Mordeo Boutique Wine Bar
Charcuterie Board – Oven Roasted Tomatoes, Piparra Peppers, Fig Jam, Dijon Mustard, Baguettes
Soy Mirin Pulpo – Grilled Spanish Octopus, Fingerling Potatoes, Arugula, Tomatoes, Capers, Quinoa, Yuzu Dressing
Grilled Nigerian U3 Prawns – Lobster Roe Butter, Lime Zest
Morcilla de Arroz – Blood Sausage, Garlic, Cilantro, Chili Oil, Sake, Egg Yolk, Baguette
150 Day Dry Aged Creekstone Farms 42oz Tomahawk Steak – Garlic Confit, Rosemary, Thyme, Brown Butter
Papas Bravas – Yukon Gold Potatoes, Roasted Garlic, Onion, Parsley, Pimenton Aioli
Hongos Silvestres – Wild Mushrooms, Garlic, Egg Yolk
Iberico de Bellota, Cinco Jotas, Pan Con Tomate
Caramel Flan – Sesame-Butter Cookie
Croissant Bread Pudding – Crème Anglaise, Poached Pear, Red Wine Reduction
Affogato – Vanilla Ice Cream, Vietnamese Coffee, Abuelita Churros
Originally opened in June of 2018, a location not far from Khai Vu’s ever-popular District One allowing the Chef and owner to move between spaces while also taking time as necessary to remain involved at DTLV’s Le Pho, it was as a party of six that guests squeezed into Mordeo Boutique Wine Bar on Wednesday, another packed Off-Strip Restaurant great to see but comfort undeniably compromised as a result.
Following in the footsteps of Sparrow + Wolf regarding what “Chinatown” Restaurants can be, an address of 5420 Spring Mountain Road drawing diners ever-further west for what might best be described as Spanish Cuisine with Japanese sensibilities, it is upon entering the white building that guests will immediately notice a central glass Wine Cellar filled nearly floor-to-ceiling, the display impressive but also substantially cutting down on seating.
Largely built around two bars, the first wrapping glass countertops around Mordeo’s cellar while another resides in front of the kitchen and grill, it was mainly the group size and a need for all members to interact that led to table seating while a large birthday party otherwise filled space, their constant movement and substantial drinking frequently leading to bumped seats and ear-splitting volumes.
Recently changing the menu, something one will not find on the Restaurant’s website not accurately on opentable, it was deferring carte-blanche at $125 to Khai and his staff that dinner commenced with three Meats and two Cheeses, air-dried Beef that melts on the tongue like a communion-Wafer highlighting the former while funky and spreadable Blue tasted great on its own but even better with Fig Jam on toasted Bread.
Next going “fusion,” wood-grilled Octopus and smoky Potatoes each faultless in terms of texture and brightened by Soy plus Citrus, it is further showcasing sourcing that Mordeo offers Nigerian U3 Prawns, a brush of umami-packed Butter playing well off the Crustacean’s natural sweetness while those so inclined are encouraged to add a twist of Lime.
Priced aggressively for the area, but still a bargain compared to The Strip, it was by request that Chef Vu next presented “Morcilla de Arroz,” the finely-ground Blood Sausage tempered by Herbs and Egg Yolk but still packing tons of flavor, as too does the $138 Tomahawk whose aged-funk is magnified by a tableside brush of Brown Butter.
Skimpy with Toast, a request for more to enjoy the Morcilla going unanswered while share plates and silverware often trailed new dishes by more than a minute, it was on the heels of Wild Mushrooms and traditional Papas Bravas that one final savory was offered, thin slices of Acorn-fed Pork warmed by a candle again showing no expense sparred in terms of ingredients thought the Tomato-brushed Bread would have benefitted by being more crispy.
Concluding with Dessert, Chef’s choice of three omitting only the intriguing idea of Caviar and Ice Cream, it was instead a combination of Spanish and French that saw airy Flan topped in bitter Caramel while Churros made with Abuelita Chocolate in the Batter were unfortunately too dense, the better bet instead sipping Vietnamese Coffee atop Ice Cream while indulging in one of Sin City’s most refined slices of Bread Pudding.
THREE AND A HALF STARS: Typically leery of Stateside “Tapas” Mordeo Boutique Wine Bar undoubtedly ups the ante in terms of Off-Strip Ingredient quality, but considering the price-point one would expect not only better service but an environment where comfort is considered equally important as looking good.
RECOMMENDED: Soy Mirin Pulpo, Morcilla de Arroz, Papas Bravas, Iberico de Bellota, Croissant Bread Pudding.
AVOID: Charcuterie Board is overpriced compared to others in town while Churros would be better without the cheap Chocolate. Seating at the back bar additionally seems like the best bet to avoid being jostled by servers and patrons every couple minutes.
TIP: Open 5:00pm until midnight daily, though how best to find a current menu besides scouring Yelp! is anyone’s guess.
WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor.