Shellfish Platter – 2 Jumbo Shrimp, 4 Stallion Oysters, 2 Kusshi Oysters, 1/2 lb Alaskan King Crab, Whole Maine Lobster, Coctel de Camaron, Coronita with Kimchi Salsa, Apple Mignonette, Lemon, Tobasco, Cocktail Sauce
Beet Salad – Avocado, Jumbo Lump Crab, Tomato Salsa, Extra Virgin Olive Oil
U4 Madagascar Prawn – Burnt Lemon Aioli, Tomatillo Salsa
San Marzano Tomato Stew – Quail Eggs, Farm Eggs, Mozzarella, Pork Ragu, Charred Bread
Naked Cowboy Oysters Rockefeller – Sauce Béarnaise
Manilla Clams and Dungeness Crab – San Marzano Salsa
Crab Cake Benny – Lump Crab Meat, 63° Farm Eggs, Spicy Hollandaise, Crispy Leeks
Bacon & Egg Ravioli – Pancetta, Farm Egg, Parmesan Cheese
Pan Seared Gnocchi – Brown Butter, Vodka Sauce
Wild Caught Hamachi – Belly and Loin with Shaved Japanese Red Mullet Bottarga
Little Gem Salad – Baby Romaine, Smoked Trout Dressing, Salt Poached Farm Egg, Croutons, Parmesan
Rosemary Lamb Chops – Crispy Leeks, Spicy Hollandaise
French Toast – White Chocolate Brioche, Bananas, Nutella, Crème Anglaise, Tree Sap
Orange Ricotta Chocolate Chip Pancakes – Tree Sap, Whipped Cream, Chocolate Covered Bacon
Espresso Milkshake – Dark Chocolate Rim
Cheesecake Mousse – ‘Nilla Crumbles, Raspberry Compote, White Chocolate, Flowers
Hearing that Herringbone had reached a new level in recent months, but unable to find a chance to visit during weeks prior, it was finally for Christmas Eve Brunch that a party of two sat down in the airy space on the second floor of Aria, Chef Geno Bernardo’s Carte Blanche menu unequivocally impressive, as too was service throughout the afternoon.
Greeted with a glass of Champagne at a sizable four-top, the Low-Boy/High-Top configuration now improved by several standard tables, it was with the NFL on-screen and a DJ spinning mid-tempo that Chef Bernardo stopped by to say hello and describe his plan, a strong focus on Crab for the lady at the table capturing her heart from the get-go as an Iced platter of Shellfish arrived with two thick Legs plus a Lobster, the Mexican-style Shrimp Cocktail also right up her ally while the sweet Kushi Oysters and plump Stallions also impressed along with their trio of Sauces.
Blessed by some of the best products in the city, Gino’s long-tenure and established connections to Fish Mongers as well as local Farms helping the restaurant in ways that a “Celebrity Chef” name never will, following courses diverged from the typical brunch to present an Avocado Salad with Lump Crab and Salsa, the forearm sized Prawn reminiscent of the good days at Bartolotta with even more intrigue added by the Tomatillo and bright Lemon condiments.
Continuing the off-menu tasting, many of the recipes served with stories of the Chef’s heritage, a big bowl of Tomato Stew quickly found thickness in a mixture of two types of Eggs plus Mozzarella and Pork Ragu, the bowl of Manilla Clams and Dungeness Crab similar yet different as brine blended with sweetness while the Naked Cowboy Rockefeller improved of a classic with Sauce Béarnaise in a sidecar.
Flipping back to the traditional Brunch menu temporarily, a half-portion of Crab Cakes Benedict served with Spicy Hollandaise and Crispy Leeks that would also be seen with two tender Lamb Chops later, the Bacon & Egg Ravioli as well as pan seared Potato Dumplings showed the Chef’s Pasta skills have not diminished since his days at Nove, the Gem Salad and Wild Caught Hamachi both simple and perfect with fragrant Red Mullet Bottarga a treat previously unseen.
Back to menu for a sweet finale, the games and DJ both winding down but a trickle of traffic still coming in, Herringbone’s Ricotta Pancakes continue to make one wonder why other places cannot balance Citrus and Chocolate with such subtlety, the White Chocolate Brioche with Bananas and Nutella not quite as custardy as some may prefer while the “Cheescake” really did eat like a airy Mousse, especially when compared to the thick and creamy Milkshake.
FIVE STARS: Admitting that more than 1/3 of the plates served are not currently available on either the brunch or dinner menu, but that several are considered works in progress to potentially debut soon, Herringbone continues to fly under the radar as one of Las Vegas’ best spots for Seafood thanks to Chef Bernardo’s sourcing and creativity while the service also outshines many places considered more ‘refined’ and formal.
RECOMMENDED: Madagascar Prawn, Manilla Clams and Dungeness Crab, Pan Seared Gnocchi, Wild Caught Hamachi, Orange Ricotta Chocolate Chip Pancakes.
AVOID: French Toast could use a bit more time in the custard.
TIP: Friends and fans of Geno will be proud to know that the Chef will soon be traveling to take the Las Vegas Herringbone menu to Santa Monica as well as the islands, Sin City’s temporary loss once again a strong testament to the quality of the Chefs cooking in our community.
WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor.