Saturday, January 8, 2011

Restaurant Review: Pamplemousse

400 east Sahara avenue
Las Vegas
Nevada 89104

Old school Vegas charm paired with good food equals a unique dining experience. That's what I learned at Pamplemousse in Las Vegas. A waiter with more personality than you'll find just about anywhere added to the charm of this tiny, not so off the beaten path restaurant. My father who was in Las Vegas with me this week suggested it, as he had been there the year before with some relatives who live in the area. I absolutely love finding these types of places and without him we would have been at just another huge hotel restaurant with a big name and some celebrity chef.

We were seated in a side room that we were told was frequented by the rat pack, replete with striped curtains on the ceiling and outside, a bit of hastily strung-looking lights for ambiance along with what looked like a 3-tiered fountain built in to a wall that had long stopped running. I imagined the rat pack closing the striped curtains and smoking cigars and entertaining in this room many years ago. What an amazing quality of old Vegas this place has!

We were seated and greeted with a tremendous veggie basket and a long list of specials not on the menu, including frog legs, upon which we decided not to indulge. We chose lobster bisque and the special scallops for our appetizers. I’m told the bisque was the best part of the meal and a patron at the next table also agreed. As for my scallops, they were cooked properly but I prefer mine seared pretty well with a nice caramelized color to them. These were just barely seared.

We moved on to our main courses which consisted of lobster ravioli for me and the scallops as a main for my father. His scallops looked identical to my appetizer except just more of them. My ravioli had a very nice lobster cream sauce with it and was good but not life-changing by any means.

We both had also ordered the chocolate lava cakes for dessert which came with a homemade ice-cream on top along with a "dollop" of whipped cream. The dollop however was as big as the scoop of ice-cream and I think we can all agree that's not a bad thing.

Overall Pamplemousse was a terrific dining experience, mostly due to the d├ęcor and service, both incredible. The food was good, but nothing out of this world. I would definitely recommend a visit if you are in town just to experience the quaint charm and ambiance of old Las Vegas along with a good meal.

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