STRIPLV0318

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Striplv Magazine - The Sexiest Magazine on the Planet, Issue 0318

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CARSON KITCHEN By Vegas Food Nerd Carson Kitchen is the last restaurant concept brought to us by the late “Rock n’ Roll Chef” Kerry Simon. The restaurant, which is a casual eatery that serves dishes in the style of Kerry’s innovative take on American comfort food, continues to pay homage to the restaurant legend in their space, a portion of the re-purposed mid-century John E. Carson Hotel. The restaurant features two bars, one adjacent to the main dining room with a sleek swanky feel, and a roof-top bar that sometimes features musical acts. Guests can also take their libations out to the renovated courtyard with its outdoor fireplace and colorful murals. The head chef as of December is now Scott Simon, Kerry’s younger brother. He was personally mentored by the notorious chef and is proud to continue cooking in his honor. Driving up to the restaurant, and finding the place is a little bit like finding a hidden speakeasy. The white building is very nondescript, as is the entrance. Blink too fast, and you will miss it. The signage is so subtle that it’s easy to drive by without seeing it. It’s like being let in on a very tasty gourmet Vegas secret. You will look like a foodie insider when you bring friends to Carson Kitchen, which has dark wood accents and open kitchen expo, offering real-time views of the kitchen preparing the food. There are exposed unfinished wood beams throughout, with modern, sleek accents, and eclectic hanging lanterns. They have high-top community tables on one end of the main room and cozy tables for two and four throughout. The staff is dressed casually, each wearing an iconic rock band t-shirt with names like Pink Floyd, and AC/DC a subtle nod to the heritage of the bistro. A motto tiled on one wall reminds us all to “Keep Calm and Kerry on.” The brick on the other walls warm up the modern space. When we dined at Carson Kitchen, we started with a bottle of Cielo Pinot Grigio while we perused the menu. The menu is small but has enough variety to satisfy different tastes. We started with the young beets salad. The salad arrived on a bed of sweet regional honey, three herbed balls of creamy goat cheese, crushed pistachios, microgreens and mandarin orange segments. It was delicately delicious with the perfect complementing flavors. The plate was clean in record time. Next up, we shared veal meatballs bathed in a sherry foie gras cream sauce and dotted with peas. The outside of the meatballs were a crispy contrast to their meltingly tender centers, and the decadent cream sauce was spot-on. We finished our lunch with the short rib grilled cheese made on sourdough bread, with gouda cheese, served with their spicy tater tots. It tasted just as good as it sounded. The tender meat melted perfectly into this crispy, creamy treat of a sandwich. Just as we were finishing our meal and about to leave, a skillet of their bacon jam passed by our table. It comes out hot and sizzling in a cast iron dish with a strip of bubbling brie cheese down the center served with freshly toasted crusty bread. Ok, now I know exactly what I will be ordering on our next visit. It was a perfect homage to the chef that we knew and loved. Kerry transformed our dining scene, and to see him living on with this inventive food is such a pleasure. His presence was felt throughout our meal with the flavor, and murals of his likeness located on the walls. Thank you, Chef. We genuinely miss you.

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