Archives for Las Vegas category
Posted on Aug 11, 2013 under Archives, Las Vegas |
DOCG Las Vegas
Located in the hip Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, Scott Conant’s D.O.C.G. is a casual rustic alternative to the chef’s other restaurant and next door neighbor Scarpetta.
The marble tables, exposed wood beams, hardwood floors and brick walls provide a cozy comforting ambiance. D.O.C.G. stands for the Denominazione di Origine Controliata e Garantita, the highest wine classification in Italy. It also denotes the restaurant’s dedication to offering plenty of exceptional wines. Scarpetta and D.O.C.G. share a 3,000 bottle wine cellar with over 500 selections.
The food is just as varied and satisfying as the wine and a lot less expensive then dining at Scarpetta. The only problem we had was choosing between the many pizzas, pastas, salads, antipastas, grilled items and main courses.
Restaurant manager Noe Alarcon was our charming host and knew the wine list inside and out. He started us off with two drinks, a Roman Goddess with St. Germain, Hendricks, lemon and mint and a Pragola with muddled strawberries, Citron and mint. Both delicious. Next came a very long series of excellent dishes. Here is what Sheila and I sampled:
The grilled filone came out first. A duck egg surrounded by fonduta cheese sauce that when broken and mixed results in an exceptionally creamy and rich place to deep huge perfectly grilled pieces of bread. A great way to start the meal.
The arancini with calabiran chile aioli was soft and warm inside with a crunchy outside coating.
Lardo wrapped prawn
The lardo wrapped prawns provided a lovely combination of buttery prawn wrapped around salty bacon over rosemary lentils. Lovely.
Every pasta is hand made daily. All are outstanding, especially the pici, a short thick pasta with braised duck sauce and black truffles. We were fortunate enough to have the chef prepare three pastas for us. All outstanding.
Cavetelli was served with a sausage and porcini mushroom sauce. Warm and satisfying.
The Scialatielli also delicious with lobster and shrimp.
Pizzas are cooked in a large wood fired oven. Diners can choose from traditional, a lovely simple Margherita with fresh mozzarella and basil to the extravagant, the D.O.C.G. pizza with fonduta, egg and truffle. Chef sent out the Margherita for us which had a nice thin crunchy crust.
main course sampler, salmon, short rib, scallop
There are also plenty of items from the grill including steaks, veal and pork chops and lamb as well as traditional main courses such as roast chicken and braised short ribs. The chef sent us out a nice trio of samples – the salmon with eggplant fregola, the braised short rib with parmigiano mash and vegetables, and the diver scallop with corn, pancetta and fresno chiles. Yum.
Desserts are also delicious, especially the caramel budino, a sweet and salty concoction with caramel, vanilla cream, toffee and whipped cream. We also got to try the decadent chocolate tiramisu. Both great.
D.O.C.G. is a perfect casual alternative to Scarpetta for dinner with a casual ambiance and rustic exceptional Italian fare. Reservations highly recommended, located at The Cosmopolitan, 3rd Floor, 3708 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109, (702) 698-7920.
Posted on Aug 04, 2013 under Archives, Las Vegas |
Nobu Las Vegas
Last time I was in Las Vegas I got very lucky. I was fortunate enough to stay at the new Nobu hotel.
Nobu Hotel is the first celebrity chef branded resort in Las Vegas. Opened earlier this year, the 181-room boutique hotel inside Caesar’s Palace is one of several nationwide Nobu properties planned to open by partners Robert DeNiro and Chef Nobu Matsuhisa.
The hotel takes the place of Caesar’s old Centurion Tower and offers lots of high-end features for guests. Check in takes seconds via staff’s ipad’s and automated elevators. You just swipe your room card and the elevator automatically knows which floor and directs you to your elevator. Very cool. This was the fastest check-in for me in five years of writing about Las Vegas.
high tech elevator
Guest rooms feature origami-inspired décor, teak fittings, multiple shower heads, huge egg-shaped basin sinks and the most comfortable beds on the Strip. We especially loved the low ultra comfy bed, huge shower and really deep sink.
The spa also offers a “Nagomi Ritual” with herb and food enhanced treatments including a honey foot scrub, massage with lavender aroma oil and a CO2 facial. If you are a guest at the hotel a visit to the spa for this treatment is a great add-on to your stay.
The biggest draw for us besides the comfy beds were the luxury amenities for food lovers. Shortly after check-in, room service delivers complimentary Japanese tea and rice crackers to each room. The mini-bar stocks Japanese beer, Nobu branded sakes and chocolate covered Pocky pretzels.
Downstairs, guests have private access to and guaranteed seating in the largest Nobu restaurant in the world (12,775 square feet and 327 seats). Designed by David Rockwell, it is the first Nobu in the U.S. with teppanyaki tables where chefs cook on three flat top grills in front of diners. The menu features signature items including black cod miso, shrimp and lobster with spicy lemon, salmon skin salad, bento dessert box with flourless chocolate cake and green tea ice cream and a huge variety of tobanyaki, sushi, kushiyaki and tempura options. Additionally, diners who want to experience a tasting menu have a variety of price ranges to choose from – $90 to $190 for seven courses and $280 for eight courses. Here is what Sheila and I sampled when we dined at Nobu Las Vegas:
Spinach salad with dry miso
Our waiter talked us into ordering this one, as neither of us are spinach salad lovers. It was one of the best things we had all weekend – a lovely fresh spinach salad with dry miso. This was so good we could have eaten a dozen of these.
lobster and tuna tacos
The lobster and tuna tacos were fresh and tiny. Next came the signature Black Cod Miso, which was delicious.
black cod miso
We also sampled a great sushi mini platter and some very fresh sashimi.
variety of sushi and rolls
We also ordered the shrimp and Maine lobster with spicy lemon which was a nice mix of a small amount of heat with buttery shellfish.
lobster and shrimp with spicy lemon
We knew the appetizers and main courses would be amazing but we were surprised at how good the desserts were as well. If your budget doesn’t allow for more than a few pieces of sushi or sashimi at Nobu (let’s face it, it is a bit pricey) make sure to add on one of their desserts. The ones we tasted were amazing.
The bento box came with a flourless chocolate cake, white chocolate sauce, shiso syrup and the best green tea we have ever had. Best. Ever.
We also had the suntory whisky cappuccino with a coffee almond crumble on the bottom, coffee cream, milk ice cream and a whisky foam. Beautiful. Our waiter again suggested we try another dessert, we hesitated but he insisted that since we loved the ones we already tried that the third one would be just as tasty so we submitted. We were served the heavenly toasted rice cake which was equally amazing. A butter mocha cake with citrus creme fraiche, lemon gelee, almond crumble and a fresh guava sorbet. Best desserts on the Strip.
toasted rick cake
toasted rice cake
Another huge lure for food-lovers is the unique in-room dining menu. Highlights include the High Roller Bento Box featuring lobster wasabi and Wagyu steak, rock shrimp buns, and a takami burger with foie gras and truffle oil. The one-of-a-kind breakfast menu items include blueberry and yuzu soba pancakes, scrambled eggs donburi with salmon nori and rice and green tea waffles with braised short ribs.
in room breakfast
Here is what we sampled for our in-room breakfast:
blueberry yuzu soba pancakes
Yuzu whip cream, pecan miso butter, maple syrup
green tea waffles
bacon and eggs
Whether you choose to dine in or enjoy the large trendy restaurant, eating and staying at Nobu Las Vegas is a sure win. Located at 3570 Las Vegas Boulevard South, inside Caesar’s Palace on Nobu Way. 702.785.6677 for reservations.
Posted on Jul 02, 2012 under Archives, Las Vegas |
Gordon Ramsay Steak
Celeb chef Gordon Ramsay pays tribute to his home country of England both in menu items and atmosphere at his new steakhouse located in Paris. Diners enter through a “chunnel” emulating the passageway from England to France and the two-story dining room’s main focus is a dangling neon art sculpture representing the chef’s movements while creating his signature Beef Wellington.
The restaurant accommodates 200 guests who can choose to dine at the bar, lounge, chef’s table or main room. Drinks can be perused via an iPad digital menu provided for each table.
iPad displays cocktail menu
I visited a few weeks ago for an article for The Daily Meal and invited my good friend Joni to tag along. I chose my standard dirty martini which came with a nice surprise of bacon at the end of my olive, Joni chose a strawberry cosmo.
