Chengdu Taste, Las Vegas NV

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Chengdu Taste

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Tea and Water

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White Rice

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Red Chili Chicken Skewer

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Pork with Garlic Sauce

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Beef with Crispy Rice Crust

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Guess Guess Shrimp

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Sauteed Wild Yam – Black Fungus and Bell Peppers

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Toothpick Lamb with Cumin

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Sauteed Eggplant

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Dip Fried Chicken Cube – Double Fried, Double Peppers, Boneless

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Tan Tan Noodle

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Dry Stir Fried Pig’s Intestine

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BYODessert by Hexx

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Finding that previous sensitivities to heat have significantly been blunted over the past year and a half, a number of factors potentially at play, it was while dining at Yunnan Garden next door that a plan was hatched to gather up a group for dinner at California import Chengdu Taste on Schiff Road, eleven of twelve original invitees sitting down at a round table around 5:30 near the back of the room.

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Originally opened in the San Gabriel Valley around 2013, and written about by Jonathan Gold with verbiage that has read like an ode to Chengdu-style cooking ever since, it was over a year ago that the family-owned affair began to expand its reach outside California and with locations now in both Nevada and Hawaii the mini-chain has shown no signs of slowing down, though a look at the current menu does show some adaptation to the local palate.

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Famed for its heavy use of all-things pepper, the taste of Chiles in many forms ubiquitous in all but a few dishes where the sweetness of Bell Peppers are better suited, those entering Chengdu taste will find the setting familiar with a tight kitchen offset to the left of entry while the dining room spreads outward, accolades and a few decorations on the wall plus seating for perhaps a hundred available with a menu containing a near-equal number of items.

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Considered one of the lightest styles of Chinese cooking, the lack of starchy carbohydrates as the base of most dishes seeing many items served with Sauce or Broth, it was with several items already in mind that an order of ten items was written in pen on a guest check and divided into two rounds, the sever at first interpreting this as the group wanting some now and the rest to-go, but quickly understanding the intent and doing a beautiful job of making sure that Water as well as Tea were always full and that the table was never over-burdened.

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Trying best to place ‘milder’ dishes first, the vivid aromatics of Sichuan peppercorn first perfuming the air and later causing its characteristic numbing effect while Chili Oil is restrained in favor of dried or fresh Chiles, an opening bowl described as “Red Chili Chicken Skewer” was soon presented as a chilled dish with several skewers emerging from intimidating red murkiness, the rubber band’s removal liberating everything from Black Fungus and Wild Yam to Feet and Gizzards, a veritable ‘choose your own adventure’ dish that was well received and quick to leave lips tingling in anticipation of what was to come.

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Consuming a lot of water throughout the evening, others packing in mountains of White Rice to quell the heat, both the thinly sliced Pork with Garlic Sauce and bowl of Peppercorn-laden Tan Tan Noodles were portioned far smaller than other plates and generally not as interesting in terms of their concept compared to other local places, the Beef with Crispy Rice Crust and “Guess Guess Shrimp” taking a completely opposite slant by offering enough to feed at least two with the starch provided by what was best described as “savory Rice Krispie Treats” and Wok-tossed French Fries, respectively.

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Rounding out the opening act with slippery Wild Yam on a large plate with tender Black Fungus and crisp Bell Peppers, course two first featured the aforementioned Noodles and Toothpick Lamb with Cumin, the later quite frankly looking like something straight out of horror film and completely saturating the air within seconds, but in reality a beautiful plate of gamey Meat that is boldly accented and perfectly tender with built-in finger food convenience.

Passing on the Pork Intestines next door, but this time finding the group more agreeable to taking a chance, Chengdu Taste’s Offal comes in several varieties including hot pots, stone bowls and stir fry, the later rendering previously the previously dehydrated guts crisp on the outside but tender within amidst both Bell Peppers and Dried Chiles while the Sauteed Eggplant comes in a deep bowl filled with Sauce that is one part sweet and one part warming, the “Dip Fried Chicken Cube” offered bone-in or deboned essentially Chongqing Spicy Chicken that is not quite as crisp as the one next door, but still very worthwhile thanks to both the juiciness of the bird and a substantial amount of smokiness.

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THREE AND A HALF STARS: A bit more pricey than Yunnan Garden, but at the same time also featuring better service, Chengdu Taste has a lot to offer in terms of menu variety, the best bet being to gather up a large group of adventurous diners and order based on whatever sounds best with relative assurance that all of it will be spicy, but not the sort of spice that will have you up all night in gastrointestinal distress.

RECOMMENDED: Red Chili Chicken Skewer, Beef with Crispy Rice Crust, Guess Guess Shrimp, Toothpick Lamb with Cumin, Dry Stir Fried Pig’s Intestine.

AVOID: Tan Tan Noodles and Pork with Garlic Sauce were fine, but not on par with the rest.

TIP: Reservations are available by phone, and recommended on Friday and Saturday nights when a wait is common. No desserts offered, thanks to Ari for the Hexx Chocolates, now featuring the Dominican Republic.

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

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Chengdu-Taste-%E6%BB%8B%E5%91%B3%E6%88%90%E9%83%BD/1656872504584036

Chengdu Taste Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Posted in Chengdu Taste, Food, Las Vegas, Nevada, Pork

Jean Georges Steakhouse [5,] Las Vegas NV

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Jean Georges Steakhouse

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Ginger Daiquiri – Siete Leguas Reposado Tequila, Fresh Lime Juice, Ginger Syrup, Ginger-Salted Rim

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Cheese Lavash, Pretzel, Baguette, Walnut Cherry Bread, European Butter

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Crispy Sushi Sampler – Salmon, Tuna, Hamachi, Crispy Rice and Chipotle Mayonnaise

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Wagyu Carpaccio – Black Truffle Fritters and Lime Salt

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Hamachi Crudo – Rangpur Lime, Mandarin Orange, Cocktail Grapefruit, Radish, Fresno Chile, Bergamot, Rosemary, Ginger

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2014 Chateau de Sancerre Blanc

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Iceberg Wedge – Blue Cheese and Crispy Bacon

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Baby Beets and Pear – Gorgonzola, Walnuts and Herbs

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Tomato Salad – Hearts of Palm and Coconut

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Crunchy Organic Chicken – Spinach and Buttery Hot Sauce

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Roasted Chilean Sea Bass – Miso-Yuzu Glaze, Maitake Mushroom

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Double Cut Bone-In Pork Chop – Candied Kumquats, Wild Arugula

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Fennel in Forms – Pressure Cooked Puree, Seeds, Braised and Caramelized

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2013 Hall Cabernet Sauvignon

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USDA Prime Aspen Ridge 18 oz Bone-In Rib Eye

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16-Oz Rangers Valley Australia Wagyu Bone-In Dry Aged NY and 6-Oz Filet Mignon

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Soy Glazed Short Rib – Granny Smith Apple, Micro Celery, Jalapeño

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A5 Certified Kobe Beef – Hyogo Prefecture, Japan

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Chimichurri, Housemade Hot Sauce, Soy Miso Butter, Béarnaise and JG Steak Sauce

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Braising Greens – Roasted Beets, Bacon, Garlic

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Brussel Sprouts – Avocado, Balsamic, Walnuts

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Nantes Carrots – Slow Roasted and Basted with Butter, Garlic, Rosemary, Crème Fraiche, Dill

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Bread Pudding – Brioche, Fontina Cheese, Hedgehog Mushrooms, Black Trumpet Mushrooms and Black Truffles

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Double Espresso on Ice

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Vanilla Panna Cotta – Seasonal Citrus, Almond Tuille, Streusel

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Salted Caramel Sundae – Fudge, Candied Peanuts, Caramel Popcorn

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Market Apple Pie – Maple Pecan Ice Cream

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Although endoedibles has never been monetized in any way, one of the best rewards of a site with so many visitors is the friends made over the last ten years of dining and travel, thus when one of my most frequent dining pals and two others decided to make Las Vegas their destination for a mid-week Bachelor party it was with little hesitation that the request for a “great steakhouse” saw reservations made at Jean Georges Steakhouse where Chef Sean Griffin took ‘carte blanche’ to a new level for a three-hour feast would prove difficult for anyone else in Sin City to rival.

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Having now sat down to dinner at the Aria’s long-tenured house of Meats four times, the first as a solo and the last just after Christmas with two close friends, it was just past 5:15pm that our quartet presented to the hostess podium where greetings were offered, followed by a quick walk to the left side of the room where a table with great lighting awaited, both Sean and his General Manager stopping by early before the restaurant filled to capacity with convention-goers at 7:00pm, the service nonetheless attentive throughout the night with drinks refilled quickly and plates cleared as they were finished without ever feeling like the table was being watched *too* closely.

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Not yet changing up the menu for Spring, though Vongerichten and Griffin’s close relationship with Intuitive Forager Kerry Clasby is always certain to feature the season’s best produce enlivening everything from Salads and Sides to garnishes on the big proteins, it was with a refreshing Ginger Daiquiri that palates were whetted for a trio of shared appetizers to start things off, the Crispy Sushi making a good impression on a trio who’ve all been to Japan largely based on its novelty while Hamachi Crudo amidst winter Citrus was beautifully punctuated by light heat and herbs, the signature Aussie Wagyu draped over Black Truffle Fritters always a menu highlight that packs a whole lot of flavor into each mouthful.

