Hexx Kitchen + Bar [5,] Las Vegas NV

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Hexx Kitchen + Bar

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Peets Coffee

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Fruit Plate – Banana Nut Muffins, Dragon Fruit, Kiwi, Grapes, Raspberries, Blackberries, Blueberries, Pears, Apples, Papaya, Banana, Pineapple, Strawberries

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Chilaquiles – Chicken, Roasted Salsa, Tortilla Chips, Eggs, Avocado, Sour Cream, Jalapenos, Mozzarella Cheese

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Ham and Cheese Croissant – Aged White Cheddar, Black Forest Ham, Home Fries

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Carrot Cake Pancakes – Cream Cheese Icing, Raisins, Pecans, Maple Syrup

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Hexx Dark Chocolate Waffles – Bananas, Strawberries, Maple Syrup

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Almond Croissant, S’mores Cookie, Confetti Cookie

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Warm Cookie Sundae – Skillet Chocolate Chip Blondie, Oreo Cookie Ice Cream, Whipped Cream, Strawberry Sauce

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Macaron Cake – Almond Macaron, Brittle, Caramel, Hexx Ecuadorian Chocolate Mousse, Candied Lemon

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Creating new Holiday traditions, year two of Christmas brunch at Hexx with Le Cirque planned for dinner; it was as a party of three that seats were taken in the large dining room directly across from Bellagio, a four course meal prepared by Matt Piekarski with excellent service, as always, from the team led by Ari Stotland.

Hearing that the patio was a bit chilly, even tall heating posts no match for 42°F with a light breeze, it was at a sizable four-top at room’s center that the group sat as a motley looking fellow across the aisle boomed loud, yet pleasant, fueled by Bottomless Mimosas – the spirit of Christmas trumpeted overhead with Seasonal music replacing the typical IHeartRadio stuff while the NBA played on television.

Making one special request, but otherwise ordering a la carte, it was after greetings from Ari followed by Chef Piekarski that the meal got underway, the requisite Fruit Plate starting things off with a wider selection than ever while three half-portions of Chilaquiles came through creamy yet crunchy with Jalapenos along the side allowing everyone to adjust the heat to their tastes.

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Previously passing on the Breakfast Sandwich, but inspired by a beautiful one landing at a neighboring table, the Ham and Cheese Croissant at Hexx has undergone a substantial upgrade by way of pastries from Bouchon Bakery plus White Cheddar now nearing 5-years old, the off-menu Carrot Cake Pancakes made via Special Request still Sin City’s best while the Chocolate Waffle ate something like a Lava Cake with crisp edges and a soft, gooey center.

Never one to pass on desserts, particularly with Hexx Chocolate and Pastry Chef Carol Garcia involved, it was with two Cookies plus one of Bouchon’s Almond Croissants that the meal moved on, the “Cookie” idea kicked up several notches by a double layer of crispy Almond Flour wrapped around Chocolate Mousse plus a Blondie that was more like a “Pizookie” with 72% Chocolate chunks infusing the buttery Cake beneath Whipped Cream and High Road’s frozen spin on America’s favorite Cookie.

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FIVE STARS: Understandably not a local’s spot, the prices and scene tailored to the Strip, Hexx remains one of the rare Las Vegas Boulevard properties where there is far more than meets the eye in terms of the concept, the service always good while the kitchen continues to execute on a level far higher than it needs to.

RECOMMENDED: Fruit Plate, Ham and Cheese Croissant, Carrot Cake Pancakes, Warm Cookie Sundae.

AVOID: N/A.

TIP: The online Dessert Menu is woefully out of date. Stop in to see what Chef Garcia and her team are up to.

WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor.

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HEXX kitchen + bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Posted in Bouchon Bakery, Bouchon Bakery on the Strip, Breakfast, Coffee, Croissant, Dessert, Food, Hexx, Hexx Kitchen + Bar, Ice Cream, Las Vegas, Macaron, Nevada, Pancakes, Pork, Tasting Menu, Waffle, Waffles

Home Cooking, Las Vegas NV

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Christmas Dinner

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Pork Tamales, Cheese and Jalapeno Tamales

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Jalapeno Poppers

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Glazed Ham with Pineapple
Ponche Navideno (not pictured)

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Marshmallow Salad

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In keeping with the theme of documenting all meals enjoyed outside the home, or at least those not prepared by my own hands, Christmas Eve 2016 was a notable departure from lower-middle class Midwestern Roots and European Ancestry as I sat down with the Martinez family for a night of presents, games and food.

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Contributing nothing self-made, that deferred to the experts at CRAFTkitchen, Rosallie, Peridot Sweets and Gelatology, thanks to all who contributed to a very pleasant meal that marks my first outside the restaurant confines since Thanksgiving 2012.

Posted in Dessert, Food, Las Vegas, Nevada, Pork

Herringbone [4,] Las Vegas NV

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Herringbone

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Brut Champagne

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Shellfish Platter – 2 Jumbo Shrimp, 4 Stallion Oysters, 2 Kusshi Oysters, 1/2 lb Alaskan King Crab, Whole Maine Lobster, Coctel de Camaron, Coronita with Kimchi Salsa, Apple Mignonette, Lemon, Tobasco, Cocktail Sauce

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Beet Salad – Avocado, Jumbo Lump Crab, Tomato Salsa, Extra Virgin Olive Oil

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U4 Madagascar Prawn – Burnt Lemon Aioli, Tomatillo Salsa

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San Marzano Tomato Stew – Quail Eggs, Farm Eggs, Mozzarella, Pork Ragu, Charred Bread

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Naked Cowboy Oysters Rockefeller – Sauce Béarnaise

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Manilla Clams and Dungeness Crab – San Marzano Salsa

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Crab Cake Benny – Lump Crab Meat, 63° Farm Eggs, Spicy Hollandaise, Crispy Leeks

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Bacon & Egg Ravioli – Pancetta, Farm Egg, Parmesan Cheese

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Pan Seared Gnocchi – Brown Butter, Vodka Sauce

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Wild Caught Hamachi – Belly and Loin with Shaved Japanese Red Mullet Bottarga

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Little Gem Salad – Baby Romaine, Smoked Trout Dressing, Salt Poached Farm Egg, Croutons, Parmesan

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Rosemary Lamb Chops – Crispy Leeks, Spicy Hollandaise

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French Toast – White Chocolate Brioche, Bananas, Nutella, Crème Anglaise, Tree Sap

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Orange Ricotta Chocolate Chip Pancakes – Tree Sap, Whipped Cream, Chocolate Covered Bacon

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Espresso Milkshake – Dark Chocolate Rim

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Cheesecake Mousse – ‘Nilla Crumbles, Raspberry Compote, White Chocolate, Flowers

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Hearing that Herringbone had reached a new level in recent months, but unable to find a chance to visit during weeks prior, it was finally for Christmas Eve Brunch that a party of two sat down in the airy space on the second floor of Aria, Chef Geno Bernardo’s Carte Blanche menu unequivocally impressive, as too was service throughout the afternoon.

Greeted with a glass of Champagne at a sizable four-top, the Low-Boy/High-Top configuration now improved by several standard tables, it was with the NFL on-screen and a DJ spinning mid-tempo that Chef Bernardo stopped by to say hello and describe his plan, a strong focus on Crab for the lady at the table capturing her heart from the get-go as an Iced platter of Shellfish arrived with two thick Legs plus a Lobster, the Mexican-style Shrimp Cocktail also right up her ally while the sweet Kushi Oysters and plump Stallions also impressed along with their trio of Sauces.

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Blessed by some of the best products in the city, Gino’s long-tenure and established connections to Fish Mongers as well as local Farms helping the restaurant in ways that a “Celebrity Chef” name never will, following courses diverged from the typical brunch to present an Avocado Salad with Lump Crab and Salsa, the forearm sized Prawn reminiscent of the good days at Bartolotta with even more intrigue added by the Tomatillo and bright Lemon condiments.

Continuing the off-menu tasting, many of the recipes served with stories of the Chef’s heritage, a big bowl of Tomato Stew quickly found thickness in a mixture of two types of Eggs plus Mozzarella and Pork Ragu, the bowl of Manilla Clams and Dungeness Crab similar yet different as brine blended with sweetness while the Naked Cowboy Rockefeller improved of a classic with Sauce Béarnaise in a sidecar.

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Flipping back to the traditional Brunch menu temporarily, a half-portion of Crab Cakes Benedict served with Spicy Hollandaise and Crispy Leeks that would also be seen with two tender Lamb Chops later, the Bacon & Egg Ravioli as well as pan seared Potato Dumplings showed the Chef’s Pasta skills have not diminished since his days at Nove, the Gem Salad and Wild Caught Hamachi both simple and perfect with fragrant Red Mullet Bottarga a treat previously unseen.