Joni chose the traditional Caesar salad which came with a nice surprise – a Scottish egg, and I selected the market green salad with butter lettuce, crispy pancetta, blue cheese, tomato raisins and green goddess dressing.
caesar salad with fried Scottish egg
Market green salad
For the main course, an array of raw beef in various cuts is presented tableside. Each is dry aged for at least 28 days in a Himalayan salt room and hand selected by Pat LaFrieda.
We both chose the ribeye which was perfectly cooked.
Other menu offerings include seafood and Ramsay’s infamous Beef Wellington. We chose fire roasted corn with chile and lime and a huge baked potato for our sides, others menu sides include a mushroom tart, sautéed spinach, mac and cheese and other steakhouse standards.
fire roasted corn
Before our dessert course came out we were presented with three chocolate and liquor dipped spoons which paired well with our coffee.
The standout dessert is Ramsay’s Sticky Toffee Pudding, which Joni ordered, and consisted of a sweet pudding cake, brown sugar toffee and brown butter ice cream, delicious.
sticky toffee pudding
A dedicated chocoholic, I ordered the chocolate layers, a rich chocolate cake with passion fruit ganache layers and coffee ice cream.
the wedding planner and the food critic
The next time you find yourself in Sin City hankering for a traditional steak, head over to Chef Ramsay’s new digs. Located at 3655 South Las Vegas Boulevard, reservations at 702/946-7000.
Posted on Jun 26, 2012 under Archives, Las Vegas |
Center Cut, Flamingo
The Flamingo turned its old Burger Joint into Center Cut, an upscale modern steakhouse. Located across from the Flamingo Wildlife Habitat and adjacent to Tropical Breeze Café, the venue accommodates up to 172 guests including the bar, lounge, restaurant and private dining room. The black and white décor with pink accents provides a classic Vegas atmosphere while several plasma screens throughout the restaurant showcasing photo montages from the 1940’s to present day. These images pay homage to the 66 years Flamingo has been at the heart of the Las Vegas Strip. Guests can choose to sit in the open dining room or opt for an intimate private curtained booth. I recently visited Center Cut for a tasting menu provided by Chef Ian Delph, here is what I sampled:
I started off with a perfect dirty martini. Next came one of Center Cuts appetizer favorites – a trio bacon satay that includes cayenne peppered, blue cheese cured, and natural Applewood bacon served on top a pink Himalayan salt rock.
Anyone who loves bacon will appreciate this appetizer. Very rich in flavor and a great way to start off a nice steak dinner.
bacon with blue cheese
Next, Chef Delph sent out a killer lobster bisque. Hands down the best lobster bisque I have ever tasted with creme fraiche, sherry and chive oil and big lobster chunks. I could eat a vat of this bisque.
Meat entrees include a 20 ounce ribeye, 24 ounce porterhouse and 28 ounce Tomahawk, all sourced from Aspen Ridge Farms in Colorado. I opted for the 8 ounce filet with shrimp. It came with a nice caramelized onion and a delicious popover.
Filet with shrimp
The filet was perfectly cooked and each bite melted in my mouth. The popovers at Center Cut are addictive.
My steak also came with a number of sauces to choose from including red wine, bernaise, blue cheese, dijon peppercorn and cc steak sauce.
Center cut offers traditional steakhouse sides, I chose the pink mashed potatoes and jalapeno bacon creamed corn. Both delicious.
jalapeno bacon creamed corn
pink mashed potatoes
Chef Delph came out to greet me and we had a nice conversation about food, the Las Vegas steakhouse scene, and his cooking philosophy.
Next came a lovely dessert course with a creme brulee tart and chocolate dipped biscotti. Yum.
creme brulee tart
chocolate dipped biscotti
Center Cut is my new favorite steakhouse on the Strip and Chef Delph is one of the most talented new chefs in Vegas. Next time you visit Sin City, make sure to stop by Center Cut for a traditional steakhouse experience.
Located at 3555 South Las Vegas Boulevard, reservations at 702/784-8821.