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Pouring a glass of Chateau de Sancerre to go with the next two courses, the light florals and fruity finish equally capable of matching lighter proteins and three Salads including a simple but perfect Wedge, Beets plus Pears and Hearts of Palm perched atop Tomatoes, those disinterested in Beef will be heartened to know that Jean-Georges Steakhouse is more than capable of making an impression by way of white Meats, the Crunchy Organic Chicken still a personal pick for best in the city while Miso-glazed Sea Bass is a ubiquitous Jean-George mainstay, the Double Cut Bone-In Pork Chop that Griffin “came up with while messing around in the kitchen” definitely worthy of being added to a future menu whether with Candied Kumquats or some other seasonal Fruit while off-menu Fennel in various forms showed off the ingredient’s versatility in a way that would not be out of place at a place like Blue Hill at Stone Barns or Saison in San Francisco.

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Presenting a whole bottle of 2013 Hall Cabernet Sauvignon and decanting it tableside in anticipation of the main event, not much could have prepared the table for just how much meat was about to land on a four-top soon to be overwhelmed, both Griffin and his Sous-Chef carrying out sizable plates along with three servers, the Aspen Ridge Bone-In Rib Eye, Dry Aged Rangers Valley Strip along with its Filet and a Soy Glazed Short Rib all perfectly cooked and showing off the diversity of the kitchen’s sourcing while a few ounces of A5 Certified Kobe Beef from the Hyogo Prefecture happily defined decadence.

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Going light on the quintet of Sauces, most of them used on the Rib Eye due to the excessive portion size, it was with a bit more Pretzel Bread requested that excess Béarnaise was sopped up almost like Fondue, a power-move reserved for those with a big appetite that certainly did not lessen the enjoyment of four sides including Braising Greens with Bacon, a Vegetarian-friendly Brussels Sprouts dish featuring Avocado and highlight-reel-worthy Bread Pudding with Black Truffles plus ‘fork and knife” Nantes Carrots rendered soft on the inside beneath a caramelized crust created by long, slow Butter-basting.

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Going lighter than most places on dessert, that menu having undergone little change since Chef Lynn’s departure, it was with a Double Espresso on Ice that two old favorites plus one new one landed on the table, the city’s best Apple Pie arriving piping hot in an oval as opposed to circular skillet while the burnt-sugar flavor of a Salted Caramel Sundae was as appealing as ever, the Vanilla Panna Cotta now featuring Seasonal Citrus and an Almond Tuille plus buttery Streusel added for texture.

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FIVE STARS: Truly a grand showing this time around, Chef Griffin and his team going above and beyond to make three Angelinos further question their high rent, traffic and frou-frou “steakhouses” like Gwen, Jean Georges Steakhouse continues to shine seven years since opening its doors, the staples always likely to be there in order to please conventioneers but the new items and daily-specials really where the kitchen is at its best.

RECOMMENDED: Tomato Salad, Wagyu Carpaccio, Crunchy Organic Chicken, 16-Oz Rangers Valley Australia Wagyu Bone-In Dry Aged NY, Market Apple Pie. (Also, Pork Chop, Truffle Bread Pudding, Nantes Carrots if available.)

AVOID: The table next to us ordered the Aussie Wagyu cooked Medium-Well. It looked Sad. Don’t do that.

TIP: If available, sit on the left side of the room (looking in) where it curves back towards the front. Music is lower, lighting is better and the bulk of the crowd is displaced at a good distance for conversation. Also, ignore the online menu, it is woefully out of date and lacks prices.

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

http://www.aria.com/dining/restaurants/jean-georges-steakhouse

Jean Georges Steakhouse Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Posted in Bread Basket, Bread Pudding, Coffee, Dessert, Food, Ice Cream, Jean Georges, Jean Georges Steakhouse, Las Vegas, Nevada, Pork, Sushi, Tasting Menu, Truffle, Truffles

Yardbird Southern Table & Bar [14,] Las Vegas NV

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Yardbird Southern Table & Bar

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Mama’s Buttermilk Biscuits with Honey Butter and Strawberry Jam

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Fried Pickles with Housemade Ranch

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Low + Slow Smoked Chicken Salad – Hass Avocado, Fried Cornbread, Caper Housemade Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

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Smoked & Roasted Bone Marrow – Onion Marmalade, Tomato Jam, Pickled Onions and Okra, Grilled Toasted Country Bread

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Buffalo Frog Legs – Creole Remoulade

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Chica Arepas – Lime Cream, Radish, Jalapeno, Fresh White Cheese

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Whole Lewellyn’s Fine Fried Chicken with Family Style Macaroni & Cheese – Torchio Pasta, Five Artisan Cheeses, Crispy Herb Crust

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Loaded Brisket Fries – Bacon Salt, Five-Cheese Sauce, House Smoked Brisket, Diced Pickles and Onions

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Southern Chicken Chile Verde – Green and Red Chili Peppers, Creamy Nora Mill Grits, Pulled Smoked Chicken, Charred Tomatoes and Scallions

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Skillet Cornbread – Vermont Sharp Cheddar Cheese, Bacon, Jalapeno, Honey Maple Butter

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Velvet & Berries – Creamy Red Velvet Cheesecake, Sweet Macerated Berries, Cream Cheese Mousse

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Skillet Blueberry Pie – Butter Lattice, Vanilla Ice Cream

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Birthday Platter – Chess Pie, Mango Sorbet, Mississippi Mud Pie, Snickerdoodle Ice Cream Sandwich

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Entering Yardbird for late Brunch on 2/25/17, a 3:00pm arrival time with two others seeing the group seated amidst a half-filled room that was apparently jammed prior and soon to fill up again, it was as part of an elongated birthday celebration that Chefs Sandra Palomo and Keris Kuwana again rolled out the Red Carpet, the restaurant that has been a favorite for over two years breaking out several items from the “Secret Menu” and some soon-to-arrive specials.

Changed little since opening, save for the staff, Sin City’s steady stream of tourists allowing the restaurant to impress new guests with the same menu week after week, it was admittedly having communicated with the Chefs that no menu was presented after the party got situated in a high-top towards the bar area beneath songs by everyone from B.B. King to The Raconteurs, Chef Palomo soon to take a short break in her busy life to stop by and offer greetings…and the world’s best Biscuits.

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Part chuckling after a longtime server inquired as to whether this was the group’s first visit, actually the 14th which marks it the most frequently attended eatery in Endoedibles archives, it was not long after the first buttery cube was slathered with Butter and Jam that two additional plates arrived, the thinly sliced Fried Pickles succeeding where other preparations have failed thanks to the light batter and quality of house-brining, the Low + Slow Chicken Salad introduced by former Chef Todd Harrington as cool and fresh as ever in three portions, the Fried Cornbread forshadowing dinner dishes to be offered later and the creamy Ranch Dressing accompanying both making the American staple a standard-bearer by way of the briny Capers.

Still not cutting corners, most of the recipes taking extra steps to assure their quality including house-made Pickles and Jams plus the decision to smoke Bone Marrow when lesser-kitchens would simply grill it and send it out, it was much to the Child of the group’s surprise that both the creamy spread and a follow-up of Spicy Frog Legs were not only edible, but “awesome,” the typically light eater taking down three pieces from the Amphibian and then seen wiping out the center of a bone with toasted Bread.

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Bringing out one member of the opening team at Chica, a second restaurant from 50Eggs slated to open next-door this Spring, it was to the surprise of all that three Arepas soon to be cooked under the direction of Mike Minor were offered, the toasty Cornmeal pockets filled with Fresh Cheese brightened up by Citrus, Radish and a bit of sliced Jalapeno heat.

Already a bit full from Breakfast, and acknowledging that there was little chance of consuming everything the restaurant was served, the Entrée course was truly an embarrassment of riches better suited for six adults than two plus a Child, a perfect golden Bird served whole with a cauldron of Macaroni and Cheese alongside it while the crisp Hand-cut fries were overloaded in Cheese and Brisket plus diced pickles to add some balance, the off-menu Southern Chicken Chile Verde putting Yardbird’s smoker through the paces before Chicken is lightly shredded and cooked down with Green and Red Chili Peppers plus Tomatoes and Charred Scallions before being poured over stick-a-spoon-up-straight Grits.

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Unable to put much of a dent in the Cornbread, about 1/3 of the toothsome spoon-bread finished with the Mains plus a few scoops more enjoyed with extra Honey Butter as Dessert, Chef Keris again pulled out all the stops by presenting both old and new favorites to end the meal, a Red Velvet Cheesecake added last-second from memory since she knew one guest loves the stuff while a “Happy Birthday” slate featured a Snickerdoodle Ice Cream Sandwich, the soon-to-debut Mississippi Mud Pie in a Pot and sticky-sweet Chess that continues to make David Chang and Christina Tossi’s ‘Crack Pie’ irrelevant before literally raising eyebrows across the room by way of innumerable still-bubbling Blueberries beneath an all-Butter Lattice in an sizable cast iron skillet.

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FIVE STARS: Soon bringing the Southern Table & Bar to Singapore and Beverley Hills while Spring Chicken’s takeover continues to evolve in South Florida, Yardbird has already outlasted neighboring Daniel Boulud and shows no signs of slowing in the face of Sugarcane, the ‘high prices’ complained about in the past suddenly seeming all the more unfounded as Momofuku sells fried Chicken and Caviar for nearly 10x the price while the team in the kitchen remains a passionate group always willing to go the extra mile with a dining experience that continues to benefit from their commitment.

RECOMMENDED: Mama’s Buttermilk Biscuits, Chess Pie, Low + Slow Smoked Chicken Salad, Smoked and Roasted Bone Marrow, Lewellyn’s Fine Fried Chicken, Skillet Cornbread. Southern Chicken Chile Verde and obviously the Pie (if available.)

AVOID: I remain unconvinced by the Macaroni and Cheese, though the same sauce tastes pretty great on the loaded Brisket Fries as a result of the diced Pickles which seem to add a bit of levity to an otherwise hefty dish.

