Thursday, February 18, 2010
Last night I dined at the new Brasserie Puck in Crystals at City Center. I don't normally eat on the strip but my parents were going and I never miss an opportunity to go to try a Wolfgang Puck restaurant. I find his restaurants to be pretty terrific across the board, so I was a bit dissapointed by the lack of a 'wow' factor. When we got the bread my hopes were up (Ian and I can usually tell how a meal in a restaurant is going to stack up based on the bread and butter). The bread was ultra crusty with a deliciously chewy interior. The accompaniments were unique - chicken liver pate, dijon mustard, and softened butter (softened butter is a must). My best friend said the liver tasted like Spam, which she's never had, and I wasn't too thrilled at first, however, combined with the vinegary mustard I thought it was very good, and certainly out of the ordinary. I had the opportunity to sample a lot of dishes since there was a group of eight of us, most of them appetizers and pizzas. Nothing was bad by any means, and the dishes were all executed well, but nothing was special. The pizzas we tried were the Alsatian (lardon and cream with caramelized onions), Mushroom (with truffles, of course), and Margherita (made with buffalo mozzarella), all pictured below. The crusts were thin and crackery crisp, and the toppings were pleasant, but nothing about them was terribly interesting. I think the pizzas at Spago's are better. We also had calamari (great spicy aoli dipping sauce but lackluster squid), steak tartare (yummy), and cream of mushroom soup (a good rendition, but again, nothing special). The highlights of the meal were definitely the asparagus salad appetizer with mache and warm fingerling potatoes that were sliced and tossed with fine herbes, and the ham and gruyere omelet. I would order both of those again. The pastas looked like they do at other Puck restaurants (wonderful and Italian) and the French Onion Soup looked like a spot on version from what I could see. Overall, Basserie puck is a good restaurant but at the bottom of my list amongst Wolfgang Puck's fleet.
Tonight's food rating: 7
Ambience: 8 (would have been a 9, but as a fellow diner mentioned, they forgot to light our candle)
Would I go back: ONLY IF I WERE AT CRYSTALS AND SOMEONE ELSE WANTED TO GO (although I keep thinking about that asparagus salad....)
Tip: 25% off food for locals through April