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Trip Report: Kabuto, Bazaar Meats, Wicked Spoon

$200ish pp. and yes, over priced.

1 day ago
LVI in Las Vegas

Trip Report: Kabuto, Bazaar Meats, Wicked Spoon

There are many food critics and reviewers alike who should take a page from Ruth Reichl and forego the preferential treatment and treats alike. It's no wonder so many reviews are skewed.

Nov 21, 2014
LVI in Las Vegas
1

Nominate your favorite restaurants in Las Vegas for "Best of 2014."

Nov 20, 2014
LVI in Las Vegas

Nominate your favorite restaurants in Las Vegas for "Best of 2014."

Nov 20, 2014
LVI in Las Vegas
2

Nominate your favorite restaurants in Las Vegas for "Best of 2014."

Nov 19, 2014
LVI in Las Vegas

Nominate your favorite restaurants in Las Vegas for "Best of 2014."

Nov 19, 2014
LVI in Las Vegas
1

Nominate your favorite restaurants in Las Vegas for "Best of 2014."

Nov 19, 2014
LVI in Las Vegas

China Mama needs more love on this board

Only wish we could have done together! April if I can swing it!

Nov 18, 2014
LVI in Las Vegas

Help for special birthday dinner

No, of course you are not wrong. The subjectivity of food is what is missed more often than not. My single greatest bite of food may be another's kryptonite.

That doesn't mean that some places are not turning out some good stuff. Take for example The Veranda that Mike just opined about on another thread. The buffet quality there is great, well executed and tasty. But IMO, is it "Chow-worthy ?" I don't think so. I have never run across a buffet that is. I'm sure that there is a buffet that exists out there somewhere but I have not been to one in Las Vegas, or anywhere else that I have been.

When food is prepared ahead of time and left to sit, I think by default it loses it's "Chow-worthiness". There are some that have better quality at the expense of quantity. To me, that is not the essence of Chow-worthy.

But that's my thought. Am I wrong? No of course I'm not wrong, and neither are you.

Recently renovated, and probably the most refined brunch in Las Vegas - Veranda at The Four Seasons

Tmi...not in the biblical sense.

That's a ton of info (thank you). To the non-coffee aficionado it's pretty good stuff. And I'd imagine that most places, non-coffee centric establishments, serve something similar to the Four Seasons. And the good news is it ain't $12 a cup.

Which begs the question, what the heck is Starbucks serving (not saying Starbucks is the best but they have a pretty solid customer base).

Nov 09, 2014
LVI in Las Vegas

Recently renovated, and probably the most refined brunch in Las Vegas - Veranda at The Four Seasons

Regardless of brand, knocking the coffee without actually trying it is like reviewing a restaurant without going. I am by NO means a coffee aficionado but their coffee, IMO, is some of the best on the strip. Tableau may be a tad better.

Nov 09, 2014
LVI in Las Vegas

Foie gras meals recommendation for last minute trip

+1 to Raku suggestion by Mike.

Sage is another good option.

Nov 06, 2014
LVI in Las Vegas

2 nights in LV, molecular gastronomy recs requested

Depending on your budget and size of party Guy Savoy has a private room off of the kitchen. While it's not open it is all glass and unobstructed views of the kitchen. And WHAT a kitchen it is!

Nov 06, 2014
LVI in Las Vegas

Recently renovated, and probably the most refined brunch in Las Vegas - Veranda at The Four Seasons

I have had several dinners there over the years and all have been good. I am not sure how long Antonio has been the chef there (if I am not mistaken it is within the last year) but out last dinner (8 months ago) was excellent with 2 pasta dishes being spectacular (La Pasta Cotta Nel Vaso, and a special). One issue they have is some dishes are great and some so so. One reason it flies under the radar is that the setting is so unspectacular and plain many do not recolonize it as anything more than simply "the place in the Four Seasons to eat".

In terms of the Four Seasons being expensive, I have stayed there for the last 7 years never once spending more than $209 a night. When and where you book is key but it is by far the best 5* deal on the strip.

Nov 05, 2014
LVI in Las Vegas
1

SLS: "Social Sunday" for locals

I wonder if it will include the entire menu?

Oct 31, 2014
LVI in Las Vegas

SLS: "Social Sunday" for locals

Tartare for the cab, tartare for the elevator, tartare for the room....washed down with the cotton candy foie.

Oct 29, 2014
LVI in Las Vegas
1

SLS: "Social Sunday" for locals

If they do I'm flying out!!!

Oct 29, 2014
LVI in Las Vegas

ISO Steak House Recs

Well that is an interesting statement that precious few can match. A whole different direction in the topic so I will leave alone. My point is that purchasing non-prime beef is more economical than prime. Yet Carnevino charges the same and more money than those places serving Prime Dry Aged. I would bet (I am stating opinion not fact) that the beef that they purchase, BBL, costs significantly less than Prime. Dry aging, whether it be at Carnevino or Smith and Wollensky, Peter Lugers or wherever, costs the same. Meaning the weight loss and waste contributes to the higher price.

Oct 29, 2014
LVI in Las Vegas

ISO Steak House Recs

I agree wholeheartedly with the "Cut Of The Week" being a tremendous deal. I have had 1 excellent experience with it and 2 good ones. Heck, for $60 (tax and tip included" you get a whole meal when some places are charging more than that for a steak. However, as Taiwan says above, nothing screams must go, except the value.

As a side note, I have had one meal where we ordered a "premium" steak and it was fine but would never order again.

Oct 29, 2014
LVI in Las Vegas

ISO Steak House Recs

And I agree with that statement 100%. While I "dry age" in my refrigerator occasionally in the basement it cannot even approach what a proper dry aging facility like Carnevino, Gallaghers (I'm not going to say Bazaar Meats as I do not know if they have such a facility so I will stick to fact) and others have. And that is the reason I will pay to eat a dry aged steak. We can't do it at home.

Oct 29, 2014
LVI in Las Vegas

ISO Steak House Recs

QAW, to me labeling their meat "Prime BBL" would eliminate the skepticism while validating their product. By not doing such it opens the door to those of us that are skeptical. Skeptical like, is it not a whole lot cheaper to buy meat that is not Prime than meat that is?And in theory it would seem to lessen consistency issues.

When you say APL is "purchasing from some of the same sources that sell "Prime" beef to others" are you saying he he buying beef that has yet to be graded?

Oct 29, 2014
LVI in Las Vegas

Just scored a solo seat at e, should I do it?

I think that's were many of the negative remarks have come from, me being one of them. I think we were #249/250 and it was $225 all in at that point. Now, from what I understand, it is closer to $400 for same experience.

There is no denying the quality of food or unique experience. It was truly wonderful. So if the $ does not bother you, there are very few, if any, in Vegas better fit for a single diner. ENJOY!

Oct 28, 2014
LVI in Las Vegas

ISO Steak House Recs

The Bastianich/Batali empire is vast and wonderfully impressive. And I would not be at all surprised to see some universities teaching a course based upon its success. And they have some WONDERFUL products that they market. But it's about making as much money as possible. Buying USDA Prime beef is an expensive endeavor. They way to circumvent such cost is to raise/source your own. Then label it as BBL and say it is often beyond the standards of the USDA. I would say that is like GM saying the Corvette is made with higher standards than Ferrari. Corvettes are great cars. But would you rather drive a Corvette or a Ferrari?

"Pre-fab terrine"? I guess the insinuation is that they do not make their own. Again, I will not make such claims unless I am sure of such. And if they are purchasing their terrines I would say they are "sourcing" a great product. As to "wine lists", both are very good, Carnevinos bigger, and neither will contain a bargain. Bazaar may have some egregiously priced wines on their list, but did not appear marked up anywhere near as much as the wines on Carnevinos list.

Oct 28, 2014
LVI in Las Vegas

ISO Steak House Recs

Sometimes my friend you need to scale it back. Calling Bazaar Meats inferior is just down right wrong. If you say you prefer, that's fine. We all understand the subjectivity of taste. However, when you say another product is inferior you needs to have facts. If I am not mistaken, Carnevinos meats are not even prime (that is not to say that Bazaar Meats are but I think they are). They are a wonderfully marketed BBL beef. Yet less than 2% of beef graded by the FDA is Prime. Made up designations are just that...made up. BBL is not a grade of meat but rather 3 peoples initials and a good marketing machine.

As for the $8 Foie Gras cotton candy to which you refer, I'd GLADLY take three of those tasty suckers vs the most ridiculously priced $25 single ravioli with an egg yolk in it (or is that a BBL yolk sorry, too easy) swimming in melted butter.

And while I never really like to use Yelp the bible (it is a great cross referencing source) the 4.5* it gives Bazaar vs Carnevinos 3.5* is telling (granted less reviews for Bazaar, but it is new) while I would also point to longislandchefs most recent review for further opinions.

Oct 27, 2014
LVI in Las Vegas

ISO Steak House Recs

Well there are serious opinions/debates about almost every steak place in Las Vegas. I would try and figure your priority and work from there. While there are very few "budget" steak places left, there are options that are less taxing, ie the Golden Steer. However their quality is a long way from say, Bazaar Meats, SW, Carnevino and many others. If $ is no object, then I would put Bazaar Meats at the top of your list. Having just returned from a trip experiencing both Bazaar and Carnevino, I gave the edge to Bazaar. Not quite as expensive (but still very expensive) Carnevino I (we) found Bazaar more enjoyable and more daring, if you will. Their Steak Tartare was about the best I have EVER had. SW is a great experience and a wonderful restaurant but I think in the last 6 months it is not hitting on all cylinders like it has in the past (I believe that has a lot to do with David Walzog splitting time between SW and Lakeside). I also think the Circus Circus Steakhouse is still a great experience, but no longer a bargain. And there are many others...

Oct 25, 2014
LVI in Las Vegas

Carnevino: If only the food had the same attitude as the staff

I use Peter Lugers and Wolfgang comparisons as Lugers is consistently recognozied as on of the best steaks in America while Wolfgangs is one of my favorites. As far as the flavor is concerned, it is impossible to judge unless you do a side by side. And regardless of taste, quite honestly, the attitude that Carnevino exudes is unacceptable. From the holier than thou "you are lucky to be here" to the sommelier talking to us as if we were her kindergarten class. It is off putting, to say the least. All this while charging a kings ransom it borders on criminal. But then again, they are not alone in this category (although I will argue they lead the charge).

Oct 22, 2014
LVI in Las Vegas

Carnevino: If only the food had the same attitude as the staff

Size was actually fine. $ price was insane. Our fault I suppose as I have read similar gripes before. Place has ripped me off 1 time too many.

We should try and hookup NYC for a dinner. It is white truffle season after all...

Oct 21, 2014
LVI in Las Vegas

Carnevino: If only the food had the same attitude as the staff

Let me begin by saying that I had my doubts about Carnevino wowing me from the outset. I will always go to a restaurant to taste the food, pure and simple. No matter how good or bad a reputation, the food is what matters. But my doubts stem from my previous visits. And all three made me come away scratching my head. But this time I was convinced it had turned around. This time I was going to be different...

It was Sunday October 5th and this was our last meal in Vegas for our group. We decided to sit at the bar to watch the football game in a more relaxed setting. The bartender was great, accommodating and an interesting guy. Not only that they had a seasonal Dogfish Head that was spectacular (wish I could remember the name). Right away I asked about the availability of the Riserva Steak (although many have stated that you can call in advance to check on availability, I was explicitly told in more than one phone call that the restaurant does not know until that day. Very odd given what I have read here) and was delighted to find out they had it available, albeit in NY Strip and not Ribeye.

After inquiring about the Riserva, the sommelier stopped by inform us that a nice aged Barolo works beautifully with the Riserva steak. And I have no doubt it is one of those marriages like Foie and Sauternes or Thai and Reisling...wink). However, we were all happy drinking our beer and cocktails so we thanked her and said we were going to stick with what we were drinking. Well, as my 13 year old daughter would say...humft! She was not going to take no for and answer. So she proceeded to tell us of her education, awards, people she knew and the wines that she had consumed. Surely we were so impressed we were going to spend $600 for a $100 bottle of wine, right? No thank you. And she kept trying. It was almost comical. Finally we said she could try as hard as she wanted to sell us wine, we were not in the mood. She acted as if we just dumped her for the senior prom for a prettier girl. Whipped around and said something to the bartender and left.

Phew, now we could look at the menu and really get down to what we came for. Here what we ordered:

Grilled Octopus

Steamed Clams

Stracciatella

Prosciutto di Parma 'Riserva' (there's that Riserva thing again!)

Love Letters

Garganelli Bolognese

Tagliatelle

Orecchiette

(5) Ricotta and Egg Raviolo

Mascarpone & Guanciale Mashed Potatoes

Broccoli Rabe

1.5" Riserva

Ribeye for 2

I will not give you a play by play for each dish. Pastas were ok to great (Garganelli was great, Egg Ravioli was good but a complete RIP OFF at $25 per, and all the others were good. All the pastas were cooked perfectly though...PERFECT). The Mascarpone & Guanciale Mashed Potatoes were so meh I didn't get it. Luke warm, a tad gummy and honestly lacking the flavor I expected. The Ribeye was massive and well cooked. If it were not for the salt and olive oil I'm not sure there would have been much flavor. I can't remember how long they said it was aged (90 days I think) but it lacked that pronounced funk that is synonymous with Dry Aged Steak. And maybe it was because we did taste it next to the Riserva. Now this steak was very good. BUT...for a steak that was aged 240+ days and priced accordingly the funk was nothing special nor different from, say a Lugars or Wolfgangs steak. And here's the other rub; the two steaks were almost identical in color and texture. I was expecting it to be completely different and the only thing that distinguished it from the Ribeye was the moderate funk.

I will not say the meal was a failure because it was not. It was fine. But for the accolades that some bestow on Carnevino, I expected a whole lot more. As for the inevitable comparisons between Bazaar Meats and Carvevino...Bazaar Meats is new and has tremendous potential in terms of dishes just missing their mark. Carnevino just plan misses the mark for me which is the only consistent thing it has going for it in my opinion.

Oct 21, 2014
LVI in Las Vegas

TR: Robuchon, LOS, MO Tea, Giada, and more (LONG)

Easier to open a 90!

I don't smoke but felt the need to smoke a cigarette after reading this! Butterfli311, your post made me smile when you said "...and many would probably find that laughable..." as I am always thinking and saying the same! $800 is a lifetime of memories and for those obsessed with food (hand raised) will forever remember every morsel from experiences like yours.

Oct 20, 2014
LVI in Las Vegas

Emeril's New Orleans Fishhouse... What to have?

Any of the soups, Octopus, and Redfish. I'm a sucker for Emeril and many may disagree but I've always had a good meal here. Not a destination type place but if you end up here, it is solid.

Oct 20, 2014
LVI in Las Vegas