Photos courtesy of Maxie’s, by Dick Palcic, and Delmonico Steakhouse
Zipline and Lunch at The LINQ
Admittedly I’m not much of a daredevil or adventure seeker, so it was with some trepidation that I accepted an offer to check out the new FLY LINQ zipline at The LINQ Promenade (the only zipline on the Vegas Strip), but was quite glad I did. Being the scaredy-cat that I am, I opted out of the superhero and went with the seated position. In all seriousness, the scariest part of the experience was the anticipation and elevator ride 12 stories up to the 114-foot-tall launch tower situated at the Strip end of the Promenade. The ride itself, traveling 1,121 feet through The LINQ Promenade was quite comfortable and while exhilarating, not more than I could handle and the zipline operators were extremely friendly and reassuring. The ride lasts about a minute and transports you from the Strip end of the Promenade to near the base of the High Roller on the opposite side.
After exiting the zipline you are only a few steps away from Maxie’s, the newest restaurant within the Promenade. This replacement for Cantor’s deli is named for the owner’s mother, and features an assortment of breakfast entrees, deli sandwiches, salads and over-the-top milkshakes. You can find your inner child here with options of Cotton Candy Pancakes, Fruity Pebbles French Toast, Peanut Butter & Jelly Pancakes, The Fruit Loop cereal milkshake and tabletops decorated with board games like Candyland, Chutes & Ladders and Monopoly. The aforementioned milkshakes are well worth showing up for and I opted to live like a king and enjoyed the Elvis Loves Bananas with things the King enjoyed: peanut butter with banana, chocolate Coco Pebbles cereal, chocolate syrup and caramel.
We rode the zipline before lunch so we wouldn’t lose it on the ride, but I now realize doing so was not necessary and you can now count me as a fan of soaring through the sky attached securely to a system of wires and pulleys.
Delmonico Steakhouse Commemorates 20th Anniversary
Few restaurants are able to stay open in the same place for two decades, especially in Las Vegas, but one that has stood the test of time to the point of becoming iconic to The Venetian resort is Emeril Lagasse’s Delmonico Steakhouse, which just commemorated its 20th anniversary. We met with the chef that has been in the kitchen for several of those 20 years and now holds the title of chef de cuisine, the charming and talented Ronnie Rainwater.
Chef Ronnie’s first day was June 7, 1999, a month after the restaurant had opened, starting as a line cook and working his way up through the ranks to sous chef a year and a half later. After moving to Atlanta to open a restaurant for Emeril in 2003, in 2005 he came back to Las Vegas to head Table 10 as executive chef and 7 years ago became Delmonico’s chef de cuisine.
When asked what his favorite menu items are Chef describes himself as a bit of a meathead, so he always likes steak. He also lists some of the more unique items, including smoked apple-cured Kurobuta pork bone-in bacon and a rabbit sausage dish rolled like a porchetta, both of which are currently on the menu; and the daily specials that he and his sous chefs create.
While there have not been wholesale changes to the original menu, Chef shared that the very popular truffle potato chips have become a crowd favorite. Additionally, steak options have expanded, including a 100% pure Japanese A4 wagyu (in options of ribeye or filet mignon), which is similar to the A5 but has less fat; and like all of the steaks, are aged in the restaurant’s own meat-aging room, with both wet- and dry-aging. Two staples that you will find on the menu at Delmonico, as well as every Emeril’s restaurant, are the New Orleans BBQ shrimp and the massive classic banana cream pie with caramel sauce, chocolate shavings and whipped cream.
Another change the restaurant has seen is its greatly expanded whiskey list, which Chef says began growing after Max Solano started there, and credits Max with cultivating the list that grew to more than 700 choices. Max is now a principal mixologist with Southern Glazer’s and also writes the Spirits Confidential column in this magazine, but thankfully the whiskey bible he created still lives on.
Thinking about reasons for Delmonico’s longevity and success and to his satisfaction in his chef de cuisine position, Chef Ronnie commented…“the legacy of this restaurant at The Venetian, familiar food people can count on, 20 years of repeat customers, our local clientele and that Emeril allows us creative freedom for our daily specials and seasonal menus.” Longevity of the staff is prevalent too, with six members that have been on staff since day one, the executive sous chef recently celebrating 13 years and most other staff ranging from 3-18 years and averaging 5-8 years.
During its two decades in Restaurant Row at The Venetian, Delmonico Steakhouse has earned numerous accolades, including being a "Grand Award" recipient of Wine Spectator magazine since 2004, named a "four-star restaurant" by Forbes Travel and a "Top 5 Steakhouse in the Nation" by National CitySearch. Congrats to Emeril, The Venetian and Chef Ronnie Rainwater for presenting such a tremendous dining experience to their clientele day after day—one that has stood the test of time and is considered as one of the best of the best in a city that demands superior quality. Here’s to another 20 years