TIP: Brunch till 4 o’clock on weekends where the Biscuits, Fried Chicken and Gravy remain an off-menu special available to all.

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

www.runchickenrun.com

Yardbird Southern Table & Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Posted in Bread Basket, Breakfast, Cornbread, Dessert, Food, Ice Cream, Las Vegas, Nevada, Pork, Tasting Menu, Yardbird, Yardbird Southern Table & Bar, Yardbird Southern Table and Bar

Mothership Coffee Roasters [5,] Henderson NV

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Mothership Coffee Roasters

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Nitro-Cold Brew

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Vegan Cheesy Tomato Pocket with Shallots, Garlic and Mushrooms

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Vegan Almond Shortbread Cookie with Dark Chocolate and Hazelnuts

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Gluten Free Vegan Lavender Twinkie

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Vegan Kiwi, Raspberry and Cream Galette

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Vegan Raspberry Cinnamon Roll

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Triple Chocolate Rye Cookie

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White Chocolate Butterscotch Pecan Scone

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Blood Orange Pound Cake with Toasted Macadamia Nuts

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She’s My Cherry Pie

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Now open for over a year and a half, the Roastery and Bake-shop owned by Juanny Romero and Joshua Walter of Sunrise Coffee finally finding its audience by little more than word of mouth and selling out almost every day, Saturday at Mothership Coffee Roasters found both Beth Ryan-Small and Sinead Kravetz present in the recently revamped kitchen where the duo now have more room to work their magic, the front of house buzzing with activity of a predominantly ‘hipster’ variety.

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Having now done away with hightop bars in favor of more comfortable seating both indoors and on the patio, those wishing to stand still given that option by way of windowside ledges, it was to a short line that patrons were greeted just past ten o’clock this past weekend and with no seats available it was with eyes locked on the pastry case that many waited, a few of the items already gone with replenishment promised shortly.

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Still focused on using the best Organic, Fair-Trade Beans and Local Produce available, but taking an additional step by going so far as to make their own Vegan Cheese and Meat-Substitutes in-house, a look at Mothership’s current line-up shows the same fifty-fifty split as prior with a focus on those with dietary restrictions, the re-warmed Vegan Pocket virtually indistinguishable from one made with Butter and Dairy products as Chef Kravetz Cheese sauce paired brilliantly with the flavors of Onion, Garlic and Mushrooms that will make most do a double take to be sure they aren’t eating a traditional Calzone or Pizza Roll.

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Fully convinced that Mothership’s carbonated Cold Brew is the best of its kind, whether locally or as far away as Portland or New York, those looking for something sweet will be happy to know that the Chocolate Twist remains while almost every other item has continued to evolve, the Shortbread Cookie made with no animal products as good as any Snickerdoodle in town with a quarter of it also dunked in Chocolate while the soft and subtle Rye Chocolate Chip has been bolstered by two more types of morsels to create a Triple Chocolate puddle at the center of a crispy browned rim.

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Intrigued by the Lavendar Twinkie, another of Kravetz’s ideas that does not overwhelm with florals thanks to the thick Cream and a drizzle of Dark Chocolate, those expecting a dainty cake will find this firm and moist cake a whole lot more fulfilling than that popularized by Hostess, the Pound Cake sold by the register even more dense but given levity by the Citrus with added texture from toasted Macadamia Nuts.

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Ignoring the ignorant comments of people who have claimed the Scones are too heavy, the weight of Chef Beth’s innovative flavors no different than those at Bouchon when accounting for the doubled size, the current version topped in Pecans with center pocketed in White Chocolate and Butterscotch are nonetheless a dish best shared simply based on the size of the pastry, a similar statement applicable to the Vegan Cinnamon Roll that is virtually indistinguishable from one made with eggy Brioche and Butter, this season’s version topped with traditional glaze plus a drizzle of reduced Raspberries.

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Rounding out the collection with two Pies, one technically a Galette, even a general ennui for Kiwi’s was overcome when the cooked fruit was placed in the context of a crisp Crust, Raspberries and a non-dairy cream base that tasted slightly nutty, though a true love for Sour Cherries and lame 80’s Music proved even more rewarding in the individually portioned and stuffed-to-bursting She’s My Cherry Pie.

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FIVE STARS: Located in a corner of the city rarely seen my Tourists, DTLV Denizens or Summerlin Housewives Mothership Coffee Roasters continues to chug away like the little Engine that Could, no Public Relations firm or real Social Media presence to be noted yet still selling based on the quality and creativity of their products almost every day.

RECOMMENDED: Vegan Cheesy Tomato Pocket, She’s My Cherry Pie, Vegan Raspberry Cinnamon Roll, Triple Chocolate Rye Cookie, White Chocolate Butterscotch Pecan Scone.

AVOID: N/A.

TIP: Now open 7a-6p every day. Additional items made by the same great team available at Sunrise Coffee.

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

https://www.mothershipcoffee.com/

Mothership Coffee Roasters Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Posted in Breakfast, Coffee, Dessert, Food, Henderson, Las Vegas, Mothership, Mothership Coffee, Mothership Coffee Roasters, Nevada

Squeeze In (South Eastern,) Las Vegas NV

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Squeeze-In Eastern

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Coffee

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Zweifel – Apples and Bananas Sauteed in Butter and Honey, folded into an Omelette with Peanut Butter and Bacon (+$1.59) plus Crispy Potatoes and an English Muffin

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Salty Sweet Chocolate Covered Bacon

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Sophia’s Fluffy Buttermilk Pancakes – Short Stack with Blueberries (+$0.99)

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Now featuring two locations in Southern Nevada, the concept out of Truckee California opening its first in July 2016 near the junction of Fort Apache and Tropicana, it was with morning business nearby that a stop was made at Squeeze-In on South Eastern Avenue near Truffles n’ Bacon Café, the restaurant known for the “Best Omelettes on the Planet” and a televised triumph over Bobby Flay showing consistency in the branding, but not in the overall customer experience.

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Tucked into the back corner of a shopping plaza next to a Vegan Café, the shopping center jumping that morning thanks to a Tent Sale from a nearby Home Goods vendor, it was just past eight in the morning that two aliens were passed en route to the door, a smiling hostess greeting patrons and offering seating amidst a room decorated in kitsch and guest comments written in Sharpie on the wall.

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Not the sort of restaurant going all-in on the Artisan idea, but rather the sort of place with a colorful menu built on classic diner food updated with some twists, it was with particular items plus a $10 “Egghead Club” discount voucher that a seat was taken along the back window, the hostess inexplicably placing a loud family with a father who smelled like a freshly sparked joint directly behind me only a minute later despite plenty of room to spare.

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Already having made decisions, a cup of Coffee poured and refilled only after verbal requests throughout the morning, it was shortly after seating that a three-part order was placed to the response of “you must be hungry,” the music playing overhead ranging from Pop to Classic Rock at a level that never grew too loud with Free Wi-Fi providing available to those who arrive during longer wait times, though there was barely time to log-in before Breakfast plates began arriving.

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Taking the valued step of offering Pure Maple Syrup at a supplementary charge, though this uncommon local practice had already caused some to be brought from home, it was with all three dishes deserved simultaneously that photos were snapped and items dressed to taste, the Chocolate covered Bacon arriving ice-cold with a squeeze of Whipped Cream and Berries that were added to the Short-Stack, the flavor of the Pork mostly lost amidst the coating, and mostly detectable in the lightly saline finish.

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Focusing next on the Pancakes, the body not quite as fluffy as the Jack Johnson inspired version tasted in August, it bears mention that for ninety-nine cents the amount of Blueberries present in the Batter was greater than one might expect even though the cup of Butter was quite small, the portion size of a dish entitled Zweifel far more substantial as three whole Eggs are folded around an admixture of softened Fruit, Honey and a creamy Peanut Butter with the addition of at least two chopped slices of Bacon providing a textural variance that was actually quite pleasant, the eggs admittedly lost in the background and almost acting as a ‘wrap’ in this instance while the Spuds were crisp and not oily, though something besides High Fructose Corn Syrup-laden Smucker’s would have been nice to have for the toasted English Muffin.

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THREE STARS: Lacking the friendly and efficient customer service of the location on the West Side, but still providing a decent breakfast at a fair price, Squeeze-In on Easterm provides yet another alternative to the Egg & I’s, Cracked Egg and Baby Cakes of Sin City with a focus on Omelettes that come in an almost infinite array of possibilities.

RECOMMENDED: Zeifel with Bacon.

AVOID: Chocolate covered Bacon is a gimmick. The same flavor could be replicated with a sprinkle of Salt.

TIP: Yelp! Check-Ins yield a free Cocktail with Entrée Purchase while the Egghead Club offers discount vouchers based on Birthdays, Anniversaries and Points accumulated from visits.

