David Clawson Restaurant, Henderson NV

DSC04687

David Clawson Restaurant

DSC04693DSC04694

canapé – salmon belly, wasabi, citrus, salt rock

DSC04697DSC04698v

amuse – uni, simulated sea water, seaweed

DSC04704DSC04702

bread – milk bread, plugra butter, alaea red salt

DSC04707DSC04709

soup – corn bisque, tomato, crab, chive

DSC04710 DSC04712

mushroom – bruschetta, portobello, balsamic, feta cheese

DSC04714 DSC04716

scallop – hokkaido, tamari, finger lime, tobiko

DSC04721DSC04720

salad – hamachi, avocado, do chua, pomegranate

DSC04722DSC04724

A Fleur D’Or 2011 Sauternes

DSC04728DSC04726

liver – foie gras, pear, ginger, shallot jam

DSC04731DSC04730

crab – jumbo lump cake, red pepper, basil

DSC04732DSC04734

duck – leg confit, lemon, honey, blueberry

DSC04735DSC04739

rice – niigata koshihikari, uni, salmon, reggiano cream

DSC04740DSC04742

sausage – boudin blanc, apples, cider cream

DSC04748 DSC04745

pork – Berkshire belly, achara, nashi pear

DSC04749DSC04752

noodles – lo mein, garlic, more garlic

DSC04753 DSC04754

chicken – organic, achiote, green chile, macaroni

DSC04760DSC04762

shrimp – black tiger, corn, jicama, chorizo

DSC04759 DSC04756

potato – Yukon gold, garlic, ham hock

DSC04767 DSC04766

beef – tenderloin, sambal, balsamic, trumpet mushroom

DSC04771 DSC04768

lamb – t-bone, shishito, olive, muhammara

DSC04772DSC04774

cheese – truffle gouda, fig, marcona almond

DSC04776DSC04778

cheese – epoisse, quince, honey

DSC04779DSC04781

brûlée – bailey’s irish cream, blueberries, espresso biscotti

DSC04782DSC04785

fruit – sticky apricot love, vanilla cream, rum toffee

DSC04790 DSC04787

chocolate – crunchy praline, valrhona, tangerine

DSC04791 DSC04792

truffle – white chocolate, basil, pistachio

DSC04700

Setting aside givens such as skill, sourcing, setting, and service it is oftentimes commitment and confidence that separates a ‘great’ restaurant from one that is simply ‘good,’ and on Saturday night it was in fact those two factors that introduced myself and a friend to the greatness of David Clawson Restaurant. Eponymously named for the Chef who cut his teeth at any number of the nation’s finest resorts and located inside a former strip-mall sushi bar way out in Anthem the David Clawson Restaurant experience begins with warm welcomes at the door and quickly whisked away to a Chef’s Counter seats amidst modest décor as light alt-rock played overhead it would be mere moments before service began – a light amuse of tender salmon belly atop a salt rock whetting appetites even before a menu was in hand.

DSC04688

A surprisingly casual space with jovial, well informed service provided by a young man named Shawn, it was with wide eyes and large appetites that we perused the menu and although minor changes have already occurred from that presented online it was to no lack of options that we were tempted, the eventual order entailing 22 individual items with canapé, amuse, and mignardise presenting twenty-five plates at a total of just under $240 before gratuity – many of the plates far larger than one would expect and all together a tremendous amount of food, much of it exceptional in many ways.

Deferring to the kitchen on order of arrival it was a creamy tongue of urchin bathed in brine that started our meal and beginning light before transitioning heavy the progression was well crafted while pacing was perfect, the lightly sweet bread and soup that followed both impressive with a crab-stuffed roast tomato assertively speaking to the end of summer with eloquence that bridged nicely to the smoky-sweet mushroom toast that followed.

DSC04689

Treated next to tender scallops atop sushi grade rice with citrus up-front it was onward to a hamachi salad brightened by pomegranate vinaigrette that things progressed and although the foie gras was not quite as creamy as one would have hoped atop tender pears the crab cake and confit that followed provided quick recovery to say the least, the former at least eighty percent sweet crustacean with gentle spice while the later was absolutely textbook as crackling skin gave way to tender, gamey flesh.

Occasionally at lack for course descriptions as the team worked at frenetic pace to keep up with what was apparently their busiest night yet it would be a nearly impossible task to decide whether creamy rice, house made boudin, pork belly, or handmade lo mein were most impressive of the plates that followed and although chicken proved overcooked and overwhelmed by cilantro the dishes that followed were an immediate return to form, the creamy potatoes particularly beautiful while I marveled at how Chef Clawson allowed the lamb’s funk to shine whereas so many other chef’s in the city opt to rein it in and render it similar to beef, a protein equally well prepared at the chef’s counter as sambal plus balsamic played a point and counterpoint game of heat and sweet.

DSC04798

At this point well sated but happy to enjoy more it was in a duo of nicely aged cheeses that we indulged and although I’d have preferred more time before desserts arrived the pastry kitchen proved just as excellent as the savory line with a delicate crème brûlée tinged in booze starting things off before “sticky apricot love” offered itself up as a contender for 2014’s best dessert, the steamy English classic reinvented with aromatic nuances adding balance to the intensely sweet sauce I soon found myself scooping up with a spoon.

DSC04797

Completing the evening with a duo of chocolates, the first a milky ganache atop dark feuilletine while the complimentary truffle served with the bill tickled the palate with herbal notes amidst a creamy base, it was with big smiles and graciousness for feedback that the team bid us farewell and with a long drive back to Summerlin to discuss the experience suffice it to say that a return visit is already in the works, a seasonal change in the menu the only thing holding us back.

FOUR AND A HALF STARS: Open for only five weeks, and just now finding its audience, David Clawson Restaurant is one of those rare places firing on all cylinders fresh from the gate. Admittedly following a ‘career greatest hits’ format so far, according to our server, it will be intriguing to see how the cuisine develops over time and particularly how the various omakase options evolve as word spreads. Already impressive, particularly given the skeleton crew of just Clawson and a sous-chef working the line while pastry is managed by a very talented young woman in her own regard, one can only hope that the quality remains high while the menu undergoes frequent change – the forty-five minute drive easily justified for an experience of this quality at such a great price.

DSC04799

RECOMMENDED: Crab, Duck, Fruit, Rice, Lamb, Potato, Scallop, Soup, Sausage

AVOID: Chicken was not only dry, but also overwhelmed by cilantro while the liver was slightly grainy, likely the only ‘sourcing’ flaw of the entire meal. Those sensitive to garlic would be well advised to skip the noodles, though they are excellent for everyone else. Of the desserts, chocolate was chocolate…order a second fruit…and a third.

DSC04795

TIP: Having communicated with the restaurant both before and during the meal in order to determine the format of the “Omygodse” $195 menu the best I could gather was that it includes smaller portions of every menu course plus “a few extras,” not particularly a bargain when you consider the fact that two persons sharing every plate on the menu clocks in at less cost-per-person, though for solo diners with the appetite the concept seems ideal, particularly with 2oz or 5oz beverage pours offered to pair with each, any, or every course at the diner’s discretion.

http://www.david-clawson.com

David Clawson Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Category(s): Bread Basket, Crab, David Clawson, David Clawson Restaurant, Dessert, Foie, Food, Henderson, Las Vegas, Nevada, Pork, Truffle

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *