September 5, 2008

Review: Vintner Grill

Restaurant week, day four, we dined at Vintner Grill in Summerlin. The restaurant sits in a business park; you could drive by hundreds of times without ever noticing it. It bills itself as a bistro that features American dishes with Mediterranean influences. They also claim their desserts are created exclusively by Vosges Haut-Chocolat. It seems we missed the rush when we arrived for our 7:45 reservation. Our server was attentive. Although, his assistant was peculiar, refilling iced teas and clearing away plates seemed to be a chore. Anyway, onto the meal…

Bread was offered on a platter we had the following choices: bacon cranberry ciabatta, brioche, rosemary ciabatta, and pretzel. We sampled all, but the bacon cranberry. The breads were dry and bit stale despite our waiter touting that they are baked fresh daily. They had a unique presentation for their butter. It was inset into the dish and topped with sea salt, it had two trenches that held herbs and olive oil and an olive tapenade.

We each started with a salad. Frank’s consisted of sweet butter lettuce, warm brie, herbs and orange-balsamic vinaigrette. It was accompanied by breaded cheese, which melted in your mouth; it was reminiscent of a mozzarella stick. All the flavors blended well. I had an endive and frisée salad with figs, apple, gorgonzola and mustard dressing. The dressing was sweeter than I expected, but it helped balance the bitterness of the endive. I particularly enjoyed the figs.

I originally chose Vintner Grill because they offered halibut on their RW menu. Frank selected that dish, I considered ordering it, as well, but opted not to for variety sake. I went with chicken paillard, instead. Such a mistake, I don’t think I’ve ever regretted a dish selection more. The halibut was seared and perfectly moist; it sat on a bed of couscous, spinach, orzo and tomatoes. My dish on the other hand was dry, salty and paled in comparison. The peaches and croutons that complemented the greens were redeeming.

Dessert followed, tiramisu with chocolate genoise and mascarpone cream and caramelized lemon tart with blackberry merlot sauce and gelato. Both were well prepared. Frank doesn’t like lemon desserts so I had the tart to myself. I polished it off in no time. It was excellent.

Initially, I wasn’t enthused with Vintner Grill, but the halibut and lemon tart did woo me. I would consider going back for the halibut alone.

No comments: