7th & Carson
Downtown Buzz – Tanqueray Gin, Local Honey, Lemon Juice
Hot Melons – Tequila Blanco, Habanero Syrup, Lemon Juice, Watermelon Juice, Cracked Pepper
Hearth Oven Bread and Dip 4 Ways – Hummus, Babaganoush, Roasted Red Pepper, Cucumber Yogurt
1/2 Dozen Oysters – East vs. West, Grilled Peach Mignonette, Bloody Mary Cocktail Sauce
Grilled Peach and Burrata – Arugula, Black Pepper Honey, Basil Pesto
Lamb Sausage Pizetta – Feta, Pickled Red Onion, Yogurt, Dill
Smoked Pork Belly – Truffle Honey, Bay Blue, Chicharron
Downtown Dubliner Burger – Whiskey Onion Jam, Bacon, Dubliner Cheese
Duckling Pot Pies – Duck Leg, Peas, Carrots
CFC Wings – Fried Chicken, Togarashi, Honey, Hot Sauce
Legs and Eggs – Tempura Crab Leg, Caviar, Barrel Age Ponzu, Wasabi
White Truffle Toast – Grilled Focaccia, Gouda Fondue, Rosemary
Panna Cotta – Salted Caramel, Whipped Cream
Officially opened on June 29th in the former Glutton Space, ex-Light Group Director of Operations Liam Dwyer bringing Chef Gregg Fortunato to DTLV after a brief stint at HeXx, 7th & Carson has been quietly impressing guests ever since day one, a Friday night visit immediately following some new menu additions showing the kitchen already performing very well with bold flavors, quality ingredients and a lot of clever ideas.
Making small modifications in terms of paint and tabletops but largely quite similar in concept to Bradley Manchester’s dearly departed downtown spot at 616 E. Carson Avenue, the Craft Cocktails and Share Plates format fairly common across the globe for the last decade, 7th & Carson hopes to stir interest in an area where several restaurants have come and gone since Kerry Simon and Cory Harwell launched Carson Kitchen down the way from already successful Eat. the menu divided into four sections focused on Land, Sea, Garden and Oven with a flipside of Beers, Wines and creative Mixed Drinks.
A self-aware operation, the choice to route patrons to a podium near the patio on 7th taking away from the ‘urban’ feel and welcoming them to a place that feels more a part of the community than some random building, entry to 7th & Carson sees the space immediately unfold with kitchen to the right and bar to the left, the bold patterns on tables and spot-lighting making everything feel a little more exciting, though the iHeartRadio playlist plays a little too loudly overhead.
Still featuring the same kitchen design, a large wood-burning oven the focal point for good reason as many of the Breads and Meats are served piping hot with a touch of smoke, those who had the opportunity to taste Chef Fortunato’s work at Inyo or Blue Ribbon will be happy to see him freed from behind the scenes, smiling or chatting with guests and even though the food is no longer Asian the Chef seems very comfortable showing off another side of his skill-set.
Self-described as a “nice drinking spot with really great food,” both sides of the menu loaded with intriguing choices at prices about 40% less than what one would expect to pay for similar on The Strip, it was after a warm welcome from Gregg that a server stopped by to make recommendations, the Mixologist quickly charged with orders for two Cocktails including a classic Bee’s Knees re-titled Downtown Buzz and the subtly spiced “Hot Melons” that is about as perfect a Summer Cocktail as one can fathom, the fresh Watermelon Juice cooling housemade Habanero Syrup in a manner so compelling that it needed to be tried twice.
Allowing Chef Fortunato to dictate the flow of the evening, several plates ordered and a few brand new items sent out for feedback, it was with a fluffy ‘Pita’ made from cold-fermented Pizza Dough that the meal got started, the Mediterranean quartet of Spreads all delicious on their own and better when added to the Za’atar-spiced puff slicked in Olive Oil with a lightly crunchy Crust and hot, airy insides.
Dining with two others, the youngster a fiend for Oysters and apparently very happy with the East/West trios served alongside Grilled Peach Mignonette and boozy Cocktail Sauce, those who truly love Peaches would do well to order a recently added Salad of Grilled Peaches and Burrata Cheese, this version succeeding where The Black Sheep faltered by rendering the Fruit just a touch soft and balancing the sweetness of Honey with herbal Pesto and fresh Arugula.
Shying away from the words “Pizza” or “Flatbread” and labeling the Wood-fired rounds of Dough with toppings including Cheese “Pizetta,” a choice clearly based on misconceptions and marketing, those dining with a group would be well advised to take their pick from four choices including Margherita or Lamb Sausage, the latter placing spicy Merguez atop a blistered Crust with Feta, Pickled Onions and Fresh Yogurt while those looking for something with less carbohydrates may be better off investing $12 in an all-new plate of Pork Belly with Blue Cheese, Pig Skins and Honey.
Recently adding a requisite Burger to the menu, Mr. Dwyer’s Irish roots compelling the use of sweet Dubliner Cheese and Whiskey roasted Onions atop smoky Bacon and a thick Patty nestled inside a toasty Bun, it is with another Bar Food favorite that Gregg first brings a bit of Spring Mountain Road to Downtown Las Vegas, the twice-fried Wings immediately among the city’s best with a dusting of Togarashi and added-to-taste sides of Honey and housemade Hot Sauce.
Taking a lead from Cory and John at Carson Kitchen in offering familiar choices with ‘exotic’ ingredients added in a manner that will make them accessible to timid first timers, the confit Duck rolled into Puff Pastry with Peas and Carrots already a fan favorite, it is once again by channeling the flavors of Japan that Fortunato presents his “Legs and Eggs,” the tempura Crab sweet and meaty beneath delicate Batter while the combination of Wasabi Cream and Caviar is fairly intense and thus likely not for everyone.
Only currently offering one Dessert, a daily Chef’s creation that is not listed on the menu, it was with a pot of Gouda Fondue and fluffy Focacia that savory transitioned to sweet, the Salted Caramel “Panna Cotta” bruleed on one half more like a Budino when paired with whipped cream and certainly something that should be considered for the full-time line up.
FOUR STARS: Already off to a good start, the space pretty empty at 5:45pm but almost completely full by 8:30, 7th & Carson is a welcome addition to the DTLV and if management continues to let Chef Fortunato show his skills one can only hope this will be the start of big things to come for both the Restaurant and the entire downtown dining scene.
RECOMMENDED: Hot Melons, Hearth Oven Bread, Grilled Peach and Burrata, Lamb and Sausage Pizzetta, Downtown Dubliner Burger.
AVOID: The Music needs to be turned down, especially in areas towards the center of the room, otherwise the only complaint would be that the Pork Belly was a touch overcooked and that one Dessert is simply inadequate.
TIP: Currently open Thursday through Monday from 5pm till late. Online Menu up-to-date as of 8/18/17.
WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor.