It’s Still Hot in Mexico – Resposado Tequila, Thai Chili, Agave, Lime, Cilantro, Cucumber Juice
Cherrystone Clam Ceviche – Salmon, Pico, Peppers, Vinaigrette
Ceviche Toastada – Rockfish, Serrano Peppers, Red Onion, Cilantro, Lime, Radish, Guacamole
Pacu Fish Ribs – Grilled, Cranberry Chipotle BBQ, Charred Lemon
Charred Squid – Lamb Sausage, Squid Ink Aioli, Citrus Vinaigrette
Pork Belly Tacos / Duck Confit Tacos – Potato Scallion Pancakes, Matchstick Apples, Greens with Sorrel, Apple, Grape, Mandarin Orange and Quince Salad
Cherrystone Clams – Mushrooms, Linguica Sausage, Garlic, Tomatoes, Red Peppers
Buffalo Octopus – Black-eyed Peas, Celery, Carrots, Ranch
Mary’s Roasted Half Chicken – Tortilla Shells, Black Beans, Scallion Rice, Arugula, Spicy Guacamole Crema
Brussels & Pecans – Deep Fried, Candied Pecans
Mascarpone Cheesecake – Mascarpone, Strawberry Gelee, Pistachio, Mandarin-Yuzu Sorbet
Chocolate Cake – Caramel Mousse, Raspberry Chocolate Ganache, White Chocolate Cream
Chocolate, Sea Salt & Caramel – Chocolate Sauce, Candied Hazelnuts, Chocolate Crumble, Nutella Gelato
It may come as a surprise to some that although Las Vegas likely possesses more 24/7 Bars and Sports Bars than anywhere in America, many highly regarded both locally and nationally, the process of finding one that offers great food while also being suitable for a ten year old is easier said than done, the vast majority of these allocated to The Strip and even then some like Lagasse’s Stadium off-limits du e to gaming which made the decision to visit Herringbone for the Big Ten Championship a perfect, if unlikely, fit.
Rapidly approaching anniversary number two amidst Aria’s second floor dining collection, the trio of Brian Malarkey’s Herringbone, Jean Georges Steakhouse and Mina’s Bardot Brasserie arguably the best 100-yard stretch of dining in a city full of outstanding food, it was just moments prior to a 5pm Kickoff that three guests checked in at the hostess podium in front of the large space, an offer of indoors or outside clearly favoring the former thanks to at least a dozen televisions including four set to the Buckeyes and Badgers with others showing Miami versus Clemson.
Frequently offering in-game commentary during lunch or on NFL Sundays, the decision to play low-volume music from a DJ outdoors understandable based on Weekend evening clientele, it was shortly after settling into a standard size four-top that guests were greeted by familiar faces including longtime servers and managers plus Chef Nick Aoki.
Having last visited the Restaurant in June for a pre-show Dinner, the menu since transitioning to Autumn and soon to give rise to Winter 2017, it was after perusing the choices for several minutes and ordering drinks including a spicy holdover titled It’s Still Hot in Mexico that the decision was made to give Chef Aoki Carte Blanche for the evening, several current items offered in addition to some upcoming throughout the course of the game.
Specifically requesting just one dish and otherwise offering no allergies or predilections, the youngster happy to keep pace with adults while sipping Cranberry Juice, it was not long before plates began a steady roll-out started by marinated Cherrystone Clams mixed with tender Salmon and diced Vegetables dressed in lemony Vinaigrette, the flavors bold but balanced and a nice tie-in to the aforementioned request of a housemade Corn Tortilla fried crispy and topped with Guacamole, Peppers and cubes of meaty Rockfish.
Ending Las Vegas’ warmer weather with grilling still on the brain, Geno Bernardo’s long-established connections frequently allowing Herringbone to work with ingredients not featured elsewhere in town, it was with both raw preparations quickly consumed that a large plate of Pacu roasted on the Ribs was presented, the texture not unlike Pork lending itself nicely to a thick mop of smoky Barbecue Sauce with small bones rarely a nuisance while the charcoal-kissed Squid from Nick looked forward to the next season as each snappy Cephalopod was stuffed with warming Lamb Sausage.
Ever a confident kitchen, both Chef Aoki and Bernardo given a lot of creative control despite the restaurant now being a “brand” with five locations, it was transitioning from Sea to Land that course five offered two types of “Tacos” served on tender Potato Pancakes, the dark-meat Duck supple, gamey and perfect for fans of Fowl while the Pork Belly was its typical crowd-pleasing self with fatty Flesh juxtaposing crispy Skin.
Returning to the Ocean for two familiar items, the opening Clams now served hot with Mushrooms and housemade Linguica bathed in Garlic preceding Summer’s Buffalo Octopus that remains a Herringbone best-seller thanks to both the beautifully charred Tentacles and creamy Black Eyed Peas beneath, it was with a large-format modification of Herringbone’s Roasted Chicken that savories came to a close, all the makings for Tacos including Beans, Rice and feather-light Guacamole offered alongside a half-Bird from Mary’s with both Dark and Light Meat cooked exactly as they should be.
Certainly not forgetting the Sprouts, still one of Sin City’s best preparations thanks to a quick trip to the fryer plus candied Pecans and sticky-sweet Sauce, it was moving from Iced Tea to Hot Coffee as the game entered quarter number four that Dessert arrived, none changed from last visit but all still delicious with the Cheesecake again a standout though the little guy personally loved and devoured most of the Nutella Gelato and Chocolate-Caramel Tart.
FIVE STARS: Continually evolving while service remains some of the strongest in the city there is really no reason to think of Herringbone as anything less than one of Las Vegas’ best mid-priced Restaurants, the price-point obviously a bit shifted just like everything else on The Strip but not one dish over the course of two recent visits anything less than excellent.
RECOMMENDED: Pacu Ribs, Ceviche Tostada, Buffalo Octopus, Charred Squid, Brussels Sprouts, Mascarpone Cheesecake.
AVOID: N/A, though they really should bring back the opening Menu’s Carrot Cake or Banana Bread Pudding to spruce up the Dessert Menu.
TIP: Several items were daily specials or upcoming dishes from the Winter Menu, please see online menu and Herringbone Social Media for current offerings.
WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor.