MRKT at Aliante Casino + Hotel + Spa Offering the Best of the Sea and Land

This classy restaurant has been open since the Aliante resort opened in 2008, which in this town with a revolving door of openings and closings, you can say it has stood the test of time. Located just off the casino, the beautiful room with rich mahogany accents, lavender and olive green hues, a sleek circular bar, outside patio and comfortable banquettes with pillows manages to come off as elegant and classy while still imparting a casual and relaxed vibe.

The menu is split between gems from the sea and land, giving equal billing to both. Carnivores have choices of filet mignon, ribeye, New York, porterhouse, prime rib, short rib and double cut pork chop. Seafood lovers can revel in seared ahi, catch of the day, salmon, sautéed scallops, shrimp scampi, Alaskan king crab and lobster; the chilled seafood platter with lobster, Alaskan king crab, lump crab, shrimp and oysters; or the best of both with surf and turf and steak toppings of king crab, lobster or lump crab.

Like all of Aliante’s restaurants, fresh produce is sourced from Cowboy Farms and fruit from Gilcrease Orchard, grown just a few miles away, and herbs grown in a glass enclosure at the entrance of MRKT are picked by the restaurant chefs for use in their recipes. The freshness was clearly evident in the strawberry & spinach salad with gorgonzola and candied walnuts I enjoyed, and in the side of rich and creamy butternut squash gratin.

Your meal can be complemented with an impressive selection of beer, wine and spirits. A 5,000 bottle wine cellar contains 300 labels and 20 wines available by the glass; 70 whiskey, Scotch and bourbon selections are available in 1 or 2 oz pours and flights; and 32 craft beer choices include the likes of locally-brewed Joseph James Hop Box and Citra Rye. Finishing touches are giant ice cream sundae, crème brûlée, berry bowl w/sweet cream, New York classic cheesecake and chocolate ganache tart.

Specialty Restaurant Operations Manager Joe Landolfi says 75% of the clientele are repeat customers with some guests stopping in as many as five nights a week. Judging from my stellar dining experience and the moderate prices it’s no mystery as to why.

Also worth mentioning is the resort’s ongoing jazz concerts, one of the few venues in the Valley to do so. Coming up are Naturally 7 on Sept. 19, Peter White on Sept. 26, Warren Hill on Oct. 3 and Michael Franks on Oct. 17. The concerts are held in its state-of-the-art Access Showroom and also poolside under the stars during the warmer months.

MRKT is open for dinner nightly from 5 p.m. and live music occurs in the bar on Fri. & Sat. To view the complete menu, go to www.aliantegaming.com/restaurants/mrkt.

Therapy Ignites Downtown Dining Scene

The downtown restaurant boom continues to be invigorated with new openings helmed by some of our city’s most talented chefs. The new kid on the block is Therapy, with Chef Daniel Ontiveros, who most recently wowed us when he was the executive chef at Comme Ca. Located at 518 E. Fremont in the heart of the Fremont East Entertainment District, Daniel’s ingredient-driven menu features unique and extremely savory dishes, such as In The Gnudi—baked ricotta loaded with truffle honey, fig jam and roasted almonds; Chicken and Red Velvet Waffle Slider with a with a red pepper remoulade slaw; Oxtail Empanadas served with a harissa lime crème fraîche; Mixed Mushroom Flatbread enhanced with bacon, caramelized onion and soft poached egg; the very rich Hangar Steak Tartar topped with egg yolk and parmesan; and creative desserts like Cast Iron S’Mores with graham cracker crust and bacon added at no additional charge. Pair them with signature cocktails, such as the best-selling “Smash,” with Four Roses bourbon, blackberries, fresh mint and sweetened lime; a massive craft beer selection with more than 70 choices, many of which are not found everywhere else; a large wine menu; and house-made sangria.

The restaurant’s eclectic décor is very classy, with an upscale comfortable urban chic feel, accented with wood floor, large windows, high ceiling with the original cross beams of the 1952-built building, comfortable banquettes and couches with pillows and an upstairs loft that is perfect for private functions. On weekend nights the venue is transformed into a nightlife destination with live music, DJs and dancing. Therapy is open daily for lunch and dinner till midnight Sun.-Wed. and till 2 a.m. Thu.-Sat. www.therapylv.com

Lazy Dog Unveils New Menu Items

Lazy Dog in Downtown Summerlin unveiled several new menu items and was nice enough to share a sampling of them with us, including Chicken Chile Verde Nachos; Ceviche Tostadas; Wild Arugula Foldover Pizza my favorite; Pepperoni, Red Onion and Black Olive Pizza; Fennel Sausage, Goat Cheese and Mushroom Pizza; and creative cocktails including the refreshing Pineapple Mojito and spicy hot Mango Jalapeno Margarita.