The Year of the Anchovy, a Porn Star Brunch and a Vegas Pork Invasion

Michel's Deviled Eggs 2

Anchovy-topped deviled eggs at Central

I hereby declare 2014 to be year of the anchovy. The oft-reviled fish has been the butt of many a joke. (Nobody thinks that anyone ever really wants anchovies on a pizza, hence the use of “extra anchovies” as a euphemism for Patrick Dempsey’s pizza delivery/gigolo service in the 1989 film Loverboy.) Rebuked for being too fishy on their own, anchovies having long been used as an accent, packing an umami punch in items such as authentic Caesar dressing and Worcestershire sauce.

But I’ve learned to love the little suckers as they are—whole, briny, intense and packed with savory fishy flavor. And I’m ecstatic to find them on more menus here in town. The deviled eggs at Central (in Caesars Palace, 650-5921) come with half an anchovy atop each of them, adding another level of pungency to the yolk mixture.  The Spanish love their anchovies, and Jaleo (in the Cosmopolitan, 698-7000) presents them to guests among their other tapas, drizzled in olive oil and with a nice bite to them. The newly revamped Bartolotta Ristorante di Mare (in Wynn, 770-3305) is an anchovy advocate as well, offering a slightly wider version, dressed with a beautiful, fruity, extra-virgin olive oil. So yes, I would like extra anchovies, thank you.

They’re No Angels
Fellow Vegas Seven food writer Al Mancini hosts his annual Burning Angel Brunch on January 19 at Bar + Bistro (in the Arts Factory, 107 E. Charleston Blvd., 202-6060) to coincide with the AVN Awards/Adult Entertainment Expo. For a mere $50, you can hang out with Mancini, five porn stars, five courses and five cocktails. You’ll go to town on dishes such as Jessie Lee’s stacked pumpkin cakes, topped with warm maple syrup and whipped cream, Nikki Heart’s grilled fish taco and Draven’s double-sausaged egg, with chicken-apple sausage, sunny-side-up egg and romesco Hollandaise. New euphemisms noted.

All Hail the Prince of Porc
Las Vegas may get the All-Star Cochon pork extravaganza, but if you want to see how chefs become all-stars, you have to hit up one of the regional Cochon555 events. On February 23, the Strip’s own Brian Howard of Comme Ça at the Cosmopolitan and Jason Neve, culinary director of B&B Hospitality Group, head to Los Angeles armed with a 200-pound heritage-breed pig to compete for the title of Prince of Porc.

Howard, who was recently named corporate executive chef for David Myers’ Comme Ça Restaurant Group (Daniel Ontiveros takes over as chef de cuisine), has some fun ideas he’s tossing around for his menu, including a Coney Island dog made of a homemade hot dog, pig-face chili and pig-brain mustard—and quite possibly a pork-fat bun. Proof once and for all that you don’t always need bacon to make a dish better.


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