Cherries jubilee flambéed tableside and a made-from-scratch Caesar transported directly to a plate have long inspired oohs and aahs. But in Las Vegas, the grandeur of those interactive moments is going one step further with the latest novelty in Las Vegas restaurants: cart service.
At Harvest in Bellagio, behold the snack wagon. Roving the dining room nightly, this culinary delight on wheels is stocked with bites from Chef Roy Ellamar and divided into three categories: jars filled with dips such as smoked salmon and broccoli rabe pesto; raw slices like Harris Ranch hanger steak or snapper crudo; and warm snacks ranging from pork belly to agedashi tofu. Think of it as an American take on dim sum.
The concept has been such a crowd pleaser that, in June, Ellamar began giving guest chefs their turn. Each visiting chef creates four items for the wagon, which are served alongside Ellamar’s treats. Todd English was a hit with caramel popcorn-crusted baby-back ribs, and Michael Mina wowed the crowd with caviar parfait. To be enjoyed in the dining room or lounge, treats from the wagon can accompany a full meal or be a fun social dining experience all by themselves. Items are $10 each. A sweets wagon makes an appearance at the end of the meal, with offerings priced at three for $10.
Expect appearances from Lago by Julian Serrano Executive Chef Nico Chessa on Oct. 12, Bellagio Executive Pastry Chef Patrick Lassaque on Nov. 9 and Jean Georges Steakhouse Executive Chef Sean Griffin on Dec. 1.
Let the drinks come to you
Around town, the booze rolls freely as a number of restaurants use carts to present rare liquors or make custom cocktails
StripHouse in Planet Hollywood brings the bar to you with mobile scotch pours, including the Balvenie 30 — a fine single malt Scotch whiskey with unusual depth and complexity. The spirit is made by marrying the Balvenie aged in both traditional oak whiskey casks and European oak sherry casks.
After every meal at Carbone in Aria, an impressive rum collection wheels up to the table on a vintage cart. Rum is a favorite of Chef Mario Carbone and the cart’s rums hail from all over the world.
Jardin in Encore Las Vegas offers a Moscow Mule trolley with individual cocktails and a large-format version — a colossal copper mug that fits an entire bottle of vodka.
— By Jae Alexander, LA Times Custom Publishing