Under-the-radar Roe, savoring soft-shell season and news from chef-preneurs

One of our best chefs currently flying under the radar is Sean Roe at Emeril Lagasse’s Table 10 at the Palazzo. Lagasse handpicked Roe to be chef here after Jean-Paul Labadie’s departure, and he’s justified all the faith his boss had in him. No place on the Strip is more underexposed.

I first met this Albany, N.Y., native at Hank’s, where he opened as executive chef. That was followed by a long stint at Delmonico. His creamed corn and amazing steaks have always impressed me, and he has changed the menu around quite a bit at his new posting.

A sumptuous recent dinner here began with perfectly battered smelts from the Great Lakes, candied bacon from New Hampshire’s North Country Smokehouse and a classic frisée salad with a poached Glaum Farm egg. As with all young, hip chefs, product is king, and a source of pride in the kitchen.

Would that Roe would bring back my favorite dish here, rotisserie lamb. But he says Americans just don’t order lamb that way. What a pity. Luckily, there are entrées such as Hawaiian-style snapper, lobster spaghetti and a Creekstone Farms aged rib-eye for consolation. Everyone gets Emeril’s famous, three-tiered banana cream pie for dessert. Call 414-1000 for a reservation.

When I mentioned the excellent pizza at Aurelio’s, a small chain that started in Homewood, Ill., a few weeks back, I neglected to mention the branch at 445 W. Craig Road (399-3131). I have friends who fly in this pizza from Chicago, so North Las Vegas ain’t that far.

Being a denizen of Green Valley, I often visit King’s Fish House at the District (835-8900) for sand dabs, a fish almost impossible to find elsewhere around here. Now, King’s is going Atlantic on us. Between now and September, the restaurant is doing riffs on soft-shell crab, delicious creatures that molt their hard shells in the hot months so that we can eat them whole. There will be Maryland soft-shell crab sandwiches, a piccata-style preparation, soft-shell tempura and Southern-fried soft shell served with rémoulade, cole slaw and fries.

In unrelated news, chef and cookbook author Scott Linquist has left his post as corporate chef for Dos Caminos, reportedly to open a small restaurant of his own in New York. It remains to be seen if a change in the kitchens here will take place.

Finally, Julie Anne Hession, the resident entrepreneur behind Julie Anne’s All-Natural Granola (JulieAnnes.com), has just launched her fifth delicious flavor, Decadent Raspberry Truffle, to go with the others: Tropical Bliss, Berry Yummy PB & J, Maple Blueberry and Sweet Citrus. The granolas are available at Whole Foods Markets.

Hungry, yet?

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The French Connection

The French Connection

Restaurant owner Olivier Brouillet’s secret weapon may be his smile. Immediately upon walking into the Baguette Café (8359 W. Sunset Road, 269-4781), his thick French-accented greeting and warm grin begin to work on you. The aromas emanating from the small kitchen will tip you off that this isn’t a typical deli. Making it all the sweeter, you begin to sense that you are among the first to discover this hidden gem, surrounded by an office complex off Raphael Rivera Way in southwest Las Vegas. This isn’t an eatery that you will just happen upon.