Tuesday, September 4, 2012


3325 Las Vegas Blvd,South  ( Palazzo Hotel & Casino)
Las Vegas, Nevada
(701) 789-4141

When I was in Las Vegas this past February a few friends wanted to go for a good steak. In a city filled with great steak houses two options immediately came to mind; the Steak House at Circus Circus and Carnevino. Being a fairly regular visitor to Las Vegas I tend to eat around at as many different restaurants as possible and when it comes to steak these two are my favorites. My friends wanted to go to a top tier dinner, so the choice was clear dinner would be at Carnevino.

Prior to the trip I had contacted the restaurant for reservations and put in a request for one of the super long dry aged 'riserva' steaks. Due to quality control they can not guarantee that one will be available, which is a shame, however I will side with the chef for not putting the best quality food on the table. Unfortunately I learned on arrival that I would not be dining on the rare delicacy that so few restaurants offer.

After browsing the menu and deciding that we were all rather hungry, we all took a 4 course approach to dinner knowing that food would be coming home with us at the end of the night. For myself I started with jamon Ibericao di bellota, a delicious spanish ham. For the pasta course I opted for the Spago, with lamb ragu it was surprisingly good, to the point that I would come back and order just the pasta for dinner in the future. The steak I decided on was the "La Fiorentina" a rather large porterhouse for two that has been dry aged for about 60 days. Knowing we had an enormous amount of food coming the table decided to take our sides as a table, the bacon & garlic mashed potatoes were creamy and delicious (and even came with a baconless side dish for our non-pork eating friend *a supurb job by Braydon the waiter on picking up on this) the vegetables were there to supplement the dinner.
My steak arrived table side on a chopping block, our wonderful waiter cut the amazing piece of beef and suggested that a light drizzle of olive oil and touch of salt are all that is recommended as seasoning. I dove right in and started with the filet side of the steak, it was tender, juicy and delicious. I caught myself and decided that the strip side needed to be eaten as well, although it was a little tougher this would have made one of the best strip steaks I have eaten in recent years.  Overall the steak was superb, if your interested in a high end steak and have someone to share it with I highly recommend trying this little monster. 
The wine was a Shiraz, not the best choice but an interesting and delicious dry but still super flavorful option.

The service at Carnevino is what sets it above so many other top end steak houses in Las Vegas. The careful attention to details and attention to diner experience is why I chose to take my friends for an unforgettable dinner.

Maybe next time I will be lucky and get to try a 'riserva'.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Savoy Grill

The Savoy Grill
United Kingdom
 The grand entrance (photo from the savoy website)

One evening on a recent trip to London I was hungry and in the neighborhood so I decided to stop and see if I could get a seat at the Savoy Grill. Lucky for me they had room for one and I was able to sit down for dinner.

The service was great an international brigade of servers was top notch.

I ended up having just two courses, an appetizer of foie gras, and a main of the rib steak (suggested by my server).  The Foie was one of the best i've ever had, it was a large rectangular piece of deliciousness. A light pineapple sauce was just a perfect addition. As for the steak I was persuaded away from the porter house (a personal favorite) and tried the rib steak.  Having a North American palate is usually a deterrent Europe and Asia from ordering steak in general. Let me say this steak was incredible, it was  tender to the point I hardly needed a knife to cut it, it was one of the juiciest steaks I have ever had; although not what I am used to, grass fed beef jus is much different than corn fed. The flavor was a bit of a novelty for me, delicious different yet closely familiar.

As for the wine, I had a couple glasses of the malbac. it was a well matched glass.

The price was expensive, however London in general was expensive. In truth any good steak anywhere in the world would be in the similar price range.

The dining room has a great bit of charm, it is a historically styled yet classy room.
(Photo from the Savoy website)

Recommended to anyone passing through London. The service you get in this price range is as good as you will find.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Modernist Cuisine

I received my copy of Modernist Cuisine today (I think the UPS guy injured himself lugging the box up the driveway). I must say at first glace it is absolutely stunning, the size of the series is ambitious - at 40+lbs this is more than just a book. The photography is incredible, and the text attractive. I have started to read from section 1.1 history and it appears to be very readable for someone who knows nothing of food and cooking.

I decided to get my copy after visiting several kitchens and seeing the kitchen manual (volume 6) in several. I avoided the advice of a friend who said it may be a little bit much to comprehend and it would be difficult to create many of the recipes at home. I did this mostly because I want to learn about food, and after watching the trailer movies and reading some reviews, even if much of the food is unattainable for me to cook I can still have a better understanding of how and why it is made. As well my cooking skills can only go up from here.

I will cover this with a full review when I am finished reading.

Saison, San Fransisco

I have chosen a recent dinner as the first to review on my blog. It stands above many I have had and deserves the honor of being first.

Saison, San Fransisco.
415 828 7990
2124 FOLSOM STREET (@17th)

I learned about this place using the Michelin guide, as well as some reviews on Trip Adviser. After reviewing their website, I decided to go with the chef's counter option. They offer one menu nightly in the restaurant with several seating's, or a 20+ course meal in the kitchen. They do not publish any menu options so it's really up to the adventurous diner to try this gem of San Fransisco. I also found the pre-payment a little odd, however it is a revolutionary and great way to enjoy an evening.

On to the good stuff. Dinner started at 19:00, and lasted until 22:00 so it was indeed an evening event.

Starting with a house made soda to gently awaken your taste buds, we were off to the races. On this particular night there was 23 courses served, most were in the 3-8 bite size and all were meticulously prepared and for my personal palate I loved the whole meal. I do not want to spoil the surprise of what comes up for anyone because this is part of the charm of dining like this, so I will give a very broad overview and say there were some vegetable dishes, a brilliant salad (picture), egg, many fish, rabbit (picture), lamb, sorbet dishes were all part of the evenings events.As a precautionary note, almost every course came with a glass (well portioned) of wine, and one came with a taste of beer to pair with dishes.
(Rhubarb Soda)

The highlights for me included, a delicious grilled pea and parmesan soup, tuna marrow, aged tuna hams(picture below), and the slow cooked lamb over coals. But overall I did not dislike any dish served.

The restaurant is situated down an ally on Folsom St., most taxi's don't believe the address exists so it can be a little tricky to get to. Once you have arrived they have a lovely outdoor lounge where I was greeted with a glass of sparkling California Chardonnay. The dining room is small, and the kitchen is a wonderful experience to watch your food prepared in many different fashions. 

A lot of reviews complain of the $498 price for dinner, for me I'm on the fence. It is very expensive, yet there is not many places in the world to find a 20+ course meal any night of the week. The food and wine were spectacular and the experience of sitting in the kitchen of a Michelin star restaurant is amazing. I would highly recommend this as a stop, however I know it is not for everyone.

A new food blog.

Well I've decided to start a culinary journey, and share it with the world. I hope the blog world enjoys what I have to say. Feel free to say Hi and ask questions or help provide some answers.