.

INFO: 3131 Las Vegas Blvd. South (inside Wynn Las Vegas) (888) 372-3463 www.wynnlasvegas.com

4) Buffet at Wynn Las Vegas

Even non-buffet people will like this fanciful departure from the usual Vegas trough, er, buffet line (generally characterized by harsh décor and overcooked, institutional food). First, and most importantly, it’s lit overhead by natural light, evoking a garden party (unlike other buffets, which evoke the fluorescent-lit school cafeterias of our youth). Towers of fruit and flowers fill the central atrium, around which are arranged multiple stations. You’ll find faultlessly fresh maki rolls, ceviche, tandoori chicken and truffled risotto among the Mexican, seafood, Japanese, Indian and Italian selections. An entire sweetshop-style room is devoted to pastries, baba au rhum, lemon tarts, bread pudding, and a full complement of gelato flavors. The pastry chef has even thoughtfully included sugar-free desserts so everyone can indulge. If you’re not in a hurry, offer to wait in order to secure a table in the atrium – you’ll be glad you did.

INFO: inside Wynn Las Vegas, 3131 Las Vegas Blvd. South (877) 321-9966 www.wynnlasvegas.com

5) Vintner Grill

While most of the best restaurants off the Strip can be found in a strip mall, Vintner Grill has mixed things up and opened in an office park. Never mind: They’ve done a grand job creating a Hamptons-like environment in the all-white modern dining room, which opened in 2006. Close to Red Rock Casino (a 15-20 minute drive from the Strip), the Mediterranean-influenced American dishes include Moroccan-spiced lamb spareribs crispy wood-fired flatbreads (try prosciutto with roasted peppers, fennel, micro arugula and white truffle oil) and halibut with toasted orzo, lemon gremolata, and sweet tomatoes. Everything is well paired with a reasonably priced wine list of more than 200 bottles, half-bottles, and wines by the glass, from 10 different countries. Dinner for two, with wine, $150.

INFO: 10100 W. Charleston Blvd, Suite 150 (702) 214-5590 www.vglasvegas.com

6) Marche Bacchus

What began as a wine shop called Marche Bacchus has evolved over the years into Bistro Bacchus: Pass through the impressive shop and you’ll find yourself on a tiered patio on a manmade lake – definitely one of the Vegas valley’s most transformative experiences. The waterfront tables are the most romantic in town, lit by torches and tiny twinkling lights. Wander the aisles inside and select your own wine (competitively priced to the Strip even with the $10 corkage fee) and order the charcuterie plate with pate, French salami, prosciutto and red onion confit or moules frites steamed in wine with Parmesan-crusted frites. The whole experience is very affordable – two can easily slink out down only around $60.

INFO: 2620 Regatta Drive (702) 804-8008

7) L’Atelier de Joi 1/2l Robuchon

The 16-course tasting menu at Joi 1/2l Robuchon at the Mansion is nothing short of amazing – and totally ponderous (it’s also more like 20 courses, after cheese, bread, multiple sweets courses, coffee, etc.) A better way to sample the three-Michelin-starred master chef’s French cuisine can be found next door, at L’Atelier de Joi 1/2l Robuchon, a microscopic, sushi bar-style counter surrounding a very open kitchen. Order the tangy steak tartare with perfectly crispy crinkle fries, and watch the chefs execute each precisely plated dish. Throw caution to the wind and order Robuchon’s cream-and-butter laden signature pommes purée along with the fries. Sure, there’s one in New York, but this one’s so much more laid back (plus, there’s way more bar seating).

INFO: Inside MGM Grand, 3799 Las Vegas Blvd. South (702) 891-7358 www.joel-robuchon.com

8) Paymon’s Mediterranean

Las Vegas’s least likely favorite college hangout is also one of its best restaurants: a former Mediterranean deli that morphed into an incredible Turkish, Persian, and Greek restaurant near the UNLV campus on the eastside of the Strip. Paymon’s, named after Iran-born Paymon Raouf who began cooking his childhood favorites here in the late 1970s, has a new location 20 minutes west of the Strip on Sahara. Here, you’ll find a more grown-up crowd, but eating the same intricately spiced dishes like fesenjan, chicken in crushed walnuts and pomegranate sauce and cinnamon-spiced moussaka. Or, just spend the entire time in the hookah lounge next door, slouching in its velvet banquets beneath sexily lantern-lit, tapestry-bedecked walls. It’s as authentic as any Middle Eastern sheesha café. Order one of the fragrant fruit and floral hookahs to pass around (try the rose), and a selection of appetizers like meat-stuffed grape leaves and hummus.

INFO: 8380 W. Sahara Ave (702) 804-0293

9) Abuyira Raku

Tucked in the back of one of the many shopping centers that comprise Las Vegas’ vibrant Chinatown, this small Japanese joint is a current chef favorite – come here after midnight on a Friday and it could just end up being a who’s-who of major players on the strip. Its extensive robata (grilled items) and oden (broth pot) menus are a draw, as are the specials: On a recent evening, we tried the golden-eye snapper collar with a tofu-laden broth – a steal at $35, but priced through the roof compared to the rest of the very reasonable menu. It’s open until three o’clock in the morning on weekends, perfect when you’ve got the late-night munchies for something other than a bad buffet. Points if you order the “meat guts,” which actually turn out to be a very tasty pork stomach dish.

INFO: 5030 Spring Mountain Road, (702) 367-3511

10) T.C.’s Rib Crib

Vegas is a town with its share of barbecue pretenders, but this is smoked meat at its most authentic, from a man who left Katrina-ruined Louisiana with family recipes in his pocket. At this way-west, pocked-sized shrine to Southern cooking, you’ll eat at cafeteria-style tables under harsh, fluorescent lighting. And you’ll like it. Choose from moist pulled pork, spare ribs, baby backs and beef ribs (pork is better) with sides like spicy collards and fried okra. Ask for sweet tea or Kool-Aid (on tap), and check the chalkboard for the glazed-doughnut bread pudding. We like to order one of the giant “Lots O’ Meat” meal deals, which come with sides named after various uncles and cousins. We also take perverse pleasure in ordering it to go, back to as fancy a hotel room as we can manage.


Tag: Desert Companion

We seemed invincible once, didn’t we? Thirty years of ever-expanding prosperity will do that to you. Having survived Gulf wars, dot-com busts, recessions, mass shootings and depressions, it was a cinch the public’s appetite for all things Las Vegas was insatiable. Since 1994, we had seen one restaurant boom after another: celebrity chefs, the French Revolution of the early aughts, Chinatown’s twenty year expansion, Downtown’s resurgence — all of it gave us rabid restaurant revelers a false sense of security. A cocky confidence that the crowds would flock and the champagne would always flow.

And then we were floored by a Covid left hook no one saw coming. Poleaxed, cold-cocked, out on our feet. In an instant, literally, thirty years of progress hit the mat. To keep the metaphor going, we’ve now lifted ourselves to the ropes for a standing eight count. The question remains whether we can recover and still go the distance, or take one more punch and suffer a brutal TKO.

There was an eeriness to everything in those early months, as if a relative had died, or we were living in a bad dream. A sense of loss and apology filled the air. Like someone knocked unconscious (or awakening from a nightmare), our first instincts were to reassure ourselves. Restaurants were there to feed and help us back to our feet and the feelings were mutual. Reassurances and gratitude were the watchwords whenever you picked up a pizza or grabbed take-out from a chef struggling to make sense of it all.

Then, as quick as an unseen uppercut, the mood turned surly and defensive. The moment restaurants were given the go-ahead to start seating people again, the battle lines were drawn. It took some weeks to build the trenches, but by July, what began as a “we’re all in this together” fight for survival devolved into a multi-front war pitting survivalists on all sides against each other. Mutual support evaporated as tensions arose between those needing to make a living and those who saw epidemic death around every corner. Caught in the middle were the patrons: people who just wanted to go out, take advantage of our incredible restaurant scene and have a good time. Suddenly, everyone felt uncomfortable, and in a matter of a few calamitous weeks, dining out in America went from “we’re here to have a good time” to “let’s all struggle to get through this’ — not exactly a recipe for a good time, which is, after all, the whole point of eating out.

Reduced hours and crowds meant shorter menus, since every restaurant in town was forced to narrow its food options. No one seemed to mind, since anyone taking the time to dine out was simply happy the place was open. But if you sum it all up — the rules, the emptiness, the fear, the feeling of everyone being on guard — it’s a wonder anyone bothered going out at all. But going out to eat is what we do, because it is fun, convenient and delicious, and because we are human.

As Las Vegas’s most intrepid gastronaut, I’ve had to curb my voracious appetite more than anyone. Overnight my routine went from visiting ten restaurants a week to a mere few. Even in places where I’m on a first-name basis with the staff, the experience is as suppressed as the voices of the waiters. Instead of concentrating on hospitality, the singular focus is now on following all the rules. All of which makes you appreciate how the charm of restaurants stems from the sincerity of those serving you — something hard to notice when you can’t see their face.

Nowhere are these feelings more acute than on the Strip. “Las Vegas needs conventions to survive,” says Gino Ferraro, facing the simplest of facts. “If the hotels suffer, we suffer.” He’s owned Ferraro’s Italian Restaurant and Wine Bar since 1985 and will be the first to tell you how thin the margins are for success in the business. Restaurants are in your blood more than your bank account, and micromanaging, cutting costs, and (hopefully) another year of government assistance are what he sees as keys to their survival. “Good restaurants will survive, but there’s no doubt there will be less of them.”

Unlike the free-standing Ferraro’s, the Strip is different. There, the restaurants are amenities — like stores in a mall if you will — and from Sunday-Thursday (when the conventions arrived) they used to thrive. These days, like Ferraro’s, they still pack ’em in on weekends, but almost all are closed Monday-Wednesday. This doesn’t mean the food or the service has suffered, far from it, only that everyone is hanging on by their fingernails, and this anxiety is palpable when you walk through the doors. The staffs are almost too welcoming, which is nice, but you can sense the fear and it’s not pretty, and it is not going away for many months to come.

As Vegas slowly re-opens, one thing you can no longer take for granted is that each hotel will have a full compliment of dining options, from the most modest to world famous. If I had to make a prediction, it would be that a year from now, some hotels may field a smaller team of culinary superstars, and their bench will not be as deep, and those stars will have another season of wear and tear on them without any talented rookies to come along and take their place.

Long before the shutdown, there were signs we had reached peak Vegas and things were starting to wane. Some fancy French venues were showing their age, the Venetian/Palazzo (with its panoply of dining options), seemed overstuffed, and rumblings were heard that even the indefatigable David Chang had lost his fastball. The same could be said for the whole celebrity-chef-thing, which was starting to feel very end-of-last-century by the end of last year. The Palms’ murderer’s row of newly-minted sluggers was mired in a slump, and our gleaming, big box, pan-Asian eye-candy (Tao, Hakkasan) were not shining as bright as they once did.

The stakes are much higher when you consider the reputation of Las Vegas as a whole. Survey the landscape these days and all you can ask is, how much of this damage is permanent? It took from 1989-2019 to take Las Vegas from “The Town That Taste Forgot” to a world class, destination dining capital — a claim to fame like no other — where an entire planet of gastronomic delights, cooked by some of the best chefs in the business, was concentrated among a dozen swanky, closely-packed hotels. Now, what are we? A convention city with no conventions? A tourist mecca three days a week? Can we recapture this lost ground, or is some of it gone forever? Everyone is asking but no one has the answers.

Perhaps a culling of the herd was already in the works and all Covid did was accelerate the process. Are the big money restaurant days over? Certainly until those conventions return, and no one is predicting that until next year, at the earliest. If that’s the case, it will be a leaner/meaner gastronomic world that awaits us down the road — not the cornucopia of choices laid before you every night, no matter what style of food struck your fancy. The fallout will include the casinos playing it safe not throwing money at chefs like they once did, and sticking with the tried a true for awhile. Less ambitious restaurant choices? Absoluut. It is impossible to imagine a single European concept making a splash like Joël Robuchon did in 2005, or any Food Network star getting the red carpet treatment just for slapping their name on a door. The era of Flay, Ramsay, Andrés and others is over, and the “next big thing” in Las Vegas dining won’t be a thing for a long time.

If the Strip’s prospects look bleak (at least in the short term), locally the resilience has been astounding. Neighborhood venues hunkered down like everyone else, but now seem poised for a resurgence at a much faster rate than anything happening in the hotels. If the Strip resembles a pod of beached whales, struggling to get back in the water, then local restaurants are the more nimble pilot fish, darting about, servicing smaller crowds wherever they find them. Four new worthwhile venues are popping up downtown: upscale tacos at Letty’s, Yu-Or-Mi Sushi and Sake, Good Pie and the American gastro-pub Main Street Provisions, all in the Arts District. Off the Strip Mitsuo Endo has debuted his high-toned yakitori bar — Raku Toridokoro — to much acclaim, and brew pubs are multiplying everywhere faster than peanut butter stouts.

Chinatown — with its indomitable Asians at the helm — seems the least fazed by any of this, and Circa will spring to life before year’s end on Fremont Street, hoping to capture some of the hotel mojo sadly absent a few miles south. Going forward, some of these imposed restrictions will remain in place to ensure survival (more take-out, smaller menus, fewer staff), but the bottom line is look to the neighborhoods if you wish to recapture that rarest of sensations these days, a sense of normalcy.

Watching my favorites absorb these body blows has been like nursing a sick child who did nothing to deserve such a cruel fate. In a way it’s made me realize that’s what these restaurants have become to me over decades: a community of fledgling businesses I’ve supported and watched grow in a place no one thought possible. As social experiments go, the great public health shutdown of 2020 will be debated for years, but this much is true: Las Vegas restaurants were at their peak on March 15, 2020, and reaching that pinnacle is a mountain many of them will never again climb.


On High-Stakes Tables in Las Vegas: Fish, Not Chips

LAS VEGAS - JOËL ROBUCHON and his creations travel very nicely, thank you.

His newest venture, Joël Robuchon at the Mansion, which opened on Monday in the MGM Grand hotel here, represents a leap back into the rarefied realm of haute cuisine, from which he "retired" in 1996. During the tryouts preceding its official debut, the restaurant served the best food in Las Vegas, by a decisive margin, and some of the very best French food I have ever eaten on this continent.

This is no revolutionary Robuchon, like his Ateliers (including one here and, soon, in New York), where one eats at a counter and talks to the chefs. It is no casual, scaled-down, moderately priced Robuchon, like La Table de Joël Robuchon in the chic 16th Arrondissement, and its counterparts in Monte Carlo and Asia. This is full-scale, damn-the-torpedoes, three-stars-or-bust Robuchon, worldly, luxurious, costly.

Getting there is none of the fun. You walk through the crass clamor of hundreds of slot machines, past a Starbucks and other lesser diversions and into a bombastic stone doorway more suited to a central bank than a casino. But inside you are in Paris, in a subdued neo-Deco room lighted by a glamorous Swarovski crystal chandelier, furnished with handsome chairs in the fashion of Ruhlmann and graced by Lalique vases.

A small glass of lemon gelée flavored with vanilla and topped with an anisette-infused cream sets the tone straight away -- a complex, entirely original and appetite-rousing prelude to the many delights that lie ahead, and a vivid demonstration of the French master's familiar maxim that three tastes in any one dish are quite enough.

Mr. Robuchon's arrival signals another step in the evolution of Las Vegas as a culinary capital, and the onset of a struggle between two visions of its future. Will it specialize in a kind of ghost cuisine, conceived but seldom cooked by absentee chefs who made their names elsewhere, or will it nurture its own kitchen superstars?

Steve Wynn, whose gigantic new $2.7 billion casino opened in the summer of 2005, helped put Las Vegas on the world's gastronomic map in 1998 when he lured luminaries like Julian Serrano, Alessandro Strata and Sirio Maccioni to the Mirage and Bellagio, the Las Vegas resorts he then owned. Mr. Serrano and Mr. Strata moved here, and their food profited from their daily attention. But many of the chefs and restaurateurs who followed in their profitable wake did little more than phone in menus.

Mr. Wynn said that one evening in 2000 he ran into Jean-Georges Vongerichten at Prime, the Bellagio steakhouse that bears Mr. Vongerichten's imprimatur. Mr. Vongerichten, who is involved in restaurants in New York and around the world, told the casino boss that it was the first time he had cooked at Prime since it opened two years earlier.

That set Mr. Wynn to thinking, he told me, and he decided that "the only thing that matters is who's cooking dinner, not whose name appears on the door." As a result, most of the nine fine-dining restaurants at Wynn Las Vegas (among 22 food operations) are run by younger chefs, well known in the cities where they formerly cooked but not nationally celebrated. All have relocated to Las Vegas as a condition of employment, except Mr. Strata, who has moved over from the Mirage, and Daniel Boulud.

"A sense started spreading that something was fishy here," Mr. Wynn said. "If Steve Wynn paints a painting he doesn't get to sign it Picasso. So we're going down a different path. It's a bit of adventure, and I admit I'm not sure it'll work."

Gamal Aziz, who ran Bellagio's food and beverage operation and who considers Mr. Wynn his mentor, thinks not. Now the president of MGM Grand, the Egyptian-born Mr. Aziz is still reaching for stars. He persuaded Mr. Robuchon to set up shop here, where the chef is contractually required to spend just two weeks a quarter.

"I think it's an uphill battle to bring in these relatively unknown chefs and introduce them," Mr. Aziz said. "Most of our clients come to the desert for four or five days, not long enough to get used to new faces. They want to recognize names. I think we gain a competitive advantage by associating ourselves with the very best, and it will not be easy to top Joël Robuchon."

Well, Guy Savoy, another Paris heavyweight, holder of three Michelin stars, may come close if he wants to. His Las Vegas entry, on the second floor of the new Augustus Tower at Caesars Palace, a kitschfest even by Las Vegas standards, is set to open early in 2006 Mr. Savoy's son, Franck, has arrived to oversee it.

Some equally big names have decided not even to pretend to reproduce the food they serve at their home bases. At Wynn, Mr. Boulud runs a brasserie, not a replica of Daniel, his brilliant Manhattan establishment (although the executive chef, Philippe Rispoli, who grew up near Lyon, like Mr. Boulud, makes a rough-textured pâté de campagne, unctuous pork and goose rillettes and other dishes that would evoke cheers in New York).

Thomas Keller transplanted his bistro, Bouchon, not the French Laundry or Per Se, to the Venetian in Las Vegas. And the omnipresent Alain Ducasse, with two Michelin three-star restaurants, in Paris and Monte Carlo, eschews French classicism for a more populist approach at his local spot, Mix, perched on the 64th floor of a tower at Mandalay Bay. With sensational views across Sin City, it is much more endearing than its recently departed New York namesake. Thai beef salad and curried lobster cohabit happily on the menu with the best baba this side of the Atlantic, served with a choice of three premium rums. Hanging from the ceiling, thousands of shimmering Venetian glass baubles, said to have cost $500,000, remind you that you are in the world capital of wretched excess.

"Trying to replicate a Paris three-star on the 64th floor, maybe anywhere in Vegas, would have been a big mistake," said John Cunin, Mix's general manager.

Wat om hierdie naweek te kook

Sam Sifton het spyskaartvoorstelle vir die naweek. Daar is duisende idees vir wat om te kook, wat op u wag op die New York Times Cooking.