Back to menu for a sweet finale, the games and DJ both winding down but a trickle of traffic still coming in, Herringbone’s Ricotta Pancakes continue to make one wonder why other places cannot balance Citrus and Chocolate with such subtlety, the White Chocolate Brioche with Bananas and Nutella not quite as custardy as some may prefer while the “Cheescake” really did eat like a airy Mousse, especially when compared to the thick and creamy Milkshake.

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FIVE STARS: Admitting that more than 1/3 of the plates served are not currently available on either the brunch or dinner menu, but that several are considered works in progress to potentially debut soon, Herringbone continues to fly under the radar as one of Las Vegas’ best spots for Seafood thanks to Chef Bernardo’s sourcing and creativity while the service also outshines many places considered more ‘refined’ and formal.

RECOMMENDED: Madagascar Prawn, Manilla Clams and Dungeness Crab, Pan Seared Gnocchi, Wild Caught Hamachi, Orange Ricotta Chocolate Chip Pancakes.

AVOID: French Toast could use a bit more time in the custard.

TIP: Friends and fans of Geno will be proud to know that the Chef will soon be traveling to take the Las Vegas Herringbone menu to Santa Monica as well as the islands, Sin City’s temporary loss once again a strong testament to the quality of the Chefs cooking in our community.

WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor.

https://www.aria.com/en/restaurants/herringbone.html#/Menu

Herringbone Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Posted in Breakfast, Coffee, Crab, Dessert, Food, French Toast, Gnocchi, Herringbone, Italian, Las Vegas, Lobster, Nevada, Pancakes, Pork, Tasting Menu

Gelatology [7,] Las Vegas NV

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Gelatology

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Fruit Panettone

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Samples – Salted Caramel, Pumpkin Loaf Rocky Road with Pecans, Apple Cobbler, Cinnamon Apple Cake, Rum Raisin

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2.5 Liters of Cinnamon Churro Gelato

Three weeks in a row, all delicious and served with a smile, a Christmas Eve stop at Gelatology was spurred specifically by a desire to share Desyree’s creativity with my Christmas Eve hosts – her Cinnamon Churro Gelato a spot-on representation of the Mexican Donut in creamy, frozen form while a traditional Panettone was just as impressive, the springy egg bread just barely sweetened by pockets of candied Fruit.

FIVE STARS: Nothing has changed but the flavors, and that is a very good thing.

RECOMMENDED: Cinnamon Churro Gelato, Pumpkin Loaf Rocky Road with Pecans Gelato, Rum Raisin Gelato.

AVOID: N/A.

TIP: To-go trays are available 2.5 Liters for $30 and 5 Liters for $54.

WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor.

https://www.facebook.com/Gelatologylv

Gelatology Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Posted in Dessert, Food, Gelatology, Ice Cream, Las Vegas, Nevada

Peridot Sweets [3,] Las Vegas NV

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Peridot Sweets

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Red Velvet Cupcake

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Boston Cream Pie Cupcake

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Banana Caramel Cupcake

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Chocolate Raspberry Cupcake

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Peanut Butter Chocolate Dipped Oreos

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Chocolate Bark with Nuts and Dried Fruit

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Christmas Cut-out Cookies

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Thumbprint Cookie

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Milk and Dark Chocolate Truffles

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An oft overlooked bakery on South Rainbow, owner Tiffany Jones bulk of business based on Custom Cakes, Restaurant Supply and Corporate Accounts, Peridot Sweets remains a go-to for those who know the value scratch baking compared to the boxed alternative as Chef Jones and her team create both beautiful classics and a handful of novel flavors.

Closed on Christmas Eve, but happy to provide a variety of Holiday Treats for that night’s family gathering, it was after enjoying Breakfast with Mrs. Jones that the large box was refrigerated until later that evening, the 24+ hours since creation unfortunately turning both Boston Cream Pie and Banana Caramel Cupcakes into mush while the Red Velvet and Chocolate Raspberry fared far better as a result of their frosting, the Cream Cheese in particular quite impressive with just enough sugar to offset the sour.

Using a far better grade of Butter than big-name retailers, the Chocolate too an upgrade from anything likely to be found in the kitchen of nearby competition, additional great bites were found in jammy Thumbprints as well as Christmas Cutouts that practically melted on the tongue, the Bark studded in red Craisins and green Pistachios as pretty as it was delicious while the Candies and dipped Sandwich Cookies were crowd pleasers for those looking for something small and sweet to end the meal.

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FOUR STARS: Battling constraints of location as well as kitchen size, the lack of walk-in traffic only allowing Jones and Team to offer a limited number of retail products on-site each day, Peridot Sweets remains the West Side go-to for custom work with flavors and quality to match each creation’s beauty.

RECOMMENDED: Red Velvet Cupcake, Thumbprint Cookie, Peanut Butter Chocolate Dipped Oreos.

AVOID: Long-term storage of Cream topped Cupcakes.

TIP: For a look at some of Peridot Sweets work check out the online gallery or Social Media feeds

WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor.

http://www.peridotsweets.com/

Peridot Sweets Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Posted in Breakfast, cupcake, Dessert, Food, Las Vegas, Nevada, Peridot Sweets

Rosallie [7,] Las Vegas NV

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Rosallie Le French Café

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French Vanilla Latte

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Palmier, Pain au Chocolat

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Pain au Raisin

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Almond Croissant

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Tartine Normandie – Brie Cheese, Homemade Onion Jam, Tomatoes

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Quiche Tartiflette – Tartiflette Cheese, Bacon, Red Potatoes, Sautéed Onions

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12” Buche de Noel – Half Praline, Half Mocha

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Stopping in for a classic Buttercream Buche de Noel, no shiny ganache or dense Cake anywhere in site, Rosallie on Christmas Eve proved every bit as lovely as any other day, the small Café on South Rainbow surprisingly busy while several folks stopped by to pick up their holiday treats.

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Dining with another local baker, conversation about the recent growth of the market and population trends always forever a challenge in transient Sin City, it was with a creamy French Vanilla Latte that the morning got started, four of Chef Pluvinet’s classic French Pastries as good as ever, the Raisin Snail overlooked over the last few visits but even better than remembered as the sugar glaze had a texture almost like that of Molasses.

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Opting to taste the last of three new Tartines, gooey Brie and Housemade Onion Jam playing off one another as diced tomatoes added a vibrant acidity, the Tartiflette Quiche remains arguably the city’s best with clean edges and a soft Custard filled with sliced Potatoes and Bacon, the Sautéed a bit more mild in sweetness than the Jam but far more fragrant.

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Taking the Buche home for later, the large log decorated with Bells, Santa, Gifts and Candy Canes almost “too cute to eat” per my hosts, it should go without saying that once the log was cut no one had any issues with indulging as one half rooted sugary nut flavors in a moist white cake while the other had light notes of coffee infused into the airy Buttercream and Chocolate.

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FIVE STARS: Nothing has changed and as 2017 approaches all of Las Vegas should be thankful for Jonathan’s little gem of a restaurant on South Rainbow.

RECOMMENDED: Almond Croissant, Tartine Normandie, Quiche Tartiflette.

AVOID: Missing out on the Buche de Noel next year.

TIP: The wine vault is now open with dinner service coming soon.

WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor.

https://rosallie.com/

Rosallie Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Posted in Bread Basket, Breakfast, Coffee, Croissant, Croissants, Dessert, Food, Las Vegas, Nevada, Rosallie, Rosallie 'Le French Cafe'

Carnevino [9,] Las Vegas NV

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Carnevino

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Paper Tiger – Hendricks Gin, Ginger Simple Syrup, Lime Juice, Yuzu Bitters, Magnolia Bitters, Butterfly Absinth Spritz, Fever Tree Ginger Beer, Maldon Sea Salt and an Edible Flower

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Truth Lies Low – Don Pancho Rum, Contrato Bitters, Orgeat, Lime Juice, Pineapple Juice, Chinese Bitters and Cherry

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Gougeres

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Rosemary Focaccia with Salted Butter and Lardo

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Cesare’s ‘Tuscan Fries’ – Porcini Bearnaise

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Stracciatella – Prosciutto, Beets and Mint

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Little Gem Salad – Guanciale, Gorgonzola and Apples

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Duck Egg – Pork Belly, Frisee and Porcini Vinaigrette

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Capellacci di Zucca – Marcona Almonds and Sage

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Squacquerone Ravioli – Pancetta and Arugula

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Beef Cheek Ravioli – Brown Butter and Aged Balsamic

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Spaghetti Nero – Crab, Tomato and Caperberry

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320 Day Dry-Aged New York Strip Riserva – Maldon Salt and California Extra Virgin Olive Oil

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90 Day Dry-Aged Bone-In Ribeye – Maldon Salt and California Extra Virgin Olive Oil

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Lamb Chops ‘Scottadita’ – Maldon Sea Salt, Lemon Zest and Fresh Mint

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Gnocchi – Gorgonzola, Figs, Arugula and Walnuts

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Italian Broccoli – Garlic and Pork

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Mascarpone & Guanciale Mashed Potatoes – Poached Egg

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Fregula – Autumn Vegetables

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Double La Colombe Espresso – Ice and Sweetener

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Calexico – Avion Anejo Tequila, Borghetti Coffee Liqueur, Licor 43, Campari, Aztec Chocolate Bitter, Orange Bitters, Australian Bitters and Cinnamon

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Pear Budino – Whiskey Butterscotch and Poached Pears

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Bananas Foster Bomboloni – Fresh Bananas and Huckleberry Reduction

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Chocolate Bacon Cake – Caramel Buttercream and Candied Bacon

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Blood Orange Cheesecake – Toasted Almonds and Edible Flowers

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Italian Butter Cookies – Raisins

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Dressed in a festive spirit for Christmas weekend, even Bodacious the Bull getting in on the action, it was with three friends all marking their first visit that a Holiday feast was enjoyed at Carnevino, former Chef and now-head-of-everything-Batali-in-Las-Vegas Nicole Brisson arranging a menu and even taking some time out of her jammed-packed schedule to stop by and pay the table a visit.

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Currently in laid-back mode for the slow season, a brief window for America’s best Steakhouse that will see them back at full capacity shortly after New Year’s Day, it was once again with service from Captain Andrew overseeing a large team that the four-course degustation unfolded, a few surprises offered along the way further cementing beliefs that there may be no other venue in the world doing this sort of volume with results consistently excellent.

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Starting off with a few cocktails, Bartender David “Coop” Cooper taking some well-deserved time off but undoubtedly involved in such complex creations, it was with traditional Gougeres and the impeccable Bread service that an order of crispy Potato Wedges were presented, the gravy-boat of bloomy Béarnaise making one wonder why this combination had not been assembled prior and something to be filed away for all future visits.

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Starting off slowly while trying to limit the warm Bread and Lardo, a task never accomplished in the past and again put on indefinite hold, course one started with stretchy Stracciatella with cracked Pepper alongside a Beet and Citrus Salad with Prosciutto, the Little Gem Lettuce from the Intuitive Forager also finding itself amidst Pork, Cheese and Fruit while a golden Duck Egg sat atop toasty Brioche with Maple Glazed Belly and bright Vinaigrette.

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Ever underrated for the Pasta program, perhaps not as exciting as the city’s best Italian restaurants but never dull in the least, Mario’s famous Beef Cheek Ravioli proved every bit as good as previous visits while the housemade Black Spaghetti formed an al dente tangle beneath lump Crab and Caperberries, the off-menu Squacquerone Ravioli brightened with Lemon as the Capellacci di Zucca made its way down the hall from B&B Ristorante to rouse fond memories of the Pumpkin Lune at Babbo in Greenwich Village.

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In some ways all a tease leading up to the big reveal, the tableside carving of Meats as much about educating as it is about the show, “Las Vegas’ #1 Steak” remains rich and tender in the form of a lightly crusted Bone-In Ribeye while Lamb from a farm doing what they do since the 1800s is as fatty as it is grassy, the nearly two-inch New York Strip Riserva that began dry-aging on 2/6/2016 a still-indescribable flavor with top notes of Truffle and a butter-knife soft texture.

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Always a bit polarized by the sides at Carnevino, the willingness to eschew simple things like Macaroni and Cheese or a Baked Potato for more interesting farm-based ideas sometimes not fitting for the mixed company of less-traveled diners, the current offerings of Italian Broccoli with Pork and Garlic as well as the hearty Sardinian Pasta are more than worthwhile while a special request for Gnocchi to be served with this course saw tender Potato Dumplings almost as smooth as the Egg and Mascarpone Mash with Pork.

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Never one to take a pass on Dessert, the work of Ashley Costa and her team always tailored to the season as well as the Italian Steakhouse concept, a significant upgrade now sees Carnevino using La Colombe instead of Lavazza for Coffee service, a double Espresso next to the spicy Calexico both perfect for ideas beautifying rustic, the Chocolate Bacon Cake far lighter than the ingredients would indicate while all three Fruit offerings approached their ideas by a different angle, the Bombolini stuffed to bursting with boozy Banana filling while Kerry Clasby’s Blood Oranges soaked a soft Ricotta Cheesecake that is a strong contender for best in its genre…but still not as delicious as the sticky-sweet Budino with warm Pears, a quenelle of Cream and Butterscotch.

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FIVE STARS: Visiting the restaurant for the first time on a truly slow night, only perhaps 25% of the seats filled, Carnevino somehow managed to outperform its already strong reputation for both veterans and first timers, the quality of the product never in question while the lower volume made the service even more capable than ever to truly shine.

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RECOMMENDED: Truth Lies Low, Cesare’s ‘Tuscan Fries’ with Porcini Béarnaise, Duck Egg, Beef Cheek Ravioli, 90 Day Dry-Aged Bone-In Ribeye, Fregula, Budino, Bomboloni.

AVOID: N/A.

TIP: Both the Cheesecake and Capellacci di Zucca were offered as off-menu items, though the latter can be ordered on the current B&B Ristorante menu.

WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor.

Home

Carnevino Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Posted in Bread Basket, Carnevino, Coffee, Dessert, Food, Gnocchi, Ice Cream, La Colombe, Las Vegas, Nevada, Pork, Tasting Menu

Alize [3,] Las Vegas NV

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Alize

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French Fifty Six – Chopin Vodka, St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur, Elation Pear Liqueur, Fresh Lemon, Champagne Float, Sugared Rim

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Cold Spiced Pear, Walnut, Goat Cheese, Hot Apple Cider Consommé

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Pretzel, Baguette, Rice Flour Roll with Salted Butter

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Sweet Corn Panna Cotta, Avocado, Crème Fraiche, Salmon Roe

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Chilled Roasted Beet Salad – Kataifi Crusted Goat Cheese, Persimmon Chutney, Walnut Vinaigrette

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Foie Gras Torchon – Caramelized Pineapple, Chocolate Gooseberry, Fig Compote, Balsamic Reduction, Buttered Toast

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Spice Crusted Bison Carpaccio – Whole Grain Mustard, Cucumber Relish, Crispy Potatoes, Beaufort Cheese

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Sautéed Foie Gras – Cranberry Scone, Honey Crème Fraiche, Port, Cranberry Reduction

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Escargot – Puff Pastry, Garlic Herb Butter, Tomato Relish, Onion, Garlic Chips

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Sweetbreads – Brussels Sprouts, Madeira Sauce

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Bouillabaisse en Papillote – Jumbo Shrimp, Onions, Squash

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Pan Seared Monk Fish – Sea Beans, Uni Beurre Blanc, Osetra Caviar

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Maine Lobster Thermidor – Mushrooms, Tarragon, Cream, Brandy, Dijon, Hollandaise

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Szechuan Pepper Crusted Venison – Honey Glazed Turnips, Golden Raisin Mostarda, Farro, Cassis Jus

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Pan Seared Duck Breast – Endive and Duck Bacon Tart, Preserved Lemon, Pomegranate Duck Jus

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Cheese Cart with Fresh Fruit, Whole Grain Crisps, Apricot Chutney, Olives and Candied Nuts

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Mango Panna Cotta – Coconut and White Chocolate

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Kona Siphon Coffee from Colorado River Coffee Roasters with Whipping Cream, Sugar Cubes, Chocolate and Vanilla Cookies

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Hot Chocolate Souffle – Sticky Marshmallow Cream

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Chocolate Mocha Bombe – Mascarpone Mousse, Coffee Soaked Lady Fingers, Espresso Biscuits, Cappuccino Froth

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Fallen Chocolate Cake – Meringue and Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

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Spiced Pear Berliners – Salty Caramel Ice Cream

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Classic Crème Brûlée – Berries

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Apple Pie –Caramelized in Golden Pastry, Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

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Apricot Pate de Fruit, Hazelnut Crunch, Nougat, Butter Mints

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With Mark Purdy now working alongside Joe Marsco to launch Andre’s Bistro & Bar in the wake of Andre Rochat’s iconic restaurant at the Monte Carlo unfortunately shuttering earlier this year, it was just past sunset on Saturday that dinner was served in Alize’s gorgeous dining room at the top of The Palms, Chef Chris Bulen moving several stories up and bringing the already great food to a higher level, as well.

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One of Las Vegas’ most impressive views, the whole Strip spread-out with lights twinkling in the distance, it was at one of the coveted windowside four-tops that the party was sat, the floor to ceiling windows complimenting romantic lighting and white tablecloths as service from a team captained by Gabriel Fontenier assured an added degree of elegance.

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Requesting the menu be served Carte Blanche, Chef Bulen at this point as trusted a toque as any in town, dainty amuses including a creamy Sweet Corn Panna Cotta kicked off what would eventually be unveiled as a 6-course tasting comprised of no less than twenty-one individual plates.

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Serving every dish ‘family style,’ most courses arriving in threes, proper plates commenced by way of a roasted Beet Salad not unlike that at 35 Steaks + Martinis as a result of the Kataifi crusted Goat Cheese while thinly-shaved Bison Carpaccio melted on the tongue despite its leanness, a completely different sort of smoothness found in the Foie Gras Torchon with Figs, Pineapple and Balsamic ready to be spread on buttered Toast points.

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More than a little impressed by the details and balance of round one, course two approached some of Rochat’s more classical French plates with an air of refinement despite bold ingredients and portions big enough to share, the sautéed Duck Liver undoubtedly one of the city’s most unique presentations atop a Fruit-filled Scone with sweetened Crème Fraiche while the Escargot and off-menu Sweetbreads riffed on traditional preparations with added elegance.

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Anticipating an entrée-course at this time, but instead distinctly told that the third round was fish before meats, it was with good timing that more of Tammy Alana’s housemade bread was brought forth, the gluten-free Rice Roll a perfect means to sop up the broth from Chef Bulen’s Shrimp Bouillabaisse while the meaty Monkfish with Caviar and Rochat’s famous Lobster Thermidor were expectedly great.

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At this point starting to feel the effects of such a heavy meal, yet unable to resist either the rosy Duck Breast atop a Galette of Bacon and Endive or the ruby red Venison with soft Turnips in a pool of Black Currant Juice, it was with small hunks of eight Cheeses straight from the cart that the meal moved onward, the Mimolette aged to perfect crumbly sweetness while the Roquefort popped with bloomy Mushroom notes, particularly when paired with Fruit.

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Taking an Eleven Madison Park tradition with tableside Coffee via Siphon, no accoutrements necessary but nonetheless welcomed as heavy Cream and Cookies, a small palate cleanser reminiscent of the beach transitioned palates sweet, Chef Alana flooding the table with a half-dozen choices including a whimsical Hot Chocolate Soufflé with Marshmallow Cream plus classic Crème Brûlée, Chocolate Fondant and Tiramisu plus Spiced Pear German Donuts and a caramelized Apple Pie beneath a net of golden Pastry.

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FIVE STARS: Without a doubt one of the best Las Vegas Meals of 2016, Chris Bulen’s classical skills honed at Andre’s now cast in a more modern light high above Sin City, Alize remains an underappreciated gem in a city dominated by Celebrity Chefs, though with parent group Stacked Hospitality now venturing Off-Strip perhaps that situation is about to change.

RECOMMENDED: Sauteed Foie Gras, Escargot, Lobster Thermidor, Bouillabaisse, Duck Breast, Berliners, Hot Chocolate Souffle.

AVOID: Passing on the Gluten-Free Rice Roll, easily the best of its kind.

TIP: Reservations are now available for New Years Eve at Alize, the Palms location ideal for locals who don’t want to be stuck on the Strip with a vantage of the fireworks that is tough to beat.

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WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor.

Home

Alizé Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Posted in Alize, Bread Basket, Coffee, Dessert, Foie, Foie Gras, Food, Ice Cream, Las Vegas, Lobster, Nevada, Souffle, Sweetbreads, Tasting Menu, Tiramisu

Gelatology [6,] Las Vegas

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Gelatology

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Samples – Pistachio, Lemon Meringue Pie, Gingerbread Toffee with Licorice, Cinnamon Tres Leches with Honey Comb, Strawberry Red Velvet with Chocolate Cake, Maria Cookie with Peppermint and Whoppers, Thai Tea with Biscoff, Berry Smoothie with Tajin

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Small Cinnamon Tres Leches with Honey Comb, Strawberry Red Velvet with Chocolate Cake

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Small Gingerbread Toffee with Licorice, Maria Cookie with Peppermint and Whoppers

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Nutella Panettone

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Still not having tasted a winning submission to Gelatology’s “Suggest a Flavor” contest earlier this year, though a portion of the idea was thoroughly enjoyed a week prior in the form of Desyree’s Honeycomb Brittle, it was with a promise that the owner herself would be in Saturday afternoon that a stop was made, a whole bunch of new Gelato flavors to taste with innovation that continues to amaze.

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Making way to South Rainbow Boulevard after lunch, full but focused on the idea that Ice Cream only fills in the cracks, it was a cheerful Mrs. Alberganti who greeted patrons at the door, sample after sample presented as the holidays were discussed, and a smile always present on one of the Las Vegas food industry’s most universally beloved faces.

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Intrigued by stories of her inspiration, the light Licorice infused Gingerbread Toffee so awash in spicy aromatics that it makes both seasonal Frosted Houses and Cookie Men pale in comparison, even better bites were found in the Maria Cookie with Peppermint and Whoppers based on a confection found in Southern California while the Cinnamon Tres Leches with Honey Comb came not from my brain, but from a Cake that still stands out as my favorite dessert of the 2016 from Super Chunk in Scottsdale.

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Enjoying the mellow fruit notes of “Red Velvet with Chocolate Cake,” the typical artificial colors replaced by fresh Strawberries while Lemon Meringue Pie came complete with buttery crust and airy Egg-White pockets, it was after more talk and well-wishes for the Holidays that way was made to the street, a wispy Panettone with a hefty core of pure Nutella taken home for later indulgence.

FIVE STARS: It can be counted on one hand how often this blog has two entries for the same place in back-to-back weeks – yet even in a city with plenty of choices, why accept anything less than the best?

RECOMMENDED: Nutella Panettone, Cinnamon Tres Leches with Honey Comb, Strawberry Red Velvet with Chocolate Cake, Maria Cookie with Peppermint and Whoppers, Lemon Meringue Pie.

AVOID: N/A.

TIP: In addition to Traditional, Fruit or Nutella Panettone currently available in-store or for pre-order at $15 a loaf, Desyree also revealed that she is now responsible for several of the dessert selections at Boca Park Sambalatte for those reluctant to make the trip South.

WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor.

https://www.facebook.com/Gelatologylv

Gelatology Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Posted in Dessert, Food, Gelatology, Ice Cream, Las Vegas, Nevada

CRAFTkitchen [6,] Henderson NV

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CRAFTkitchen

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Coffee

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Pomegranate Mimosa

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Spiced Apple Pop Tart

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Almond Kouign Amann

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Pecan Sticky Bun

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Smoked Salmon – Housemade Pretzel Roll, Sliced Tomato, Cream Cheese, Shaved Red Onions, Fried Capers, Micro-greens

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Strawberry Shortcake Pancakes – Fresh Marinated Strawberries, Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream

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Chorizo Scramble Skillet – Scrambled Cage-free Eggs, Chorizo, Onions, Cheddar Cheese, Spiced Smashed Potatoes, Micro-cilantro

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Cranberry White Chocolate French Toast – White Chocolate Cream Sauce

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Sweet Potato Fries – Maple Bacon Aioli

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Slow Roasted Pork Sandwich – Shredded Port, Rapini, Crispy Garlic, Provolone, Italian Sesame Bread

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Nonna’s Chicken Cacciatore – Breaded Braised Chicken Stewed in Tomato Sauce, Button Mushrooms, Creamy Parmesan Mascarpone Polenta

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Chocolate Croissant Bread Pudding with Crème Anglaise

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Chocolate Buche de Noel

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Seasonal Gift Basket with CRAFTkitchen Blend Coffee, Chewy Granola, White Chocolate Nut Clusters, Dark Chocolate Nut Clusters, Peppermint Bark, English Toffee

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Crossing the one year mark and still packing the place with patrons from Henderson as well as Las Vegas, Jaret Blinn’s ever-changing weekend brunch at CRAFTkitchen proves difficult to resist even for those as far away as the city’s northwest reaches, this Saturday and Sunday’s Italian theme seeing the Chef reference everything from Philadelphia’s *better* famous Sandwich to recipes from his mother’s kitchen.

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Arriving later than usual, minutes past noon finding only a few chairs unfilled and Monkey Bread already sold out, it was as a duo that Brunch was enjoyed in a windowside booth with service from a vibrant young staff that continues to impress by way of its professionalism, the kitchen given carte-blanche to send out whatever was felt best with a focus on the weekly specials.

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Chatting with the Chef about any number of things as he stopped by intermittently to describe plates, his passion for family and local community always on the tip of his tongue, it was with pastries warm from the oven that the meal got started, the Pop Tart better than recalled from last time with a whole lot of Fruit wrapped in crisp Pastry while the Sticky Bun and Almond Kouign Amann both remain unparalleled on the local level.

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Now offering Mimosas and Bloody Marys alongside the house-blend Coffee, a bottomless option passed in favor of a single Pomegranate infused sparkler, first plates consisted of Smoked Salmon atop Blinn’s fresh-baked Pretzel Roll with Sliced Tomato, a Schmear and crispy Capers, the Pancakes to follow as light as Angel Food Cake beneath lightly sugared Strawberries and enough Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream to make any additional topping unnecessary.

