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22 Nov 2008

Rustica Restaurant, Seattle

If you are looking for a very quiet, romantic high end Northern Italian restaurant in Seattle, this is the one.

We had a terrific meal at Rustica last night. There are only about 15 tables in this quaint restaurant and only about five of those were occupied. The food, service and décor were all top notch. With the exception of the Italian background music, it was totally silent.

We could tell by ambient conversation that all the other tables were occupied by frequent diners who were clearly fans. These folks are in dire need of marketing.

Allyn had a pan seared Petrole Sole (the fish of the day), perfectly prepared with lemon and capers with a side of vegetables and homemade pasta. The fish is ideal for those who like it light and mild. It was preceded by a spinach salad which was fresh, crisp and delicious.

I led off with a Caesar salad which had their custom dressing. It had more garlic than is customary. It worked fine for me, but I’m not sure it was exactly a Caesar.

The highlight was my Chicken Puntinesca. The spicy tomato sauce was superb and worked great with the nice Cabernet. Their wine list is marginal at best.

True, things are tough out there in Seattle (and it was raining), but if they can’t get at least one full turn on a Friday night, then I wonder how long they will survive.

For more information, visit www.RusticaSeattle.com.









20 Nov 2008

Piero’s Restaurant in Las Vegas

Piero’s is the ultimate Las Vegas institution. You may find a restaurant with better food or better décor, but none will have better service, nor will any give a more enjoyable evening.

Everybody who is anybody in Las Vegas eats at Piero’s. If you are lucky enough to eat in the "A Room," you will be surrounded by the old time movers and shakers in Las Vegas, and/or their heirs.

They have many private rooms which can accommodate groups of almost any size, with as much privacy as desired. Rumor has it that the mob used to meet here frequently because it was considered safe, private, neutral ground.

Recently, Freddie Glusman (Piero’s high profile owner and host) has been spending more time in California than Las Vegas. His extremely capable son, Evan, is probably who will be there when you visit.

This restaurant has cachet like none other in town. The awards speak for themselves:

- DiRoNa (Distinguished Restaurants of North America) Award Recipient:  14 Years
- Zagat Survey: America's Top Restaurants:  9 Years
- Zagat Survey: "Best Italian Restaurant in Las Vegas":  10 Years
- Southern Nevada Hotel Concierge Association "Best Italian Restaurant":  10 Years
- American Academy of Hospitality Science Five-Star Diamond Award:  12 Years
- Wine Spectator:  5 Years

Visit Piero's at: www.PierosCuisine.com, or call 1.702.369.2305.  You will not regret it.

 









16 Nov 2008

Andre's French Restaurant

André Rochat, Chef/Proprietor of Andre's French Restaurant, has been Las Vegas’ marquis chef for decades --  long before all the big names from New York and Beverly Hills arrived on the scene. The original Andre's Restaurant is a 1980s renovated house in the downtown area. Almost three decades later, it is still fabulous.

Andre has now expanded to a namesake restaurant in the Monte Carlo and the eye popping Alize which is on top of The Palms. All are lovely. All are special. But, the Palms can be a bit too noisy for those of us who like their restaurants quiet. As such, we chose the original, which will be closing at the end of the year, but still brings fond memories. Andres at Monte Carlo is currently closed for renovation and will reopen early 2009.

Allyn’s Dover sole, the best she has ever had, was cooked to perfection with its juiciness and sauciness. I had a veal chop, which I normally associate with Italian food. However, this one was A+ and definitely had a French flair to it. The signature two pound lobster thermidor and foie gras also received rave reviews.

 









14 Nov 2008

Ago Restaurant, Again

We had such a good meal last week at Ago, in the Hard Rock Hotel, that we had to go back again to revisit. We were not disappointed whatsoever.

We tried totally different meals. Allyn went for the Caesar along with Chilean Sea Bass. I also had the Caesar followed by three Lamb porterhouse chops.

Although the salad was excellent, I would describe it as a bit more Italian than traditional Caesar. Taste is just right though. The fish was thick and moist as she likes it. The lamb was outstanding. Again the service was top notch.

They remembered us which is always nice. I wonder if it was because:  A) Las Vegas is a ghost town, B) Allyn is hard to forget, or C) we shared a bit of our premium wine with Emilio the sommelier.









11 Nov 2008

Ago Restaurant at the Hard Rock Hotel

Friday night four of us ate at Ago in the Hard Rock. The restaurant first started in Los Angeles ten years ago and has been quite popular ever since. As is often the case, it has a celebrity name behind it lending cache. In this case it is Robert De Niro.

We are talking gourmet authentic Tuscan-style Italian food conceptualized by restaurateur Agostino Sciandri. Everything was excellent – food, service and décor.

We had a wide range of items which included a signature peach martini which was a great start. Among many interesting items, there was a wild boar pasta, and a very creative goat cheese, beets, and arugula salad. I thought my chicken (although somewhat mundane) was the best item. Allyn had a “basic” capellini pomodoro, which was a good as she has had anywhere.

Interested? Check them out at HardRockHotel.com, or call 702.693.4440. You wont be dissapointed.