April Magazines 2018 89012 - Page 82

Haute Spot Cool Vibe Meets Culinary Standout Esther’s Kitchen By Aly Wagonseller WE’RE LUCKY TO HAVE SOME GREAT RESTAURANTS in our town. Some are definitely designed with the tourist in mind (think elevated food and sky high prices), while others are a reg- ular guy’s go-to spot for trusted food, good value and convenient location on auto pilot. Still, once in a blue super moon moment, a very special newcomer joins our celebrated culinary scene. A place that excites people who love amazing food, yet don’t need the glam and expense of the Strip to experience it. Esther’s Kitchen, located at 1130 S. Casino Center Blvd., in the Arts District, is just such a phenom, offering clean and modern Italian comfort food that need only be tasted to know something extraordinary is going on. 82 The first thing a great restaurant needs is a chef that knows what he’s doing. In Esther’s case it’s James Trees, a born and raised local whose love of cooking started at an early age. Rising quickly and leading in the ranks of celebrity chef kitchens that included Michael Mina, Bradley Ogden, Alex Stratta, Eric Ripert and Gordon Ramsay, Chef Trees has honed his craft worldwide, expecting the best from himself, and now the staff at Esther’s. Everything is made from scratch, from a variety of pastas, breads, pizza dough and sauces to the sourcing and milling of corn for polenta, nothing comes from a box. It’s an expectation of excel- lence that’s evident from a chef perched center stage of the frenet- ic, open view kitchen, personally finishing each and every dish with the sauces, cheese, seasoning and herb details that elevate a good dish to something truly special. April/May 2018 The menu is comprised of antipasti, pasta, vegetable, pizza and entrée selections that include seasonal fish, under brick chicken and a healthy portion of porchetta, while supplies last. We started with the housemade sourdough levain bread with butter and olive oil and yellowtail crudo. The rustic bread had an exceedingly crunchy crust, great for sopping up sauces to come, but the crudo…well… it was spectacular. Orange, fennel and basil accompanied expertly sliced, buttery yellowtail finished with chilies and radishes; a flavorful bite that was light, bright and refreshing. Next came polenta with mushrooms, truffle butter and sherry. The difference made by milling their own corn cannot be underestimated, as the texture and creaminess of the polenta was mind blow [ˈX\H]\\[\Y]\HXوYH[ Y][][ٝ[H\۸&]ݙ\ۙKXYH܈YHYܝ[H \HXYH\H\؝[\HHXX[NHXۙ\H][]\Y][\XH\YܘY[Y]ۚKXB۝YKYۛKX][H[[ܙK[H[ ]XH[YX][ۜ\H\YYHX[[ܛ\ۘ\K]X[X[K؜\[H[]\YKX]Z\YHBY\]X[]Hو\\[[HZ^ HYYH]][B]ܚ\H]\YK[YX][XK\H\[›ZH\\H]8&\Y\K[\\H\X]NH[X]H[[\وHX]Z\Y]XB]\YH[[Y YH]\Xx)]\ \X[ۋܘYZ[[H]YY\[H[H\܈\X][H\H\H[X\ۘXHXY \Y[H[H[][H YHZY\YHY H][ۈ]8&\\[Z[\H ]8&\X[HۙHوH\]X\[۸)[Y][YY\&HܙX]][\\[H[HYً܈\\][ۜ[x&[YY[K\]\\H܈[ MM M