Good news From downtown: We’re glad to hear that former Mayor Oscar Goodman will open his own steak house, Oscar’s, downtown at the Plaza in late fall. It will feature a domed entrance and lots of memorable photos from his tenure. It’s safe to say that the former mayor, who keeps kosher, won’t be having sour cream and bacon with his baked potato.
I was recently on a tour of Canadian National Parks in the province of Alberta, after which one of our editors inquired what I eat when in the wild. I generally rough it with tasting menus at places such as Tekarra Lodge, the fanciest restaurant in Jasper, where chef David Husereau prepares an extensive menu of dishes like sous-vide venison and Arctic char with a wild spinach and a maple sweet-potato accompaniment.
But sometimes, it comes down to elk jerky bought at roadside stands, or poutine, the Canadian national dish, which is basically french fries, cheese curds and brown gravy. You can buy this at many McDonald’s in Canada, but I prefer the one done at Au Pied de Cochon in Montreal, which adds foie gras to the mix. And in a pinch, I’ll eat trail mix. Yuck!
Back in civilization, there’s an ever-spinning plate of new happenings on the local food scene. The Venetian’s ridiculously eclectic Grand Lux Café, for instance, has just added 25 new items to their already outsize menu, such as a macaroni and cheese skillet, a wood-grilled pork chop, and a delicious butterscotch caramel pudding for dessert. I think of this as a sort of big brother to the Cheesecake Factory, its parent company.
Over at the Silverton, Daniel Pfeiffer, a native of Germany who has stints in Sweden, France and Switzerland on his long résumé, is the new executive chef. I greatly enjoyed his homemade sausages and smoked pork that he did for Oktoberfest while running the kitchens at Boulder Station, and I am looking forward to whatever surprises he will be unveiling this fall.
Regarding wine matters, Andre Rochat’s two Vegas restaurants, Andre’s at the Monte Carlo (798-7151) and Alizé at the Palms (951-7000), have just launched a system called Smart Cellar, technology that allows guests to choose a wine from an iPad. Wines are searchable by name, varietal, region and price, and updates are made in real time.
Finally, Ellis Island (733-8901) is hosting a Hatch chili roast from 6-10 p.m. Aug. 20. Three food trucks—Lulu’s on the Move, Sloppi Jo’s and Snow Ono Shave Ice—will feature special menus honoring Hatch, New Mexico’s claim to fame. Green chili beer from the casino will be proffered as well as prizes from Yelp.com.