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

http://www.squeezein.com/las-vegas-nv/

Squeeze In Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Posted in Breakfast, Coffee, Dessert, Food, Las Vegas, Nevada, Pancakes, Pork, Squeeze In, Squeeze In (Eastern), Squeeze In (South Eastern)

Ferraro’s Restaurant & Wine Bar [3,] Las Vegas NV

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Ferraro’s Restaurant & Wine Bar

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Garlic Focaccia, White Roll, and Herb Olive Oil

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2011 Damilano Barolo Lecinquevigne

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2011 Amarone della Valpolicella Classico

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Romani – Roman Style Truffle Gnocchi, Roasted Royal Trumpet Mushroom, Parmigiano

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Paninio Calabrese – Housemade Sausage, Caciocavallo Cheese, Rosalba’s Pickled Eggplant and French Fries

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2015 Sella & Mosca La Cala Vermentino di Sardegna

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Fresh Burrata – Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Pickled Peppers, Mushrooms, Rosalba’s Pickled Eggplant / Lardo – Pickled Onions and Fennel

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Polipo Siciliano – Marinated Octopus, Capers, Black Olive, Potato

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Polenta Aosta – Creamy Polenta, Truffle Pulled Short Ribs, Mixed Exotic Mushrooms

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Trippa Satriano – Tripe in Spicy Tomato Sauce

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2014 Rivera Preludio No 1 Chardonnay Castel del Monte

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2011 Ciacci Piccolomini d’Aragona Brunello di Montalcino

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Spaghettini Aglio e Olio – Olive Oil, Roasted Garlic, Red Pepper, Parmigiano

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Risotto Lombardo – Mascarpone Cheese Risotto, Chestnut Honey, Arabica Coffee Powder

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Bucatini Corti Amatrice – Thick Short Spaghetti, Traditional Roman Sauce, Guanciale, Tomato, Pecorino, Red Pepper Flakes

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Cappelletti Vaccinara – Filled Housemade Pasta with Braised Oxtail, Celery, Sunchokes, Roasted Onion Reduction

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Pappardelle Mimmo – Long Wide Pasta with Scallops, Lobster, Asparagus, Butter, Sage, Truffle

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Pappardelle Cinghiale – Long Wide Pasta, Wild Boar Ragu

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2014 Malvira Roero Arneis D.O.C.G.

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2014 Le Macchiole Bolgheri Rosso

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Brasato – Braised Short Ribs, Truffle Roman Gnocchi, King Mushroom, Castelmagno Cheese Fondue

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Polletto Arrosto – Herb Marinated, Pan-Roasted Chicken, N’duja, Potatoes, Sweet Peppers, Lemon-Almond Gremolata

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Paleo Pasta Pomodoro – Housemade Almond Flour, Arrowroot, Tapioca and Egg Pasta, Tomato Sauce

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2008 Castello di Meleto Vin Santo del Chianti

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Double Espresso on Ice

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Tiramisu – Lady Fingers, Mascarpone Cheese, Espresso

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Rosalba’s Cookies – Lemon, Amaretto, Chocolate, Hazelnut, Wedding Cookies

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Pistacchio Passion – Layered Pistacchio Cream, Cream Cheese Custard, Whipped Cream on Walnut Crust

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Sfogliatella – Crisp Pastry, Citrus Ricotta

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In a city happier to implode and rebuild than to invest in the future there are few Icons, those classic places from which locals reminisce of great times that can still be visited today, yet even as tourists willingly spend $70 for burned Lasagna and a lot of theatrics imported from New York on the Strip the name Ferraro remains relevant, a look at the new menu from Chef Francesco Di Caudo adding modernity to the classics and keeping the restaurant vibrant after more than thirty years in the business.

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Originally visited in 2015, a longtime omission from visits to Las Vegas based on rumors that the food had become dated, visit number three to the storied Restaurant and Wine Bar on Paradise came several months after the last, including a trip to Italy, little having changed in terms of the décor or top-tier service while Chef Di Caudo has now had nearly eighteen months to hone in on local’s expectations, the tasting served in four courses ranging from Happy Hour bites to elegant handmade Pastas and perfectly cooked Proteins plus Desserts that provided a truly unexpected treat.

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Admittedly friendly with the ownership, both Gino and Mimmo stopping by to say hello during the course of the night, it was with deference to the kitchen plus a few requested plates that the meal began just past 5:30pm on a Friday, four tender morsels of Gnocchi arriving with the fragrance of Truffles beneath roasted Mushrooms as a welcome from the kitchen and followed by an ‘Ora Sociale’ Sandwich worthy of worth seeking out as crusty Bread is pressed around Spicy housemade Sausage, piquant Cheese, and the Ferraro family’s famous Pickled Eggplant.

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Gifted complimentary Wine pairings throughout the evening, many of the Vintages unfamiliar to the table but nicely explained and obviously well thought-out, the first proper course of the evening was a collection of Antipasti including the classic Octopus, Olive and Caper dish that had impressed on a prior visit plus Fresh Burrata, Sliced Lardo and pickled Condiments – the Eggplant again a highlight though the Mushrooms and Peppers were no slouch either for refreshing the palate between bites.

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Enjoying the Sardinian White with Meat, Cheese nd Octopus while both Barolo and the fruitier Amarone were well suited to Ferraro’s unparalleled Tripe and a plate of Polenta topped with shredded Short Rib and Mushrooms, Chef Di Caudo’s Primi course was a true embarrassment of riches with six tasting portions sent out simultaneously, a sip of Chardonnay refreshing the palate in anticipation of the al dente Spaghettini Aglio e Olio that found greatness in simplicity while the “Pappardelle Mimmo” delivers a whole lot of Seafood per bite, including both a nicely caramelized Scallop and snappy chunks of Lobster.

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Offering up more wide ribbons of Pasta beneath a chunky Ragu of Wild Boar alongside another meaty plate of tender tubes filled with Oxtail in a pool of Onion Juice with Sunchokes in various forms, Di Caudo raises the bar for Rice in Sin City by way of “Risotto Lombardo” that sees the grains softened slightly in Mascarpone and Chestnut Honey with a dusting of Coffee Powder while the Bucatini Corti Amatrice presents Pasta with a good tooth but proper ‘give’ mixed with Pork Jowl, Tomatoes and Red Pepper Flakes.

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Already feeling the effects of so many bold flavors and a bit too much wine, Secondi did not slow down in terms of the quality of the food or the portion of the pours, a 2014 Malvira Roero Arneis proving to be one of the most memorable Whites in recent memory and a perfect complement to the pan-toasted Chicken bolstered by Calabrian Sausage, Sweet Peppers and Lemon while the Brasato featured elements from two prior plates in bold combination, the Gluten-free Pasta sent out merely to show off a texture that is virtually indistinguishable from the Pappardelle and available with one of three choices of Sauce.

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Not really the sort of place to reinvent the wheel in terms of dessert, everything from the classic Tiramisu to the Ricotta Cake setting a city-wide standard for classic quality, it was as a great surprise that the table was treated to two oven-fresh Sfogliatelle with crisp coils shattering around creamy Citrus, Mimmo’s favorite Pistacchio Passion as light and creamy as it was the last time while Rosalba’s Cookie Plate should be required eating on every guest’s agenda.

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FIVE STARS: Always good, but now climbing to the upper echelon of Las Vegas Italian food with the likes of Portofino and Fiamma, Ferraro’s continues to prove that the best don’t remain great by doing the same thing over and over or by blowing things up to reinvent, but rather by continued improvement with a focus on quality and the guest’s overall enjoyment.

RECOMMENDED: Paninio Calabrese, Rosalba’s Pickled Eggplant, Trippa Satriano, Spaghettini Aglio e Olio, Risotto Lombardo, Polletto Arrosto, Sfogliatelle, Rosalba’s Cookies.

AVOID: The fries served with the Panino seemed out of place. They weren’t bad, but at a place like Ferraro’s something else would seem more appropriate, even if it is Happy Hour.

TIP: Wild Boar Pappardelle, Lardo and Sfogliatelle were all off-menu/nightly specials and may not be available on a given night. Check online for the new Vegan menu, as well.

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

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Ferraro's Restaurant & Wine Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Posted in Bread Basket, Coffee, Dessert, Ferraro's, Ferraro's Restaurant, Ferraro's Restaurant & Wine Bar, Ferraro’s Restaurant and Wine Bar, Food, Italian, Las Vegas, Lobster, Nevada, Pork, Tasting Menu, Tiramisu, Truffle, Truffles, Vacation

Pierogi Café, Las Vegas NV

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Pierogi Café

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Fried and Boiled Pierogis – Meat, Potato, Sweet Cheese, Spinach and Feta

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Prune Paczki

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Lemon Paczki

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Chocolate Frosted Custard Paczki

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Raspberry Paczki

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Opened in the Fantastic Indoor Swapmeet towards the end of 2016, the simple concept of Housemade Dumplings and a few Polish standards such as Sausage and Cabbage Rolls anchoring a menu that also features daily Soups and a few outsourced breakfast Pastries, Pierogi Café has been a source of intrigue due to both the concept and its location for months, recent Social Media posts about Paczki for Fat Tuesday finally the impetus for a lunch-time visit.

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Owned by a Polish immigrant who moved to Las Vegas due to family health issues several years ago, it was after a long time in the healthcare field that the idea to open her own restaurant came to fruition and after a bit of decision-making the opportunity presented itself in the most unlikely of places, a store with an exterior facing door at the large shopping center on the corner of Oakey and Decatur.

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Recently adding proper signage, nothing fancy but enough to do the job, it was just past 11:20a that a knock on the door listing an opening time of 10:00am was unlocked, the odd policy that all patrons must pay a buck and enter through the Swap Meet on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays no doubt a deterrent to some since the counter cannot be seen from the exterior, though it appears many regulars – all of them Polish – have already learned the trick.

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Perusing the menu temporarily before placing an order, the ladies behind the counter agreeing to slightly change the Mixed Plate so that four flavors could be tasted instead of three, it was with a 50/50 split of Fried versus Boiled that the order was prepared in a small kitchen behind the scenes, the pop-n’-crackle of cooking oil heard as four Polish Doughnuts that turned out to be imported from California were packed in a Styrofoam Clamshell.

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Taking a seat amidst ethnic nick-knacks, two elderly women from Chicago entering and beyond excited at the prospect of fresh Pierogis, it was not long before a plate of Dumplings was sat down with a small rectangle of Granulated Sugar at the center, instructions to dip the Sweet Cheese pockets into it happily followed after taking a bite to taste one in its natural state, the inhomogenous filling’s texture a lot like Ricotta with the light sweetness of Mascarpone.

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Not terribly impressed by the Potato version, neither the fried nor boiled versions flavorful at all without adding on some caramelized onions a la carte, the Pork-based meat filling was obviously more flavorful, though likely to be benefitted by a bit of Pepper or spice in the mixture while the Spinach & Feta proved an undeniable favorite that tasted great boiled, but even more textural and rich when fried.

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Admittedly a bit disappointed that the Paczki were made elsewhere, the Doughnuts remembered from a Childhood in Northwest Ohio nowhere to be found in Las Vegas otherwise, the quartet served at Pierogi Café through Tuesday are hit n’ miss largely as a result of the unbalanced filling process that saw little more than a teaspoon of Raspberry Gel piped into one while the traditional Prune and Custard versions were crisp on the outside, springy with Eggs amidst the crumb and densely filled.

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THREE AND A HALF STARS: Appreciating the limitations of the space, as well as those intrinsic to a place focusing on one item, Pierogi Café would be well advised to dial in the execution on everything they are doing and then expand slowly while admitting up front that many of their items are made elsewhere.

RECOMMENDED: Spinach and Feta, Sweet Cheese Pierogis, Prune Paczki.

AVOID: Potato Pierogi.

TIP: Open Weds-Mon. Closed Tuesday. M, W, R is free entry below the sign while F, Sa, Su costs a buck by way of the Fantastic Indoor Swapmeet Main Entrance. OPEN 2/28/17 for Fat Tuesday and Paczki available until then.

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

https://www.facebook.com/pierogicafe

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

Lotus of Siam [2,] Las Vegas NV

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Lotus of Siam

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White Rice

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Crispy Duck Pad Kee Mao

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Chicken Pad Kee Mao

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Sour Isaan Sausage

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Crispy Duck with Panang Curry

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Nam Kao Tod

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Tom Kha Gai

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Beef Spicy Fried Rice

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Spicy Catfish with Basil Leaves

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Nam Prik Noom

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Kang Hoh

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Chicken Kang Ka Noon

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Already the rare recipient of a Las Vegas Beard Award, Chef Saipin Chutima named Best Chef: Southwest in 2011, Lotus of Siam was recently nominated as a semi-finalist for Best Restaurant, a surprising recognition that occurred in the two-weeks between making a reservation for twelve and the actual 5:30pm Saturday that the group sat down for the meal.

Having visited the unassuming icon of Thai food that rose to national attention in the mid-2000s only once prior, a lunch reconnecting with a local restaurant General Manager and his girlfriend at Christmas 2012 seeing a limited number of plates amidst a dining room that was completely packed, arrival prior to opening over four years later saw a line for walk-ins of 30+ circumvented by a simple phone-call and credit card on-hold, the group seated promptly at a lengthy table with water soon poured and a Wine list offered.

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Having performed due-diligence this time, the sizable menu navigated beforehand with a choice of ten different plates in orders of one or two, depending on portion, it was after a brief exchange with the server that a hand-written list was annotated to spice-level five with requests for a slow roll-out, the plan originally going smoothly but soon deteriorating into a flood of plates that saw several miss out on various dishes as they circulated the table.

More pricey than Thai anywhere else in town, though the ingredient quality is undeniably high, it was at a Hot Pot of Tom Kha Gai spewing fire that all gazed as it was presented near room’s center, the smooth flavor of Coconut and boiled Chicken blending with Lemongrass and light heat an elegant way to start while the Northern dip of Green Chilies was little more than a tiny portion of Salsa crafted primarily from roasted Jalapenos, several Garlic Cloves and Sesame.

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Watched over by photographss of famous folks who’d stopped in, everyone from Joe Montana to past-Presidents smiling and signed behind glass, plates of Sour Isaan Sausage and Nam Kao Tod trailed the Soup and Dip by approximately fifteen minutes, two orders of the former enough to offer a small slice of snappy Meat with a deep, yet pleasant, funkiness to everyone while the latter was a great suggestion from someone who’s visited the restaurant frequently, slices of Cabbage and Peanuts served alongside a deep-fried Rice Ball studded with Pork amidst earthy aromatics and the unmistakable flavor of Fish Sauce.

At this point only 5:55pm, the restaurant completely full and two-deep at the bar with a line still snaking from the door, a flurry of servers soon saw the table packed with two plates of Drunken Noodles, a small mound of Spicy Rice plus filleted Catfish in Basil and Crispy Duck with Panang Curry, the fried rice no different than that at any Chinese restaurant on Spring Mountain Road and thus no more compelling than a steamer of the white stuff while the Pad Kee Mao was oily and not particularly flavorful beyond the Soy and Fish Sauce, an upcharge of $27.95 for Duck compared to the $12.95 Chicken really not justified as the flavor of each was drowned out.

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Impressed by the meaty Catfish, though a whole-animal preparation would have been more price-appropriate than the small filets of a fish that is generally quite cheap, Duck in Panang Curry righted many of the faults found in the other dishes with great crispiness and rosy flesh amidst the robust sauce of Coconut, Peppers plus light notes of Sugar and Citrus that was so good that it commanded a second plate.

Rounding out the evening by 6:40, the staff vigorously working to turn the table, Northern dishes of Kang Hoh and Kang Ka Noon each furthered the rumor that LoS’s best plates are found on the back page of the menu, the Dry Pork Curry a spicy little number with big fermented flavors while the crunchy rounds of Jack Fruit were not dissimilar from Artichokes in taste or texture amidst a vibrant, acidic Curry that was good on its own and even better when mellowed by the White Rice used to sop it up.

THREE STARS: Exiting Lotus of Siam at $30/each after Tax and 18% Gratuity, not accounting for those who chose to drink wine, it would be hard to say that anyone had eaten their fill while some actually reached out to say they did not even have a chance to sample several of the plates, a combination of rushed service and small portions paired with some truly average dishes leaving me in no rush to return before delving further into Las Vegas’ less-famous Thai places.

RECOMMENDED: Nam Kao Tod, Crispy Duck with Panang Curry, Chicken Kang Ka Noon, Sour Isaan Sausage, Tom Kha Gai

AVOID: Spicy Fried Rice, Duck Drunken Noodles, Nam Prik Noom.

TIP: There is a reason the website does not list prices, and why servers push Prawns and Duck as the proteins of choice on plates where diners are given the option. Unless dining solo, do your research and ask about portion sizes.

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

Home

Lotus of Siam Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Posted in Food, Las Vegas, LoS, Lotus of Siam, Nevada, Pork

Yogurtland – West Lake Mead Boulevard, Las Vegas NV

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Yogurtland – West Lake Mead Boulevard

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Samples – Hershey’s Chocolate Milkshake, Coconut, Peanut Butter Cup, Double Cookies and Cream, Rocket Pop Sorbet

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Yo Frappe, Salted Caramel Pecan, Birthday Cupcake Batter with Brownie Chunks, Cheesecake Bites, Caramel, Marshmallow Sauce, Whipped Cream

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Impressed by a lone visit to the Flamingo location, the all-natural ingredients including antibiotic and hormone free Milk rich in active cultures admittedly a surprise to someone who typically assumes chains to focus on nothing but the bottom-line, business in the area of West Lake Mead Boulevard and I-95 proved ample reason to stop in for another taste at a different location, the layout now familiar and the counter again featuring nothing but fun ingredients and smiling faces.

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Presumably America’s favorite Fro-yo, the 200+ flavors rotating in and out of stores depending on date or season, the California-based company is currently promoting a series of flavors celebrating the Hershey company as well as their own birthday, an online search available to tell patrons which flavors can be found at each shop while the topping bar and price-by-the-ounce format allows for an almost limitless degree of customization.

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Doing a fair bit of sampling by way of little paper thimbles, the Hershey choices including a lightly-malted Chocolate flavor and a one that really did liken Peanut Butter Cups quite closely, those with fond memories of Rocket or “Bomb” Pops will be transported back to childhood by the Citrus Sorbet, though eating a full bowl might prove a challenge.

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Chilly and raining outdoors, not exactly “Ice Cream Weather” in a city that can top 110°F during summer, comforting flavors proved a bit more tempting than they may otherwise during February, the special Birthday Cupcake Batter a spot-on riff of Yellow-Cake mix while two different versions of Salty Caramel were also tasty, the Pecan-tinged option indistinguishable from the Praline tasted last time while “Yo Frappe” targeted millennials by way of light Cocoa and Espresso flavors.

FIVE STARS: Achieving its goals and continuing to impress crowds, everything from fat-free to vegan choices plus good ingredient sourcing making it hard to believe anyone would have difficulty finding a favorite, Yogurtland is the rare ‘chain’ that seems as focused on its execution as the almighty dollar and although it still is not “health food,” the option is certainly there to dine deliciously, yet less indulgently, for those looking to do so.

RECOMMENDED: Birthday Cake Batter, Coconut, Yo Frappe, Brownie Chunks, Marshmallow Sauce.

AVOID: Trying to guess on weight, the well-filled small cup with all those toppings more plenty to satisfy a sweet tooth for $4.53.

TIP: The online flavor finder shows a pretty significant variance amongst the city’s ten franchises. Those interested in a specific flavor are advised to take a peek.

