Desert Companion

The dish: Legends of the fall

The turn of seasons means impressive changes to some Strip menus

After experimenting through the long, hot summer, many Strip chefs have rolled out cool new autumn menus. Here are some tasty highlights from our recent foragings.


Kurobota Pork Duo


Chef Gerald Chin has done nothing but impress since beginning at StripSteak, and this is one of his best concepts. The first element of the duo is tenderloin, wrapped in bacon and stuffed with diced apple, Matsutake mushrooms and parsley. The second is braised belly, topped with a celery root “angel hair” and served with spiced, baked apple. The tenderloin is done to barely medium, leaving the moist, savory center with a bit of softness, the mark of a chef who knows how to handle good pork. Inside Mandalay Bay, 3950 Las Vegas Blvd. S.,


Tonnarelli with Crab


Carnevino excels at using great seasonal ingredients, and Chef Nicole Brisson has rolled out a big menu change that’s pushing its reputation even further. The long, thin tonnarelli pasta is done in a sauce that combines fresh Dungeness crab, some of the crab roe, a bit of puréed jalapeño and caramelized cipollini onions. The effect is a high-concept but balanced kaleidoscope of flavors: spicy, sweet and savory. It pairs perfectly with a glass of Bastianich Vespa, which brings out the crisp minerality of the crab. Inside the Palazzo, 3325 Las

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Vegas Blvd. S.,


Crispy Chicken

Rose. Rabbit. Lie.

Homespun favorites really sing when chefs like Wesley Holton take hold of them, and Southern-style fried chicken is no exception. Using Mary’s Chicken (known among gourmands as perhaps the best chicken source), Rose.Rabbit.Lie. marinates the breast in buttermilk and deep-fat fries it, plating it alongside a potato and scallion purée quenelle with Italian black truffle jus. Inside The Cosmopolitan Las Vegas, 3708 Las Vegas Blvd. S.,


Fall Salad

Le Cirque

New Chef de Cuisine Wilfried Bergerhausen’s first menu is full of dishes that combine seasonal cuisine with his Alsatian palate. Such as this salad: hearts of artichoke, avocado, thinly shaved aged parmesan and Iberico ham (prosciutto from a wild boar raised on mostly acorns), all tossed in a delicate Dijon-based dressing. This is topped with grated foie gras for a touch of savory richness. Inside Bellagio, 3600 Las Vegas Blvd. S.,

Le Cirque


Escargot pot pieEscargot Pot Pie

Comme Ça

The pot pie is a cool weather classic, and Comme Ça puts their inspired touch on it by loading tons of flavor onto a worthy workhorse, escargot.  After cooking the snails down with onions, mushrooms and root vegetables, they put it in an iron crock and bake a puff-pastry lattice onto it. They then go completely off the rails, pouring in a decadent sherry-and-foie gras cream sauce, loaded with fresh herbs. Inside The Cosmopolitan Las Vegas, 3708 Las Vegas Blvd. S.,


Muscovy Duck


At Pierre Gagnaire’s only restaurant in the Western Hemisphere, the food easily matches — and sometimes surpasses — that of Robuchon, Savoy and others. Take the Muscovy Duck. Barely medium rare and thinly sliced, the duck is served with cracked green peppercorns and a whiskey jus. Dotted about the plate are caramelized D’Anjou pear and pine nuts, all playing against the gamey flavor of the duck. On the side is an eggplant cannelloni filled with duck confit, wrapped almost like a dolma. All the major players in this dish are perfect examples of earthy fall flavors in fine balance. Inside the Mandarin Oriental, 3752 Las Vegas Blvd. S.,


SageAutumn Squash “Little Purses”


Inside the dumpling-like “little purse” is a purée of seasonal roasted squash and a small mix of root-vegetable mirepoix. They are covered in an absolutely addictive toasted-hazelnut brown butter sauce, and garnished with crispy duck confit (almost like a duck bacon), a few leaves of fried Brussels sprouts and a bit of crème fraîche foam on top. This dish was a collaboration between three great minds in the Sage kitchen: Executive Chef Richard Caramota, new Chef de Cuisine Christophe de Lellis (formerly a sous at Robuchon) and Sous Chef Emily Brubaker. Inside Aria, 3730 Las Vegas Blvd. S.,


Roasted Diver Scallops and Foie Gras


The sweet sea flavor of scallops with the rich, buttery, nuttiness of seared foie gras results in something that tastes almost like sea urchin.  Scarpetta pairs this with a great combination of a blini-size fluffy pancake and warm huckleberries. Huckleberries are a terrific fall ingredient, and their presentation with the scallop and foie gras works perfectly. Inside The Cosmopolitan Las Vegas, 3708 Las Vegas Blvd. S.,


DelmonicosPan-Seared Foie Gras


The seared slice of foie gras from Bella Farms is perched on top of a crisp, toasted slice of brioche, there to soak up the extreme goodness that is the sauce. Using apples from Gilcrease Orchard and honey from a Pahrump beekeeper, Chef Ronnie Rainwater builds a caramelized sauce right in the same pan the foie gras was seared in, so the rendered fat is incorporated into the sauce for a rich, sweet flavor. As always, the Whiskey Wizard behind the bar, “Mad” Max Solano, can whip up a truly inventive cocktail to pair with it. Inside the Venetian, 3355 Las
Vegas Blvd. S.,  



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