restaurants at Palazzo-Venetian
We will be in Las Vegas at Palazzo for a few days next month - if possible we would like to stay in the complex for dinners in case the heat is really oppressive. Any suggestions for dinner - we have eaten at Delmonicos before - I think we would prefer a great Italian or seafood restaurant.
I ate at Restaurant Charlie (Venetian), Okada (Wynn), Daniel Boulad(Wynn) and Bouchon (Palazzu) the first week in May. All big splurges... Here are my reviews for your consideration:
1) Hamachi with Kumquat, Pickled Pork Belly and Cucumber (Special). This dish simply titillated my mouth.
2) Marinated New Zealand Tai Snapper with Santa Barbara Sea Urchin and Hijiki- Great
3) Hand Harvested Sea Scallops with Parsley Emulsion and Yogurt - Fantastic.
4) Merlot Braised Radishes: Great side dish, just didn't work the best with entree.
5) Dark Chocolate and Banana Bread Pudding with Plaintains and Rice Sorbet. Again, Fantastic.
Service was outstanding. At most places, people know various roles, and will step in when needed, albeit ackwardly. Here, transitions were seamless. Very impressive. When I mentioned B-day, Maitre gifted me with autographed Charlie Trotter Cookbook. Then offered me tour of kitchen. Then brought me up to Kitchen Table, as Susan was also celebrating her 50th - very gregarious, and husband from Wisconsin, they insisted I join them and opened new magnum of veuve la grand dame for a couple of toasts. Sigh. This was simply perfect. The kitchens. Nice table of people. Great Champagne to end a fabulous meal. Total w/out tip: $225. Included sazerac cocktail ($24) and Open Wine pairing (very nicely done) ($75).
1) Okada roll: Fabulous! Maine lobster, sweet shrimp, avocado, asparagus served with a wasabi mayonnaise. Additional lobster meat added to plate - tail shell added to plate as garnish.
2) Hamachi with tomato salsa. Forgettable.
3) Kobe Beef Carpaccio with chives,quail egg and pickled vegetables. Very nice.
4) Robato Grilled Alaskan King Crab with grilled shimeji, maitake mushrooms and yuzu sauce. This was sublime. Slight grilled flavor, hint of lemon in sauce. Loved tis dish.
Service was smooth, unhurried. Started with a Sake Tini, which, with a slice of cucumber, was dry and refreshing. I was seated next to sliding door overlooking waterfall. Door was closed due to winds, but still beautiful view. They took several minutes educating me on Sakes - loved it! After my Sake education, I chose a Taiten Shiragiku (white chrysanthemum) which was dry but soft - paired wonderfully with all dishes except the Kobe. Total w/out tip: $220.
1) Maine Lobster Salad with Rhubarb and chili touille. Rhubarb was nice touch, large portion lobster, could easily be shared. Really liked this dish.
2) Pan Roasted Loup De Mer with Artichoke Mousse and tomato olive mousse. OK. Fish cooked perfectly. Mousse very good. Tomato salsa did not work for me. Perhaps if roasted...
3) Cheese Plate: Excellent. Perfect temperature, nice grapes, spiced walnuts, currants, honeycomb .
Service fine. Light show was kitshy but fun - very 60'ies. Thought it strange to have salt and pepper shakers on table - don't see this in nice restaurants. Also, suppose it was nice, but twice they asked if I'd like a magazine (Wynn mag). Guess some would appreciate, but certainly not my style to read during a nice meal. ??? Total cost, w/out tip, with two glasses wine and dessert wine: $165
1) Vesper cocktail. Olives. Smoked Beef Carpaccio with tomato confit and Horseradish Cream. Nice selection of olives, slightly warmed with a sprig of rosemary and a sliver of lemon. Beef had very light smoke flavor, went well with horseradish cream.
2) Beet Salad (Special) - This dish was one of favorites of the trip. White asparagus curls set on petite red beet quarters set on eggplant confit with rocket and a lemon vinaigrette. Nine small mounds. Perfect.
3) Prime Rib Short Ribs (Special) - Surprised to find such heavy dish on menu in May, but I couldn't resist. Braised for 72 hours. Beyond tender. Sauce was a silky smooth buttery deeply beef flavored jewel. Served with Forest Mushrooms,Fava Beans and Potato Gnocci. Chose half bottle of Vosne-Romanee - by itself not a great wine, but for me has always tended to lift the food and the wine when paired with food. Sublime course.
4) Cheese Plate. Very forgettable. Sad for a French Bistro.
Service: I asked for dry dry cocktail recommendation - he recommended a glass of Chardonnay???? Lucky Sommelier rescued him - after I suffered through his demonstrated inexperience with wines. And I'm not a wine snob, but he just had no clue what to pair with each dish, other than to point out they had bottles by the half glass. He contributed little to meal . Food server did not explain dishes - just set them down. Bread removed before short rib course - ??? Serious trianing needed for these particular chaps. Price w/out tip: $210
I've just returned from a trip to Las Vegas, and haven't had a chance to write up my reviews. However, if price is no object, consider the portion of Restaurant Charlie called "Bar Charlie." I can't speak for the more traditional regular dining area, but Bar Charlie serves 8 and 14 course kaiseki style meals that are Japanese inspired, consisting in large part of seafood. They cost $175 and $250 respectively; sake and wine pairings are available for an additional charge.
I thought the 14 course meal was one of the better meals I've had in town. The food quality probably ranks behind Joel Robuchon, Guy Savoy, and Alex, but I had such a good time that I'd rank it behind only Joel Robuchon in terms of enjoyment.
If you find such prices ridiculous, then consider a short walk across the pedestrian bridge to Wynn Las Vegas. There you'll find Bartolotta, a merely expensive restaurant that I think serves the best Italian seafood in town. See my full review at http://home.comcast.net/~lasvegasvaca... (click on the link for Bartolotta).
[For those of you who read this in the future, I'll have a full review of Bar Charlie up at the same url by around the middle of June 2008].