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September 30, 1999
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FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Circo and more...

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Mon Ami Gabi

Paris Hotel

Osteria del Circo

Bellagio Hotel

It's a happy man (or woman) whose two favorite restaurants are across the street from each other, and only ten minutes from his work. That street happens to be Las Vegas Boulevard South. There's a fake lake in between them too. But, I'd gladly swim or dodge traffic to eat at Circo or Mon Ami Gabi. Circo is, of course, Italian, the best Italian food in town in my opinion and Mon Ami Gabi is a very very French steakhouse and wine bar in the brand new Paris Hotel. Both are run by real professionals with proven track records. In the case of Circo, its lineage stretches back to New York City where owner Mario Maccioni cut his teeth and a bunch of pasta in the kitchen of Le Cirque under the tutelage of his father, Sirio. Along with brother Mauro and Marco, they are the "My Three Sons" of America's best-known restaurant family.

My friend Gabi is the brain child of Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises. (Lettuce--get it--as in greens) from Chicago and it runs some of the Windy City's most innovative eateries. Besides great steak frites (that's a thin-cut French steak with french fries to you non-Francophiles out there) and garlic escargot, Mon Ami Gabi features portable wine bars, sidewalk seating, the best people watching outside of the Forum Shops, and a dead-on Right Bank d├ęcor that echoes Paris (the real one) beautifully.

What both restaurants have in common is good management, consistent food, sharp-dressed crowds and a highly tempting proximity to my office for my famous 3-bottle of-Burgundy lunches--it's a tough life I know, but, hey, somebody's got to lead it.

This is John Curtas.

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Archives

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.

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