Credit the location and swank décor for making Vintner Grill a runaway local favorite, if you will, but much of its success is because of the talent and dedication of Matthew Silverman, who has been in the kitchen since day one.
The 32-year-old chef came to Las Vegas when his father took the mantle at what’s now called the College of Southern Nevada and began working, at the tender age of 18, as a dishwasher at Wolfgang Puck’s Bar & Grill.
But he worked his way through the ranks to become an executive chef at age 23, and soon after, began assisting the chef in opening Puck restaurants all around the United States.
He opened Vintner Grill five years ago, and since has helped the owners revamp the menus at their signature Roadrunner Saloons as well as launch Agave, a cool Mexican restaurant on the far westside.
Like his mentor, Puck, Silverman loves seasonal and Mediterranean flavors, which is why he thought his grilled chicken paillard would be easy, fun and delicious to share with Vegas Seven readers. Since I watched him do it, I can attest to all three. Especially the “delicious” part, because I couldn’t stop eating it.
Grilled Chicken Paillard
with panzanella, saffron-roasted tomato vinaigrette and grilled nectarines
- ½ cup Roma tomatoes (roasted)
- ½ cup champagne vinegar
- 2 teaspoons saffron
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons shallots
- 2 tablespoons cilantro, fresh
- 2 tablespoons parsley, fresh
- 1 teaspoon mint, fresh
- 1 cup olive oil
- Sugar to taste
- Salt to taste
- Black pepper to taste
Cut the tomatoes in half and season with salt, pepper and olive oil. Place in the oven on a pan with a rack at 275 degrees until they have dried but are still semi-soft.
In a small sauce pot, bring the vinegar to a simmer and add the saffron threads. Remove from the heat and let sit for 10 minutes.
Combine all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl except for the oil.
While whisking the ingredients in a bowl, drizzle in the oil slowly. Season with salt and pepper. Adjust with a small amount of sugar if the dressing is too acidic.
- 2 pounds chicken breast, pounded
- 1 ounce fresh herbs
- 2 tablespoons lemon zest
- ½ cup olive oil
Pound the chicken until it is about a ¼-inch thick.
Marinate in oil, zest and herbs for at least 2 hours.
Season with salt and pepper and grill. Do not overcook. It will only take about 2 minutes per side on a hot grill.
- 3 ounces mizuna (or another spicy green)
- 6 ounces bread
- 1 ounce fennel, shaved
- 2 ounces cherry tomatoes
- 1 ounce red onion, sliced
- 2 nectarines (or peaches)
Cut crusty-style Italian or French bread into 1-inch cubes. Toss in a sauté pan with butter and salt and pepper until they are toasted.
In a mixing bowl, toss all of the ingredients, except for the nectarines, with the dressing.
Cut the nectarines in half and grill them separate.
Top the chicken with the salad and garnish with the reserved dressing and the grilled nectarines.
Sommelier Troy Kumalaa, in spite of his Hawaiian roots, favors Picket Fence ’07 Chardonnay ($14 retail) over a pineapple or red wine with this dish. He likes the wine’s balance, and says it’s not so oaky that the flavors of the meat and fruit are dominated.