House Made Iced Tea
Crostini – Uni, Lardo, Leeks, Sea Salt
Oysters – Kimchee Mignonette, Naked Cowboy, East Beach Blond, Fat Bastard
Naked Cowboy Shooter – King Crab, Caviar, Citrus, Radish
Hamachi Crudo – Radishes, Pomegranate, Jalapeno, Olive Oil, Sea Salt
Sashimi of Escolar – Page Mandarin, Bosc Pear Salsa, Cracked Black Pepper, Sea Salt, Olive Oil
Nontraditional/Traditional Poke – Macadamia Nuts, Crispy Onions, Togarashi, Fresh Ginger, Fresh Garlic, Shoju with Green Onion Pancakes
Sashimi “Nicoise” – Hawaiian Big Eye Tuna, Italian Tuna Sauce, Tapanade, Crispy PeeWee Potatoes, Poached Quail Egg, Hericot Verts, Garlic Aioli
Tuna Belly – Beet Gastrique, Beet Chips, Beet Greens, Olive Oil
Beet Napoleon – Pickled, Roasted, Beet Puree, Lavender Honey, Shaved Humboldt Fog Goat Cheese, Red Watercress
Onion Soup – Gruyere Cheese Ravioli, Pretzel Crouton, Beef Stock
Thai Style Wings – Cilantro Soy Sauce, Garlic, Chili, Peanut Sauce
Grandma’s Meatballs – Pork Neck Ragu, Grilled Bread, Handmade Ricotta
Bacon and Egg Raviolo – Black Truffle, Roasted Cherry Tomatoes, Wild Mushroom Sautee
Seared Branzino – Parsnip Puree, Pancetta Hash, Olive Oil
Broccoli Rabe, French Beans, Carrots
Tails and Belly – White Sea Bass, Blood Orange, Anchovy Butter, Salsa Verde
Double Espresso on Ice
Coconut Carrot Cake – Ginger Cream Cheese, Candied Carrot, Coconut & Pineapple Sorbet
Salted Caramel Panna Cotta – Chantilly Cream, Caramel Corn, Chocolate Crunch
Adult Root Beer Float – Not Your Father’s Root Beer, Vanilla Bean, Cinnamon Hazelnut Ice Cream, Warm Ginger Snaps
Turtle Cheesecake – Oreo Cookie Crust, Toasted Pecans, Caramel
Opened days before the close of 2015 but long awaited by in-the-know locals as a homecoming for former Nove chef Geno Bernardo, Herringbone represents the most recent addition to an ever-revitalizing second floor of Aria and although technically a spin-off of celebrity Chef Brian Malarkey’s “Fish Meats Field” concept from Southern California the new restaurant is already showing signs of differentiating itself from the original – not to mention anything else in Las Vegas as a whole.
Billed as a social dining space, lounge-style sofas and chairs or tall-boy bar stools currently the only seating options as the launch of an outdoor patio has been delayed due to chilly weather and a “wind tunnel” created by other surrounding structures, Herringbone sits caddy-corner to the soon-closing Zarkana theater and with bands like Radiohead chiming overhead the vibe is as casual as any in the casino while the menu ranges from clever bar bites and a raw bar to items many-fold more complex and vibrant.
Admittedly known to the Chef and as such treated to a carte blanche tasting incorporating current menu favorites and ideas yet-to-come, it was with incredibly attentive service that twenty plates were presented over the course of three hours, the AFC Playoffs complete with live audio drawing in a nearly full-house to see the Chiefs shutout the Texans while our table barely took notice of the surroundings from the moment a crisp piece of bread topped with uni under a veil of cured pork fat was served.
With beverages kept brimming throughout the meal, house-brewed Iced Tea nicely nuanced with citrus and herbs, courses two and three featured peerless East Coast Oysters that had not been out of their native waters for more than 36 hours before progressing into a one-two punch of Hamachi and Wahoo each elegantly presented with Mani olive oil, citrus and light spicing, each working to highlight the fish without ever once blunting it while equally well tying together for a clean and concise taste.
Far reaching in terms of influences, the jar of Hawaiian Poke an amalgam of no less than a half-dozen recipes with Chinese Pancakes presented as warm delivery mechanisms before moving onto a riff on Tuna Nicoise that tiptoes a bit too close to briny despite being tethered by green beans and wrinkled potatoes, it was nearing the menu’s midpoint that vegetables truly took center stage, beets from Intuitive Forager Kerry Clasby first used to generate a lively gastrique encircling tuna belly before being presented as a jewel-box worthy Mille-feuille that married flavors of earth and sweetness.
Transitioning now to warm plates, concepts presented showing Geno’s versatility atop an Italian heritage that provides the recipe for one of the city’s best meatballs resting in a rich pork ragu, those recalling the Chef’s pastas from high atop The Palms will be happy to know the handmade Gruyere ravioli swimming in rich beef stock are absolutely reference standard, the same to be said of yolky pockets lightly accented with bacon alongside blistered tomatoes that are set or a March brunch debut.
Stunned by the spicy Lollipop Wings, generally not a preferred order for two-of-three at the table but here virtually oilless with a great spice profile alongside housemade peanut sauce, it was next to two large-plate fishes that the table was treated, crispy skinned Branzino finding fanciful dance partners in creamed parsnips and smoky hash while “Tails and Bellies” of White Sea Bass just received that morning were meaty and mild amidst segments of blood orange and a piquant green sauce.
Enjoying an iced Espresso while waiting briefly for dessert, the sweets section by far the most memorable part of a night at Brian Malarkey’s Seersucker several months ago, Herringbone likewise pulls no punches with regard to creativity or presentation in sending diners off at the end of a meal, the carrot cake veering light where others trend too heavy though the use of airy coconut frosting while the cheesecake and float offer playful takes on American classics, the best bites coming last from silky-smooth spoonfuls of cream-topped Caramel Panna Cotta.
FOUR STARS: Based solely on the food presented to our table Herringbone shows high likelihood of rapidly emerging as one of the best places for seafood in town, but taking into account the current seating situation and a menu still undergoing renovation the experience is not yet a 100% complete vision – the mere fact that this place is only likely to get *better* with time definitely something to be excited about.
RECOMMENDED: Sashimi of Escolar, Ahi Tuna Poke, Tuna Belly, Grandma’s Meatballs, Seared Branzino, Panna Cotta.
AVOID: Sashimi “Nicoise” edged a little too close to oversalted for my tastes.
TIP: As noted above, several plates served during this lunch were in the vein of daily specials and upcoming menu ideas. Current online menus are accurate to those within the restaurant.
WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor.