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Alright, while in Vegas, went to Rick’s Restaurant on a recommendation from @JoeG2001.
Top Chef Master Rick Moonen’s Vegas abode called RM Seafood is nestled deep inside the Mandalay Bay Hotel…almost out of sight. Sheeesh, this guy almost won Top Chef Masters! AND He got to oogle Padma…That’s almost better than Vegas.
Easy to get reservations on a Wednesday night at RM Seafood, the gal laughed at me when I called there to inquire if I needed reservations.
With laughter in her voice, “Are you kidding?”
I replied, “Not really, but I guess we’ll see you there in a few minutes.”
It took us about 25 minutes as they placed ole Ricky in the way back.
Once seated, we observed a rather empty restaurant for Wednesday (Repeat after me: Vegas Buffets do NOT automatically = good food).
RM Seafood wait staff was quick with the menus, corn bread muffins and garlic butter buns appeared in front of us.
Can I just tell you how much I love garlic butter buns?
I also love that the bread is almost not quite cooked in the middle leaving a soft gooey mess for me to discover. NICE!
Now the menu is focused on seafood…raw seafood…so if you think you can order a cheeseburger here, just punch yourself in the nuts. WHO GOES TO A SEAFOOD RESTAURANT AND ORDERS A BURGER? And for all those unfriendly to seafood, Slick Rick has the typical cop-out items for you to order like chicken, beef, etc…so there is “something for everyone”.
The line is clean and lotsa steel adorn almost every inch of table and dry Boos boards adorn the line prep top. Trust me, you wanna eat at seafood joints that practice this kind of surgical clean. Additionally, you can tell a Chef by his knife – and those ain’t no Wal-Mart Ginsu special.
Before arriving, reading up on Ricky Ticky Tembo, the Vegas newspaper voted his Clam Chowder to be the best in Vegas.
Rick’s white clam chowder: Potatoes, littlenecks, fresh dill – $12
So the clam chowder arrived and I gotta tell you, the fresh dill was a welcome change to clam chowder. Obvs good.
Additionally, it was nice to see that the veggies were all brunoised well and were slightly firm. Most places boil the hell out of the veggies, disrespecting the soup mantra (you should see what you’re eating).
So I know little necks are small, but c’mon Rick-a-lick, we think you should have left them whole.
Top Chef Masters “Moon” Doggies: Shrimp corn dogs, cole slaw, cilantro mayo – $14
These came out lickety split as I assume these are frozen and then deep-fried in the fry-o-later 6000. Why did R-hizzy make “Moon doggies” for Top Chef Masters judges? I dunno. Maybe he just wanted to see Padma eat it. And we love corn dogs too.
The insides were soft and whole chunks of shrimp were found throughout. We thought it could have used a touch more salt.
The cilantro mayo was good and we honestly wanted more. Skin of the Moon Doggie was G-B-D and your line did a good job in the crust.
The coleslaw was scraggly and dry with hints of bbbbooooorrrriiiinnnnnggggg. Rick-o-Lus might want to consider meeting with his cabbage battalion as this coleslaw was a nondescript gray. Granted, coleslaw isn’t the main dish, it augments your Top Chef Masters Moon Dog with some fresh crispy action.
Back to the seafood!
I can gush on about seafood and the crazy pictures of R-dogg and Oprah located all over the restaurant, but hey, you already knew that right?
Chef Moonen is a proud graduate of the CIA with numerous accolades from La Cote Basque, Le Cirque and The Water Club. Most recently, his adoration of the sustainable seafoods has been talked about by foodies alike.
For us? Well, anyone who has foie gras add-on in their menu is good with us.
Don’t worry, we didn’t order it….now kinda wished we did.
All of us should consider a sustainable seafood source and Chef Moonen’s got a good drum beat for us to follow.
Keep up the good work with your seafood Chef.
While Vegas lends the stereotype of sell out to many a restauranteurs alike, this Vegas restaurant is Rick-er-ree-doo’s only place. So if you happen to find yourself in Vegas and somewhat sober, make a stop to see the crazy funny Top Chef Masters Chef Rick Moonen at RM Seafood and get your seafood on.
Reporting live from QuarryLaneFarms…
QuarryLaneFarms will be closed from September 30th thru October 10th.
Where are we going? Food exploration to LA and Vegas (and hopefully, we’ll remember some of it!).
But while in LA and Vegas, our list (for your review):
Father’s Office - Thanks to Chef Sang Yoon and Chef Daniel Boulud (After Hours)
Pink’s - Yes, will make it into #HD2010.
Kogi Truck - The hunt is on!
Ludo Bites - Because we are praying that Chef Ludo Lefebvre (@chefludo) will say “6.0 in Fall 2010″ starts on 10-01-10.
Philippe’s - OK we’ve been there already, but ITS. SO. DAMN. GOOD.
Roscoe’s Chicken ‘n Waffles - Just cause (Thanks to @chicrunner)
Joel Robuchon - The most influential Chef of this century gets the nod. Mmmmmm. Bourdain would be pleased.
Fleur de Lys - Chef Hubert Keller’s place – who doesn’t love him? Never fear, we still love Eric Ripert (@ericripert)
Lotus of Siam - @Cleveland222 and @Khwatts highly reco
Street - Top Chef Master Susan Feniger’s restaurant.
California Hotel Aloha Specialties - for their plate lunches of Portuguese Sausage Eggs and rice, saimin, etc…
In-n-Out Burger – 2 Double doubles-animal style with crispy-fries animal style please.
Jack in the Box – Cause I need me some tacos!
RM Seafood - Chef Rick Moonen (@RickMoonen) fortress of seafood. Thanks @JoeG2001 for the reco.
Let us know if we are missing any key places/recommendations.
Reporting live from QuarryLaneFarms
Star studded Sunday Funday in Cleveland.
Stopped by Amp150 (@AMP150Cleveland) for a few quick bites. Again, Chef Cooley too busy to come out to talk. Note: Menu has changed and we miss the rabbit spaetzle. NOT excited about the changes.
Making our way back north, we opted for everyone’s favorites “where everyone knows your name…” – E4th Street.
Had a special birthday celebration for one of our staff so we decided to hang out with all the other foodies in Cleveland. As we leisurely strolled down E4th in Cleveland, we were stunned to see Top Chef Master Obi Wan himself!!!
OK-so his name isn’t Obi Wan, but most people know him as Chef Jonathan Waxman of Barbuto in cool West Village Manhattan, NYC. Already a “famous” celebrity Chef, he was featured on Season 2 of Top Chef Masters where he battled it out with Chef Rick Moonen, Chef Marcus Samuelson, and Chef SuSur Lee…He should have been in the final 3.
Anyways, Chef Waxman was standing there tasting his Lombardia Style Pork Ribs just laughing and talking away so we chatted for a few as he was busy at a private party at Lola. Wait, didn’t he make these same ribs while on Top Chef Masters too? (I bet Host Kelly Choi didn’t eat any – put something in your mouth!). Ahem–fun times with Chef Waxman. BTW-I heard they raised over $150,000 for Autism Speaks – Nice work!
Chef Waxman IRL vs Chef Waxman on TV? He’s the same. REALLY nice and smiley. Awesome!
Also chatted with The Greenhouse Chef Jonathan Sawyer (@thegreenhouse). He was laughing and smiling as usual.
Few minutes later, we found ourselves talking with his wife @Chefswidow (For those that don’t know about her blog, you should read it here). After talking to @Chefswidow , we all agree that Chef Jonathan Sawyer IS kinda like a big teddy bear. Don’t worry, plutonic man-hugging only.
Congrats on their new house too!
Iron Chef Michael Symon (@mdsymon) was doing his thing. Well, it was his restaurant Lola Bistro. Let’s play “Where’s Symon?” (kinda like Where’s Waldo? but IRL).
I think the only one we missed was Chef Anne Burrell….heck we even saw our favorite wine gal from Whole Foods in University Heights (@WholeFoods).
After leaving all of the celebrity Chefs, we trudged over to The Chocolate bar on Euclid. Had ginormous order of cheesecake (wasn’t that good) and then devoured a gigantic Chocolate fudge brownie Sunday at Chocolate Bar. #naptime #dunzo
Awesome Sunday Funday in the CLE. What will this week bring? More celebrities?
Reporting live from QuarryLaneFarms…