Top of the World
Smooth Criminal – Hennessy V.S., Amaro Nonino Quintessentia, Honey, Lemon, Pomegranate
Bibiana – Don Julio Anejo Tequila, Pama Pomegranate Liqueur, Agave, Lime, Firewater Bitters
White Chocolate Brioche, Baguette, Butter
Beets & Burrata, Wild Rocket Arugula, Ice Wine Vinaigrette, Pumpernickel Tuile
Warm Spinach Salad, Shallots, Apples, Pecans, Blue Cheese, Bacon Vinaigrette
Maryland Lump Crab Cake, Apple Slaw, Citrus Aioli
Filet Mignon Carpaccio, Classic Cipriani, Black Garlic Vinaigrette, Brioche Toast
Tuna Tartare, Avocado, Onions, Capers, Pickled Wasabi, Tōgarashi, Potatoes Gaufrette
Shrimp Scampi, Housemade Capellini, Lemon, Parsley, Garlic Confit, Olive Oil
Cold Water Prawns, Roasted Garlic Herb Butter, Lemon Zest
Maryland Crab Stuffed Chicken, Red Pepper Romesco, Marbled Fingerling Potatoes
Ōra King Salmon, Fennel Soubise, Citrus Segments, Lemon Butter
2.5lb. Australian Lobster Thermidor, Spinach, Organic Mushrooms, Hollandaise Sauce, Pommes Puree
42oz Creekstone Farms 36-Day Dry Aged USDA Prime Porterhouse Steak, Maitake Mushrooms, Broccolini
Green Beans, Spiced Marcona Almonds, Brown Butter
Sweet Potato, Marshmallow, Apple, Local Honey, Pecans
Potato Puree, Butter, Chives
Double Espresso, Ice, Rock Sugar
Spumoni, Cherry Ice Cream, Pistachio Ice Cream, Chocolate Ice Cream, Chocolate Shell, Whipped Cream, Kirsch Cherries
Salted Caramel Crème Brulee, Salted Caramel Corn
NY Style Cheesecake, Strawberries, Blueberries, Blackberries, Tahitian Vanilla Whipped Cream
Baked Alaska, Strawberry Ice Cream, Cookies & Cream Ice Cream, Brownie Ice Cream, Streusel, Meringue Brulee
Bananas Foster, Caramelized Bananas, Almond Financier, Vanilla Ice Cream, Crispy Plantains
21 Layer Chocolate Cake, Chocolate Ganache, Whipped Cream
First making reservations at Top of the World shortly after Pawan Pinisetti was named Executive Chef it was for the third time since September that seats were taken 106 floors up on Saturday, a string of Superbowl commercials producing an even more packed room than usual but the Chef and his team nonetheless serving a meal that compares favorably to any of Las Vegas’ top tables.
Previously discussed at length during both lunch and dinner, this visit’s 6:30pm start featuring the slowly-rotating room with candles beneath overhead lighting, it was past security and quickly on arrival that guests were seated, all of Las Vegas twinkling in the distance and an educated server presenting menus for both Food and Beverage.
Visibly unchanged despite The Stratosphere’s makeover, rebranding as “The Strat” seeing Chef Pinisetti across several media outlets discussing his passion for Ingredient quality and sourcing, it was beginning with Wine and Cocktails that four guests conversed at modest volume, both the Cognac-based Smooth Criminal and spicy Bibiana fruity but packing a punch with the former particularly well-suited for sipping thanks to its viscosity and lengthy herbal linger.
Continuing the Bread Basket debuted in December, a good choice as both lightly-sweetened Brioche and a sliced Baguette made on-site serve different purposes, opening plates featured many old favorites such as warm Spinach topped in Bacon Vinaigrette plus Tuna Tartare bolstered by Pickled Wasabi, the Filet Mignon Carpaccio dating back to Pawan’s days at Fiamma and still delicious as ever thanks to high quality Meat and Cipriani’s timeless Dressing.
Additionally tasting Beets & Burrata plus Crab Cakes for the second time, the former elegantly plated with earthy flavors finding their foil in Ice Wine while Cakes hold together despite almost no binder, it was as an off menu mid-course that Pawan presented his interpretation of Shrimp “Scampi,” housemade Angel Hair Pasta still with a bit of spring providing support to several shell-less specimens lightly dressed in Olive Oil and confit Garlic plus a touch of Lemon.
Not the sort of Chef who allows showmanship to get in the way of execution, three minimally-adorned Prawns from the Indian coast split and grilled to start round three, suffice it to say that Top of the World’s Salmon remains a must-order even for those typically not fond of Fish, the product from Ōra King fatty but clean and beautifully paired to Orange segments plus a subtle hint of Licorice.
Going a bit bolder with Chicken Breast fortified by Crab Meat, a smear of Red Pepper Romesco not overwhelming and serving nicely as a Condiment for roasted Potatoes, those seeking something even more substantial shouldn’t think twice about Lobster Thermidor or a 42oz Dry Aged Porterhouse…unless of course they are eating alone, in which case the former may actually be a bigger challenge to finish thanks to the richness of Crustacean, Mushrooms, Potatoes and buttery Hollandaise.
Almost forgetting three sides, though the Thanksgiving-esque Sweet Potatoes stand out in terms of presentation and flavor, it was with all but a few cubes of beautifully aged Beef consumed that leftover Green Beans and Broccolini were boxed, another round of share plates soon arriving even though many were already waving their napkin like a white flag.
Deferring Dessert to the Kitchen, in retrospect both a brilliant and bad idea, it was on request that Espresso was presented alongside a glass of Ice, the moments following largely a blur as two servers arrived carrying all six of Top of the World’s sweets including the towering Chocolate Cake that probably would have been enough all on its own.
Working slowly at this point, the fact that both Crème Brulee and Spumoni go down smooth without occupying a lot of stomach space definitely noteworthy for those of smaller appetites, it was as fireworks sparkled in the distance that room was made for Bananas Foster and a few velvety bites of Cheesecake, though not before indulging in plenty of Baked Alaska from which only a splotch of Meingue was left over.
FIVE STARS: All of Las Vegas has probably now seen the Superbowl commercial plus News segments for The Stratosphere’s rebranding as The Strat, and whether that will be enough to lure in a new generation of guests in anybody’s guess, but ever since Pawan Pinisetti took over Top of the World Restaurant the Food has been outstanding, three visits since September with dinner on Saturday the best yet thanks to twenty great plates, 3 hours of conversation and even fireworks to finish. Go for the Food Stay for the view. How’s that for rebranding?
RECOMMENDED: Smooth Criminal, White Chocolate Brioche, Tuna Tartare, Warm Spinach Salad, Sweet Potato, Lobster Thermidor, Ōra King Salmon, Cold Water Prawns, 36-Day Dry Aged USDA Prime Porterhouse, Bananas Foster, 21 Layer Chocolate Cake, Baked Alaska.
AVOID: The Green Beans still seem a little underwhelming.
TIP: If you were planning to visit for Valentine’s Day it’s time to look elsewhere as Top of the World is fully booked. Perhaps Easter Brunch or Mother’s Day…or any time lunch or dinner, really.
WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor.