Winter at Paris, Ogden’s book at Caesars and value at Morels

Jean Joho’s Eiffel Tower Restaurant (948-6937) would probably fill its dining room serving oatmeal, so the fact that they have one of the best kitchens in the city feels like serendipity. Sitting at a window table, looking out at the Bellagio water show, the Paris balloon and the neon lights twinkling below remains one of the city’s great thrills.

Last week, I sampled a few dishes from the restaurant’s winter menu and found them completely great—warm lobster salad, a sautéed quail dish and venison chops with a buttery oatmeal cake and huckleberry sauce. Dessert was the lightest soufflé imaginable, but I’d also insist on apple strudel with cinnamon ice cream, a menu fixture.

Bradley Ogden was at his eponymous Caesars Palace restaurant recently (731-7410) to show off his new book, Holiday Dinners With Bradley Ogden: 150 Festive Recipes to Bring Friends & Family Together (Running Press, $18). As usual, rumors of the restaurant’s ultimate closure are still unsettled.

Hors d’oeuvres from the book’s recipes, including shrimp and corn fritters and Ogden’s famous cheese soufflé, were served, while the chef signed copies of the book and socialized. This is an elegantly produced book, with recipes that aren’t monstrously difficult for home cooks.

It required most of my resolve to resist the mini-servings of the restaurant’s amazing butterscotch pudding, but my resolve melted when a basket of hot blue corn muffins appeared. I had three before going elsewhere for dinner. Personally, I hope this place never closes.

In other Caesars Entertainment news, one of the most popular Chinatown restaurants, KJ’s Kitchen, is opening a sister branch at the Rio. The restaurant will serve dim sum from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., as well as many of the dishes that make it a favorite of visiting Chinese tourists.

Look for dishes such as XO salt and pepper crab, and stir-fried Mongolian beef. I’ll be surprised if dishes I normally order at the West Spring Mountain Road restaurant, such as concubine’s chicken and pea shoots, are available here, but who knows. The restaurant opens later this month.

Finally, through Dec. 23, Morels French Steakhouse & Bistro at the Palazzo is launching a terrific deal: a $39 prix-fixe menu with three excellent courses.

The menu offers hearts of Romaine salad with garlic Caesar dressing, a grass-fed New York sirloin with pesto-potato purée and a trio of vanilla bean, pistachio or caramel crème brûlées. I love grass-fed beef; not many places in Las Vegas serve this healthful, tasty alternative. Try it.

Hungry, yet?

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Behind the Stick


Behind the Stick

Walking in to P.J. Clarke’s in the Forum Shops at Caesars, your eyes scan the black-and-white photos that plaster the walls and the crisp white linens draped perfectly over the dark mahogany wood. With the dirty martinis and Manhattans sitting in front of the patrons at the bar, you’d expect a thick cloud of smoke and the smell of fine cigars—and there probably would be if it were allowed. Behind the 125-year-old carved, hardwood bar stands Woody Linihan.