Crème de Tomates en Croûte
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Cream of Tomato Soup in Puff Pastry
Crème de Tomates en Croûte is a jaunty soup inspired by Bistro Jeanty, a charming French restaurant in Yountville, CA. Warm spices and smoky chiles elevate my humble tomato soup recipe. Crowned with a golden dome of buttery-flaky puff pastry…this is an elegant, yet easy first course for a dinner party or perhaps even Valentine’s Day?
We recently had an extraordinary dinner at their newly opened location in the Red Rock Casino…at what is widely agreed to be the best Thai restaurant in Las Vegas, Lotus of Siam.
Since 1999, Chef Saipin Chutima and her family have owned and operated this world-renowned restaurant. Chef Saipin’s cooking revolves around the Northern Thai recipes passed down from generations of her family. She received the coveted James Beard award for Southwest Region Chef in 2011.
Lotus of Siam’s 3rd location at Red Rock Casino Resort opened in November 2022, with Saipin’s daughter, Penny, at the helm. The design of the restaurant is casual yet breathtaking, and everything one would expect from a new Red Rock concept. Eater Vegas chose their Chiang Mai-inspired style as the Best Design of the Year.
The elevated food is obviously not your local hole-in-the-wall Thai menu (although there is nothing wrong with that!). And the award-winning wine list and service are impeccable. We enjoyed a bottle of the lovely HeavenSake with our meal.
We shared several dishes – all excellent – some highlights included Chilean Sea Bass with Sweet & Sour Sauce, Penny’s Ceviche, Garlic Prawns, and of course the Crispy Duck Panang.
By the way, their base sauce recipes are a secret. Only three people know the recipes according to Chef Saipin in the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Craving the exotic flavors of Lotus’s stellar dish, I set out to create my own version of Crispy Duck Panang.
Smoked Sablefish & Watermelon Radish
Masia El Altet Olive Oil
Capers, Lemon Zest, Red Onion, Beet Microgreens
Starting the New Year off with a deliciously vibrant and easy brunch! This super-delightful appetizer or brunch course is made with sliced smoked sablefish layered with crisp watermelon radish, dressed with the best olive oil.
It is garnished with capers, lemon zest, red onion, beet microgreens and a bit of fresh ground black pepper to finish. Served with a toasted poppy seed bagel on the side, the silky buttery fish is heavenly paired with the crunchy mildly-peppery radish.
Dine among scholarly opulence…all the books on all the shelves are real, and you are encouraged to take them off the shelf to peruse…while sipping on your favorite beverage or waiting for your dinner courses to arrive.
Monday nights are for library dining. The NoMad Roast Chicken is offered as part of a generous three-course curated dinner for two for $100. And if that isn’t enough of a great value, Mondays also feature half price select bottles from the wine cellar. (not valid on holidays)
Note that this NoMad roast chicken recipe is not the same as the famous New York original developed a decade ago by Chef Daniel Humm stuffed with foie gras and black truffles. It’s not nearly as fancy, it’s more rustic – with chorizo, saffron rice, and mushrooms – but still really quite exceptional!
The NoMad Library is a soaring space, inspired by the iconic Library of NoMad New York. NoMad is named for the neighborhood NOrth of MADison Square Park. The robust Las Vegas menu celebrates American classics in a grand and continental way. In addition to the chicken, another Specialty of the House for Two is an American Wagyu Prime Rib rubbed with porcini and black garlic.
Situated on the top four floors (29 through 32) of the former Monte Carlo Casino Resort building, the NoMad Hotel shares the space with its sister property, the Park MGM Las Vegas.
From the beautiful, luxurious ambience – to the impeccable, genial yet professional service – to the impressive dishes that well exceeded our expectations for a humble chicken dinner – the entire experience was fun, cool, and accessible. And those fabulous popovers were an outstanding surprise to boot!
NoMad Library Chicken Dinner – For Two $100
Truffled Deviled Eggs
crispy chicken skin & chive oil
The Roast Chicken
stuffed with lemon, rosemary, parmesan & brioche served with chorizo, saffron rice & mushrooms
malted-milk ganache with chocolate fondant & malt ice cream
The past month has been very special. We were celebrating birthdays, anniversaries, 15 years of Taste With The Eyes, 3 years of living in Las Vegas, and the Platinum Jubilee of the Queen (remembering my mother’s trip to London for the Coronation in 1952).
The highlight of our celebrations was an exquisite dinner at Joël Robuchon’s eponomous Three Michelin Star restaurant at the MGM Grand Las Vegas. The entire experience ranks as one of our finest meals, ever. It was French Perfection.
The “Chef of the Century” sadly passed away in 2018, but his restaurants certainly keep his artistry, passion, and spirit alive. A single framed photo of the late Chef graces the credenza at the entrance to the restaurant.
The world-class restaurants, with a concentration of the world’s best chefs, were one of the many reasons I was excited to move to Vegas. They are now just 21 minutes (get it?) from my house! Of all the great ones, Joël Robuchon at MGM Grand is the crown jewel.
The Pierre-Yves Rochon art-deco Parisian apartment décor is swathed in plush hues of purple. The space exudes the same type of elegance found on the plate — we were inspired to savor every moment with all the senses. Trolleys were overflowing with breads and cheeses and mignardises. The impeccable service, opulent décor, unparalleled brilliant dishes….all made for a truly unforgettable evening.
One of my most cherished creative outlets is to re-create historical events through food. Presidential Inaugural Luncheons in 2013 and 2017, Julia Child’s First Meal in France in 1948, and Dinner in Julia’s Cambridge Kitchen, are a few examples of many of my favorite re-creations. (See all the links below).
For this celebration, I am RE-Creating the restaurant in my home atelier and preparing a Salmon Crudo in a style in which I think the Chef would approve.