Rick Moonen’s new Rx Boiler Room is the main dining review this week, but the chef also recently took part in one of the best—and most important—dinners I ate this year. Mary Sue Milliken and her partner chef, Susan Feniger (a.k.a. the Too Hot Tamales), hosted a Trash Fish Dinner at their restaurant Border Grill (in Mandalay Bay, 632-7403) along with chefs Mike Minor, Michael Leviton and Jet Tila.
What made it so important? Moonen, as we all know, is a consultant at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, an organization responsible for Seafood Watch, which tells us which fish we should and should not be eating. “Trash fish” is a term that refers to fish less desirable in the market place, but no less delicious.
The multicourse affair featured grilled baby Romaine with sardine croutons, by-catch bouillabaisse by Moonen, sea robin ceviche and Passmore Ranch smoked sturgeon, along with terrific hors d’oeuvres and Jet Tila’s chocolate mint snow cream, which we can also eat at his new dessert emporium, Kuma Snow Cream (3735 Spring Mountain Rd.).
For more information about Seafood Watch, go to MontereyBayAquarium.org. And don’t buy Atlantic salmon, blue-fin tuna or imported swordfish, much less order them in restaurants.
In the same vein, buying local is always a good thing, especially when a local producer such as Hans Hippert is involved. I recently had the good fortune to discover JoJo’s Jerky at 3410 Spring Mountain Road, Suite F2 (812-2457). Hippert makes—and I’m not exaggerating—just about the best beef jerky I’ve ever tasted: tender, full of spice and of top-drawer quality. Varieties include Caribbean, turkey, beef teriyaki, wasabi horseradish and Hell on Earth (seriously). They are available at our local farmers markets, First Friday and online at his website, JoJosJerky.com. He also makes terrific spice rubs, most priced at $8 for slightly less than 4 ounces.
On the Strip, two upscale restaurants are offering new dining options that won’t break anyone’s bank. Nobu in Caesars (731-7110) has rolled out a $90 teppanyaki menu with Madagascar prawns and jidori chicken that is considerably less than the one it offers at $280. And over at Eiffel Tower in the Paris (948-6937), chef Joho has added a new late lunch menu served from 2-4 p.m. that includes items for less than $20, such as a French BLT tower and roast chicken sandwich gougere.
Finally, for those denizens of Green Valley—and that includes me—with nowhere to go during the wee hours, Elixir (2920 N. Green Valley Pkwy.) is headed your way mid-September in a space that has housed several unsuccessful restaurants, most recently Daddy Mac’s. The restaurant/lounge will be open 24/7, serving breakfast, flatbreads, burgers and entrées, such as fish and chips, chicken roulade and beef Stroganoff. One interesting facet is the 3-6 a.m. late-night happy hour, featuring $4 appetizers, $5 wines, $3 beer and a number of other surprises.
Follow Max Jacobson’s latest epicurean observations, reviews and tips at VegasSeven.com/Blogs.