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Dish Spotlight: Spaghetti with Slow-Braised Veal Cheeks from Brasserie PUCK

Hot off the heels of our (why do I always say “our”? I wrote the damn thing!) last post which was about delicious tortured, grotesquely altered duck and goose livers, I thought I’d follow up with another surefire winner with PETA; the face ripped off a baby cow over pasta, a.k.a. – the Spaghetti with Slow-Braised Veal Cheeks from Brasserie PUCK.

Spaghetti with Slow-Braised Veal Cheeks from Brasserie PUCK

Spaghetti with Slow-Braised Veal Cheeks from Brasserie PUCK

The Wolfman’s newest Vegas eatery recently opened up at Crystals and marks the first “French” restaurant Wolfgang Puck has opened in nearly 30 years.  The jury is still out if this should technically even be called a French restaurant, but he has French Onion Soup and Filet Mignon au Poivre on the menu and he called it a Brasserie, so why not.

The "View" from Brasserie PUCK Dining Room

The "View" from Brasserie PUCK Dining Room

The dining room is open air to the Christopher Reeve Era Fortress of Solitude-ish stark white mish mash of angles that is Crystals. It almost feels as if Marlon Brando is about to tell you how the son becomes the father and the father becomes the son, but then you are brought some delicious bread with butter, dijon mustard and an extraordinary chicken liver mousse and you forget about the clinical interior of Crystals.

Bread with Butter, Dijon Mustard and Chicken Liver Mousse

Bread with Butter, Dijon Mustard and Chicken Liver Mousse

The Spaghetti with Slow-Braised Veal Cheeks ($22) may be just a hop, skip and a jump (and a customs border check) from Alsace, but it called my name from the menu so I ordered it. I’m glad I did.

The thin spaghetti (bordering on the line of spaghettini) was at a perfect doneness with a wonderfully flavorful tomato sauce, using the veal cheek braising liquid to deepen the flavor.  Hunks of nicely subdued garlic and a little bit of starch to re-thicken the sauce rounded out what was a delicious compliment, both in flavor and in texture, to the pasta and the star of the plate; the veal cheeks.

The magnificently tender and delicately tasty veal cheeks were sliced and plentiful in the plate of pasta.  They were melt in your mouth good and gave what could have easily been a heavy plate of food a certain airiness to it.  My only gripe about the dish is that some of the reheated veal cheek slices were a bit on the tepid side and could have used a few more seconds in the sauté pan.  It is an artful fine line to not flush hours of slow-braising down the toilet with an overdone reheat when the order comes up, and in this situation I’m glad they erred on the side of caution.

Peartini from Brasserie PUCK

Peartini from Brasserie PUCK

A few other quick notes about the evening; get the Peartini, as it is just a splendid cocktail with the use of pear puree. Also, our server, Gabby, was a rockstar of service and I wanted to make sure she got a special shout out.  We really are fortunate in Las Vegas to be treated with such an abundance of magnificent service, and Gabby is among the best in town!  Also keep in mind that Brasserie PUCK is offering 25% off the entire bill for Las Vegas locals through April 30, 2010!

I bestow my full recommendation to give the Spaghetti with Slow-Braised Veal Cheeks from Brasserie PUCK a taste.  I assure you that the parts of the baby cow that was the ends of its smile will, in turn, put a smile on your face!


Brasserie PUCK

Crystals at CityCenter
3720 Las Vegas Blvd. S. Suite # 240
Las Vegas, NV 89109

(702) 238-1000

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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