Amid a season where turkey, ham and prime rib tend to dominate menus, it’s time to appreciate a great piece of fish. And despite our desert location, we are able to get some of the best seafood from around the world, which is now waiting to be dressed according to your preference.
Wynn’s Lakeside Grill (702-770-3310) has been importing much of its catch direct from a small batch of fishing boats in Hawaii, and even had fisherman Greg Lind in a few weeks ago to see where his hard work ended up. Lind is responsible for beautiful specimens, such as the line-caught opakapaka (pink snapper), uku (blue-green snapper) and monchong, a.k.a. pomfret—they’re referred to by their Hawaiian names on the menu so you can make a connection with their provenance—all of which are out of the water less than 24 hours before they arrive at Lakeside. And once they make it to dry land, they’re ready to be prepared with your tastes in mind.
Once the skin of the fish gets all crispy from being seared and roasted in a pan, it can be adorned with influences from around the world. Those with a craving for Asian flavors can opt for pickled Japanese vegetables, yuzu, grilled onions and soy, while the Mediterranean is represented by an artichoke, celery, oregano and tomato vinaigrette. The opakapaka and uku are light and clean, the perfect pairing for citrus segments, herbs and extra virgin olive oil.
The fish from Emeril’s New Orleans Fish House (in MGM Grand, 702-891-7374) come from a variety of sustainable sources as well, including loup de mer from Greece, wild caught striped bass from Virginia and rainbow trout from Idaho. Ahi tuna and butterfish come in from Hawaii. Emeril’s takes a slightly different approach to this mix-and-match method: Guests can request their fish to be pan-seared, grilled or steamed in a banana leaf, and all are served with oven-roasted tomatoes, lemon, herbs and sea salt.
But it’s the assortment of accompanying sauces that add that extra “Bam!” for which Emeril is known. Interesting combinations such as lemon verbena Bernaise, citrus anchovy vinaigrette, and herb and caper Beurre blanc are big hits with diners, who can opt to have the sauces on the side or have the kitchen dress the fish with it. And don’t be shy if you can’t make up your mind about which sauce sounds best; plenty of folks have been known to order more than one to customize the fish themselves.
So, why are you still looking for other fish in the sea?