Thursday, July 25, 2013

The new RM restaurant

Vegas is known for their food and restaurants and while St. Louis is trying to get restaurants that are coming close to quality and taste as those in Las Vegas, they are still miles off.  Everyone does need at least one trip to Vegas to try the food and experience the only city that really never sleeps: except on Sundays.

Several years ago, my wife and I went to the Mandalay Bay Casino and Hotel to eat at Chef Rick Moonen's restaurant: RM Seafood.  We had what could not be argued as the best food either of us had ever eaten.  It was sustainable, fresh, seasonal and perfectly delicious.  Now, just two weeks ago, Chef Moonen had closed his smaller downstairs pub and moved RM Seafood downstairs, directly below the main floor.  A new restaurant has opened upstairs, from Chef Moonen.  The new restaurant, has a tiny bit of steam-punk theme and is a new look at some traditional and American classics.  This will look out the food we had ordered and what we think.  The problem is however, that before this review, I used RM Seafood as my basis for reviewing and judging against.  Now, I have to basically review RM Seafood against RX Boiler Room.

So, first let me tell you that the day we went, at the time we went, I did see the illustrious chef there.  I saw Chef Moonen there, in the booth right next to us, with his family.  He checked on things and left, but at least he was there and not like other big name restaurants in Las Vegas where the chef is never there.  Good luck finding Wolfgang Puck at one of his restaurants on a Sunday night.

Anyway, we were greeted by a nice woman, I think her name was Tatiana.  Anyways, she was really nice, a fun one to talk to, and knowledgeable about the menu and even the items on the menu.  Some restaurants that you go to, you can ask a question about what they like and they may say that they haven't tried it yet or even that they have no idea how it is made or what is it it.  Tatiana, knew almost everything.  (She even apologized because my wife and I had asked a question which the answer was on her notes, in the back and she had forgotten it.)

Now, before we had ordered any food, we had ordered a mixed drink.  Chef Moonen creates an anachronism as our waitress hands us a drink menu, on an ipad, for his steam-punk themed restaurant.  The ipad application had a cool feature where you can see everything in each drink and then if you like it, you can recommend it for others to view and order.  So, after much deliberation, we ordered the Campfire Peaches, which tasted just like roasted peaches.

Next, my wife ordered the Vlox smoked under glass, which was some salmon, smoked and on a plate with some sauce and herbs.  It was interesting because the dish included something called "sea greens", which we had to look up on our phone's Internet to find out what it was.  My wife thought it was delicious and immediately started to make those "I love this food" noise.  I'm sure she would give that dish a 4 or even a 5 out of 5 stars.

Then I had ordered the Bacon wrapped bacon-n-egg.  I know it has bacon and eggs, but I was not expecting what had come out.  What came out was these three awesome little bacon and egg bites on a hard toast-like cracker.  These things were awesome and while I didn't want to eat each as a single bite, like sushi, I did anyway and they were delicious.  Each bite was rich with the tiny egg yolk and then you could taste the pepper and salt and the best part was the sweet and saltiness of the bacon chunk.  My favorite of the night as next time I come back, I would gladly order 4 or 5 of these and eat them all for me.  This is the very best, the Sir Lancelot, if you will, the most perfect of the dishes; I think.  I give them a 5 out of 5 stars.

The next thing we had ordered was the Niman Ranch Skirt Steak.  What is important to to note, is this "Niman Ranch".  As explained by our server, the ranch is located in Ohio and what makes this ranch special, is the way that they treat their animals.  They treat their animals in such a way, that the meat tastes remarkably different than what is expected.  The skirt steak, tasted so much more "steak-ey" than normal steak.  It wasn't a bad or gamey flavor but a stronger and more beefy one. It was so tasty, so tender and the crust was a perfect mix of salt and pepper.  The dish came with little tater tot things, that tasted like herbed mashed potatoes and then deep fried.  They sat on a sauce which tasted a bit like a tartar sauce.  Everything was so good, like deliciously good.  I'd give this one a 4 out of 5.

We went picked the other Niman Ranch item as well, this one, was the Niman Ranch Puerto Tacos.  From the same ranch as the super beefy steak, we had some seasoned and grilled pork.  This is what pork is supposed to taste like.  It doesn't taste like store-bought pork, it doesn't taste like any taco I have ever eaten.  It tasted better than the pork I had eaten at Frontera Grill, in Chicago.  It was amazing.  It was almost a porky pork flavor, reminiscent of boar.  It was so strong and not weak or shallow like other pork items.  It was cooked in a banana leaf, and came with a sauce, a salsa and some pickled relish.  This was amazing and my wife was filled with so much happiness that I think she would never find another taco that tasted as good as this one ever again.  I'd say that an easy 4 out of 5 came from this one.

We even tried the famous Moonen Doggies, which became famous enough for the RM downstairs, that they are now on the menu of RX.  These are like sausages, made of fresh and seasoned shrimp, then coated with a rich batter and deep fried.  My wife loved these and I am sure that if you are a fan of shrimp, then you are a fan of these.  That is a 4 out of 5 stars right there.

So, how do you possible follow such an amazing meal?  We asked our server, and she recommended this:

So, what we ordered was the Granito Trio.  Here, from left to right, was an almond flavored granita, with a candied orange slice.  The middle one is a watermelon granita, with a slice of  sweet and fresh watermelon and little chocolate "seeds", was nice and refreshing.  The end one was an espresso flavored one with whipped cream.  Everything tasted good.  I'm not a huge fan of coffee and skipped the last one, but the first two were very smooth and tasty.  I'd give this a 4 out of 5 as well.

Overall, I think that the food here at Rx Boiler Room is actually better and still different.  I know that RM Seafood is technically more fancier or a more classier dinner than the Boiler Room, but the food over all, the atmosphere, the staff, and the way everything went, was better.  The Boiler Room also feels warmer, more friendlier than what I remembered from the RM Seafood.

My suggestions, is that if you were wanting a nice, adventurous and relaxing dinner, then go to the Boiler Room.  If you want a dinner to impress people or be impressed, go to RM Seafood.  If you want a romantic meal, go to either one.   

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