How Good Celebrity Chef’s Restaurant Can be? Mesa Grill in Las Vegas
Have you ever watched any of the cooking competitions on the Food Network or any other food channels on TV and wondered – how good those chefs really are? Okay, I’m going too far – they must be good at cooking, that shouldn’t be questioned. But – many of those celebrity chefs own restaurants, and in some cases, multiple restaurants, and it is obvious that they don’t personally cook there on an average day, so how good those restaurants can be?
When it comes to the celebrity chefs, Bobby Flay is surely leading the pack. He is an Iron Chef, and he has his own show “Beat Bobby Flay”, where he is fiercely competes with guest chefs – no questions, Bobby Flay knows how to cook.
Bobby Flay owns multiple restaurants around the country. During my recent trip to Las Vegas, I stayed at Caesars Palace casino – which happened to be a home to one of Bobby Flay’s restaurants, Mesa Grill. As you can imagine, I had to use such opportunity to try it out.
We arrived at the restaurant at around 6:30 p.m., and to my surprise we were told that yes, no problems, you will have to wait only for 5 minutes (of course it was in a middle of the week, but still I was expecting a much longer wait). 5 minutes later we were sitting at the table.
Let’s start from the wine list. The wine list was reasonably sized with good diversity – California, Washington, France, Italy, Spain. There were enough of the reasonably priced wines (under $50); overall, most of the wines were prices at the triple retail. Spanish wine selection was particularly good – Rioja, Ribera Del Duero, Priorat. We settled for 2012 Dominio de Pingus Psi (14% ABV, $85 restaurant wine list price, 100% Tempranillo). This wine comes from the vineyards neighboring the main vineyard of Dominio de Pingus, one of the most “cult” wineries in Spain. The wine was perfectly restrained, with the nose of dark black fruit, firm structure on the palate, young, but well integrated tannins, licorice and fresh acidity. Great wine to have with food and without (finding this wine in the stores might be a challenge though).
And now, let’s talk food. First, the bread basket appeared, featuring Jalapeño bread, raisin and walnut bread and corn bread. All bread was excellent, but Jalapeño bread was a particular standout, delivering nice kick few moments after you would finish chewing on it.
Our appetizer was Goat Cheese “Queso Fundido” (Rajas, Blistered Serrano Vinaigrette + Blue Corn Tortilla Strips), served with house made tortilla chips. Nice presentation, great flavor, touch of heat, very tasty.
There were lots of good choices for the main course – Sixteen Spice Chicken, Cascabel Chile Crusted Rabbit and Mango+Spice Crusted Tuna Steak all sounded very appealing, but I had to settle for Blue Corn Crusted Halibut (Warm Salsa Cruda, Sweet 100 Tomatoes, Kalamata Olives, Oregano + Jalapeno). Our waiter mentioned that Halibut was in the prime season, and somehow all the ingredients sounded very appealing, thus I had to go with it. The dish was just “wow” – great dance of flavors, very creative use of Kalamata olives to add saltiness instead of capers, perfectly cooked fish – delicious! As an added bonus I have to mention that our Tempranillo wine perfectly complemented the dish, enhancing the earthy profile – this happened to be a spot on pairing. We also enjoyed a side order of Roasted Corn (Chipotle Aioli, Lime Cilantro + Cotija) – I generally like this dish often called “Mexican Street Corn”, and the one at the restaurant was nicely done.
Choosing the dessert was also very hard – I wanted to ask for a bite of every dessert on menu, but then I had to bully down that inner kid and we only asked for one – Chocolate Cajeta Cake (Chocolate + Vanilla Swirl Ice Cream + Salted Chocolate Crunch) – the cake was a bit dense, but overall the combination with crunch and ice cream was very tasty.
Overall, this was an outstanding dining experience, and I’m glad to see that my fear of disappointment never materialized. Of course Las Vegas became a culinary mecca nowadays, but in itself this is no guarantee of an amazing meal – thus I’m glad to recommend Mesa Grill as well worthy your attention when you will have an opportunity. Another win for Chef Bobby Flay and a great meal for us. Cheers!
3570 Las Vegas Boulevard S
Las Vegas, NV 89109
Phone: (877) 346-4642