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

https://www.yogurt-land.com/

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

Posted in Coffee, Dessert, Food, Ice Cream, Las Vegas, Nevada, Yogurtland, Yogurtland Lake Mead Blvd, Yogurtland Lake Mead Boulevard, Yogurtland – West Lake Mead Blvd, Yogurtland – West Lake Mead Boulevard

Due Forni [4,] Las Vegas NV

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Due Forni

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Due Forni Roma – house made sausage, nueske’s bacon, mozzarella, san marzano tomato, peppers

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Meatballs – free range turkey, san marzano tomato, parmigiano

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Pizza Bread – neapolitan style

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Smoked Pork – garlic bread, calabrian peppers, onion, melted fontina

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Short Rib Hash – crispy potato, caramelized onions, egg

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Memphis Mafia Bread Pudding – reese’s peanut butter cups, banana, pecans, smoked bacon, gelatology gelato

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Once deemed worthy of a trip from the Strip by Rental Car, and since opening and shuttering a second location in Austin, Texas’ loss is Sin City’s gain as Carlos Buscaglia is finally back full-time to focus on Due Forni on Town Center Drive, the product never really suffering in the interim, though likely to benefit with one of the city’s most underregarded Chefs now spending less time in transit and more creating new plates or spending time with his family nearby.

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Now celebrating over six years making Summerlin’s best Pizza, the signature two-oven format spinning out crispy Roman or pliable Neapolitan Pies with the sort of char that has more than once made patrons assume them to be wood, it was actually Carlos’ Instagram shots of two new items that enticed a party of three to escape the rain on Saturday, Brunch just past eleven o’clock finding the restaurant quiet with only Chef Buscaglia and one server present for the first half-hour.

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A place equally accessible to children as it is traveled gourmands, the well-priced Wine list frequently cited by local Oenophiles as one of the city’s best deals, it was briefly after seating in front of a Television showing Sports that an order was crafted, the restaurant’s eponymous Pizza cooked up crisp with a light char but good foldability quick to arrive with a sauce of pure Tomatoes plus a little seasoning providing the backdrop to smoked Bacon and aromatic house-ground Sausage.

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Speaking with Carlos about new ideas, the possibility of Meatballs becoming Bovine-based soon prompting an order, one questions that direction given the deep flavor and springy texture of a current rendition made from Turkey, the unannounced decision to charge $3 for puffy Pizza-bread to soak up the Cheese and Sauce understandable, but something that should probably be included even if it needs to be figured into the hot skillet’s menu cost.

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Taking a look at one of the Brunch plates, a smoky Short Rib Hash finding shredded Beef ever-so-slightly crisped next to diced Spuds and Caramelized Onions beneath two over-easy Eggs, those looking for something new are encouraged to consult the Happy Hour menu, the description of “Smoked Pork – Garlic Bread, Calabrian Peppers, Onion, Melted Fontina” doing no justice to a skillet of Garlic Knots as soft as Parker House Rolls topped in glazed Pork Belly and a dollop of Cheese blended with bright heat plus onions cooked sweet and soft.

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Tempted by more food, but knowing better than to overdo it with plans for dessert, Due Forni’s monthly Bread Pudding achieves a new level of success by way of the “Memphis Mafia” clearly created with The King as an inspiration, the lightly browned top slowly melting a ball of Gelatology Vanilla Gelato into custard-infused Bread intermingling with Pecans, Peanut Butter Cups, Bananas and Bacon.

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FOUR AND A HALF STARS: Limited only by its kitchen and nearby clientele, the former featuring only the ovens plus a simple stove while the latter is notoriously renowned to line up at Bonefish Grill or PF Changs, Due Forni continues to shine with the sort of creativity rarely seen even in the Strip’s upscale Italian eateries with the bill tallying nearly half the cost.

RECOMMENDED: Smoked Pork, Due Forni, Memphis Mafia.

AVOID: Touching the skillets. We were warned four times. Smilie: :-)

TIP: Brunch will be ending soon, per Chef Buscaglia, with an 11:00am to 6:00pm Happy Hour Menu leading up to dinner. Full menu and specials soon to be announced.

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

http://dueforni.com/

Due Forni Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Posted in Bread Basket, Bread Pudding, Breakfast, Dessert, Due Forni, Food, Gelatology, Ice Cream, Italian, Las Vegas, Nevada, Pizza, Pork

Niu Gu [2,] Las Vegas NV

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Niu-Gu

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Bean Curd Noodles with Peppers and Sesame Oil

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Fish Soup with Shrimp Ball and Goji Berry, Bok Choy

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Niu-Gu Beef Rib

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Xiao Long Bao

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Spicy Fried Lobster

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Garlic Crab

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Black Pepper Beef Tenderloin with Mushrooms

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Squid Ink Fried Rice

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Napa Cabbage with Egg Yolk Sauce

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Now nearing its one year anniversary, still a secret to some though the word has seemingly caught on with local Chinese families looking for a fine-dining experience without driving to The Strip, dinner at Niu-Gu has seen Chef Jimmy Li retool his menu to focus on bold traditional dishes created from top-tier ingredients, some of the newer items subtle and tuned to Asian sensibilities though few of any ethnicity will be complaining of a lack of flavor.

Receiving more attention thanks to a recent article about Joe Muscaglione’s expertly sourced Tea selection, a well-priced list provided in traditional service to those interested, it was after pleasant greetings from the staff that a party of four was seated at room’s center, the decision to defer a menu to Chef Li with Carte Blanche yielding some old favorites plus new plates, the Tea selected by Mr. Muscaglione mellow with lightly sweet notes that performed well with both mild and spicier dishes.

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Not particularly busy for a Friday, though a large Asian family soon arrived and ordered a substantial amount of food that looked great, it was with a dish of Noodles made from sliced Bean Curd that the evening got underway, the vibrant Peppers not especially hot and offering a crisp contrast to the springy Noodles while a follow-up of Fish Broth was cloudy and rich with an elegant Shrimp Ball and Goji Berry offering a dynamic juxtaposition of flavors.

Happily receiving Jimmy’s signature Beef Rib next, the meltingly soft restaurant-namesake without doubt one of the best pieces of Beef in a city that has no lack of competition, the Soup Dumplings deserve no less praise in a place where restaurant-goers frequently complain of a lack in quality, each delicate pocket twisted tight and plump with pork broth as smooth as the sort found in Ramen Tonkotsu-style.

Specially requesting a whole Crab, and seeing it proceeded by a spicy Fried Lobster with a light batter clinging to Shell and sweet Flesh, those interested in seeing a truly authentic showstopper should assuredly call in advance to inquire about Market Prices far less abrasive than those found on Las Vegas Boulevard as Jimmy and his team present the Crab shell-on and soaked in Garlic plus sliced Ginger, the process of eating it well worth the effort as the best bits of Meat are tucked into the knuckles where the cooking juices penetrate most deeply.

Rounding out the evening with Peppered Beef and Mushrooms given the premium treatment by way of Prime Beef Tenderloin and dried Chilies, the two accompanying sides were a bit hit and miss as the Squid Ink Fried Rice was little less crisp or flavorful than would have been ideal while the sliced Cabbage with Egg Yolk Sauce was unexpectedly excellent, even the youngster in the group eating his fair share as the slick Sauce provided a salty balance to the pungent Crucifer.

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FOUR STARS: Challenged by its small footprint amidst several of Chinatown’s best, the plaza containing Chada Thai and China Mama notorious for its parking challenges, Niu-Gu has done well at carving out its niche as a fine dining destination, Chef Jimmy’s cooking and Joe’s unanticipated role as one of Sin City’s Tea experts making this one of the rare spots in town that challenge their Strip-based counterparts at a fraction of the price.

RECCOMMENED: Niu-Gu Beef Rib, XLB, Garlic Crab, Black Pepper Beef and Mushrooms, Napa Cabbage with Egg Yolk Sauce.

AVOID: The Lobster Meat unfortunately got a little tough during the cooking process while the Fried Rice could have been slightly more crisp. Also, desserts have been eliminated completey due to slow sales.

TIP: The offering of Jimmy’s XLB comes at the conclusion of an exclusivity clause at China Mama and are well worth visiting Niu-Gu for, in and of themselves.

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

http://niugurestaurant.com/

Posted in Crab, Food, Las Vegas, Lobster, Nevada, Niu Gu, Pork, Tasting Menu

Mt. Everest India’s Cuisine, Las Vegas NV

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Mt. Everest India’s Cuisine

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Butter Naan

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Palak Paneer, Sweet Rice, Pakora, Vegetable Samosa, Aloo Baingan, Raita

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Goat Curry, Tandoori Chicken, Malai Kofta

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Chili Chicken, Yellow Dal, Chicken Tikka Masala

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Mango Chutney

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Gajar Halwa

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Kheer

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Located on West Sahara Avenue and easily overshadowed as it sits low in the Mariana’s Supermarket parking lot, Mt. Everest India’s Cuisine has been serving Las Vegas a wide variety of Northern Indian specialties since 2009, the full dinner menu replaced by an $11.99 lunch buffet 7-days a week from eleven o’clock until 3pm.

Family owned and operated, the space essentially a fifty-seat box with limited lighting thanks to heavy curtains, those entering Mt Everest will pick up the scent of Cumin and Turmeric before even opening the street-facing front door, a staff member tucked into a hostess booth to the right offering greetings while one of two young men offer a choice of seating options.

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A simple operation a lunch, Televisions displaying Indian Music Videos providing entertainment above steamer trays containing approximately two-dozen choices, it is with a basket of Butter Naan that the meal starts as diners gather plates and small bowls, the majority of the protein centered around Chicken though a look at the dinner menu shows a much greater variety including Lamb and Seafood.

Admittedly a little underwhelmed by the Naan, the two wedges provided flatter than that found elsewhere and a bit dry when taken on their own, the Bread nonetheless proved serviceable for scooping up tangy Raita or creamy Spinach with small chunks of springy Cheese mixed in, the vibrant orange Rice as fluffy as Basmati with a hint of Nuts and light Sugar that went very nicely with the baked Eggplant and Potato dish as well as the spicier flavors to follow.

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Finding Potato and Onion Samosa’s downright addictive while similarly flavored Pakora came across a bit too oily, Goat Curry was a welcomed sight that packed a lot of heat around tender bone-in chunks of Meat that proved to be worth the effort, the Tandoori Chicken varying from piece to piece in terms of moistness while the Malai Kofta ate something like big Gnocchi in a base rife with Onions and Tomatoes in a creamy base.

Drawn to the Chili Chicken against better judgement, the fear of indigestion at work looming, it was surprising how well Mt. Everest’s Chefs managed to balance the Peppers with pungent notes of Garlic and Ginger, the Yellow Dal scooped up with Naan clearly the source of a lot of the Turmeric mentioned earlier while ubiquitous Tikka Masala featured big slices of Chicken Breast bathed in a sauce milder than many with a notable linger of Coconut.

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Finishing off the rest of the Naan with Mango Chutney, the Jelly-like spread also a nice addition to Rice Pudding served room temperature with restrained Sugar, those looking for something sweeter should turn their attention to the hot tray of Gajar Halwa tucked amidst the savory items, the natural sweetness of ground Carrots ramped up by Fruit, Nuts and Cardamom – basically liquid Carrot Cake without the flour.

THREE AND A HALF STARS: Admittedly no expert on ethnic Buffets of any sort, the low prices that attract many raising suspicion about ingredients, Mt. Everest executes the majority of its dishes well while offering a good variety at a fair price, the intrinsic limitations of serving from steamer trays mitigated by a good crowd that sees items replenished frequently.

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RECOMMENDED: Chili Chicken, Malai Kofta, Goat Curry, Vegetable Samosa, Gajar Halwa.

AVOID: Leg pieces of Tandori Chicken were really dry, as was the Naan. Pakora were oily.

TIP: Buffet Lunch 11-3, Dinner Menu 5-10 daily.

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

http://www.everestcuisine.net

Mt. Everest India's Cuisine Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Posted in Bread Basket, Buffet, Dessert, Food, Mount Everest, Mount Everest India, Mount Everest India’s Cuisine, Mt. Everest, Mt. Everest India Cuisine, Mt. Everest India’s Cuisine

Andre’s Bistro & Bar [2,] Las Vegas NV

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Andres Bistro & Bar

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Vesta Coffee

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French Baguette with Vermont Butter

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House Baked Pastries – Butter Croissant, Pain au Chocolat, Almond Danish, Raspberry Streudel, Apricot-Cream Pastry with Vermont Butter, Strawberry and Yuzu-Apricot Jam

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Beignets – Powdered Sugar

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Brown Sugar Glazed Bacon – a Rasher

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Charcuterie Board – Duck Rillette, Speck, Andre’s Signature Liver and Pistachio Pate with Eggplant Caviar, Fig Jam, House Mustard, Onions and Pickles

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Vegetable Quiche – Red Pepper, Spinach, Goat Cheese served with Green Salad

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Andre’s Burger – Imported Swiss Cheese, Red Onion Marmalade, Truffle Mayonnaise, Seasoned French Fries

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Smoked Salmon Benedict – House Smoked Salmon, Poached Eggs, Hollandaise with Breakfast Potatoes and Sauteed Onions

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Croque Madame – Country Ham, Gruyere Cheese, Bechamel Sauce, Fried Egg, Seasoned Fries

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Lobster Roll – Maine Lobster, Fine Herbs, Toasted Roll with Duck Fat Fries

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Belgian Waffles – Liege-style with Maple Cream, Macerated Berries, Pure Maple Syrup

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Chicken & Waffles – Buttermilk Fried Chicken, Brussels-style Waffle, Country Gravy

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Waiting two weeks before returning to assess Brunch, bringing one from an outstanding Dinner plus her son and another local French restaurant owner to a four-top banquet that would eventually need a sideboard, dining during the off-hour of 2:00pm on Saturday found Andres Bistro & Bar sparsely populated and brightly bathed in sunlight, the music turned down and the food equally delicious.

Serving the weekend’s favorite meal both Saturday and Sunday from ten o’clock to 3:30pm, a brief Happy Hour then bridging 150 minutes into a Dinner menu that begins at half-past four, Andre’s early offerings see several plates from weekday Lunch as well as a few Dinner favorites joined by Eggs, Pastries and Griddles, the Coffee from DTLV’s Vesta available as Espresso, Lattes or via bottomless mug.

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Ordering a la carte with additional items sent out from a tight kitchen where Marty Red DeLeon Lopez and Jon VanHusen could clearly be seen working as the door flopped open, it was after brief greetings from several familiar faces that the feast got underway, House Baked Pastries from Tammy Alana highlighted by Raspberry Streudel and an Apricot-Cream Danish that resembled Sunny-side Eggs while the oilless Beignets were lighter than those in New Orleans with about a half-cup less Powdered Sugar dusted on top.

Happily indulging in more Carbohydrates, the Warm Baguette on par with that at Bardot and upgraded by way of lightly salted Butter plus two types of Housemade Jam, savories started out with six slices of smoky-sweet Bacon cooked just shy of crisp plus a daily trio of Charcuterie, the imported Speck just fine but far more flavor found in the creamy Rillettes and Chef Rochat’s Liver-forward Pistachio and Pork Pate.

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Unfortunately unable to smoke Salmon in-house, those folks at the Health Department always happy to ruin a good time, Andre’s Smoked Salmon Benedict nonetheless hits all the right notes with soft-poached Eggs atop toasted English Muffins, the sliced Potatoes and Sauteed Onions a very worthy addition that finds favor with even those who generally ignore them, a similar statement applicable to either the Duck Fat or Seasoned French Fries served with Sandwiches.

Offering two styles of Quiche, the Vegetable version this-week featuring Red Bell Peppers, Spinach and Goat Cheese in a high, fluffy Custard on an all-Butter Crust with a clean edge, Andre’s Burger offers a good grind on a soft Roll with all the standard fixings upgraded, the Cheese a sharp imported Swiss with Onions reduced to Marmalade and Mayonnaise Truffled.

Stuffing a toasted Roll with generous chunks of Lobster and serving up Ham and Cheese on medium-thick Brioche beneath creamy Bechamel plus a golden Egg, a mound of the aforementioned French Fries served with each, Brunch concluded in two completely different styles of Waffle, the thinner one topped with a brined Chicken Breast coated in Batter and bathed in peppery Country Gravy while the “Belgian Waffles” are the only freshly-made Liege-style versions served at a proper Restaurant in Sin City, and every bit as good as those found overseas with pockets of Pearl Sugar caramelized beneath Macerated Berries and Maple Cream.

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FOUR AND HALF STARS: Shedding the traditional French concept just a touch at Brunch as well as Dinner, though certainly no more so than Bardot, Bouchon or Mon Ami Gabi, Andre’s Bistro & Bar shows no signs of cutting corners or dumbing things down for those choosing to visit mid-day as opposed to night, the music lower and sunlight plentiful with prices just a fraction of the great restaurants targeting tourists to the East.

RECOMMENDED: Belgian Waffles, Beignets, Charcuterie Board, Smoked Salmon Benedict, Croque Madame, Breakfast Potatoes.

AVOID: Shrinking the size renders both the Butter Croissant and Pain Au Chocolat a bit dry compared to larger versions. Lunch/Brunch Dessert menu lacks compared to dinner.

TIP: The Happy Hour Menu offers $1 off Draught or Bottled Beers and cuts two bucks from Cocktails or Wine by the Glass, approximately a dozen plates also offered at a noteworthy discount, including the $7 Burger which is essentially fast-food price for quality not found at Shake Shack, Five Guys or In-n-Out.

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

https://www.andresbistroandbar.com/

Andre's Bistro & Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Posted in Andre's, Andre's Bistro & Bar, Andre's Bistro and Bar, Bread Basket, Breakfast, Coffee, Croissant, Dessert, Food, Las Vegas, Lobster, Nevada, Pork, Truffle, Truffles, Vesta, Vesta Coffee, Vesta Coffee Roasters, Waffle, Waffles

Rosallie [8,] Las Vegas NV

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Rosallie

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Double Espresso on Ice

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Hot Chocolate with Dark Chocolate Truffle

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Tuxedo Strawberry

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Almond Croissant

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Madeline

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Walnut Pie with Whipped Cream

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Frosted Financier

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Apricot Croissant

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Mixed Berry Pinwheel

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Acknowledging a friendship with Chef Pluvinet, but this time drawn to Rosallie by a nine-year old’s suggestion that he wanted to visit “the place with the awesome Hot Chocolate,” Saturday once again saw Las Vegas’ best French Bakery teaming with activity, all the usual suspects present and accounted for along with three all-new Pastries.

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Upgrading Le French Café further with a free Charging Station, the Wine Cellar now complete with affordable glasses and bottles from a variety of regions, it was once again at a cozy four-top that a party of two sat down after making some choices, the stereo playing pleasant French tunes while the windows featured hand-painted hearts acknowledging the upcoming week’s Valentine’s Day celebration.

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Enjoying Rosallie’s house-blend Espresso over Ice while the youngster carefully navigated a mountain of Whipped Cream atop smooth Cocoa accompanied by a dense Dark Chocolate Truffle, it was at Jonathan’s behest that breakfast began with a dipped-Strawberry affixed with a heart, fruit flavors continued by the fresh-off-the-baking-sheet duo of a lightly frosted Apricot Croissant that should be on everyone’s to-eat list plus a triple-Berry Pinwheel that was toasty on the ends and buttery-soft at the middle.

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Rounding out the meal with a reference standard Almond Croissant, classic Walnut Pie and a Madeline that has finally achieved Ducasse-quality, the final new item was presented as a Bundt-shaped round described by the server as a Tea Cake, though those knowledgeable will immediately identify both the texture as well as the flavor as that of a Financier with an unnecessary net of Icing added to make its delicate Almond flavor more accessible to the American palate.

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FIVE STARS: Still the best place in town for Almond Croissants, Pain au Chocolat, Linzers or Walnut Pie, and continually experimenting with new ideas or tweaking old recipes to achieve equally high standards, Rosallie reigns as the best in its genre even as the competition grows and with dinner service soon to come the pursuit of perfection shows no signs of stopping.

RECOMMENDED: Hot Chocolate, Almond Croissant, Apricot Croissant, Walnut Pie.

AVOID: Left to my own devices the Financier would be served without Frosting, though the current version certainly is not bad.

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TIP: Keep an eye on Social Media for Specials such as the Heart-shaped Raspberry Linzers and Nutella Cookies available for Valentine’s Day, or stop by to check out the selection for yourself and pick up a jar of Rosallie’s housemade Strawberry Preserves while you’re at it.

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 Breakfast, Coffee, Croissant, Dessert, Food, Las Vegas, Madeline, Nevada, Rosallie, Rosallie 'Le French Cafe'

Libertine Social, Las Vegas NV

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Libertine Social

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Apple Cobbler – Azzurre Gin, Ginger Syrup, Cloudy Apple Juice, Fresh Lemon and Cucumber Juices

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Milano – Effen Blood Orange Vodka, Aperol, Fresh Lemon Juice, Simple Syrup, Chilled Prosecco, Egg White

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Nostra Rosa – Campari, Bulldog Gin, Conintreau, Fresh Lemon Juice, Blood Orange Puree, Agave Nectar, Chilled Seltzer Water, Egg White

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Scotch Olives – Lamb Sausage and Feta

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Modern Fried Egg – American Sturgeon Caviar, Corn Pudding and Brioche

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King Crab Salad – Watercress Vichyssoise

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Parmesan Churros

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Grilled and Chilled Prawns – Soft Polenta, Chorizo Vinaigrette

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Foie Gras Mousse – Moustarda and Country Toast

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House Baked Pretzel – Cheddar/Raclette Fondue, House Mustard

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Warm Crab Dip – Spinach and Preserved Lemon

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Sweet Potato Agnolotti – Sage, Brown Butter, Pear and Pecan Pesto

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Cavatelli – Braised Lamb, Crushed Tomato, Parmesan and Whipped Ricotta

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Caramelized Fennel and Sausage Flatbread – Camembert, Desert Honey and Rosemary

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Barbecued Rainbow Carrots – Kohlrabi Puree

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Australian Wagyu Skirt Steak – Chimichurri, Salsa Verde, Grilled Padron Peppers, Lime, Black Truffles

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Whole Roasted Sea Bass – Olive/Caper Vinaigrette and Grilled Lemon

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Roasted Fingerling Potatoes – Pancetta, Farm Egg, Shaved Country Ham

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Double Espresso – Ice

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Black and Tan Pudding – Chocolate, Butterscotch, Spice Whip, Caramel Corn

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Hot Apple Pie – Apple, Quince, Cardamom Whip, Honey Ice Cream

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Manhattan – Rye Whiskey Bread Pudding, Vanilla/Maraschino Cherry Ice Cream

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Impressed by Shawn McClain since his Green Zebra days back in Chicago, a meal at Sage shortly after it opened confirming that his elegant simplicity could indeed translate to the Las Vegas market (though Five-50 Pizza later proved to be a half-baked Money Grab,) rumors of Libertine Social at Mandalay Bay being the first Casino restaurant in ages to challenge Gastro-Pub conformity by way of ingredients and technique finally lured me in almost exactly six months after it’s opening August 8th 2016 opening.

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Not immune to the advertising or PR push, an invite to the grand-opening by Kerry Clasby politely declined as 2016 was dedicated to supporting more longstanding restaurants both on the Strip and in the community, it was as a party of two that dinner on Friday was enjoyed amidst spacious confines where guests are invited to sit at the bar, lounge or dining room in back, a plethora of decorations ranging from street signs to old-LPs decorating the walls as music plays forgivingly lightly.

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Certainly a spectacle, the outdoor patio and well-stocked bar both showcasing design as low lighting generates an intimate feel despite the restaurant’s size, the menu and kitchen at Libertine Social are the responsibility of Executive Chef Jamaal Taherzadeh, his modern American cuisine ranging from fun to seriously technique-oriented while vegetables from the Intuitive Forager Farmers Markets stand unparalleled on their own, or when used to enhance the flavor of everything from Pastas and Flatbreads to roasted Meats.

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Well celebrated for Cocktails crafted by Tony Abou-Ganim, the classics perhaps a bit pricey given their nearby ubiquity while the Fizzes, Draught, Barrel-Aged and Bottled lists all show a lot of thought, those fond of Gin are encouraged to take a look at the refreshing Apple Cobbler with a clean Cucumber finish while Vodka fans will undoubtedly be delighted by a frothy Milano that is Spirit-forward and bright with a whole lot of Citrus.

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Partially deferring to Chef Taherzadeh and adding a few intriguing items along the way, guests enjoying a drink would be foolish to ignore the Scotch Olives pitted and packed with Cheese beneath a lightly fried Lamb Sausage Crust, the laser-cut Modern Fried Egg a vessel seen several times in the past but here better than most with creamy Corn Pudding blanketed in Egg Custard beneath a dollop of Caviar.

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Taking the extra steps to pour a chilled Watercress Soup tableside over King Crab Salad before having some fun with airy, flavor-packed Churros that will make fans of Cheetos question why they’ve been fooled into thinking the snack was as good as it gets for so long, a different sort of upgrade is delivered by ‘Shrimp n’ Grits’ that improves on both with snappy Prawns and creamy Polenta plus the savory heat of Chorizo.

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Turning attention to some Boards, Spreads and Dips, the Pretzels puffy and piping hot alongside house Mustard and melted Raclette, more Crab comes by way of the creamed Spinach Dip studded with big chunks of the good stuff flown in daily from Alaska while the Duck Liver Mousse at first appears to be far too much for even a party of four until the air is stirred out of it and the bright Fig-Balsamic Glaze on top turns it into the city’s most luxurious PB&J-reminiscent topping for Grilled Bread.

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Placing two handmade Pastas on the menu, one old and the other new, Jamaal admits that the tender Lamb Neck served over Cavatelli is his dish most often taken home for dinner, the salting intense even when accounting for the mellowing effect of Ricotta while the Sweet Potato Agnolotti rival any Italian restaurant in town by placing the typical Sage and Brown Butter in a different context with softened Pears and toasty brown Pesto.

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Mistakenly guessing the sweet and savory duet of Honey-drizzled Fennel and Sausage Flatbread plus Barbecued Carrots atop earthy Kohlrabi Puree as the final round before dessert, and thus overindulging in both as they each exemplify the pure, honest flavors familiar to followers of Chef McClain, it was with wide eyes that the kitchen presented two more entrée-sized plates including Sea Bass quite similar to that at Aureole next door (minus the head) plus a daily special of Medium-Rare Wagyu brightened by acid with a bit of heat and Black Truffles plus an outstanding side of “Local Fare” featuring wrinkly Fingerling happily soaking up the flavors of two types of Pork carried by a soft-poached Egg.

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Taking a Double Espresso over Ice next, the choice of Cubes vs. Pellets a nice touch, dessert was presented with two menu-favorites plus the all-new Black and Tan Pudding, a refreshing savory note imparted by the Cream in a tall glass while neither the Pie nor Bread Pudding were overly sweet, instead focusing on letting the ingredients shine on their own with the Maraschino Cherry Ice Cream playing particularly well off the Whiskey in replicating the classic flavors of a Manhattan Cocktail.

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FOUR AND A HALF STARS: At this point no longer ‘new’ by Las Vegas standards, six-months essentially 1/8th the lifespan of a hotel concept these days, Libertine Social challenges conventional wisdom by focusing on a ‘something for everyone’ approach rather than begrudgingly accepting it, Chefs McClain and Taherzadeh as well as the architects bringing both fun and sophisticated to Mandalay Bay with prices that are high, but Strip-competitive, and by-and-large justified by the quality of the ingredients.

RECOMMENDED: Milano, Scotch Olives, Grilled and Chilled Prawns, Foie Gras Mousse, Sweet Potato Agnolotti, Barbecued Rainbow Carrots, Roasted Fingerling Potatoes, Manhattan.

AVOID: The Modern Fried Eggs are indulgent at $12/each and thus not recommended for those counting pennies while the Salt-sensitive should steer clear of the Lamb Cavatelli. As to the complaints about cocktails…those looking to drink affordably are best served to look elsewhere…like Off-Strip or at least Downtown.

TIP: For those interested in something different, Libertine Social offers two “Fireside Chat” seatings each Saturday, a prix-fixe menu served overlooking the open kitchen as Chef Taherzadeh and team present seasonal ingredients complete with Wine and Cocktail pairings. 6:30 and 8:30, call for reservations.

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

https://www.mandalaybay.com/en/restaurants/libertine-social.html

Libertine Social Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Posted in Bread Pudding, Coffee, Crab, Dessert, Foie, Foie Gras, Food, Ice Cream, Las Vegas, Libertine Social, Nevada, Pizza, Pork, Tasting Menu, Truffle, Truffles

tsp. baking company, North Las Vegas NV

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tsp. baking company

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Brownie Batter Cupcake – Chocolate Cake, Brownie Batter Frosting

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Monkey Bite Cupcake – Cinnamon Banana Cake, Caramel Frosting, Potato Chips

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Oatmeal Raisin

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Chocolate Walnut Chip

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Red Velvet Chip

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Peanut Butter

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Oatmeal Butterscotch

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