December 16, 1999
TOP TEN 1999
Only an abundance of Christmas spirit keeps me from telling you what I really think of the Zagat Survey of Las Vegas restaurants. I've been in an almost preternaturally sunny-mood these days even though it gets dark around the time I'm usually finishing lunch. So imagine my consternation at reading the fluff piece in this week's Review-Journal about the top ten restaurants according to the popularity and ballot-stuffing contest known as the Zagat Guide. But rather than taking Zagat and the world's worst newspaper to task for their systematic and endemic ignorance, I thought I'd give those of you who give a hoot my top ten restaurants for 1999.
Number 1 is Le Cirque--hands down. Now I've received a freebie or two there over the past year, but I've also spent a ton of my own money and I have never been less than thrilled by the quality of the raw ingredients and the range of the kitchen. Fussier by far but not less superb is the work done by Julian Serrano at number 2, Picasso. Aureole (at number 3) is the largest state-of-the-art gourmet restaurant you'll ever dine in, but night in and night out, Chef Joe Romano turns out a menu that competes with, and sometimes beats, the work at the New York original. Number 4 is another Maccioni marvel, Circo, for simply the best Italian food in town, while number 5 and six are brought to us by the bam man himself, Emeril Lagasse. He's kicked it up a notch with is fish house in the MGM and Delmonico's at the Venetian. In fact, Delmonico's may be our best steakhouse, but if it has competition, it's coming from Charlie Palmer's Steak at the Four Seasons or Prime at the Bellagio. For number nine, we go way off the strip to Rosemary's on West Sahara and brining up the rear is Spago, which started the whole stampede and still competes with the best of them.
These ten aren't about voting numbers or advertising revenue, just my picks of where to get the best tasting food and restaurant experiences in Las Vegas.
This is John Curtas.
See discussion rules
|Nov 24, 2010 | Thanksgiving 2010 - Another Beanie Reveal|
John Curtas delves into family history to discover the real story behind Grandma Schroader's Sour Beans.
|Nov 19, 2009 | Valentino -- You don't know the truffles I've seen|
According to Food Critic John Curtas, no other Italian restaurant in Las Vegas has performed at such a high level for so long.
|Oct 1, 2009 | Blow It Up|
In at least one part of town, our dining critic John Curtas says the food used to be a lot better.
|Sep 25, 2009 | Social Media Meltdown|
For our dining critic, John Curtas, social media has started to intrude on dining out.
|Sep 2, 2009 | Discovering LOS ANTOJOS|
Our dining critic John Curtas finds a new affordable favorite.
|Aug 20, 2009 | Chinois R.I.P.|
For John Curtas the recent closing of Wolfgang Puck's first Las Vegas restaurant brings back memories.
|Aug 3, 2009 | Food, Inc.|
John Curtas turns movie reviewer today - but the subject is in his usual area of expertise. Hear his review of "Food, Inc."
|Jul 16, 2009 | The Steak That Saved Las Vegas|
Dining critic John Curtas finds some steak aged for EIGHT MONTHS and he tells us how it tastes.
|Jul 2, 2009 | Bang for Your Buck|
Everyone's food budget is tighter these days. But if you still want to dine out now and then, our dining critic John Curtas has a few tips on restaurants now giving you more bang for your buck.
|Jun 19, 2009 | Whassup with Wazuzu|
Explore Dining Critic John Curtas' love/hate relationship with Wazuzu. If you want to spice up your dinner go for at least a "4 or 5."
|Jun 12, 2009 | Two Farmer's Markets|
Fresh, locally produced food has become a big trend across the U.S. Our food critic, John Curtas, says there's more of this trend in Las
Vegas than you might think.
|Jun 4, 2009 | MandM Soul Food|
John Curtas tells us about one of his favorite dining spots - a surpsingly affordable one.
|May 28, 2009 | Checkpoint Charlie|
While fine dining has seen a downturn in Las Vegas in recent months, our dining critic John Curtas says at least one dining legend intends to stay put. Charlie Trotter is standing pat in Las Vegas. John Curtas reviews Resturant Charlie.
|May 8, 2009 | Food Festival Frenzy!|
It's a time of many food festivals in Las Vegas. John Curtas has an overview.
|May 5, 2009 | Peppermill Coffee Shop and Fireside Lounge|
A landmark Las Vegas restaurant gets a visit from John Curtas. He takes you to the Peppermill.
|Apr 23, 2009 | Thai Me Up Thai Me Down|
Thai cuisine is starting to show up in more places in Las Vegas. John Curtas has some recommendations
|Apr 9, 2009 | A Gourmet Corner - In Spring Valley?|
Food Critic John Curtas takes a trip to the strangest gourmet corner in town.
|Apr 2, 2009 | Pip's is a Pip|
If you're looking for good dining near Aliante, our dining critic, John Curtas, has found a new place to go.
|Mar 26, 2009 | Stripped to Its Bare Essentials|
Dining on steak at Planet Hollywood! John Curtas takes you along.
|Mar 19, 2009 | Hachi is absolutely amazing!|
John Curtas has a find - a Japanese-fusion restaurant on the
west edge of the city.