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Dish Spotlight: Lobster Pot Pie from Nobhill Tavern

Hot off the heels of the 2010 James Beard Award Semifinalist announcements, I wanted to go to one of the nominees that I haven’t been to before.  Almost ashamed to say, I haven’t been to Michael Mina’s Nobhill Tavern at the MGM Grand in the 5 ½ years The Wife and I have called Las Vegas Home-Sweet-Home, so we were certainly overdue for a visit.  Always loving a good date night with The Wife, we decided to see what San Francisco’s own had to offer.

The MGM Grand feels like one of the more cavernous resorts in town to me, with only the meandering Ode to Italia that is The Venetian being the ultimate cluster.  After walking around in a huge circle that took us by a Wolfgang Puck joint (in case ya haven’t heard, he’s got a thousand few places here) the Ka Theater and Jöel Robuchon’s Culinary Cathedral, we finally found Nobhill Tavern’s front desk and was greeted with a smile.

Nobhill Tavern at the MGM Grand

Nobhill Tavern at the MGM Grand

Speaking of that smile, it is in the Outstanding Service category that Nobhill Tavern got the JBF nod for.  James Beard ain’t joking either, as the service we received here was nothing short of extraordinary.  The service was so good that it is worthy of it’s own post to be written at a later date.  For now I’ll try my best to stick to the Lobster Pot Pie.

Our fabulous server, Leo, brought our attention to a two for one entree special that they were running for Las Vegas locals.  Two for one entrees?!?  Score! No better time to pony up the now $85 (eek!) for some Lobster Pot Pie since now we get TWO Lobster Pot Pies…and you know the only thing better than a Lobster Pot Pie is two of them!

Lobster Pot Pie from Nobhill Tavern

Lobster Pot Pie from Nobhill Tavern

After mouth-watering breads and superb appetizers, the beautifully paced meal came to its climax when a cart with two pastry covered copper pots were rolled out on a cart. Table side service!  Harkening to an era of better days, Leo and another fine server each carefully cut the pastry top from the copper pots only to reveal a steamy stew of Crustaceanary Delight.

The Guts of the Lobster Pot Pie

The Guts of the Lobster Pot Pie

A whole lobster (minus the head, and thank you, heads sort of freak me out), potatoes and various aromatics like carrots and pearl onions, greens and super-delish Peruvian Purple Potatoes were plated atop the circle of pot pie lid and then topped with a mind-blowing Truffle Lobster Stock Cream.

Leo Plating the Lobster Pot Pie

Leo Plating the Lobster Pot Pie

The Truffle Lobster Stock Cream was indeed the Lobster Bisque of the Gods. I can’t imagine a better saucing for the plate of sheer decadence that was put before us.  It was perfect, as was the exquisite preparation of all the ingredients involved.  To get the diverse collection of vegetables and various parts of the lobster to all cook to a perfection under the mystery of a pastry top is not only masterful, but it takes some chutzpah in my book.  Then again, I burn ice when I cook it.

Two Lobster Pot Pies and The Wife. A great night.

Two Lobster Pot Pies and The Wife. A great night.

The Lobster Pot Pie is listed at Market Price, and Nobhill Tavern must shop at Whole Foods with the current price at $85.  It is steep, but I’m going to go out on a limb and say it’s worth it, even without the local Twofer special.  With how good the ingredients are, how well those good ingredients are prepared, the (sadly) rare and well done table side presentation and the You’re-Eating-On-The-Las-Vegas-Strip Tax, a price tag of $85 can be justified.  I didn’t say it was easy, but it can.

I regret that it took us 5 1/2 years to make it to Nobhill Tavern, as this was overall one of the best dining experiences we have had since moving to this desert with the sparkly lights.  Nobhill Tavern certainly has more moderately priced entrees for those not interested in blowing a small fortune on dinner.  If the Lobster Pot Pie and spectacular Woodfire Grilled Sausage appetizer (with a dijon beurre blanc that I want to bathe in) are any indication of the rest of the menu, Nobhill Tavern is a must visit destination in Las Vegas.

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Nobhill Tavern

MGM Grand Las Vegas
3799 Las Vegas Blvd. S.
Las Vegas, NV 89109

(702) 891-7337

http://www.mgmgrand.com/restaurants/nobhill-tavern-restaurant.aspx

Follow Nobhill Tavern on Twitter at @NobhillTavernLV

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Mike Dobranski is a professional musician, amateur blogger, eater of good food, poker junkie, master of the inappropriate comment and bad husband to a wonderful wife. Follow him on Twitter at @MikeDobranski.

Follow Tasting Las Vegas on Twitter at @TastingLasVegas

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