    • In hierdie stadige kookresep vir garnale in die vagevuur ontwikkel die pittige rooipeper en tamatiesous sy diep geure oor ure.
    • Plaas 'n paar groen blatjang in die winkel in hierdie vinnige, stewige groen masala-hoender. kan lekker wees vir aandete, en 'n paar bloubessie -muffins vir ontbyt.
    • Vir nagereg, waatlemoen granita? Of 'n pondkoek met gebakte aarbeie en slagroom?
    • En vir Memorial Day self? U weet dat ons baie resepte daarvoor het.

    Obviously Mr. Aziz and Mr. Robuchon don't think so, and for now at least they seem to have brought it off. Mr. Robuchon took an almost obsessive interest in the design of the menu and the kitchen and put two seasoned Breton friends in day-to-day charge: Loïc Launay as general manager, and Claude Le Tohic, who worked at Mr. Robuchon's side during the glory days at Jamin in Paris, as executive chef.

    Mr. Le Tohic holds the title of Meilleur Ouvrier de France (Best Craftsman of France), a coveted distinction awarded by a jury of his peers, so no one doubts his credentials. Seven cooks and six front-of-the-house people also came from Robuchon operations in Paris and Tokyo. Only time will tell, however, how long they will stay and who will replace them when they go.

    Two set menus are offered at Joël Robuchon at the Mansion, 9 small courses plus coffee for $165, and 16 small courses plus coffee for $295. Many items are also served à la carte. The 750-entry wine list includes risibly expensive items, presumably for those who have hit several jackpots, such as 1978 Le Montrachet from the Domaine de la Romanée-Conti at $8,845 a bottle. But for mere mortals, 2002 Puligny-Montrachet from Dujac at a modest $108 should more than suffice. It did so for me.

    Though relaxed, service is in the grand French style, with main courses delivered on silver trays (or carved at table side, in the case of the lobster and turbot and delectable roasted guinea hen with foie gras). Breads, cheeses (all French, all ripe), digestifs and after-dinner treats roll to the table on handsome wooden carts. The lighting is subtle, the air-conditioning far less overpowering than the Las Vegas norm the tables are well spaced. Only 40 people can be seated in the square dining room, centered on a black fireplace with gas-fired flames, with room for a dozen more on a side terrace and 10 in a small private room.

    If the gelée amuse-bouche attested to Mr. Robuchon's unflagging creativity, a mille-feuille consisting of two triangular layer cakes of fresh king crab, Fuji apple, watercress and bibb lettuce with perfectly fitted tomato lids bespoke his artistry. They rested on a red disk formed by a coulis of tomato and Périgord verjus (unfermented juice of unripe grapes), delightful in its balance of acid and fruitiness, with minuscule green dots of parsley-infused mayonnaise around its circumference. So precisely was all this applied, each dish reportedly requiring 20 minutes to complete, that I thought for a second that it was part of the decoration of the plate. Towerkuns.

    I could not resist trying langoustines, a Robuchon specialty, which are not often seen in the United States. Pulled into tight circles, enveloped in ephemeral ravioli cases with more than a few slivers of truffle, and cooked for only a few instants, these were meltingly sweet and ultratender. A hillock of barely steamed baby Savoy cabbage shared the plate, along with a slick of glossy veal reduction. Niks anders nie.

    The langoustines had been flown across the Atlantic, of course, but the milk-fed veal was all-American, from the highly regarded Four Story Hill Farm in Pennsylvania. Listed on the menu as a veal chop, it was in fact two rectangles, less than half an inch thick, judiciously cooked to a uniform pink from edge to edge and moistened with deeply flavored pan juices. This time the accompanying act was a nest of taglierini made from carrots, zucchini and broccolini and lightly sauced with pesto. Somebody somewhere may do a more succulent veal dish -- there are lots of restaurants in this world -- but if so I have never sampled it.

    Everything I ate was thought-out and free of frivolous gestures. Each combined delicacy with a certain muscularity of taste in a most unusual equilibrium. And each left my palate fresh as the dawn.

    THINGS have gotten off to a bumpy start at Wynn. Its nightclubs are already being revamped, its computer system has been plagued by bugs and one of its regional chefs, Jimmy Sneed, formerly at the Frog and the Redneck in Richmond, Va., left before the resort even opened, after personality clashes and a dispute over what style of food he should cook.

    Some of the other restaurants still seem a little ragged, including Okada, where the gifted Takashi Yagahashi cooks European-influenced Japanese food.

    The look of the place is a bit of a letdown as well. Whereas Bellagio's lyrically swaying fountains evoke Busby Berkeley musicals, Wynn's ersatz Yosemite, waterfalls and all, comes straight out of B-movies.

    But Wynn has had its triumphs as well, including Alex, the new domain of Mr. Strata and his rich, layered Franco-Italian food, which is one of the town's handful of truly successful haute cuisine restaurants. Its two steakhouses are booming, too Las Vegas has always loved beef.

    From my viewpoint, Paul Bartolotta's Ristorante di Mare is as thrilling as it is unexpected: an Italian seafood trattoria smack in the middle of the American desert. Although forewarned, I leapt with surprise when he wheeled out a trolley banked with bright-eyed orata, branzino, triglia (red mullet), spigola and other fish -- even ugly, fiery red scorfano, the rascasse so vital to bouillabaisse -- from Venice, Sicily, Liguria and other maritime parts of Italy, which come directly from a Milanese broker.

    Milwaukee-born, trained in top kitchens in New York, France and Italy, Mr. Bartolotta, 44, made Spiaggia in Chicago the best Italian restaurant between the coasts. When they met, Mr. Wynn said, "I wanted a normal Italian menu -- you know, veal piccata -- but he insisted on doing something different and wore me down."

    So seafood it is: steamed mussels with cannellini beans, tender octopus salad, linguine with clams and tomatoes, charcoal grilled lobster or langoustines and those beautiful fish, simply poached or roasted whole with olive oil and perhaps a touch of grapefruit for balance, dressed with herbs and some simple condiment like salsa salmoriglio (olive oil, lemon, garlic and oregano) -- real seaside stuff -- with a few token meat dishes like rabbit, chicken and rack of lamb. No veal piccata.

    "I'm shooting for extreme simplicity and explosive flavor," Mr. Bartolotta said, and he is hitting those targets.

    Another veteran of the Chicago restaurant wars, Taiwan-born Richard Chen, who won acclaim at the Peninsula Hotel's Shanghai Terrace in Chicago, also seems to have hit his stride in Las Vegas. He cooks Western-inflected Chinese food at Wing Lei at Wynn, including a fabulous Peking duck salad that owes a debt to a similar dish at Hakkasan in London, a lobster spring roll, thinly sliced abalone with a spicy green papaya salad and a memorable Dungeness crab slow-cooked with ginger, scallions and garlic in a clay pot.

    All fine eating -- and a joy to look at as well, as is the miniature garden that lies just beyond a wall-size window, with a pair of 100-year old pomegranate trees and a big black Fernando Botero sculpture.

    Still, the question remains: as important as dining has become to Las Vegas, where gambling now accounts for only 40 percent of revenues, can a rootless place with no indigenous gastronomic traditions and no local raw materials (except for the odd blood orange and sprig of rosemary) ever be a great restaurant town, as opposed to a resort town with good restaurants -- "a Disneyland for foodies," as the restaurant consultant Clark Wolf calls it?

    "I doubt that you will ever have a true food culture here, in the sense that Lyon and Venice and San Francisco have food cultures," commented Elizabeth Blau, executive vice president for restaurant development at Wynn Resorts, who is considered one of the savviest food people in the city. "Nothing is local."

    I asked Mr. Aziz whether Las Vegas is yet a great restaurant city.

    "No, not yet," he replied, "but we've made some quantum leaps. We've built a strong foundation, and eventually we'll get there. This is a large, prosperous region now. We have the economic means to support not only great restaurants in the casinos, but also the bistros and other places that are popping up in the neighborhoods."


    Kyk die video: Bartolotta Ristorante Di Mare -Italian - Wynn (Januarie 2022).