Sunday, July 7, 2013 | 9:38 p.m.
Editor’s Note: While Robin Leach is on the East Coast and heading to London before his traditional summer vacation under the Tuscan sun in Italy — plus, the Amalfi Coast this year — many of our Strip personalities have stepped forward in his absence to pen their own words of wisdom. We continue with executive chef Barry S. Dakake of N9NE Steakhouse at the Palms.
People often ask me, “Barry, how does one of Las Vegas’ longest-running and most successful steakhouses keep things fresh in a city that continues to one-up one another?” The answer is simple, but the solution is not always so easy.
At N9NE Steakhouse at the Palms, we’ve committed to constantly provide an ever-evolving and inventive dining experience while staying true to the classics that our repeat guests return to time and time again.
Top that off with a consistent service experience from team members in the back and front of the house who have been with me since Day 1, and now we’re talking about the secrets to success at N9NE.
I wanted to keep things simple and let you know about nine new things at N9NE:
Bar Bites Menu
Whether you’re looking to grab drinks and appetizers after work or a quick and tasty bite before heading out for a night out on the town, our Bar Bites Menu is the perfect solution. Featuring an array of small-plate menu items such as Rhode Island lobster rolls, jumbo shrimp cocktail, shishito peppers, filet mignon sliders, Philly cheese steak egg rolls and more, our Bar Bites Menu is a fun way to try a variety of our popular menu items in a vibrant social setting.
Our monthly “Instagrub” parties have been a huge hit and combine socializing and taking pictures of our food. Guests sample dishes while Instagramming their most creative food shots with a designated hashtag, which enters them into our photo contest. Great prizes including complimentary dinners at Palms restaurants are awarded for the best photos, so bring you’re A game! Instagrub guests also are treated to two specialty cocktails. Talk about a win-win situation.
Some More S’Mores
Remember those fond childhood memories at camp sitting in front of a bonfire roasting marshmallows over an open flame? Remember how many times you’ve tried our version at N9NE? Our Some More S’mores is a spinoff of our Campfire S’mores dessert and features homemade strawberry, orange, Grand Marnier and amaretto hazelnut marshmallows. Each table toasts their own on hibachi stoves over an open flame with white, milk and dark chocolate ganache-covered graham crackers. These are addicting, so don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Kobe Truffle Meatloaf
You spoke, and we listened. Our Kobe truffle meatloaf started out as a “Special of the Day,” but, after selling out of it every single night, we’ve added it as a permanent fixture to our menu. It’s one of my favorites.
Ever wonder what a banana bread-infused cocktail tastes like? How about an apple cinnamon reposado or mango chile vodka shot? Spice up your night with a visit to Scarlet, a sophisticated and intimate bar next door to N9NE with an elaborate mixology program. Side note: Fellas, take your girlfriend or wife here, and I promise that it’ll score you a ton of cool points. We also just started private dinners in here for as many as 10 guests; it’s a one-of-a-N9NE experience.
Prixe-Fixe Menu Change
Our early evening prixe-fixe menu available from 5 to 7 p.m. daily is a steal. For $65, we’ll treat you to amuse, a tasting appetizer of onion soup gratinee or garbage salad, Alaskan halibut or North Atlantic salmon, Organic fire chicken or prime rib-eye steak and assorted mini pastries for dessert. It is an amazing value and features wine pairings.
Truffle Parmesan French Fries and Potato Gnocchi
Need I say more?
Lazy Man’s Maine Lobster
Hailing from Rhode Island, I’ve grown up on fresh lobster my whole life; it was practically in my backyard. I wanted our guests to have that same experience, which is why we ship only the finest-quality lobsters from the Atlantic’s cold waters. Our 2-pound Maine lobster is served out of its shell for easy eating with Yukon gold potato hash, heirloom tomatoes, English peas, basil and lemon butter.
I wouldn’t be a great fill-in for Mr. Leach if I didn’t give you the dish on the latest celebs who’ve come through N9NE. Recent celebrities who have dined with us include Joe Montana, Cee-Lo Green, Ne-Yo, Bruno Mars, Michael Phelps and Gabrielle Union.
Check our other guest column today from photographer Denise Truscello, who regularly graces our pages with her incredible celebrity photos, then on Monday look for our guest columns from Flamingo headliner comedian George Wallace and new “Defending the Caveman” solo actor Chris Allen headlining at Harrah’s. Other guest columnists this week include Terry Fator, Jon Taffer, Louis Prima Jr., James Davis and Jaymes Vaughan, Antonio Esfandiari and “Rock of Ages” cast members.
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
Follow Robin Leach on Twitter at Twitter.com/Robin_Leach.
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Follow VDLX Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.
Palms Casino Resort has come a long way since its "Real World" debut in 2002. The boutique property features three distinct towers and a diverse mix of bars and restaurants across a 95,000-square-foot casino.
Palms, which features more than 1,200 rooms and fantasy suites, is currently undergoing a multi-million dollar transformation that will encompass an Ivory Tower room and suite redesign, new culinary additions, re-imagined gaming spaces and new, distinctive nightlife experiences.
In addition to newly designed rooms, during the first phase of the renovation, Palms will welcome Heraea, a high-energy American restaurant and lounge, and XISHI, a pan-Asian restaurant and lounge.
Fantasy Suites include the Hardwood Suite, the only hotel room in the world with its own basketball court.
Other amenities include the all-new Cantor Gaming® race and sports book, one of the few sports books in Las Vegas to include a poker room; SOCIAL; Scarlet; Chocolat Bistro; tonic bar; ghostbar; Pearl Concert Theater; Moon Nightclub; N9NE Steakhouse; Nove Italiano; Simon Restaurant & Lounge; Palms Pool & Bungalows; Kim Vō Salon; Drift Spa & Hammam; Brenden Theatres, a 14-theatre cineplex and more than 60,000 square-feet of meeting space.