RM SEAFOOD AT HAPPY HOUR
By Vegas Food Nerd
It’s no secret that I am a huge Rick Moonen fan. His restaurant, RM Seafood at Mandalay, is a spot that I consider one of my go-to places to eat in Las Vegas. Rick garnered national attention when Oprah visited, to try his infamous Catfish Sloppy-Joe Sandwich. While the sandwich is no longer on the menu (Chef Moonen only uses the freshest and most sustainable seafood available), his fresh and inventive cuisine continues to keep me coming back time and again.
On this particular visit, my friend and I happened to wander in during Happy Hour. It was pretty deserted in the restaurant, so we decided to saddle up to the bar to see what they had to offer for Happy Hour prices. First thing to catch our eyes was the $4 bottles of Stella Artois beer. They happened to be out of the bottles, so they offered the same price for the Stella draft, which they serve in the classic Stella glasses (which, let’s face it, is the best way to drink the stuff). We then ordered up their chef’s Kama, Fried Rice Krispies, Truffles Arancini, a half a dozen Oysters, and finally ended the meal with their Steak Frites with chipotle butter.
The Oysters were up first and they were perfect briny bites—so fresh and clean. After that dish we feasted on the Chef’s Kama, which is the collar (the most tender part of the fish), grilled to perfection creating a buttery texture to the fish that was cooked to perfection. Next up was the Fried Rice Krispies—a crisp, savory cake topped with a slice of raw fish and topped with a spicy, yet decadent, wasabi crema. The Truffled Arancini came next, and these deep fried balls of rice with a creamy cheese stuffing were luxurious bites with just the right amount of that thick truffle flavor. We wrapped the meal up with a couple more glasses of Stella and their Steak Frites. The flat iron steak was cooked perfectly, and the fries were thin and crispy, and no, we didn’t leave a single one behind. It felt like an over-the-top expensive meal, yet when the bill came, the total came to only $99.45.
Thank you, Chef Moonen. We will be back again. Amazing as always.
Shake Shack is the burger stand that has a reputation that reaches far and wide. What started as a Hot Dog stand in New York City has now spawned into a soon to be nationwide chain that sometimes has devotees lining up for hours at a time to try the offerings at the Shack. We have two locations in our city: one at the New York New York Hotel and Casino, and one opened recently in Downtown Summerlin. It was a late weekday afternoon when my friend (a huge burger lover) and I decided to see what all the fuss was about. This is a burger and fries, fast/casual type of eatery. But when you walk in to place your order, it doesn’t feel like a traditional fast-food spot at all. It feels clean, modern and upscale for a burger joint. The tables are handcrafted and recycled from a bowling alley in Brooklyn, NY. We ordered a couple of shakes, cheese fries, and a couple of burgers. I opted for the cheeseburger with added pickles and onions, while my friend went a simpler route with a standard hamburger upgraded with a nice slice of bacon. We were then handed a pager and told it would light up and vibrate when our food was ready. Then you grab your choice of condiments at their pristinely-clean counter and sit at one of those cool tables I told you about. Our food was ready in just a few minutes, and when I went up to the counter, the manager thanked me for checking out Shake Shack and handed me two coupons for free ice cream cones on our return visit. Then it was burger time. We both grabbed our burgers in unison and took a bite. You know that moment when you stop and just sort of swoon when you eat something that is just so good? Well, we had that moment and just looked at each other and said, “Oh, my God.” The burger is juicy and buttery, and the pickles were hand cut like big deli ones, the rest of the toppings were fresh and crisp, and I loved the Shack Sauce dripping through my melting cheese. The shakes were thick and rich and we both loved the flavors that we selected. The cheese fries were pretty yummy as well, with the crinkle cut salty treats covered in a processed cheese sauce that makes everyone happy. So basically, yeah, I get it now. Next time I have to partake in their beer and wine selections specially brewed for Shake Shack diners. Their menu is constantly evolving and they also offer new shake flavors every week in a very effective way to entice people like me back again, and again. Well played, Shake Shack, well played…
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