photo courtesy Boteco

Boteco: a meeting place for friends, family and great food

The name Boteco derives from a Brazilian, local no-frills meeting place for friends and family where great food, drinks and quality conversations are dished out plentifully. In the case of the Boteco eatery on Eastern and Richmar, the no-frills only applies to the relaxed ambience you’ll find, but the food and wine is anything but no-frills. Owners Marcus and Alessandra Fortunato, a lovely couple who have been married for 20 years, know a thing or two about Brazil, as both grew up in the South American country known for its vibrant culture and love of sharing food with friends. But thinking this restaurant is all about Brazilian food would be a mistake, as its varied small plates menu is influenced by the world travels of its owners. 

As soon as you walk in you will get a feeling for something else that is important here: wine. Two wine bottle chandelier lights, each containing 40 wine bottles, are a focal point, but the wine menu containing high quality wines from around the world at quite reasonable price points all under $50 a bottle (easily 50% below what other restaurants would charge) and all served by the glass (ranging from $6-15) should keep any serious oenophile happy, or anyone who just wants to enjoy a nice glass of wine without bankrupting their pocketbook. While the wine list is not extensive, all of the choices are superior, such as the 2015 Fattoria di Rodano Chianti Classico from Italy, 2012 Montaña Rioja Crianza Temprannillo from Spain and 2014 Edge Cabernet from Napa I enjoyed. Full disclaimer: I am a beer guy, and although they only offer two beers, they are none other than Czechvar (from the Czech Republic) and Estrella Damm (from Spain), two outstanding lagers which go for the ridiculously low price of $2 and $3 respectively for a 10 oz. pour (the standard serving size in Brazil). 

On to the food, which as mentioned previously is a blend of worldwide cuisine, with options from several countries and cuisines served in shareable plates. The menu may change daily, but hopefully you’ll get to enjoy some of the favorites we did: such as Botequito Sliders made with house-ground beef & bacon, caramelized onion, bacon jam and aged mozzarella topped off with quail egg; Moqueca de Camarao—shrimp in Brazilian Dende sauce, coconut milk and vegetables and cashew white rice; Escargot Bordelaise with red wine butter sauce; and Chicken & Mash—braised chicken; and Pampas Steak Churrasco with chimichurri sauce. Final touches include Caramel Budino—caramel toffee-vanilla custard with crunchy fleur de sel and Brigadeiro Beast—slowly cooked condensed milk with Brazilian Nescau chocolate and rice crispy beads. 

Other options include Sunday Brunch from 10-4 with more than 16 dishes priced from $11-16 like Hennessy Shrimp & Grits, Duck Sausage & Sweet Potato Hash and Mussels & Clams Marinieres; and a monthly wine tasting featuring a different region each month. 

The price points are incredible for the quality and it’s not surprising that many customers come in and say, “Feed me,” trusting their server to choose delights for them. Fortunately for us, the owners are not all about making huge profits, but are all about creating a comfortable hangout that you will want to frequent again and again. For as Marcus says, “This is where 100% of my stress goes away and where I have fun.” 

Boteco is open Tue.-Sat. for lunch and dinner and Sunday from 10-4 and is located at 9500 S. Eastern Ave. #170 at Richmar just south of the 215 Freeway. Another perk is the outdoor dog-friendly patio.

702-790-2323 | botecolv.com

courtesy of MGM Properties

BARDOT Brasserie Now Serving Lunch

Michael Mina’s BARDOT Brasserie at Aria has been open since early 2015, wowing us with its superb French cuisine. Now we have more reasons to be wowed, as the eatery is serving a weekday lunch service and brunch on weekends. New menu items include steak tartare, king crab, ME lobster, Prime rib French dip, wild mushroom stroganoff, chicken cordon bleu and steak frites (with truffle fries!). Prices are a big drop from what you’d pay for dinner and range from $17-23 for starters, $19-26 for sandwiches and $20-29 for entrees. A nice deal is the Power Lunch, which for $37 gets you choice of escargots, salade verte or onion soup gratinee; and Prime rib French dip, chicken cordon bleu or Mediterranean sea bass. Dessert of chocolate macaron, seasonal fruit or mille fuille are an additional $4.

aria.com/en/restaurants/bardot-brasserie.html 

photos courtesy Americana

Americana Serving Sunday Brunch 

The picturesque Americana restaurant located on the bank of Lake Jacqueline in Desert Shores has established itself as not only one of the best restaurants in Southern Nevada, but was recently selected as one of the Gayot 2017 Ten Best New Restaurants in the US. We also extolled the outstanding cuisine and culinary mastery of acclaimed Chef/Owner Stephen Blandino as we featured Americana as the cover feature of our June 2017 issue (lvfnb.com/issue/06/2017). As if we didn’t already have enough good reasons to dine at this stellar dining establishment, now we have another: Americana is now offering an all-you-can-eat butler-style brunch every Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

A wide selection of chef/owner Stephen Blandino’s signature creations are served, with more than 15 items, and butler-style means you never have to leave your seat as everything you desire to indulge in is brought to you by your server. The brunch includes dishes such as Merlot-poached pear tartare with red flame grapes and oak leaf lettuce, eggs Benedict with short rib, spiced lemongrass mussels, chocolate chip pancakes with toasted meringue and chocolate sauce, shrimp and grits topped with brandy reduction, carne asada fries with flat iron steak and melted cheese, beet-infused deviled eggs topped with cured salmon and fennel, chicken and waffles with bourbon maple syrup, grilled portobello with chimichurri, forged mushrooms and San Marzano tomato-topped flatbread, ricotta and fig toast with strawberry balsamic and arugula and butternut squash hash with farm egg and pimiento espelette. The unlimited brunch is priced at $42 per person, with the option of adding bottomless mimosas or bloody Mary’s for an additional $17. The price is quite a bargain when you consider not only the quantity, but the quality offered in each dish, which are also presented beautifully and are a veritable work of art, with multi-hued splashes of color on the plate and a mix of textures. 

photos courtesy Sheridan Su and Neon PR

Flock and Fowl Comes to Downtown at The Ogden 

Sheridan Su, who gained notoriety after being featured on Guy Fieri’s Diners Drive-Ins & Dives, just recently was nominated for a 2018 James Beard Semifinalist for the Best Chef West Award (considered to be the Academy Awards of the culinary world). The Culinary Institute of America graduate and former Comme Ca executive chef and his wife Jenny Wong are a power couple who have established themselves as highly successful restaurateurs and were named “Restaurateurs of the Year” by NPR’s Desert Companion magazine in 2017. After operating a successful food truck they opened a restaurant in the Eureka Casino, Fat Choy, and in addition now have two locations of Flock & Fowl, a concept Su originally designed to make wholesome food for their son and also to introduce the Hainanese chicken rice, a southern China dish he fell in love with three years ago while visiting his grandmother in Taipei. The original location is on W. Sahara and the new location brings their popular cuisine to Downtown, as it is situated in The Ogden building at Las Vegas Blvd. and Ogden, in the former location of Itsy Bitsy.

The new 2,500-square-foot location is graced with large windows allowing natural light, an industrial ceiling with Edison lights and decor combining modern and old world sensibilities through an Asian tinge, with black-stained reclaimed woods and copper accents. It also features an expanded menu and longer hours. In addition to its staple Hainanese chicken rice—poached chicken with rice cooked in chicken stock, served with an assortment of house-made condiments, including chili, soy and ginger-scallion sauces with house made chili sauce—dishes include kaya toast with southeast Asian coconut egg jam; chicken wings with angry sauce made with fermented sweet chili; curry laksa coconut noodle soup, an Indonesian dish with prawns and chicken and broccoli; and black cod with Thai corn chowder, confit potatoes and truffle oil. Emphasis is on making everything from scratch and using natural, organic, pure and fresh ingredients and sourcing local purveyors as much as possible, including two different house-made soy sauces. 

I highly recommend saving room for the freshly baked cast iron chocolate chip cookie, named for the vessel it’s baked and served in, topped with vanilla ice cream and miso caramel sauce.

Heading the bar program is our own LVFNB Pro Beverage Editor Adam Rains, who created the cocktails and shares the philosophy of using organic sustainable products as much as possible, including spirits from distilleries that are eco-friendly. The fun named Flocktails include his Le Grand made with Absolut Elyx, Le Grand Courtage sparkling wine, lime, honey and bitters garnished with a basil blossom; and Pine N Dandy, a variation on a Negroni with the Greek Skinos Liqueur, Tanqueray 10, Amaro Del Capo, Cynar and spruce tips. Adam also knows beer and has compiled a worthy list of notables you won’t see elsewhere which he has selected as brews that will go well with the restaurant’s cuisine, such as Hitachino Nest Yuzu Lager (the only place in Nevada to serve it), the Australian Nomad “Freshie” Salt & Pepper Gose and locally-made Tenaya Creek 702 Pale Ale.

One unique aspect is the eatery is cashless, which without cash on hand provides more safety for the staff and also eliminates theft. The menu for the most part is priced in a quite affordable range of $6-$16, and during the daily 3-6 Social Hour, which in addition to being the time it occurs (and also from 10 p.m. to close) is the price range you’ll pay for the half-off appetizers and drinks. 

Flock and Fowl is open Sun.-Thu. From 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Fri.-Sat. till midnight.

150 N Las Vegas Blvd #100

Las Vegas, NV 89101

702-272-2222