Rx Boiler Room
Chicken Pot Pie Nuggets – Peas n’ Carrots
Bacon Wrapped Bacon-n-Egg – Brioche, Tomato Jam, Sunny Side Quail Egg
Charcuterie Board – La Quercia Prosciutto, Jamon Iberico, Duck Prosciutto, Felino Salami, Grilled Bread
Moonen Tater Tots
Mac + Cheese x Five – Pinwheel Pasta, Blue, Parmesan, Brie, Cheddar, Blanc
Squid-E-O’s with Spicy Merguez Meatballs – Squid Ink Tomato Sauce, Calamari, Garlic Toast Points
Pan Fried Game Hen and Waffles – Citrus Pepper Maple Glaze
Peking Duck Lettuce Wraps – Hoisin a l’Orange, Picked Onion, Cranberry, Pomegranate Relish
Pie Americana – Apple Compote, Puff Pastry, Vanilla Ice Cream, Walnuts
Cookies and Milk – Chocolate Chip and Oatmeal Raisin, Bottle of Milk
In a city built on risks, renovation, and occasionally ripping things down if only to rebuild it was to the nearly year-old Rx Boiler Room that myself and two friends turned for dinner on Saturday night and although widely acclaimed for its modernized mashup of comfort food and mixology our experience at Rick Moonen’s rebranded former fine dining space proved a mixed one at best. Self described as “Steampunk” with clever details such as a wall of poisons and potions juxtaposing dark woods, gears, and gloss as an alt-indie soundtrack played overhead it was just minutes after our 7:00pm reservation that we arrived at the shopping center space and quickly led to a table at the back it would not be long before the first of two servers arrived, the duo sharing a penchant for eavesdropping and interruption with shaky pacing and presentations equally prevalent throughout the night. Obviously targeting a younger demographic than Moonen’s stronghold of sustainable seafood downstairs it was in no shortage of creative cocktails to pair with the menu’s imaginative bites that our decision process progressed and with friends browsing the Ipad for a quartet of $15 drinks while I curated the course of cuisine the meal that followed could best be described as “clever” – the drinks trending towards sweet while plates overall proved tasty despite being overcomplicated without any true benefit from the excess technique. Starting with a trio of sharables before progressing to things more substantial it was with disappointing cured meats alongside the restaurant’s pot pie nuggets and signature bacon n’ eggs that our dining began and although both of the later would prove amusing, if not particularly great, the stars of the show would only arrive next – the rings of squid tender with a tinge of acid amidst spicy meatballs while the fowl featured impeccably crisp skin over roasted, juicy flesh. Not particularly enthralled by the selection of sweets but wanting to give the pastry kitchen a fair shake it was finally in two American classics that we partook and with the deconstructed pie entirely underwhelming while the cookies would have taken actual effort to botch the bill was simply dropped off – the first time of the evening that our server was without an offhand or clever remark, though perhaps an appropriate pairing to the decidedly dull desserts.
TWO AND A HALF STARS: With service that can best be described as annoying, our primary server literally interrupting us mid-sentence with odd interjections or observations thrice, and food that is not quite good enough to justify its Strip surcharge there are simply better places to drink and eat in Las Vegas. Truly a great humanitarian and a proud champion of concepts well deserving of his support one is left to wonder if perhaps Chef Moonen has spread himself too thin to maintain quality control at Rx Boiler Room, particularly as Chef Johnny Church becomes more and more involved with his excellent MTO Café in DTLV.
RECOMMENDED: Squid-E-O’s, Game Hen.
AVOID: Charcuterie is vastly overpriced at $21 for what other restaurants might discard as scraps, Peking Duck was overly sweet while not particularly crisp, and the Pie Americana was undersized and generally flavorless save for the walnuts.
TIP: Seating is divided into a front section adjacent the bar plus a quieter area with low ceilings in back and while both feature a pleasant vibe and interesting décor the front is very obviously “in a casino” while the booths in back prove a much more subdued experience conducive to conversation.
WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor