Wednesday, August 23, 2006
Vega$, Part 4; Emeril's Delmonico
Having been to Emeril's, and Emeril's Delmonico in New Orleans, and both of them being far superior to the classic institutions like Commander's Palace and Galatoire's, I knew we were in for a treat when we arrived at Emeril's Delminico in Las Vegas, inside the Venetian Hotel and Casino. The Delmonico's in New Orleans was really the highlight of that trip. The building was very old and charming, with beautiful brown/taupe fabric on the lower half of the walls, with crown molding everywhere. Very cozy, yet modern. And the food, of course was spetacular. In contrast, the Vegas outpost was surprisingly plain in design, with absolutely nothing adorning the walls, only the dim lighting. Absolutely packed (on a Monday night), and quite loud. Aside from the decor (or lack thereof), the only other missing ingredient were the black napkins. At both restaurants in NO, I was offered a black napkin to place on my black dress, which avoided leaving lots of unsightly white lint my dress. The food, luckily, was just as wonderful.
Our wait captain /host was a very charming, handsome young man named Robert. He guided us through the menu and wine list, and regularly checked in throughout the night, making sure everything was taken care of. We were also served by a waiter, and three runners. Just like Emeril's in NO (and all the restaurants we visited down there), the service was very attentive and accommodating.
The wine list was a notebook about one inch thick. I was very hard pressed to find a wine under $80. Scanning the pages, a good 80% of the wines were priced over $100, with many, many priced in the $200's, $300's and up. We found a nice Spanish Ribera del Duero for $40. It was the first properly chilled red wine I have had in a long time.
The kitchen sent out an amuse bouche of chicken on a fried wonton skin. Don't ask me what else was on it, it was too loud to hear the server and too dark too see it. But it was quite good, and a great little teaser.
The highlight of our meal was our shared appetizer, truffle potato chips. Very thinly sliced chips, doused with truffle oil, topped with Parmesan cheese. The best I have ever had, and probably the first time I have had a kitchen be more than generous with the truffle oil. The fumes rising up from the plate were heavenly.
I could have ordered another round just for myself, but I opted for the foie gras instead. The seared foie gras sat on a blue cheese turnover. Luscious meat-flavored butter (as I affectionately call foie gras), with blue cheese and puff pastry. Decadence, on top of decadence.
For my main I ordered another appetizer (although easily large enough to be a main course) of Oysters Bienville (actually a variation of the classic dish). Breaded and friend oysters with mushrooms, bacon, spinach parpardelle, and Herbsiant. The Herbsaint added just the slightest anise flavor, that complemented the oysters more than it drew attention to itself.
The only disappointment was the dessert. We ordered a bananas Foster ice cream pie, and it was just a bug hunk of banana ice cream. I should have just stuck to the complimentary birthday sorbet. But the Irish Coffees made up for it.