The Tasting Panel magazine

May 2011

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Page 114 of 132

CHEf TALk AT THE INTERSECTION Of GOURMET AND GLOBAL ARE The Chefs and Cuisine of Aria A Jean Georges Steakhouse specialty: broiled bone marrow cut lengthwise for ease of scooping, accented with parsley-lemon gremolata. The Yuzu Lemon Drop Martini, made with Ketel One, Cointreau and lemongrass, cuts through the richness of the dish. by Richard Carleton Hacker to the luxury lifestyle of the 21st century. This joint venture between MGM Resorts International and Dubai World is a focal point for fine dining, exemplified by the upscale restaurants of Aria Resort & Casino, each personified by the chef who created it. For example, the seductively dark and sophisticated Jean Georges B Steakhouse epitomizes the multi-cultural skills of Alsace-born Jean- Georges Vongerichten. Working with chefs such as Paul Bocuse and Louis Outhier at L’Oasis brought him to Asia and the sooth- ing flavors of vegetable juices, fruit, herbal vinaigrettes and light broths rather than heavy creams and meat stocks. As a result, his Las Vegas menu includes items such as tempura cala- mari with pea shoots and chili dip and rice cracker–crusted tuna with a citrus-Sriracha emulsion. The cocktails, guided by mixologist Darren West, are equally chef-driven, with Jean-Georges handcrafting the purées and bases. “We’re a steak house by name but we have a very eclectic menu designed to broaden your horizon,” notes Executive Chef Rob Moore. Chef Masa Takayama has created side-by-side restaurants, with Bar Masa serving a la carte, while Shaboo offers an inti- mate “omakase” (chef’s choice) traditional Japanese shabu-shabu, which encompasses thinly sliced meats, fish and vegetables cooked by the customer in a hot pot on the table. Shabu-shabu means “swish, swish,” the sound of stirring fresh ingredients in a flavored broth—sort of a Japanese fondue. 114 / the tasting panel / may 201 1 at CityCenter y far the most captivating cluster of lights radiat- ing from the neon-studded Las Vegas Strip comes from CityCenter, an ecologically-certified tribute PHOTO: RICHARD CARLETON HACKER

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