Iced Tea – Lemon, Sweetener
Tropical Sling – Botanist Gin, St. George Absinthe, Mango, Pineapple, Lime, Coco Lopez
Just About Pearfect – Grey Goose Vodka, Asian Pear Puree, Spiced Pear, Simple Syrup, Lemon
Tiradito – Hamachi, Aji Amarillo, Pickled Shallots, Cilantro Blossoms, Fresno Chilis, Taro Chips
From the Garden – Hummus, Local Vegetables, Red Pepper Coulis, Fiddlehead Ferns, Nasturtium
Prosciutto & Melon – Prosciutto, Compressed Melon, Burrata Cheese, Balsamic Reduction, Dill Blossoms
Lobster & Hearts of Palm – Maine Lobster, Grapefruit, Salsify, Grapefruit Vinaigrette
Braised Pork Belly – Crispy Rice, Onion Puree, Lemon Confit, Brussels Sprouts, Black Garlic
Crispy Shrimp – Tempura Vegetables, Pickled Herbs, Tamarind Glaze
Mary’s Crispy Hot Chicken – 72-hour Brine, Rice Flour, Chili Oil, House Brined Pickles
Soft Shell Crab – Asparagus, Pomegranate Reduction, Zucchini, Snap Peas
Smoked Bone Marrow – Truffle Short Rib Rillettes, Pickled Fresno Chilis, Lemon Confit, Toasted Bread
Beef Carpaccio – Prime Tenderloin, Pickled Shallots, Relish, White Balsamic, Borage, Fish Sauce, Taro Chips
Whole Grilled Branzino – Shaved Fennel Salad, Salsa Verde, Shallots, Pickled Green Papaya, Panang Curry
Chilean Seabass – Mushroom Consomee, Bok Choy, Shiitake Mushrooms, Truffle Zest, Furikake
Monk Fish “Osso Bucco” – Prosciutto, Fresh Tomatoes, Smoked Mussels, Boquerones, Castelvetrano Olives
Mascarpone Cheesecake – Mascarpone, Strawberry Gelee, Pistachio, Mango Sorbet
Chocolate, Sea Salt & Caramel – Chocolate Sauce, Candied Hazelnuts, Chocolate Crumble, Nutella Gelato
In a city with no shortage of “destination” Restaurants it is assured that some will go overlooked, and with both Jean Georges Steakhouse as well as BARDOT Brasserie occupying Aria’s second floor Herringbone has had to endure the struggle since opening, though those who’ve had the opportunity to dine there almost universally sing its praises.
Originally created by Brian Malarkey in late-2015, a hasty transfer to Hakkasan Group shortly thereafter making the “Land. Meats. Sea.” concept an outlier inside a property owned by MGM Resorts International, it was recently announced that at the end of May Herringbone will be brought under control of the company, and with a new Spring menu recently launched now is as good a time as ever to visit.
Then and now one of Las Vegas’ most breezy environments, a dining room that continues outside rarely loud despite half of its walls being fabric, it is from a hostess stand that guests are led to the space toqued by Chef Marty Red DeLeon Lopez and colleague Nyko Christian, a focus on Ingredient quality including some of the region’s top farms and fisherman always guaranteeing something fresh while Marty’s Filipino heritage frequently emerges to build flavor profiles The Strip has rarely seen.
Anchored by great service led by Ceferin Oliva and Doug Solomon, two sharp-dressed men overseeing a staff that has seen less turnover than most, it is with sports playing on television and music overhead that guests are invited to select items from six sections, the “Salt & Brine Raw Bar” popular for good reason though this meal instead got started with a combination of Cocktails plus “Greens” and “Cold Fare.”
Focusing on seasonal plates, Chef Lopez’s Tiradito on this occasion offering Amberjack bathed in Citrus and Peppers with added brightness from blossoming Herbs, it was alongside this that locally-grown Vegetables from Desert Bloom Eco Farm shined amidst Hummus, imported Prosciutto served in two textures atop compressed Melon and Burrata also impressive though Herringbone’s recently changed Lobster & Hearts of Palm Salad managed to wrestle away the spotlight thanks to its base of pureed Salsify Root with savory qualities that play well off sweet Meat and Grapefruit.
Onward to “Hot Fare,” sliced Pork Belly painted by Black Garlic Adobo plus fried Shrimp along with their edible Shells and vibrant Dipping Sauce both examples of Marty’s ability to showcase ingredients amidst bold flavors, it may come as a surprise to some that Herringbone’s best dish this season is a riff on “Hot Chicken” with Asian inklings, the half-Bird from Mary’s Organic first brined 72-hours before being rolled in Oil with mixed Chilis and emerging crispy yet light alongside Pickles made on-site that go well beyond Dill.
Treating Soft Shell Crab to the same Rice Flour coating as Chicken, the results near-equal as Flesh and Carapace are carefully matched to Pomegranate Arils plus seasonal Vegetables, those favoring Red Meat will be happy to know that Steaks are offered in three sizes, though for the more adventurous Cattle is better tasted as Beef Carpaccio steered East by Fish Sauce or a reprise from Marty’s past in the form of Smoked Bone Marrow topped in shredded Short Rib and pickled Chilis.
Sated and bordering on stuffed, portions more than justifying Strip-pricing when sourcing is considered, round four included three Fish each taken out of their usual context, Branzino wrapped in Banana Leaves to concentrate flavors built upon by Panang Curry while meaty Chilean Seabass finds levity in Dashi, though neither managed to match the creativity or impact of Monk Fish “Osso Bucco” built by Prosciutto-wrapped filets swimming in the flavors of Puttanesca.
Not the sort of table to skip something sweet, though Herringbone’s Dessert offerings have not changed in ages, it is fortunate that both Mascarpone Cheesecake and the Chocolate Tart are small, and much like the rest of Herringbone’s Cuisine the flavors are impactful with Ingredients well thought out such that each compliments the others.
FIVE STARS: Although Herringbone has been an under-appreciated property ever since opening, the food has never been in question. Now, changing hands from Hakkasan to MGM at the end of May, one can only hope Aria management will put a little more PR behind the best Seafood restaurant in town. Always big on flavor, never lacking in ingredient quality and more creative by the day, Marty and Nyko’s new Spring Menu is nothing short of stunning.
RECOMMENDED: From the Garden, Lobster & Hearts of Palm, Crispy Shrimp, Mary’s Crispy Hot Chicken, Smoked Bone Marrow, Monk Fish “Osso Bucco,” Chocolate Salted Caramel Tart.
TIP: Bone Marrow, Soft Shell Crab, Prosciutto and Monk Fish were all nightly specials and subject to change.
WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor.