Lunch at Eiffel Tower Restaurant—a Killer View, Outstanding Cuisine and Reasonable Price Points

GM Sharon Boudreau and Bob Barnes. Photo by Dick Palcic

It’s certainly no secret that Eiffel Tower Restaurant at Paris has one of the best views of the Vegas Strip and the Fountains of Bellagio from its vantage point 110 feet above, but a well-kept secret is the reasonably priced weekday lunch and weekend brunch menus. Many items are the same on both, like the Cold Foie Gras Torchon with duck prosciutto, fig compote and brioche; Ocean Seafood Salad with Alaskan King crab, lobster, shrimp and French cocktail sauce; and Lobster Benedict with creamed spinach, asparagus and hollandaise sauce. The brunch menu served Sat. & Sun. from 10-3 has some additional breakfast-like items like Luxury French Toast with foie gras and Flat Iron Steak with free range fried eggs, mushrooms and Yukon gold potatoes. Hopefully you’ll have saved room for dessert, as the Crème Brulee with fresh berries is perhaps the best rendition of this classic dessert I’ve ever experienced and comes in a large enough portion to serve at least two.

Excellent service has been the standard since the restaurant opened in 1999 and Arianna Domingo is a prime example. She has been with the restaurant for four years in a variety of roles, including reservationist, host and back waiter, and for the past year has held the position of server. As to why she likes working at Eiffel Tower she says, “It’s very family-oriented and we have a killer view. The staff is really close and we hang out together after work.”

Lunchtime dining at Eiffel Tower is not only family-oriented but offers prices much lower than you would expect, with most appetizers ranging from $12-$18, entrees from $15-$22 and the “killer view” is free.

To learn more about the man behind Eiffel Tower Restaurant’s cuisine, see Leah Schmidt’s Chef Spotlight on the illustrious Chef Joho on page 10.

SUGARCANE raw bar grill Now Serving Daily Brunch

Photo by Bryan Kuhl

The placard at the entrance to Timon Balloo’s SUGARCANE raw bar grill at The Venetian says “In Las Vegas every day is the weekend,” so it’s only fitting that the Miami-based restaurant would extend its weekend brunch to a daily occurrence. Served from 10-4, 11 dishes are offered, several of which, like the rest of the restaurant’s menu, reflect global influences. The Duck + Waffle is similar to the one served at Balloo’s London restaurant named for this dish, and shows a French influence with crispy leg confit, duck egg and mustard maple. The US is well represented with Fat Boy Hash—sunny side up eggs, bacon jam, potato hash brown and truffle hollandaise. Oxtail Benedict features slow-roasted oxtail, poached farm egg and sherry hollandaise. Truffled Toad in the Hole is a fancier version of a breakfast my wife makes me that we call “egg in the bread,” with a sunny side up egg in the middle of brioche enhanced with melted robiola cheese, truffle oil, honey and black truffle. Avocado Toast is as the name implies, and is a simple but elegant dish with additions of charred corn and whipped goat cheese. Each of these brunch menu items are a complete meal and are priced very reasonably from $11-23, with most around $12.

Be sure to check out the boutique rum collection of 132 rums from 20 countries from all over the world. There’s a wide range of prices, like the Appleton 50-yr. $1,500, but also some very reasonably priced excellent values like the Dos Maderas PX 5+5 10-year-aged rum from Barbados that I enjoyed.

Finish your meal with Torrejos—dulce de leche soaked French toast with maple caramelized apple; or Peanut Butter S’mores Cake with marshmallow ice cream and candied almonds that looks so great you will need to take a picture of it before diving in.

Sonoma Cellar Steakhouse Reopens After Full Renovation

photo courtesy Sonoma Cellar

Sonoma Cellar at Sunset Station celebrated its 20-year anniversary with a significant renovation, and reopened in July with an updated décor and menu. The original architecture mimicking the look of a wine cellar has been maintained, with curved stone arches and ornate ornamental ironwork throughout. New additions are large elegant, decorative mirrors, which help open up the space; an updated color scheme of light gray and white with cream colored chairs and emerald colored booths; and an expanded bar space that has doubled in size.

Louisiana-born Chef Britt Beeland is showing some of his Southern background with new menu items with Cajun touches, including Fried Green Tomatoes, Crab Dip, Pork Belly with grits which Chef described as “like a Southern breakfast” and a dish I hadn’t enjoyed since the 1970s: Frog Legs. But this version was unlike any I had back in the day, with a corn flake crust, crème fraiche, Buffalo coating and dill
dipping sauce.

Other new additions are Crab Cocktail with white remoulade, Penn Cove Mussels, Steak Tartar, Bone Marrow, 4-way Beet Salad, Buratta & Tomato and 2.5 lb. Maine Lobster with crab supreme and lobster caviar. In addition, the steakhouse is now sourcing some of its meats through Niman Ranch, and all meat is aged in-house. A special bar menu is served nightly and special happy hour pricing from 4-6 p.m. daily offers deals on Chipotle Rubbed Steak Bites, Blended Slider, Spicy BBQ Shrimp, Frog Legs and Crab Dip.

As the name implies, there is a serious wine list here, and the 250 wines are stored in an actual wine cellar. The wines hail mainly from Napa and Sonoma and the restaurant has earned the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence in each of the past five years.

Another new upgrade that caught my attention was an expanded Whiskey Library with 55 choices of bourbon, rye, American whiskey, blended malt whiskey and single malt. Some excellent representatives are the Hachstadter’s 16-year rye, Old Rip Van Winkle Special Reserve 12-yr., Weller Special Reserve and Oban 14-yr.

The new Sonoma Cellar appears to be more elegant with the lighter shade bringing a brighter and more cheerful atmosphere, and the upgrades to the dinner, bar and spirits menus make it worth rediscovering this old Vegas gem.

Therapy Introduces New Menu Items

photo courtesy Therapy

Chef Talen Lancaster continues to shine as one of our city’s most talented up-and-coming chefs as the Executive Chef of Therapy, the gastropub located at 518 E. Fremont St. in the Fremont East Entertainment District. Chef recently updated the menu and new items include Heirloom Tomato and Burrata Salad with roasted baby beets, pistachio, balsamic and basil; Sliced Chimichurri Steak made with a 12 oz. certified Angus flat iron beef with charred scallion chimichurri sauce topped with fried onion strings; Roasted Chicken—crispy 10 oz. chicken breast served with roasted corn, mushroom, caramelized pearl onion and roasted jus; and Chocolate Banana Bread Pudding topped with caramelized bananas, house-made banana sorbet and salted caramel dipping sauce made with Therapy Whiskey.

Speaking of the Whiskey, it was made for Therapy by the local Nevada H&C Distilling Co. Named Smoke Wagon, its mash bill is 36% rye, 4% malted barley and 60% corn and is a blend of 8-year-old and 4-year-old aged whiskey. It’s available exclusively at Therapy and sells for $13 a shot, $99 for a 750ml bottle or $13 in cocktail form, such as the St. Therapy made with St. Germaine, peach and raspberry Grand Marnier, grapefruit fruitations and mango.