It’s Still Hot in Mexico – Espolon Repsado Tequila, Thai Chili, Agave, Lime, Cilantro, Cucumber / Kiss my Bubbles – Belvedere Vodka, Aloe Vera, Elderflower, Strawberry, Lime, Simple Syrup, Prosecco
Hamachi Sashimi with Ruby Red Grapefruit, Serrano Chiles, Avocado
Buffalo Octopus with Black-eyed Peas, Celery, Carrots, Ranch
Mango with Roast Duck, Cashews, Jicama, Passion Fruit-Truffle Vinaigrette
Green Lip Mussels Tikka, Cilantro, Grilled Flatbread
Summer Pea Ravioli, Morels, Butter, Hoisin Barbeque Sauce
Chilean Sea Bass with Farmer’s Market Vegetables, Citrus Miso Glaze
Brussels & Pecans with Maple
Chocolate Cake with Caramel Mousse, Raspberry Chocolate Grenache, White Chocolate Cream
Mascarpone Cheesecake with Strawberry Gelee, Pistachio and Mandarin-Yuzu Sorbet
Chocolate, Sea Salt & Caramel with Candied Hazelnuts and Nutella Gelato
Not especially sold on Searsucker, but a fan of Brian Malarkey’s Herringbone at Aria ever since its earliest days under the toque of Geno Bernardo, it was prior to a show at The Park that two guests sat down to enjoy the late-Spring dinner menu, a 5:00pm reservation seeing Chef Nick Aoki currently in charge and the service as good as ever.
Continuing to do good business for Brunch even during Las Vegas’ warming weather, the poolside patio still hosting a few lingering customers even as the wind whipped through palm trees, it was at a four-top in the middle of the dining room that seating was offered, the menu quickly perused before deferring to Chef’s choice, a pair of drinks including the Fruit-forward “Kiss My Bubbles” and Thai Basil-infused “It’s Still Hot in Mexico” both well crafted and balanced at the Strip-expected cost of $17.
Aware of the seven o’clock showtime, and sending out plates one-by-one at a pace that was never too fast, it was with summertime tunes playing overhead that Chef Aoki’s new Yellowtail course was served with Grapefruit, Chiles, Avocado and crispy Shallots added for a crunch, the clean flavor well-suited for rising temperatures while a follow-up of triple-cooked Octopus topped in housemade Buffalo Sauce is more of an anytime dish that makes the Cephalopod more accessible to some while reinterpreting it in a surprisingly delicious and tender way for those who are familiar.
Continuing to embrace the “Fish Meats Field” concept, though many might believe that the restaurant is solely about Fruits of the sea, plate three was presented as the Chef’s nightly special with roasted Duck served atop sliced Mangoes and Jicama with Cashews and a bright Vinaigrette that worked despite that Passion Fruit thanks to top notes of Summer Truffle, Chef Geno’s Green Lip Mussels Tikka continuing where the Octopus left off by presenting a fusion of ideas that worked, though more Grilled bread would have been ideal to sop up *all* the creamy Sauce brightened by Garlic and Tomato.
Showing off two dinnertime favorites and one new plate for Summer, the caramelized Sprouts as good as any in town while a sizable fillet of Sea Bass was served tender and meaty with a vibrant glaze over Intuitive Forager’s Market Vegetables, those reminiscing of Chef Bernardo’s days at Nove will be happy to know his Pasta continues to shine by way of sweet Pea Ravioli served with Morel Mushrooms bathed in Butter and a fairly mild Hoisin Sauce.
Enjoying a Double Espresso along with Dessert, the Dark Chocolate and Caramel Tart specifically requested based on the recommendation of others everything a ‘Chocoholic’ might want with a bitter Ganache sweetened by Caramelized Hazelnuts and Nutella Gelato, those looking for something lighter would be well advised to choose between the flourless Mousse Cake stuffed with Raspberry Jam beneath a quenelle of White Chocolate Cream or the smooth-as-silk Cheesecake atop a Pistachio Biscuit served with refreshing Citrus Sorbet.
FIVE STARS: Executing the rare feat of offering quality Shellfish, creative fusion plates and subtle dishes that would not be out of place in a restaurant from one of the Strip’s French Masters, Herringbone succeeds in targeting a wide customer base without seeming contrived, Chef Aoki steering the ship with confidence as Geno helps tweak the California locations and readies to open new Herringbones in Hawaii and Los Cabos.
RECOMMENDED: Buffalo Octopus, Mussels Tikka, Summer Pea Ravioli, It’s Still Hot in Mexico, Mascarpone Cheesecake.
AVOID: Getting your hopes up for the Duck Salad…though the restaurant almost always offers a daily special.
TIP: New menu launches on June 15th with plates including the Hamachi and Ravioli plus several additions and changes in other plates’ set-ups.
WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor.