BLVD & MAIN Taphouse
House Baked Pretzel Bites – Pilsner Beer Cheese Dipping Sauce
Bierocks – Stout-braised Short Rib-stuffed Bread, Whole Grain Mustard, Pilsner Beer Cheese Dipping Sauce
Tomato Bisque – Crème Fraiche, Sherry Wine, Shallots, Roasted Tomato
Main Street Sliders – House-blend Ground Beef, Toasted Potato Bun, Smoked Cheddar Cheese, Crispy Bacon, Special Sauce
Carnivore Flatbread – Pepperoni, Ground Beef, Corned Bison, Bacon, Buffalo Mozzarella, Tomato Basil Sauce
Poutine – Fries, Wisconsin Cheese Curds, Chicken Gravy, Chives
Coffee – Sweetener, Cream
Fondue For Sharing – Chocolate Ganache, Housemade Gourmet Marshmallows, Housemade Graham Crackers, M&M’s, Heath Bar, Peanuts
Apple Pie Flautas – Flour Tortillas, Cream, Baked Apples, Cinnamon, Caramel, Vanilla Sauce
Toffee Cake – Butter Toffee, Crème Fraiche Ice Cream, Buttered Rum-Toffee Sauce
S’mores Cake – Flourless Chocolate Molten Cake, Toasted Meringue, Housemade Graham Cracker, Chocolate Biscotti
Although only officially open to the public since March 21st it was in search of someplace to watch the NCAA Tournament that three guests entered BLVD & MAIN on Sunday, a spacious location next to the Sportsbook part of ongoing renovations at The STRAT and the experience already quite impressive.
Described as a Taphouse but an all-ages affair targeting fans, something less common than many would imagine even as Las Vegas has become more family friendly, it is via illuminated menu near the ground-floor entrance that guests are presented a list of thirty-plus items ranging from “Social Appetizers” to Desserts, hostesses inside happy to assist with seating whether in a bar lined with televisions or the dining room decorated urban-chic.
A concept long in development, dishes from former collaborators as well as Bart Mahoney and Charline Padgett executed by Chef Johannes Bernau, it was with greetings from an affable server recently relocated from New England that suggestions were offered, the decision not to imbibe entirely based on work the next day though both Beers and Cocktails are wide-ranging and priced a few dollars less than they typically are on The Strip.
Not particularly busy at 6:00pm, though the crowd picked up shortly thereafter, it was with both video and sound from Ohio State versus Houston that course one was presented, a sharable bowl of Tomato Bisque for just $6 marred by the fact that it wasn’t quite hot enough while Pretzel Bites and “Bierocks” containing tender Short Rib in a Dutch Crunch Bun were each beautifully executed and good on their own, but even better with housemade Beer Cheese.
Firing Entrees soon thereafter, a rounded booth with USB Chargers amongst the most comfortable “Bar Seating” in Sin City, it was with the game already tilting towards The Cougars that three more plates arrived, Poutine with Gravy on the side assuring Fries more crispy than most while Stone-Oven Flatbread and Sliders cooked just shy of Medium don’t look to reinvent the wheel but instead highlight good ingredients executed properly.
Saving space for something sweet, an area frequently neglected by Bars both on Las Vegas Boulevard and in the community, it was alongside Coffee that all four of BLVD & MAIN’s Desserts were offered, the $22 “Fondue For Sharing” most certainly that as Raspberry, Caramel, Coconut, Chocolate and Cookies & Cream Marshmallows come ready to be dipped in melted Ganache and stacked on Graham Crackers while the molten Chocolate Cake in a jar is equally rich and similar in spirit for those who prefer something individually sized.
Angling lighter with Apple Pie Flautas, the Fruit suspended in Cream Cheese reminiscent of preparations found in Amish Country, it was finally beneath a tableside pour of Buttered Rum Sauce that Sticky Toffee Pudding stole the spotlight, each bite expectedly sweet but nicely balanced by plenty of Booze and tangy Ice Cream at the bargain-basement price of just nine dollars.
FOUR STARS: Still brand new and at times aggressively priced it will be interesting to see how customers react to BLVD & MAIN, but no matter how one feels about the #stratrising rebrand a comfortable all-ages Taphouse with plenty of sports on television and shockingly good Desserts certainly stands out.
RECOMMENDED: Bierocks, Carnivore Flatbread, Poutine, Apple Pie Flautas, Toffee Cake.
AVOID: In this instance the Tomato Bisque was compromised by being tepid, though flavor was good, and although designed “For Sharing” the amount of Ganache served for Fondue is far too much and something that could be decreased by at least a quarter thereby lowering the price to under $20 and making it more appealing to cost-conscious diners.
TIP: Not yet celebrating their Grand Opening, but serving Sunday-Thursday from 11am to 10pm and Friday-Saturday till 2am, expect more changes in décor and menu going forward.
WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor.