It’s Still Hot in Mexico – Tequila, Thai Chili, Agave, Lime, Cilantro, Cucumber Juice
Amuse – Jicama, Watermelon, Tajin Spice
Yacht Seafood Tower – 6 BeauSoleil Oysters, 6 Naked Cowboy Oysters, 3/4 lb Alaskan King Crab, 1 1/2 Maine Lobster, 8 Jumbo Shrimp, Spicy Cocktail Sauce, Kimchee Mignonette, Apple Mignonette, Spicy Remoulade, Devil’s Dip Sauce, Shark Sauce
Tomato & Avocado Salad – Snapdragons, Kale, Thai Basil, Watermelon Radishes, White Wine Vinegar
Buffalo Octopus – Black-eyed Peas, Celery, Carrots, Buffalo Sauce
Viking Village Scallops – Ginger, Matsutake Mushrooms, Red Bell Pepper Coulis, Haricot Verts
Lobster Larb – Chiles, Grapefruit, Toasted Rice
Crispy Branzino – Tamarind Powder, Curried Vegetables
Braised Swordfish – Red Wine Fish Fumet, Olives, Capers, Fingerling Potatoes, Peppers, Onions
Brussels & Pecans – Deep Fried, Candied Pecans
Death by Potatoes – Parmesan, Mascarpone, Butter, Bacon, Scallions
Creekstone Farms Coffee-rubbed New York Strip – Blistered Shishito Peppers, Black Garlic Chimichurri
8-oz Filet – Port Wine Reduction, Arugula, Tomatoes on the Vine
Double Espresso – Ice
Mascarpone Cheesecake – Mascarpone, Strawberry Gelee, Pistachio, 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 has been jokingly stated that Chefs in Las Vegas are like gypsies in terms of their migration and with the brand recently sold by Brian Malarkey to Hakkasan Group and Geno Bernardo gone it was under the direction of Chef Marty Red Deleon Lopez that dinner was enjoyed at Herringbone on Friday, the Vegas Golden Knights live on Television both inside and on the outdoor patio where a DJ spun tunes.
Formerly of 35 Steaks + Martinis followed by a brief stint at Andre’s Bistro & Bar, Chef Marty’s tenure at Aria’s second floor home of “Land Meats Sea” beginning earlier this year but only now starting to make the menu his own, it was arriving just prior to 6:45pm that two diners were greeted by familiar faces including longtime Managers and a server named Austin, seats taken outside at the lady’s preference as Sin City’s brief Spring was agreeable without the need for misters or heat lamps.
No stranger to Herringbone or neighboring Bardot Brasserie and Jean Georges Steakhouse, the trio undoubtedly comprising Las Vegas highest density of great Food in such a small area, it was with servers immediately whisking away menus that one “It’s Still Hot in Mexico” was delivered based on memory, a small Amuse of Jicama and Watermelon quick to follow before presenting a grand platter of Seafood highlighted by BeauSoleil Oysters, Jumbo Shrimp and wrist-thick Crab Legs plus six housemade Sauces.
A frequent destination for big sporting events, the Big Ten Championship and Superbowl most recently serving a magnificent spread but this visit more focused on an upcoming Menu change and several Chef Marty originals, it was starting light that Herringbone’s current Tomato & Avocado Salad was updated by vibrant Antirrhinum and Thai Basil dressed in White Wine Vinegar, the light spice and minty notes immediately refreshing the palate prior to a collection of new and old, the Buffalo Octopus thicker with char than prior and all better for it while seared Scallops with Mushrooms were safe yet nicely prepared, though certainly not as noteworthy as “Lobster Larb” topped with what Chef would only refer to as “crack,” it’s crisp and buttery taste a perfect juxtaposition to fresh Shellfish, Grapefruit and Peppers.
Admitting a mandate from corporate to focus on “rustic Farm-to-Table” without getting to “Chef-y,” a task anyone familiar with Marty and Michael’s plating at Hard Rock will realize ignores a significant talent, it was nonetheless utilizing Herringbone’s great sourcing ability that course four featured two line-caught Fish flown in that day, the Swordfish braised in Mediterranean flavors meaty, moist and great for those seeking something healthy while deboned and fried Branzino was easily the night’s most noteworthy plate given its light and crispy texture that ate well on its own but even better when shredded into Jungle Curry.
Offering more menu previews by way of “his & hers” Steaks, the Coffee-rubbed Prime Strip definitely a Beer-drinker’s favorite thanks to robust smokiness and Black Garlic Sauce, it was in the opinion of both guests that the thicker Filet cooked Medium-Rare was a better choice for those not just looking to ‘get full,’ particularly with sides such as Las Vegas’ best Brussels Sprouts and creamy Potatoes with two types of Cheese, Lardons and Scallions competing for stomach space.
Unfortunately not yet updating the Dessert Menu, an “if it’s not broke don’t fix it” strategy apparently in place as everything remains good despite being tasted several times prior, it was with two Cakes and a Tart that dinner reached its conclusion, the Cheesecake remaining a great choice for those seeking something light though the Salted Caramel Tart is the only one that would be missed if/when the collection finally gets a makeover…and hopefully brings back the Carrot Cake or Bread Pudding that seem far better fitting a “Farm to Table” concept.
FOUR AND A HALF STARS: Offering some of the freshest Fish and best Produce in Las Vegas the challenge facing Herringbone as it moves forward with Hakkasan will be one of differentiating itself from the pack, something that “farm to table” cooking seems unlikely to do in 2018 but the sort of thing Chef Marty has proven capable of in the past and continues to do with daily specials that taste even better than they look.
RECOMMENDED: Seafood Tower, Buffalo Octopus, Lobster Larb, Crispy Fish, Brussels Sprouts, Death by Potatoes, Salted Chocolate Caramel Tart.
AVOID: The New York Strip gets lost amidst Peppers, Garlic and Coffee.
TIP: New Menu coming 5/21…also, never park above the third floor of Aria during a Knights game unless you’re planning on hanging around the Strip until 90-minutes after the final horn.
WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor.