RM Seafood has been one of the top restaurants in Vegas since it opened almost a decade ago in the entrance to Mandalay Place (632-9300), largely because of visionary chef Rick Moonen’s ability to attract top talent and get his message out. The restaurant suffered a severe hiccup when his team, chef Adam Sobel and his pal, Gerald “the G-Man” Chin, decamped for new opportunities. But now it appears the restaurant has landed on its feet. The new chef de cuisine, Anthony Fusco, is manning the stoves and cooking with gas.
Several members of the Vegas food media (this reporter included) were invited to a dinner on April 29, where we got a chance to experience Fusco’s 220-802 test magical carin techniques. Two courses stood out: cobia crusted with black olive, pomegranate and cauliflower, and pan-roasted rabbit with pistachio and leek. This man, a New York City native, is a major talent, and Moonen has once again proven he has an eye for a good chef.
But that dinner didn’t have the imagination, pedigree or astonishing realization of one I ate at Twist, for a launch of Pride, Glenmorangie’s newest premium Scotch. It will be on the top shelves at a few Vegas bars to be named later, but at $3,600 retail, I predict it won’t be flying off them.
Twist by Pierre Gagnaire at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel (590-8882) is one of the most exclusive, creative restaurants not just in this city, but in the world. The great man himself was in from Paris for the launch dinner 220-802 exam and for Vegas Uncork’d, so he put together a wonderful menu including sautéed scallops and a mousseline flavored with fino sherry, and corn-fed chicken stuffed with pistachio and almond paste laced with Glenmorangie sauce, sage butter, spinach and eggplant.
Confirming a rumor, chef Joe Elevado, a Nobu alum with a Filipino background, has left his post as executive chef at Social House in Crystals at Aria. There and in Social House’s original location at Treasure Island, Elevado dazzled us with such dishes from his ancestral home as the crisp pork shank called crispy pata, lumpia (a kind of egg roll) and adobo, a vinegar-based stew.
Finally, the long-awaited Tivoli Village has opened at the crossroads of Summerlin’s Rampart Boulevard and Alta Road, an $850 million retail village affording lucky westsiders more shopping and dining options. Just a few of the restaurants there include Brio Tuscan Grille, Petra: A Greek Taverna and Leone Café. As reported by Vegas Seven in the March 31 wine issue, Ray Nisi of Double Helix Wine & Whiskey Bar at the Palazzo and the impending Double Helix Wine & Whiskey Lounge at Town Square will open his third and newest concept later in the summer, called Bottles & Burgers.