Four fantastic bites from the Vegas Uncork’d Grand Tasting

Weekly’s food critics share the most memorable flavors of one serious feast

Mmmm. Can’t you just taste Bar Masa’s Kobe ceviche?
Photo: Justin M. Bowen
Jim Begley, John Curtas, Sarah Feldberg, Brock Radke

1. From STK’s sliders to Jet Tila’s pork buns, great food was all over the event. But one dish stood out for its deep, sneaky heat, seafood forward flavors and dramatic presentation—the grouper and shrimp ceviche with mango habañero salsa from Mesa Grill. Served in a mini-pineapple shell, it was everything food festival eats are supposed to be: lovely to look at, refreshing and packing a punch … in two bites! The last time I was this taken with a Bobby Flay dish, Bill Clinton was president, so you know it had to be great. –John Curtas

2. Among so many baby bites of sauced, savory meats and super-sweet, decadent desserts, it was something simple and soulful that stood out during my Uncork’d Grand Tasting. Restaurant Guy Savoy served a taste of rich, creamy mushroom soup alongside a delicately crisp, salty-buttery piece of mushroom brioche—a truly satisfying combo. –Brock Radke

3. Once in a while a piece of meat is so good it stops you in your tracks and makes you pause to concentrate on every bite. That’s what happened with my first forkful of Kobe beef ceviche from Bar Masa’s booth at the Grand Tasting. The elegantly marbled steak and its citrus marinade contrasted for a bite that was rich but refreshing, indulgent and bright. The only problem? Stopping in your tracks in a swarm of hungry foodies isn’t recommended. –Sarah Feldberg

4. After a water leak-induced hiatus in late April, Blue Ribbon came back in style at Vegas Uncork’d with a spicy crab hand roll with shiso (Japanese mint). The shiso was a nice touch cooling the crab’s bite, with both nestled atop warm rice (surprise!) in nori wrapping—perfect for the evening’s walking feast. –Jim Begley


Previous Discussion:

  • Tender wrappers, each plumped up to the size of a playing card, swaddle a juicy pork/vegetable blend worthy of being trumpeted on the marquee.

  • La Monja will be a Mexican-style raw bar, while Hatsumi will offer a more elegant experience, focused on traditional robata and irori grilling.

  • Head to the bar for executive chef Mark Andelbradt’s counter-only menu and prepare for a range of explosive flavors.

  • Get More Dining Stories
Top of Story