Nevada Public Radio Listen Live

"KNPR's State of Nevada"
Facebook Twitter Follow Nevada Public Radio

Support Nevada Public Radio
December 23, 2004
Podcasts

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Best Restaurant

Listen

Postrio
3355 S Las Vegas Blvd
Las Vegas, NV 89117
702-796-1110
Menu: Steak-Seafood-Italian Pastas and Pizzas
Hours: Sunday - Thursday, 11:30 a.m. - 11:00 p.m.
Friday and Saturday, 11:30 a.m. - midnight

I was supposed to highlight my bombs of the year this week, but somehow the Christmas spirit got hold of me. So let's leave my curmudgeonly humbugs for another day and speak of what may be the best, least talked about and most underrated restaurant in town. Because if a multi-million dollar Wolfgang Puck restaurant, located in an upscale flashy casino mall, can ever be said to be flying under the radar, then Postrio is it.

These thoughts occurred to me recently as I tucked into a superior spicy Hungarian goulash over crispy spaetzle noodles on a cold autumn day. Actually that cold autumn day wasn't all that cold since these satisfying victuals were being consumed in the hermetically sealed air of the Grand Canal Shoppes at the Venetian-but we Vegans take our seasonally references however we can stretch'em. What impressed me about the goulash was the richness of the reddish/brown sauce, the fork tenderness of the well-braised beef, and the deep and slow heat that built up on the tongue. Everything giving a warm glow to my mouth and the conversation. Good food will do that. And so does everything else about Postrio.

Chef John LaGrone opened this place five years ago, and over time he's put his personal stamp on a menu that hits just the right notes between the prosaic and the ethereal. The former being what my friend The Chicago Guy is always looking for when he asks me if the restaurant cooks that "fancy stuff YOU like"-which is always asked with a barely disguised sneer. As much as I try to convince him that a great chef can give you both.....too much plate confetti and too many ponzu/parsnip nages keeps him pretty skeptical.

Well LaGrone is one chef that knows how to keep me and the Chicago Guy plenty happy. There's no flourishes by the waiters here, not a lot of gee gaws on the plates, and no cymbals crashing as the chef's creations are unveiled when you sit down for lunch or dinner. His wild mushroom soup is a testament to woodsy intensity without any frills and his free range chicken with garlic mashed potatoes packs more flavor into this usually boring bird than I thought possible. Meat and potato types will find no fault with a perfect cote de boeuf or prime filet, and aficionados will appreciate such rarities as huge and sweet day boat scallops accented by a more subtle chanterelle risotto.

Make no mistake, Postrio is a quintessential American restaurant, with lots of pastas and pizzas on the menu (all excellent), and nods to both fashion (a Niman Ranch pork belly appetizer), and fusion (Thai lemongrass soup...that's an Americanized version of Tom Yum). But he weaves easily between the simple and the sophisticated, and never hits a false note with his flavors. I've never had a bad meal here. In fact I've never had a bad bite. And for those reasons, and for being a restaurant for all seasons and all types of customers, POSTRIO is my Restaurant Of The Year for 2004.

See discussion rules.

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.

© 2013 NEVADA PUBLIC RADIO   
Web hosting facilities provided by Switch.