Four Of My Favorite Things (And People)
(*** CORRECTION — The original version of this story incorrectly referred to Chef Nicole Brisson of Carnevino as Nicole Grimes. Grimes, BTW, is the Executive Chef at Rao’s. My apologies to both ladies ***)
As a food writer, I generally avoid the words “best” or “favorite.” There’s just too much great food in this town to limit myself to favorites. But on Friday, I had the chance to introduce some visiting family friends to four of my current favorites in one night at the Venetian and Palazzo.
I started at Public House, anxious to show off their amazing beer selection, as well as their poutine. But before that dish could arrive, the chef kindly sent out a delicious snack plate that included, among other things, Welsh rarebit, head cheese and rabbit loin in porchetta. As great as everything was, it was no match for the poutine: a delicious combination of French fries, duck confit and cheese curd gravy topped with a fried egg that may well have replaced the huevos estrellados at Julian Serrano as my favorite comfort food.
After devouring everything, we decided to take the crew over to Carnevino to sample the cocktails of the amazing David Cooper – who has long been my favorite bartender in Las Vegas. As we sipped his masterpieces, we snacked on the amazing bread sticks. Those cheesy, spicy snacks (also available at B&B Ristorante) are definitely my favorite free bar snacks on The Strip.
Finally, I began describing to my friends the incredible steaks Mario Batali and Chef Nicole Brisson serve – steaks which I (and countless other critics) have repeatedly referred to as the best steaks in Las Vegas, and very possibly the U.S. While we hadn’t come for steak, my friends were clearly curious, so we asked them to send out a “small” cut of steak for the four of us. What arrived was a pretty amazing bone-in rib eye and my friends immediately agreed I wasn’t exaggerating.
Two restaurants, two hours, and four of my favorites! Even our visit later that night to Spearmint Rhino couldn’t compare.