Lazy Dog Opens Second Vegas Location

Lazy Dog opened its first Nevada location at Downtown Summerlin in April, 2015 and has now brought a second location to Town Square, a free-standing 8,362-square-foot building with a 1,787-square-foot dog-friendly patio with this new location marking its 20th restaurant. Owner Chris Simms met with media and said, “We don’t want to expand too fast and will only grow as long as we can make the guest experience better.” He explained that he came up with the concept while vacationing in Jackson Hole, WY and saw a dog lying by a fireplace and thought, “I wish everyone could enjoy life as much as that ‘lazy dog’ by the fire.” Simms added, “I wanted a place that was genuine and reflects me and my background.”

The décor cleverly ties in Simms’ family vacation memories with fireplace and generous use of wood and stone; playful touches inspired by man’s best friend such as paw prints on the ceiling; dog photos and paintings; and a dog-friendly patio and even menu items for your pup such as brown rice and hamburger patty.

The menu changes three times a year and Chief Culinary Officer Paul Muller took us through a tasting of the new fall/winter menu, including Sesame Ahi salad with mashed cauliflower from the Nutritious and Delicious menu, weighing in at 650 calories; hand-breaded Bone-In Pork Schnitzel; “fall-off-the-bone” Slow-Braised Lamb Shank; house-braised Lamb Ragu with noodles; Bacon-wrapped Bison Meatloaf; Chicken Curry Bowl; and Simms Family S’more-inspired by family time around the campfire, made with layers of chocolate fudge, graham cracker crust, peanut butter and warm brownie topped with a fire roasted housemade marshmallow and crushed peanuts.

As for the beer this restaurant group is known for, Simms said, “From day one it’s been our philosophy to support local beer.” He’s a man of his word, for the beer list contained brews from local breweries Bad Beat, Joseph James, Tenaya Creek and Sin City. In addition, there are brews made to their specifications by Golden Road Brewing including a very nice and creamy Lazy Dog Stout on nitro.

Hours are Mon.-Fri. 11 a.m.-midnight; and Sat.-Sun. 9 a.m.-midnight. Weekend brunch runs until 2 p.m. on Sat. and Sun.

Therapy Introduces New Executive Chef and New Seasonal Menu

The downtown restaurant scene continues to be invigorated with eclectic restaurants, such as Therapy at 518 Fremont St. in the heart of the Fremont East Entertainment District. The restaurant has introduced a new seasonal menu and new executive chef, Talen Lancaster. Chef came to Las Vegas in 2007 and attended the Las Vegas Cordon Bleu. After opening DB Brasserie at The Venetian and working at Comme Ça at The Cosmopolitan, he came over to Therapy in Nov., 2015 and now claims his first executive chef position.

Chef Lancaster treated us to a tasting of both signature menu items and new creations, all of which impressed me with superb, beautiful presentation and outstanding, rich flavors. He led off with two of the restaurant’s permanent menu signature dishes: a very rich and savory Artichoke Crab Dip topped with Parmesan and served with gluten-free blue corn tortilla chips which I was not surprised to learn is the restaurant’s #1 seller; and a trio of chorizo, vegetarian and oxtail empanadas served with a spicy harrisa lime sauce. Chef’s new Beet Salad was so colorful and nicely arranged it was a work of art, with a combination of roasted baby beets, red beet puree, candy stripe beets, hearts of palm, lemon ash fluid, goat cheese and hazelnuts which made the flavors pop. I was also wowed by his Fried Mac and Cheese Croquettes—deep fried white cheddar, bacon-tomato jam and Sriracha aioli that was a wonderful mix of textures and flavors. Without question my favorite dish was the orange ponzu-glazed Braised Pork Belly served with baby bok choy and farro enlivened with a port reduction sauce. A close second was the very tender Filet Mignon topped with onion jam and served with marble potatoes. Our meal was completed with Macadamia Nut Cheesecake with a nice crunch from the nuts contained in the crust and Chocolate Souffle Cake infused with Four Roses Bourbon and served with crème Anglais and fresh raspberries and blackberries.

Bartender Kimberly Pen kept us refreshed with a Pumpkin S’mores Cocktail that she has yet to find anyone who didn’t like it. We certainly weren’t about to be the first, as the mix of Godiva Chocolate Liqueur, pumpkin puree, Kahlua and Scotch were indeed heavenly. We also were enticed with a well-rounded craft beer selection with more than 70 choices, such as the locally-made Tenaya Creek Native Wit, which one of the restaurant’s bartenders helped brew.

I have no doubt that Therapy is in quite capable hands with Talan Lancaster in the kitchen and a visit to Therapy will be good for whatever ails you, as you will surely leave in a better mood than when you arrived.

Charlie Palmer Steak Unveils New Look,
New Chefs and New Menu

Charlie Palmer Steak opened at the Four Seasons in 1999 and after a recent remodel, last month Chef Charlie Palmer hosted a media dinner to give us an opportunity to check out the restaurant’s new look, new seasonal menu, to meet newly appointed Executive Chef Thomas Griese and Pastry Chef Kristen Hutton and two Master Sommeliers leading renewed wine programming.

The changes to the décor were done by local Innovatino designer Nancy Paolino, who added bright red and soft blue hues on the new furnishings, large-format black and white metallic photography of desert nature scenes by Eric Buechel and a new open façade at the entrance to the restaurant’s lounge.

Chef Thomas Griese has an extensive fine dining resume, having spent time earlier in his career at both Bouchon and Le Cirque in Vegas, and worked under Michael Mina at both Michael Mina 74 in Miami and at Mina Test Kitchen in San Francisco. Speaking about working for Chef Palmer he said, “Charlie’s an amazing chef. Years ago I picked up some of his books and said one day I want to work for this guy.”

Also new in the kitchen is Pastry Chef Kristen Hutton, who refined her classic baking and pastry technique at Palmer’s other Las Vegas restaurant, Aureole.

The dinner was paired with wines selected by Steven Geddes MS and Lindsey Geddes MS, who are the world’s only married Master Sommeliers! Steven is Corporate Director of Operations and Lindsey manages the restaurant’s acclaimed wine list.

Our multi-course feast began with Andalusian Gazpacho made with Persian cucumber, baby tomato, bell pepper, toasted crouton and lemon oil powder paired with Lemaire, Rosé de Saignee, Hautvillers, Brut Rosé MV, which Lindsey said is from a small producer new to the US market which has a bit of the grape’s skin left on to give it a red hue.

Chidaine, Clos Baudoin, Vouvray Sec, Loire Valley 2005 was matched with Sashimi of Hamachi with hearts of palm, stonefruit, umeboshi-lime vinaigrette and olive oil caviar; Fall Endive & Burrata with frisée and beet vinaigrette; and Artichoke Caesar Salad with piquillo pepper, nicoise olive, artichoke barigoule, parmesan regganio.

White Miso Black Cod with sake-cured ikura, watermelon radish and lotus root croquant was paired with Trisaetum, Riesling, Coast Range, Willamette Valley, Oregon 2014, which Steven said is the best American Reisling he has ever tasted.

Housemade Cavatelli with duck confit, chanterelle mushroom, fall squash and pumpkin seeds was matched with Charlie Clay Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, California 2014, a wine produced by Chef Palmer himself. Chef Palmer said, “When I moved to California my dream was to make wine on my property, and to make a good food-friendly wine. The 2015 vintage will be our 10th vintage and it recently won a blind tasting of 60 Pinot Noirs.”

Chef Selection of Meats and Sides included Prime USDA tomahawk, 30-day dry-aged center cut ribeye, Prime porterhouse, charred NYC-style and Japanese A5 ribeye from Japan’s Kagoshima Prefecture; sides of soy caramel African-spiced street corn, crispy cauliflower romesco, truffles mac + cheese, potato gratin and short rib kimchi fried rice; and paired with a New World wine—Arnoux Roberts, Cabernet Sauvignon, Clajeaux, Chalk Hill, Sonoma County, California 2013—and one from the Old World—Chateau Vignot Saint-Emilion, Grand Cru 2005, which Lindsey described as “big, soft and luscious.”

The finale was Chef Hutton’s turn to shine, and she certainly did with a dessert trio of Mudslide Brownie with Kahlua Anglaise and milk chocolate fudge; Brown Butter Apple Pie with caramel crème fraiche ice cream and cranberry coulis; and Marbled Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake with buttered popcorn ice cream and cornbread crumble.

Throughout the dinner Chef Palmer lent a personal touch, helping to serve. And, as he is known to do, he generously gifted each of us with our choice of one his personally autographed cookbooks. Needless to say we all left pleasantly full and impressed with every aspect of the dining experience. Here’s to wishing Chef Palmer another 17 years and more of continued success and culinary brilliance.