Salute at Red Rock casino recently welcomed a new chef, Luke Palladino, to the restaurant. I was lucky enough to be invited to a tasting of the new menu. Since I’m in this casino almost every day (I’m actually typing this at Red Rock casino), I figured that I would check it out.
Media tastings come in different shapes and sizes so I wasn’t sure what to expect. This tasting was a fixed family-style menu. Each dish for the tasting was chosen by the restaurant. We were treated to 6 courses and 20 dishes. YOWZA! Now, this is a tasting!
We tried everything from a caciocavallo scaloppine to a delicious veal chop made with roasted sunchokes, wild mushroom-prosciutto and sage cream. The signature pasta was finished tableside on a wheel of cheese and was probably my favorite item on the menu.
My table at Salute was made up of mostly strangers who all got to know each other by sharing the family-style dishes. This tasting was a blast and reminded me how much I love to share meals with friends. It’s not only fun to share food but it’s often enjoyable to have a meal with a variety of different foods.
Not every restaurant offers this kind of a 20 dish tasting menu but in many restaurants in Las Vegas you can order so that you can sample and taste different foods during a meal. I’ve done this often throughout the year. Here are some examples of shared meals I’ve had with friends in Las Vegas over the years.
Cleo – SLS Las Vegas
The dishes here are perfect for sharing. There are many small dishes and shareable main courses. We ordered a couple different mezzes, meats, and flatbreads for the table. Not only was the food excellent but everyone was able to sample a few different flavors and dishes that might not have had the chance to if we ordered individually. The server was happy to help us order the correct portions to satisfy everyone who wanted to try certain dishes.
Rao’s – Caesars Palace
It helps to have a friend who speaks the language when visiting a true ethnic restaurant. My Italian-speaking friend ordered shareable portions for pasta, chicken and more for the table. Rao’s wasn’t offering a tasting menu when I visited. We all wanted to try different items on the menu. The restaurant was able to portion out dishes differently. They didn’t have to do much work and they made this table very happy.
Beauty & Essex – Cosmopolitan
The dishes here are intended to be shared so it was easy to try a lot of different food. A recent dinner with 5 here with friends bought seven or eight different dishes. Not only did we have a wide variety of flavors but we had a ton of food. This meal was much better and more fun than the traditional appetizer/main course meal I had on a previous visit.
Bazaar Meat – SLS Las Vegas
Bazaar Meat is billed as a steakhouse but it’s so much more. The menu is about 2 feet long and has way more dishes than you’ll find in most steakhouses. We stared and stared at the menu and couldn’t make a choice on what to eat. The server saw our lost eyes and offered to help. She asked for our budget and asked if there were any restrictions. We had a fantastic meal with about eight different dishes and included several different types of meat with a massive rib eye as the final main course.
Every meal included different people in each party trying dishes that they might not have ordered by themselves. I’m not adventuresome when ordering a single dish. However, I’ll almost always try something in a small portion.
Las Vegas restaurants often save their tasting menu for special nights. Recently Sushisamba at The Palazzo introduced their Japanese whiskey collection with a special pairing menu. Last year I visited Yardbird for their National Bourbon Month menu.
Everyone visits Las Vegas for a fun time. Sharing great meals with friends is just one way to start a great night out.
Marc Meltzer covers Las Vegas, gaming and men’s lifestyle for various outlets. Check out his blog at Edge Vegas.