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Mixing old and new, salty and sweet, a follow-up duo saw the kitchen send forth spicy Pork Sausage nestled in a pot of Scrambled Eggs with Cheese and Onions atop pan-fried Fingerlings, the robust flavors well suited to the crisp air of mid-December while Cranberry White Chocolate French Toast offered three Custard-rich slices with Craisins sprinkled amidst the Crème Anglise atop it.

Remiss to have not yet tried CRAFTkitchen’s Sweet Potato Fries, the Maple Bacon Aioli served with it as silky smooth as it is complex in flavor profile, the weekend special riff on DiNic’s classic Sandwich from Reading Terminal Market is the sort of thing the restaurant should strongly consider adding full time, the melty Provolone and golden Sesame Bun alone turning heads and rousing envy from two women pretending to still be satisfied with sharing Quiche and a Salad.

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Not to say Jaret’s crustless Quiche and well-composed piles of Greens are to be overlooked, but far more interested in seeing how the Chef might play homage to his Mother’s Chicken Cacciatore, those interested in one of the city’s best deals for rustic Italian cooking would be well-advised to be on the lookout next time as the Breaded Chicken Breast was perfectly stewed in Mushroom-rich Tomato Sauce atop a creamy bed of Mascarpone Polenta.

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Interesting to see the restaurant doing better Dessert business with smaller portions at a lower cost, the idea of something small and sweet to finish still a foreign one, it was with an all-in approach that spoons and forks plunged into steamy Bread Pudding richly imbued with Chocolate and topped in Crème Anglaise while the full-size Buche de Noel, available also in $2.95 slices, was every bit as delicious as it was beautiful to look at.

FIVE STARS: Better and better with each visit, the teamwork and passion of everyone involved palpable in the food as well as the vibe, CRAFTkitchen manages what more “famous” brunches like those at Bouchon or Mon Ami Gabi cannot by being family-owned, small and flexible, each week offering new temptations whether one veers light, savory and even Gluten-free or far more indulgent.

RECOMMENDED: Kouign Amann, Sticky Bun, Smoked Salmon, Slow Roasted Pork Sandwich, Nonna’s Chicken Cacciatore, Chocolate Croissant Bread Pudding, Buche de Noel.

AVOID: N/A.

TIP: Currently offering individual seasonal treats in addition to the top-tier Chewy Granola, those still in need of a locally-crafted Christmas gift for the epicure in their life may be interested in checking out CRAFTkitchen’s Seasonal Gift Basket with CRAFTkitchen Blend Coffee, Chewy Granola, White Chocolate Nut Clusters, Dark Chocolate Nut Clusters, Peppermint Bark and English Toffee in one of two elegant boxes.

WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor.

http://craftkitchenlv.com/

craftKITCHEN Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Posted in Bread Pudding, Breakfast, Coffee, CRAFTkicthen, Dessert, Food, French Toast, Henderson, Las Vegas, Nevada, Pancakes, Pork, Tasting Menu

Crunch Donut Factory, Las Vegas NV

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Crunch Donut Factory

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Brad Fritter – Classic Apple Fritter

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Bet Me White – Old Fashioned Glazed Donut

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Snoop Doughgy Doughg – Long John with Chocolate Icing and Filled with Bavarian Cream

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Marilyn Mondough – Red Velvet Cake Donut with Strawberry Cream Ring

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David Doughy – Yeast Donut with Salted Caramel Icing, Cream Cheese and Chocolate Drizzle

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Matt Frank Dough – Chocolate Cake Donut dipped in Chocolate Icing with German Chocolate Frosting

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Beyonce Doughles Lemonade – Yeast Bismarck filled with Lemon Filling and Lemon Frosting

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Recently opened in the same shopping plaza as Al’s Donuts, a location directly across Maryland Parkway from the UNLV Student Union seemingly the perfect spot for 24/7 fried treats, Crunch Donut Factory brings its concept west from Arlington Texas and with clever celebrity names for each of their concoctions the results are mostly impressive.

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Not exactly as ‘artisan’ as Donut Bar pretends, yet not as slipshod as a place like Voodoo Doughnuts in Portland, Crunch Donut Factory on Harmon Avenue splits the difference between tradition and modernity with a bevy of Cake, Yeast and Filled choices topped with simple glaze or many preconceived combinations, an added bonus offered by way of building one’s own at the Crunch Creation Station.

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Decorated in pink and white stripes with green detailing, each booth bearing a logo with a bizarre Donut man smiling for selfies in back, service at Crunch just prior to 6:30am on Saturday came by way of a chipper youngster, gleefully shouting greetings about Crunch Time to each patron who enters.

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Perusing the glass case, Donuts fried throughout the day to replenish supply as needed, most options range anywhere from $2-$3, a cheaper-by-the-dozen-or-half deal yielding six carefully boxed rings plus a Fritter for a pre-tax cost of just thirteen dollars.

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Chuckling at the seemingly nonsensical references involved in some of the choices, though Betty White makes perfect sense in the setting of a soft and rich Old Fashioned while the knockoff of Voodoo’s “Blazer Blunt” based on Snoop Dogg proved superior to the original despite Vanilla Cream only filling a quarter of it, “David Doughy” was lost on me both in terms of taste as well as title as the ‘yeasted’ base was far too dense, particularly with the glob of unsweetened Cream Cheese filling.

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Pun-infesting an Apple-heavy Fritter that could have stood to be crispier with Meet Joe Black as a whole lot of sour Citrus filled a fluffy pocket topped with Lemon frosting for Mrs. Jay-Z the best bites from Crunch Donut Factory came by way of their Cocoa-heavy Cake choices, the Marilyn Mondough accenting moist Red Velvet with Strawberry Cream while Matt Frank Dough was intense and indulgent with Darker Chocolate first shellacked in Chocolate Icing and then slathered in German Chocolate Frosting.

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FOUR STARS: Anticipating this opening for some time, the signage replacing a Shave Ice spot several months ago, Crunch Donut Factory brings good Donuts to a neighborhood in desperate need of them, a strong competitor to Donut Mania or Pink Box with the ability to customize to ones liking presenting something entirely new to the Las Vegas area.

RECOMMENDED: Marilyn Mondough, Matt Frank Dough, Bet Me While.

AVOID: David Doughy.

TIP: 24/7 with ordering and delivery online via UberEats.

WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor.

http://www.crunchdonutfactory.com/

Crunch Donut Factory Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Posted in Breakfast, Crunch Donut Factory, Dessert, Food, Las Vegas, Nevada

Carnitas y Tortas Ahogadas Guadalajara, Las Vegas NV

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Carnitas y Tortas Ahogadas Guadalajara

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Michelada

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Taco Cueritos

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Taco Dorado con Carne

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Tacos Asada, Pastor, Birria

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Tortas Ahogadas

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Rico Postre Jericalla

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Fancied by a few local fine dining Chefs as their go-to for the authentic flavors of Western Mexico, it was just past eight o’clock on Friday night that the dining room at Carnitas y Tortas Ahogadas Guadalajara was found sparsely populated, a team of two servers plus two cooks making up for limited English skills with some truly delicious food and excellent service to match it.

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Decorated with the restaurant’s logo, maps of Mexico and some handmade pottery for sale near the door, Carnitas y Tortas Ahogadas Guadalajara features table service both indoors and al fresco from a carefully curated menu written only in Spanish, the focus on braised Meats including several styles of Goat noteworthy, though the restaurant’s eponymous Sandwich is undoubtedly promoted as a “must have” item.

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Doing the small things that matter to stand out, Breads and Tortillas both made on-site with all Meats braised in-house daily, those looking for variety are invited to try any of the restaurant’s big flavors by way of Tacos with 1-lb portions also offered alongside Tortillas for larger parties, a total of $35 after tax and tip yielding a substantial amount of food with an additional $7.50 added for an oversized Michelada.

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Waiting just a few minutes for the bulk of an order, items rolling out as ready from the kitchen, first bites of a Pork Skin Taco were fatty and succulent without a lot of acid to wash out the funkiness while a follow-up Fried Taco stuffed with ground Beef was unfortunately a bit oily, the Carrot slice on top packing a big wallop of heat while the pickled Onions, sliced Radish and Slaw helped to balance out the piquant orange Sauce beneath it.

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Ready to tuck into the sopping wet Sandwich just as more Tacos arrived, each divided in two and lightly topped with Lime, Onions or one of two Salsas provided in squeeze bottles, one would be hard-pressed to decide whether the Barbacoa Goat or Al Pastor Pork offered more flavor, the Carne Asada unfortunately a bit too dry, perhaps as a result of the late time of arrival.

Finally getting around the Torta, slow cooked hunks of Pork literally fork-tender on a bun somewhat akin to Baguette that was still crunchy despite being fully saturated with spicy Tomato Sauce, suffice it to say that the specialty from Jalisco is every bit worth its name on the marquee, a traditional dessert from the region one part Flan and one part Crème Brûlée with just enough sugar to compliment the egginess.

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FOUR STARS: Not exactly the sort of place likely to receive critical attention, both the location and understated signage directed mostly at its local population, Carnitas y Tortas Ahogadas Guadalajara is a strong reminder of the rich Ethnic heritage found just a few miles East of Las Vegas Boulevard – the sort of place where low prices pair with a lot of passion to give diners an experience tourists would never imagine exist in a city known for $1,000 bottle service.

RECOMMENDED: Taco Cueritos, Taco Pastor, Taco Birria, Tortas Ahogadas, Rico Postre Jericalla.

AVOID: Taco Dorado con Carne.

TIP: Open 8:30am to 9:00pm daily except on Thursdays when the kitchen closes at four o’clock. Pozole offered daily with Menudo on Weekends. BOGO Tortas on Tuesday, too!

WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor.

https://www.facebook.com/Carnitas-y-Tortas-Ahogadas-Guadalajara-515393185249218/

Carnitas Y Tortas Ahogadas Guadalajara Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Posted in Carnitas y Tortas Ahogadas Guadalajara, Dessert, Food, Las Vegas, Nevada, Pork

Evel Pie [Grand Opening,] Las Vegas NV

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Evel Pie

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Balls to the Wall – Meatballs, Ricotta, Mozzarella, Sunday Gravy, Basil

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White Pie – Garlic, Ricotta, Mozzarella, Basil, Black Pepper

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Hog Heaven – BBQ Pulled Pork, Onions

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Sausage and Pepperoni – Mozzarella, Tomato Sauce

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Replacing a few recent flops with the sort of Las Vegas born idea that seems almost too good to not have been attempted yet it was with ample expectations that Evel Pie officially welcomed patrons for Friday’s Grand Opening, all signs indicating that The Golden Tiki’s Branden Powers may just have built himself another big hit.

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Co-created with the son of daredevil Evel Knievel and featuring just the right amount of kitsch and era appropriate music to reference an early eighties Manhattan, it was with several media-types having already tweeted pictures that guests were invited to taste pies crafted by local Pizza-maker Vincent Rotolo and a staff manning ovens that already seem well seasoned, the choice to go by the Slice or order a whole Pie accompanied by Salads, occasional Italian Specialties, Calzones and a sizable list of Drinks.

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Decorated in everything from arcade games and taxidermy to old photographs of its namesake soaring on his motorcycle, service was a bit of a mish-mash given the nature of the evening, seating limited and tables awash in empty pans, cups and paper plates as admission tickets were traded for Beer or Pizza Slices that eventually led to a rather substantial wait.

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Focusing squarely on the product, several cheap Domestic Brews served alongside some more unique Pale Ales and Stouts, four Slices were tasted fresh from a line of ovens, the simple Cheese Slice passed up but bound to be a hit as part of a $5 Beer and Slice Combination while a Pizza topped in Rattlesnake Sausage was not made available during this portion of the night.

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Using gas ovens to generate a crisp Crust with good char and just the right amount of stretch, Evel Pie references the “New York” style slice shop in terms of both its shape and foldability, the toppings making a big leap in terms of both price as well as quality with first bites of the classic Sausage and Pepperoni showing a lightly acidic sauce beneath stretchy Mozzarella that complimented, rather than blunting the pleasantly spiced Meats.

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Not as sold on “Hog Heaven,” the Barbeque Sauce a little too sweet and thus overwhelming everything from the Onions to the crispy Dough, a far better taste was found amidst a White Pie pairing puddles of Ricotta to fragrant Basil and light Garlic while the humorously titled “Balls to the Wall” put Sunday Gravy in proper context with Mozzarella and Ricotta plus housemade Meatballs that walked a fine line between hearty and soft.

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N/A: Unfair to rate the overall experience based on a Media Event, the crowd too large and service just out of the gate, Chef Rotolo is turning out some great Pies in an area desperate for inspired grab n’ go Streetfood while Powers and his team have created the sort of environment where downtown visitors as well as denizens may want to kick back and stay awhile.

RECOMMENDED: White Pie, Balls to the Wall.

Avoid: Hog Heaven.

TIP: 11a-2a Sunday through Tuesday and until four in the morning on Friday or Saturday nights.

WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor.

https://www.evelpie.com

Evel Piee Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Posted in Evel Pie, Food, Italian, Las Vegas, Nevada, Pizza, Pork

Naked City Tavern [4,] Las Vegas NV

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Naked City Tavern

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Bottled Cocktail – Buffalo Trace, Fireball Apple Cider, Housemade Pecan Syrup

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Pork and Cheese Board – Naked City Basil-Fontina Sweet Italian Sausage, Prosciutto-Peccorino Stuffed Cherry Peppers, Artisanal Foods Duck Proscuitto, Mortadella, Pork Smeared Crostini, Daily Cheese Selection, House Pickles and Peppers, Sweet Balsamic Mostarda

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Black Truffle Burrata – Warm Tomato, Grilled Crostini, Pesto, Sweet Balsamic, Black Truffles

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Crawfish ‘Popcorn’ – Crispy Crawfish Tails, Butter Dust, Naked City Seven Pepper Sauce Sidecar

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Halibut Milanesa – Wild Alaskan Halibut, Bread Crumb Crust, Lemon-Pinot Grigio Sauce, Garlic-Spinach

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Cassoulet – Slow Braised Cornish Game Hen, Root Vegetables, Cannellini Beans, Naked City Bacon, Naked City Basil-Fontina Sweet Italian Sausage

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Shrimp and Grits – Geechie Boy Mills Jimmy Red Grits, White Shrimp, Naked City Bacon, Hon Shemiji Mushrooms, Fresh Herbs

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Short Rib Wellington – Braised Beef Short Rib, Wild Mushroom Duxelle, Bay Spinach, Red Wine Demi Glace, Crispy Sea Beans

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Potato Puree – Gold Potato, Perigord Truffle Butter

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Goat Osso Bucco – Braised Goat, Rich Vegetable Laced Tomato Sauce, Garganelli, Toasted Bread Crumbs

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Shisito Rellano – Five Cheese Stuffing, Cast Iron Cooked

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Barley and Lentil – Cacio e Pepe Style

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Originally getting a glimpse of Christopher Palmeri’s vision for Naked City Tavern over a year ago with plates exploring the boundaries of “bar food” at Naked City on Paradise, the full concept unfurled during a Chef Series event for over a dozen patrons several months later, it has been a pleasure to see the 24/7 spot on South Pecos continue to develop ever since its July 2016 opening, an invitation to be one of the first to experience the new Winter Chef’s menu truly an honor this Monday evening.

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Still one of the hardest working Chefs in Sin City, his Buffalo-roots ever apparent as the Holiday décor and sounds of the Ravens and Patriots on Monday Night Football did little to hide a Bills mural or T-shirts in Blue and Red, it was at a long table with six other guests that myself and a Naked City First-timer sat for a multi-course meal the likes of which I’ve not seen in such a setting since Carlo Mirarchi’s early Roberta’s days, Manager Robert Chaney proving a gracious host with the assistance of two young ladies.

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Long ago garnering national attention for food far better than it needed to be at Naked City Pizza Shop at Moondoggies, a combination of talent and tenacity plus a little bit of luck going a long way to allow for expansion including Naked City Tavern and a recent agreement to be the official Pizza purveyor for Las Vegas Motor Speedway, it was with a Cocktail of bottled Autumn that the meal got started, a Charcuterie Board offering good bang for the buck with fragrant and snappy Sausage served alongside stuffed Cherry Peppers, House-cured Pickles plus a duo of Artisanal Foods imported Meats and Cheeses.

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Proudly listing his purveyors on a chalkboard in the dining room, something surely not seen at other all-day-and-all-night joints in town, course two featured a creamy ball of Burrata showered with Black Truffles at the center of a pool of crushed Tomatoes and Pesto, the Crawfish ‘Popcorn’ as clever as it was tasty with lightly battered Tails topped in Butter Powder alongside housemade Hot Sauce certainly not for the faint of heart or stomach.

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No doubt a hearty seasonal menu, the Halibut a lone exception as each flaky Filet is lightly coated in just enough Bread Crumbs to sop up a touch of the vibrant Citrus Sauce, Palmeri’s Game Hen Cassoulet is only marred by the fact that the Garlic would have been better served roasted and smashed than as whole Cloves, the Shrimp and Grits, on the other hand, absolutely flawless with a smooth texture resulting from slow-cooking a perfect backdrop to tender Shrimp along with housemade Bacon and pan-seared Mushrooms.

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Seeing other diners slowing down, even though the richest plates were yet to come, those favoring fork-tender Short Rib need look no further than Naked City Tavern’s Wellington, the Wild Mushroom Duxelle a bit salty but well matched by Bay Spinach, Sea Beans and the Red Wine Demi while the Ragout of Goat Osso Bucco layered nicely with rolled pasta despite a few bones found amidst the Garden-fresh Red Sauce.

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Rounding out the main course with three sides, Palmeri’s time spent studying “Chef of the Century” Joel Robuchon clearly not wasted as evidenced by the creamy Potatoes topped in a knob of housemade Truffle Butter, another sophisticated bite is found in the soft Lentils served “Cacio e Pepe” style while the stuffed Shisitos were a Russian Roulette sort of dish with some blazing while others were quite mild.

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FOUR AND A HALF STARS: Still holding out for a truly excellent dessert, but otherwise completely impressed by the constant creativity from Christopher and his team, Naked City Tavern’s recent nod as “Best Bar Food” was perhaps the most hilarious understatement of 2016, the plates being sent out far better than several ‘fine dining establishments’ both on and off The Strip, with better ingredients at a lower price point.

RECOMMENDED: Short Rib Wellington, Crawfish ‘Popcorn,’ Shrimp n’ Grits, Potato Puree, Cassoulet.

AVOID: Look out for bones in the Osso Bucco and for whole cloves of Garlic in the Cassoulet.

TIP: There is a Duck Confit Lasagna on the menu. I do remember making that recommendation when Chris put up a social media post looking for ideas. Just sayin’.  Smilie: :-)  Menu goes live 12/13/16.

WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor.

http://www.nakedcitylv.com/naked-city-tavern.html

Naked City Tavern Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Posted in Bread Basket, Food, Italian, Las Vegas, Naked City, Naked City Tavern, Nevada, Pork, Tasting Menu, Truffle, Truffles

Toddy Shop by The 6Pack Chef, Las Vegas NV

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Toddy Shop by The 6Pack Chef

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Kothu Parotta – Multi Layered Flaky Flat Bread, Stir Fried Veggies, Chili Beef, Toddy Shop Assorted Chips

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Pot of Biriyani – Fragrant Basmati, Chicken Masala, Ghee, Cashew, Raisin, Crispy Onion

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Indian Chopsuey – Crispy Noodle, Chili-Garlic Gravy, Stir Fried Veggies, Char Grilled Baby Bok Choy, Bulls Eye

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Kappa and Konj – Turmeric Mashed Tapioca, Shrimp Masala, Tempered Mustard Seeds, Curry Leaf, Whole Red Chili, Desiccated Coconut, Toddy Shop Assorted Chips

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Say what you will about Hemant Kishore’s recent career trajectory, from early-morning hours baking at PublicUS to a high-end catering service delivering nutritious boxed lunches to clients focused on their health, there is little doubt that the man puts a lot of passion and integrity into every single project he approaches, Toddy Shop by The 6Pack Chef at Inn Zone on Rainbow hoping to entirely reinterpret Sin City’s idea of what constitutes “Indian” Food.

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Not exactly the most likely location, a University of Michigan Bar that rivals any in Ann Arbor for the veracity of its fans, it was after a somewhat unfortunate incident that a repeat attempt was made to visit the small dining area tucked away next to a tiny kitchen where the young Chef from Southern India sets up each evening, the well-culled menu playing of the roadside shops and comfort dishes of Kishore’s youth.

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Dining with a friend who has possibly visited every Indian restaurant in the 702, our palates often matching as relates to most things besides his disproportionately high tolerance of heat, it was in passing a television area completely decked out in Maize and Blue that we were greeted by Hemant’s partner at the small kitchen window before taking a seat in the small dining area, music from a nearby Jukebox playing at bar-loud levels with everything from rock to country as the basketball Wolverines were being trounced on a nearby screen by the UCLA Bruins.

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Looking over a menu of all-day bar-food plus several Toddy Shop nightly specials, it was with a bit of sadness for the Chef that a patron actually had the nerve to ask whether he could bring in food from a nearby Mexican fast-food restaurant, the typical Inn Zone client most certainly not a foodie, let alone the sort to appreciate the quality or skill in the preparation of the restaurant-within-a-bar’s Farmer’s Market ingredients.

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Eventually deciding on four plates, each more than sizable enough to share amongst a party of three or four, it was with a slow roll-out that each dish arrived at a four-top soon to be filled to capacity, the Kothu Parotta offering a whole lot of heat as Chili-rubbed beef was tossed into a stir-fry of Vegetables and flaky flatbread that soaked up a lot of flavor from the pan juices plus an assortment of housemade Chips that were tasty on their own, but even better when used as delivery devices for bites from the bowl with which they were mixed.

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Having previously tasted The 6Pack Chef’s Biriyani at the Chef Series Potluck, here even better in a warm stone pot and certainly the most recognizable plate on a menu of dishes likely unfamiliar to all but descendants of India or those exceedingly well-traveled, Indian Chopsuey came across as an almost fusion-y plate of crispy Noodles amidst fragrant Gravy and Baby Bok Choy, the Birds Eye Chili melding nicely with a fried egg that mixed to leave each bite glistening.

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Given a hard time by the bartender for only ordering two glasses of water, a comment questioning my manhood brushed off by a patron of the bar who referred to the Inn Zone employee as an A**hole, it was with a “poor man’s” dish of Kappa and Konj that dinner concluded, the Turmeric Mashed Tapioca an absolute stunning flavor when mixed with India’s version of the trinity, a few Shrimp cooked Masala style plus Desiccated Coconut that tempered the heat while giving the whole bowl a sweet and nutty perfume that lingered.

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FOUR AND A HALF STARS: Setting aside my alma matter and the manner in which staff and patrons feel fit to treat their guests, Toddy Shop by the 6Pack Chef is a dessert or two short of being “destination” Indian food for those willing to explore the boundaries of more traditional fare.

RECOMMENDED: Kappa and Konj, Kothu Parotta, Indian Chopsuey.

AVOID: Wearing anything Scarlet, Grey, Green, White or other than Maize and Gold here during Football Season.

TIP: Offering delivery by way of Bite Squad, another worthy tidbit is Chef Kishore’s drunken Holiday Cake currently available for pre-order.

WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor.

www.thehklife.com

Toddy Shop Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Posted in Food, Las Vegas, Nevada, Toddy Shop, Toddy Shop by The 6Pack Chef, Toddy Shop by The6PackChef

Gelatology [5,] Las Vegas NV

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Gelatology

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Samples – Cookies and Cream, Nutella Bomboloni, Chicken Cup o’ Noodle, Cotija and Corn, Pistachio

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Small Figs and Balsamic, Cinnamon Churro / Small Cinnamon Churro / Small Cookies and Cream

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Honey Comb Brittle

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Warm Chocolate Chip Toffee Cookie

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Warm Nutella Bomboloni

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Although it appears Desyree has been getting more well-deserved time off than usual lately, two previous weekend visits finding the shop manned by one of her ever-pleasant assistants, Gelatology continues to shine as brightly today as it did when originally opening on South Rainbow, the flavors as well as the textures easily better than any other in Sin City with creativity that warrants national acclaim.

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Still an anticipated daily fixture on Social Media, Chef Alberganti’s live-stream of unique flavors set to music with an occasional view of Baked Goods in progress always enticing, as well, it was to several new flavors that patrons were treated on Saturday just after opening, the Chicken Cup o’ Noodle a spot-on riff of something that seems as though it could have only arisen from a drunken bar bet while the Cinnamon Churro and Nutella Bomboloni played on recent baking escapades, the sort of thing not uncommonly seen in fine dining these days.

Eventually making tough choices, the temptation always present to dramatically over-order, it was with a blend of Churros to Balsamic and Figs that tastes trended with beautiful complementation, a fresh-baked Chocolate Chip Toffee Cookie still featuring slightly molten morsels while the Honey Comb Brittle shattered with a whole lot of flavor, dissolving slowly into a sticky Caramel-like substance that threatens to loosen any fillings that might be present.

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Sitting and enjoying the work of a place that continues to innovate and evolve even though any semblance of local competition exists far in the rearview, it was at the behest of the young clerk that the table taste-test three fresh-from-the-fryer Bombolini in a small clamshell, the flavor almost identical to that of the frozen concoction previously tested and completely oilless beneath Granulated Sugar harboring a smooth Hazelnut and Chocolate center.

FIVE STARS: Simply the best. Visit, Sample and Smile.

RECOMMENDED: Balsamic and Fig Gelato, Cinnamon Churro Gelato, Honey Comb Brittle, Nutella Bomboloni.

AVOID: N/A.

TIP: Seasonal Panettone is currently available in-store or for pre-order at $15 a loaf. Frosted Cut-Out Cookies also currently decorate shelves.

WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor.

https://www.facebook.com/Gelatologylv

Gelatology Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Posted in Dessert, Food, Gelatology, Ice Cream, Las Vegas, Nevada

The Noodle Man, Las Vegas NV

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The Noodle Man

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Pudding Milk Tea

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Chong Qing Style Spicy and Sour Noodles – Ground Pork, Peanuts, Sweet Potato Vermicelli, Green Onion, Cilantro

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Chicken and Mushroom Pancake – Chicken Breast, King Oyster Mushrooms, Black Mushrooms, Hon Shimeji Mushrooms

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Vegetable Pancake – Egg, Leek, Dry Tofu, Sweet Potato Vermicelli

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Sliced Pork and Mushroom Knife Sliced Noodles – Pork Belly, Eggs, Black Fungus, King Oyster Mushrooms, Black Mushrooms, Hon Shimeji Mushrooms

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Hot & Spicy Noodle – Ground Pork, Peanuts, Bean Sprouts, Preserved Vegetable, Spinach, Chopped Green Onion

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Fried Beef and Green Onion Dumplings

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String Beans with Braised Pork Chow Mein – Braised Pork, String Beans, Potato, Onion and Bell Pepper

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Chicken and Eggplant Knife Sliced Noodles – Shredded Chicken, Eggplant, Jalapeno, Tofu, Tomato

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Not especially sold on “noodle soups,” even during a time where people form hour-long lines for Ramen and whole books are written about the history of Pho, it was with six adults plus two children that nearly half the seating at The Noodle Man was filled on Saturday, the results rousing hope for an entire genre of food as friendly service nicely compliments a kitchen offering both dinner and a show.

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Known for its housemade noodles, a glass partition separating the modern dining room from cast-iron pans, woks and boiling water while those sitting at the counter are face-to-face with Chefs whipping Noodles around and slicing the dough by hand, the menu reads rather simply with three pages divided into “Appetizers,” “Knife sliced Noodles or Rice” and “Noodles / Chow Mein,” though the amount of variation on these concepts covers a wide range of tastes.

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Not claiming any particular expertise as relates to Asian Noodles, only one in the group having previously visited the small restaurant just south of the 215 on Rainbow Blvd, it was with the opinion of several ages and ethnicities weighed that a total of eight items – some in double portions – were selected to covering each of the menu’s sections, the total bill just $112 when accounting for tax plus a sizable tip.

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Acknowledging a limited tolerance for heat, the chunky Pudding Milk Tea with light Caramel notes a good choice for quelling Chili Oil and Szechuan Peppers used in bowls such as the tangy Chong Qing Style Sweet Potato Vermicelli with ground Pork and Peanuts that was amongst the meal’s most satisfying plates despite substantial difficulty in transferring the slippery glass noodles to share bowls, another great opening dish was the pan-seared Chicken and Mushroom Pancake with pounded Breast layered atop a blend of Fungus with a slight Iodine note from the Hon Shimeji Mushrooms.

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Not particularly sold on the Vegetable Pancake or the Potstickers, both skipping the ‘easy’ method of deep frying in favor of a wok but still coming across as too oily for my tastes, it was back to the bowls that attention was turned for the wide ribbons in a complex Broth of cubed Pork Belly, Black Fungus, and the same Mushroom blend as the Pancake, each mouthful offering a slightly different experience and thus preventing a huge portion from becoming monotonous.

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Finding the Spaghetti-like Hot & Spicy Noodles a touch redundant to the superior Chong Qing Style, though the pickling spices did make for an interesting contrast to the spicy ground Swine with crispy Bean Sprouts dialing up the texture, String Beans with Braised Pork Chow Mein came across almost sweet as fermented soy slicked more thick nuggets of Pork tossed with Potatoes, Onions and Peppers, the Chicken and Eggplant Knife Sliced Noodles another big winner as the each springy mouthful saw a good deal of heat foiled by roasted hunks of Eggplant, diced Tomatoes, Jalapenos and soft Tofu.

FOUR STARS: A bit more limited than some of Chinatown’s best, but nonetheless doing some really interesting things in a part of town where authentic Ethnic Cuisine is only beginning to be found, The Noodle Man is worth a visit for everyone from the Noodle obsessed to the novice or skeptic, though visiting with a large group is certainly recommended.

RECOMMENDED: Chicken and Mushroom Pancake, Chong Qing Style Spicy and Sour Noodles, Sliced Pork and Mushroom Knife Sliced Noodles.

AVOID: Vegetable Pancake, Fried Beef and Green Onion Dumplings.

TIP: Several off-menu Specials are offered while the Chicken Curry is no longer available due to poor sales and its labor intensive nature.

WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Noodle-Man

The Noodle Man Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Posted in Food, Las Vegas, Nevada, Noodle Man, Pork, The Noodle Man

Café Breizh, Las Vegas NV

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Café Breizh

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Ham and Cheese Croissant

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Almond Croissant

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Cinnamon Roll

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Blueberry Muffin

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Raspberry Tart

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Oatmeal Raisin Cookie

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Chocolate Chip Cookie

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Apple Turnover

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Opened at the onset of December and featuring the work of Strip-veteran Pierre Gatel plus his partner Jerome Marchand, Café Breizh adds one more French Bakery to the growing half-dozen in the West Valley with longer hours than most and a some unexpected surprises including Coffee from La Colombe plus the offering of French Crepes.

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Located on South Fort Apache, the interior featuring sleek design and clean white lines though the area surrounding it seems most well-known for a Dollar Store and Little Caesars, patrons of Café Breizh are invited to dine on a wide diversity of items both sweet and savory at one of the restaurant’s indoor tables or a soon-to-be-built patio while the ramp-up process in the kitchen is already underway.

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Said to have been a longtime dream for Chef Gatel, his birth and training both in Northern France before bringing his skills overseas where classic recipes were featured at Wynn and Encore for over a decade, it is with wide eyes that most will take in the beautiful creations stored behind glass as more items bake in the kitchen to replete daily choices from seven in the morning until seven in the evening.

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Eventually opting for a half-dozen plus one pastries, Pierre tacking on an Americano plus one more after a visit to the kitchen that is still a bit disorganized but assuredly up-and-running with plenty of room to grow, first bites of a Ham and Cheese Croissant glistening beneath a shattering shell of Cheddar quickly gave notice that the team knows its stuff, the separated layers soft and delicate despite being filled with sliced Pork and easily one of Las Vegas best savory breakfast items, on-Strip or off.

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Moving on to sweeter things, even the Chef’s already-known description of a ‘traditional’ Almond Croissant not enough to convince me that the one at Café Breizh isn’t soggy and overly slathered with Frangipane – though my 9-year old dining companion admittedly liked it a lot – far better textures were found in a tightly wound Cinnamon Roll only rivaled by CRAFTkitchen locally for balance of crunch and springy center without rendering the edges dried-out.

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Serving an admirable Blueberry Muffin, the shallow-welled baking pan making it almost 80% ‘top’ with fresh Blueberries throughout, Pierre’s Raspberry Tart offers a lot of good Fruit atop a Shortbread-style crust though the filling beneath is a little underwhelming, his Turnover far better as a result of making the inside from freshly sliced Fuji Apples without too much sugar and just a hint of salt.

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Rounding out the morning with two Cookies, the better of the two a toss-up as each features a crisp rim and nearly Pudding-soft center, Chef Gatel states that the secret to his Chocolate Chip is allowing the chunks of Dark Chocolate to melt slightly before mixing them into the batter while the Oatmeal is just a matter of using good ingredients, something that a look at his walk-in and prep-table makes quite evident for all of his creations.

THREE AND A HALF STARS: Already off to a good start and a welcome addition to an area that certainly needs it, Café Breizh is the sort of place that will be interesting to watch and revisit over time, Chef Gatel and his partner clearly possessing a lot of skill as well as passion with a kitchen more than capable of doing more should the community demand it.

RECOMMENDED: Ham and Cheese Croissant, Cinnamon Roll, Cookies.

AVOID: I realize Almond Croissants come in several styles, but none should leave my hand wet after picking it up. Tarts also run a bit more pricey than they should when compared to off-Strip Competitors while the overhead music could stand to be turned down by about half.

TIP: Free Wi-Fi available, menu soon to expand with items like a Croque Monsieur and Canele suggested.

WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor.

http://www.cafebreizh.com

Café Breizh Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Posted in Breakfast, Café Breizh, Coffee, Croissant, Dessert, Food, La Colombe, Las Vegas, Nevada, Pork

Four Kegs Sports Pub, Las Vegas NV

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Four Kegs Sports Pub

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Fried Vegetable Basket – Mushrooms, Zucchini Chips and Cauliflower with Cheese Sauce and Ranch

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Cajun Fries with Ranch

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Small Pepperoni and Cheese Sicilian Pizza

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Small Original Stromboli with Pepperoni, Sausage, Ham, Cheese, Marinara

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Spumoni Cake

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Chocolate Cake

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