It’s a wonderful, whimsical world at Beauty & Essex (The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, beautyandessex.com). This is a place a girl like me can really sink her teeth into—the temptation of baubles and jewels in the pawnshop-inspired entrance leads to creations by chef Chris Santos and his team. The release of his first book, Share, is perfectly timed, as he also launched new shareable plates in his jewelry box–themed dining room. Among the culinary gems are the tuna Tataki with fresh and crunchy daikon slaw, ponzu vinaigrette and micro wasabi; steak toast seasoned with Malaysian spices, garlic, pickled radish and serrano pepper; a classic wedge salad topped with Point Reyes blue cheese, tomato and crispy pancetta; and the roasted lobster tail with Spanish chorizo, arancini and saffron.
The late chef Kerry Simon envisioned a gourmet oasis when he planned Carson Kitchen (124 S. Sixth St., carsonkitchen.com). The restaurant is also filled with his personal touches, including the “swear jar.” It’s easy to understand how quickly cash can accumulate when someone exclaims, “That tastes f#¢%ing awesome!” It’s exciting how Carson Kitchen has evolved, and now with the launch of new menu items, there are many reasons to go back. The BLTA, inspired by the way culinary director and executive chef John Courtney likes his sandwich—with avocado—is a refreshing salad of romaine hearts dressed with tomato vinaigrette. The Hobo Stew comes in a mason jar filled with a variety of ingredients, including shrimp, Andouille sausage and pickled okra. The Icelandic cod is soft and velvety in texture, with sweet citrus flavors and heat, garnished with fennel petals. For dessert, the honey cheesecake is a standout: It sits on a lavender leaf–infused shortbread crust drizzled with strawberry liqueur coulis. Devour this decadence alongside a bright and cleansing Pink Smoking Jacket cocktail, with a touch of mezcal, fresh lime, strawberry purée, orgeat and a splash of ginger beer.
So, are we ready for warm-weather cocktails? Boasting some of the city’s (and the nation’s) most talented bartenders and mixologists, The Palazzo and The Venetian recently showcased seasonal specialty libations. After tasting them, it’s safe to say they are as ready as we are for the temperature to go up. Delmonico Steakhouse features a whiskey sour called Country “Thyme” Lemonade, made with Belle Meade classic bourbon, ginger liqueur (which is delicious all by itself), citrus and thyme mix, lemon juice and egg whites. Buddy V’s Ristorante’s Melon Blossom, which, by the way, smells just like my favorite Japanese melon candy, is a summertime refresher made with melon vodka, elderflower cordial, orangecello, mint and cucumber. Yardbird’s Watermelon Sling features white whiskey, Aperol and fresh watermelon juice. Rock-star mixologist Juyoung Kang of The Dorsey showcases Leaving Tijuana—with tequila, lime, honey and smoked salt—which will have you coming back for a return visit real soon. The soon-to-open Chica’s summer cocktail of choice is F.W. Margarita (Fresno-
Watermelon). Shaken up with blanco tequila, orange bitters, fresh lime juice, Fresno chili syrup and just-pressed watermelon juice, it’s as fresh as a summer’s bumper crop. Cheers! 7
Marisa savors with all five senses. Read more at VegasSeven.com/DishAndTell or visit her blog LoveAndRelish.com.