Popover – Whipped Butter
Truffle and Parmesan Potato Chips – Chives
2018 Ruinart Brut Rose Champagne
Apricot and Arugula Salad – Tree Ripened Apricot, Truffle Burrata Cheese, Aged Balsamic, Grilled Bread
2016 Domaine Drouhun “Arthur” Chardonnay
Pan Roasted Chilean Sea Bass – Fava Beans, Roasted Tomato Vinaigrette, Morels
2016 Domaine Raspail-Ay
Rack of Lamb – Baby Carrots, Mushy Peas, Chimichurri Sauce
2016 Sinegal Carbernet Sauvignon
Creekstone Farms Prime Ribeye – Gratin Potatoes, Green Asparagus, Brussels Sprouts, Red Wine Reduction
Triple Chocolate Mousse Cake with Chocolate Ganache, Emeril’s Banana Cream Pie, Pecan Pie with Oatmeal Shortbread Crust and Vanilla Ice Cream
Fresh Baked Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookies, Cinnamon Sugar Mini Doughnuts
At the beginning of this current “Celebrity Chef” era there were few names on Emeril Lagasse’s level, and although the Massachusetts native who made his name cooking in Louisiana has slowly faded from television his three Las Vegas Restaurants remain popular destinations with Delmonico Steakhouse having just celebrated its twentieth Birthday.
Now old enough to be considered iconic in a city of constant change, Delmonico’s grand-opening coinciding with that of The Venetian where no other space along Restaurant Row remains the same, guests entering the space in 2019 will find little has changed over the last decade or more, even Chef Ronnie Rainwater still at the helm for what may be an unprecedented tenure.
Arranging this visit as a work event, six guests sitting down to a four-course menu with Wine at $125 per person, it was unfortunately late as a result of traffic that things got started at 7:00pm, warm Popovers and Delmonico’s signature Potato Chips with Truffle Oil and Cheese delivered quickly, though the latter seemed a bit hurried with some spuds crispy and tan while others were white and flaccid.
Having not requested the Wine Pairing, even small pours somewhat wasteful on a group of mostly teetotalers who had to work the next day, it was beginning with Sparkling Rose from Ruinart that creamy Burrata and Apricots were presented, the request for “family-style” service in reality just two menu-sized servings on separate plates with each diner receiving just over a mouthful inclusive of Toast and Salad.
Aware that Chef Rainwater was out on a well-earned family vacation, his second in command presenting each course while Sommelier and servers were polite and professional from beginning to end, course two featured Pan Roasted Sea Bass alongside Spring Vegetables, a plethora of Morels particularly welcome though the Fish’s “family style” partitioning limited most to less than three-ounces.
Admittedly impressed by small sips of Chardonnay, Delmonico’s continuous recognition by Wine Spectator since 2004 no small feat, course three placed Lamb Chops cooked rare alongside a Grenache-Mourvedre-Syrah blend, the Flesh itself young and minimally gamey but complimented well by both the Wine and minty Peas plus Carrots enlivened by Chimichurri.
Still suggesting “family style” as two menu portions of each dish, the main course of Creekstone Farms house-aged Ribeye accompanied by six wedges of cheesy Potatoes plus Sprouts and Asparagus, it was without other requested sides that plates were cleared, though guests who’d held out for Carbernet were notably praiseful of the selected pairing.
Finally serving true “family-style” for Dessert, though one slice of Emeril’s famous Banana Cream Pie divided by six assumes a lot about guests’ willingness to share, fans will be happy to know that both Banana and Pecan Pie remain Sin City’s best while Cake, Cookies and tiny Donuts a touch heavy with Oil are merely average.
THREE STARS: It was prior to starting Endoedibles that I first encountered Emeril’s food, but at his restaurant in Orlando was probably the first place I ever enjoyed “fine dining” at the grand old age of 21. Only financially able to start traveling years later, it was in Las Vegas that I next crossed paths with the man who made “BAM!” a catchphrase, in 2008, and having now visited a fourth time I’m comfortable saying little has changed at his Steakhouse in terms of Food or service, though in terms of value for the dollar this meal would have been better ordered a la carte.
RECOMMENDED: Pan Roasted Chilean Sea Bass, Rack of Lamb, Emeril’s Banana Cream Pie, Pecan Pie.
AVOID: A look at the pictures will show undercooked Chips, which is a shame as they are otherwise excellent. Additionally, although easily shared, the Cookies and Donuts are completely forgettable compared to other Desserts at Emeril’s outposts in the past.
TIP: Unlike all the other big Meat houses, Delmonico offers lunch Daily from 11:30am to 2pm including Fried Chicken and a full slate of desserts, plus Sandwiches and a good number of Steaks and Salads.
WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor.