Road Trip Review: Rosemary's - Las Vegas, NV (w/ photos!)
- Seth Chadwick Sep 9, 2009 09:09 PM
After our brunch at Bouchon, we had no luck in the Venetian’s casino, so we did a little driving around Vegas before heading back to the room for some relaxation and preparation for dinner.
However, I was hankering to sit by the hotel pool and relax with a drink. J. was amenable to the idea, so we put on our swim trunks and Hawaiian shirts and headed down to the pool at Tower 2 at the Signature at MGM Grand. The server took our drink order and we opted to try the Orange Basil Mojitos ($11.00 each, but free for us as we had a drink credit with our room).
Moments later, we were presented with a delightfully delicious concoction of Bacardi O, fresh basil leaves, orange slices, rock candy syrup and 7-Up. This mojito wasn’t too sweet or too bland, but hit a lot of taste notes that were just perfect for poolside. We were most pleased.
We kept our drinking to one each since we were driving to our dinner destination, so we finished up, made our way back to the room and got ready for dinner.
Our travels would take us to the northwest side of Las Vegas to a restaurant called Rosemary’s. It, like many Phoenix restaurants, was situated in a non-descript strip mall. We parked and walked in.
After checking in with the host station we were informed that we would have a few minute wait as the table they wished to seat us at was being prepared. No problem as we were a few minutes early.
We were finally seated at a four-top table in a small alcove that was quite nice. We were presented menus and told our servers would be with us shortly. It wasn’t more than a minute before our first server appeared. “Good evening,” he stated. “I will be one of your servers this evening. Before we get started, do either of you have any food allergies or dietary restrictions our chef should know about so we can make this a pleasant evening for you?”
J. and I did a double take. In all the restaurants I have been to since I started Feasting in Phoenix, I have never had a server ask me that question. Since I have a severe allergy to avocado, I was incredibly pleased with the question and mentioned my allergy to the server. A very impressive and novel start to our meal.
He took our drink order of two Iced Teas. He informed us that he would return with rolls and our drinks.
As we reviewed the menu, J. and I were formulating our dining plan. The menu at Rosemary’s can be formed into a prix fixe menu of three courses for $55.00 or items can be ordered individually. You can also have two appetizers instead of an appetizer and dessert or two desserts. Our server stressed that they would try to accommodate our requests as best they could.
We debated what to get and what we could share. Just as we had decided, our server appeared with a basket of rolls. There were two kinds. The first was a potato roll. The roll was hot, fresh and clearly in-house made. It wasn’t phenomenal, but very good. The second was a white chocolate cranberry nut roll that has been brushed with melted butter. That was a big winner, although we couldn’t taste much of the chocolate. Still, we were very pleased with the tangy cranberries and the crunchy nuts.
Our server then took our order and we decided to go with the prix fixe menu with an add on. J. chose the Crawfish Over Grits, the Bacon-Wrapped Stuffed Figs, the Roasted Rack of Lamb ($10.00 supplemental charge), and the Wilted Spinach Salad with Goat Cheese Cake ($11.50 as an add on). For my selections, I went with the Hugo’s BBQ Shrimp with Maytag Bleu Cheese Coleslaw, the Creole Prime Ribeye, and the Sweet Corn Soup. I also added a House salad ($7.50 as an add on).
Shortly after placing our orders, we were treated to an amuse bouche of Goat Cheese Mousse on Cucumber Slices with a Smoked Tomato sauce. It was fresh, creamy and mellow. Not a memorable dish, but certainly a nice treat. We had no complaints.
After a small wait span, our first round arrived and I was treated to a colorful plate that was quite satisfying visually. Hugo’s BBQ Shrimp were four large shrimp covered in a thick BBQ sauce surrounding a pile of Maytag Bleu Cheese coleslaw. The deep, rich red color of the sauce and the beautiful green color of the slaw was a beautiful contrast. I grabbed one of the shrimp and took a bite. The shrimp were perfectly cooked and the sauce had spicy overtones that paired well with the briny taste of the shrimp. The coleslaw was superb. The bleu cheese was strong, but didn’t overtake the dish. The cabbage was cold and crunchy and was excellent all the way around. What I didn’t expect was how well the BBQ sauce and the coleslaw matched up together. It was a heavenly combination that just worked. Marvelous.
J. was busy devouring his Crawfish Over Grits. Large chunks of crawfish meat were visible in each forkful of the dish. The tomato sauce that rounded out the dish created a fine addition to the overall taste of the dish. The grits were creamy and not overdone as to be mush. J. was raving from the first bite and I have to admit that it was a knockout in the savory department.
Next up was my Sweet Corn Soup. The large, shallow bowl was served piping hot and topped with a dab of chive butter that I swirled through out the soup. One bite was like eating summer. The soup was sweet and earthy and had a wonderful smoothness to it all. J. was very pleased with the dish as well.
Then, we encountered a service issue. However, it was in the positive column. While I was eating my soup, I managed to spill some on the vest I was wearing. I took my napkin and dabbed the excess. About 30 seconds later, our server arrived with a small glass of soda water and a fresh, clean napkin. He set it on the table and said if I needed another napkin or more soda water to let him know. Very, very nice.
The Bacon-Wrapped Stuffed Figs were delightful with the soft fruit holding a bit of goat cheese and surrounded by a crispy slab of bacon. The flavors were wonderful together as the saltiness from the bacon and cheese enhanced the sweetness of the figs. I liked the fact that the dish had been thought out to incorporate a bit of all hits on the palate as there was a small salad and a light vinaigrette on the plate to add some bitter and tangy to the mix. J. said “yummy” several times, which I took as a sign of approval.
Our salads arrived and I was rather envious at the look of the Wilted Spinach Salad. A plate of dark, green spinach had been topped with a large, deep fried goat cheese cake and spicy pecans. There were also onions that had been pickled or heavily glazed in balsamic vinegar. The entire dish was stellar. Again, another well-thought out dish that was top notch from first to last bite.
My House Salad was just what I was looking for. The simple plate of greens had been tossed in a lovely Roasted Onion Vinaigrette that was perfect for cleansing the palate before my entrée arrived. I liked the addition of the “Rosemary Crackers” that were very thin and light, almost resembling tortilla chips.
Momentarily after finishing our salads, our plates were cleared and the crumbs were scooped up before our entrees arrived. J.’s Roasted Rack of Lamb was gorgeous. Three double-boned, meaty lamb chops encircled Katamala Olive Mashed Potatoes and Fried Arugula. The chops were perfectly cooked and J. said they were exceptionally tender and rich in flavor. They must of have been quite good because J. was gnawing at the bones for sometime. He said the olive-flavored potatoes were an excellent accompaniment to the lamb and loved the tangy shot the olive flavor provided to the overall dish. He also said he enjoyed the fried arugula. I had to admit that the look and portion size of the chops was quite impressive.
My Creole Prime Ribeye had me salivating the minute it was set before me and its scent hit my nose. The steak was huge and the mound of fried red onion rings was a very welcome touch. The meat was nearly fork tender and one small swipe of the blade of the knife was all it took to cut a piece off to eat. The ribeye had a bold flavor enhanced by the steak sauce that had sweet and chile flavors throughout. Hiding under the steak was a delicious pile of grits that had soaked up some of the juices from the steak and some of the steak sauce. I couldn’t have been happier with my dish. It surpassed my expectations on many levels.
So, after having a completely delightful meal, we were asked if we wanted dessert. Our response was an immediate “no.” We were quite full and didn’t want to push ourselves over into the uncomfortable range. We asked for our bill and a last refill on drinks.
Little did we know that our servers didn’t want us to leave without a little something sweet, so were presented with a complimentary plate of tiny treats: Lemon Squares, Mint Chocolate Squares and Peanut Butter Buddies. The lemon squares were light and refreshing. The Mint Chocolate squares were a perfect dessert and quite tasty, but exceptionally rich. J. and I both thought the Peanut Butter Buddies were the best with their crunchy texture and sweet and salty taste. It was a pleasant surprise and very much appreciated.
When we received the bill, the total was $150.26 which included the tax. We felt it was a very good value for what we had received. The food was exceptionally good and there wasn’t a bad dish on the table at any time. And what can we say about the service? Nothing but praises. From the opening concern about food allergies to the cleaning supplies for spilled soup to having our drink glasses never close to being empty, the service was stellar. I noted to J. that Rosemary’s had provided the best service we have had at a restaurant since our visit to Kai at Wild Horse Pass. He was in full agreement.
We discussed our elation with one of our servers and she said, “Well, we are located in a strip mall next to a dollar store, so we have to try harder.” Indeed they did and it showed.
After paying the bill and getting into the car, I expressed how much I thoroughly enjoyed our trip to Rosemary’s. We drove back to the Strip and to our hotel, hoping our fortunes would change in the MGM Grand Casino. Even if we struck out at the tables or on the slots we were still happy.
Rosemary’s had us grinning for the rest of the evening.
8125 West Sahara Avenue
Las Vegas, NV 89117
Dress: Resort Casual to Dressy
Hours: Lunch: Friday only – 11:30 AM to 2:00 PM; Dinner nightly from 5:30 PM to Close.
Notes: Half-priced wine night on Sundays.
Alcohol: Full bar. Good wine list.
Additional photos can be found at www.feastinginphoenix.com
8125 W Sahara Ave, Las Vegas, NV 89117
Thanks for the good report. I've tried most of the items you enjoyed and agree with you completely.
re: Dave Feldman
No, we didn't, Dave.
I know that some people here don't appreciate Rosemary's and I know you are an ardent defender, but we found Rosemary's comparable in many ways to Phoenix's beloved Noca.
Everything at Rosemary's was quite grand and we were thrilled with our meals across the board. The service made it that much better. And while I am sure we would have received great service at some celebrity chef restaurant, I have been to celebrity chef restaurants before and never have I had any of them ask me about food allergies or dietary restrictions.
J. and I are both unabashed Rosemary's fans.
re: Seth Chadwick
Interestingly, we are planning a trip to Vegas, and my friend's daughter, who is an event planner and has been to Vegas many times, mentioned Rosemary's as one of her favorites. I used your link to take a look at the menu. One thing that may downgrade the restaurant for some people, if they are wine drinkers, the mark-up on their wines are outrageous. Glancing quickly, we like California reds. I noticed Orin Swift's Prisoner, which you can get for under $30 in a wine store in NY, which should cost more to ship to than LV, was $94. A bit too much of a mark-up perhaps?
Old thread, but I just scanned the wine list at Rosemary's and laughed out loud.
$118 for Moet "White Star" (or "Imperial", as it's now called)? I'm a wine buyer, and that bottle costs $26. Aaaaaaaaaahahahahahahaha. $260 for Billecart Rose? Wholesale is $65. These people are simply greedy.
I can't remember having looked forward to a Chowhound review more than this one. So glad you had the quintessential Rosemary's experience... great food and great service at a reasonable price. Still one of my favorite restaurants anywhere, and it looks like I will be through town for a visit soon.
Warning to anyone planning to go to Rosemary's for lunch. Their last newsletter noted a change in operating hours. They are no longer doing lunch except on Fridays. The economy must have really affected them. Hopefully they will continue to do well with the dinner hours. The $25 pre-fixe lunch was a great deal.
I wouldn't necessarily consider it a "destination restaurant" per se, but a nice alternative to the celebrity chef milieu. To be honest, we were not particularly looking for a celebrity chef experience (although we are glad we had a great time at Bouchon).
Dollar for dollar, Rosemary's was a great value and, had we been able to get the gift cards (none were available at any Costco in Vegas and they were out of stock online) it would have been an even greater value.
I chose to renew this thread rather than start a new one since our experience was very similar to Seth's description.
In entree's, we choose the NY Strip Steak and the Prosciutto Wrapped Veal Tenderloin. Both portion sizes were huge and they were cooked to perfection. Truly moist meets with interesting balance of flavors in sides and sauces. We ordered the Flourless Choc cake for desert and the server actually comp'd us a lemon mouse with raspberry sorbet that I had been salivating over but had to defer to my husband's preference.
Service really tries hard to be top notch. They are well trained in what top dining patrons are expecting.
Although the food was wonderful and the service was attentive, something was missing. First, I'll say that it was just too much food. We savored every bite but felt uncomfortably full when we left. I know people are looking for value but for that many courses, they could very well adjust the portion size to take into consideration the amount of food offered.
$$'wise. It was a good value compared to options on the strip. A 3 course tasting menu for $55 is pretty good comparatively. They also have promotions for different days of the week: Wed. night ladies entree's are 50% off, Sun. night the wine is 1/2 price. They also sell gift certificates at a discount at Costco (pay $80 for $100 worth). These are sure incentives to head out to a strip mall 20 minutes out of town but you do need to add the $50 worth of round trip cab fare to the bill. Even with discounts offered, the total cost of the evening was comparable to what we spent on other nights at restaurants back on the strip (taking into consideration that we also probably ordered less food elsewhere) so we consider it a wash.
The service tried hard but the atmosphere, to us, was more like any restaurant we could find in our home town. Living outside of SF, we are in no shortage of fine dining establishments with outstanding chefs and Rosemary's felt like we could have just as easily have been here. It lacked the polish and excitement that we come to LV for. Often times (as with this evening), dinner is our evening activity and the restaurant choice sets the tone for the night. When we only have 3-4 nights to enjoy the glamor that Vegas "sells", I'm not really sure Rosemary's is worthy as a destination.
I live here and have written mixed reviews about Rosemary's. I said I would not go back since I thought they were slipping in food and service. I went with visiting relatives about a month ago, and it is back on my good list. I guess all places have ups and downs, so I should be a little more forgiving I guess.