Comme Ça is one of my favorite restaurants, because there’s always a surprise. I’ve had many meals at chef David Myers’ Cosmopolitan bistro and have always appreciated the precision and passion demonstrated in the more classic dishes, but it’s the unexpected stuff that really blows my mind. Dining out so frequently can occasionally become tiresome and monotonous; when I feel that way, Comme Ça is one of few restaurants I can count on to spark my culinary interests once again.
It’s also one of the growing number of Las Vegas Strip restaurants that changes its menu with seasonal frequency, and a full spring menu overhaul has been completed. Don’t worry: that near-iconic burger is still present, as are bistro standards like fresh shellfish, amazing charcuterie and beef tartare. But almost everything else is new.
Start with the fabulous wild mushroom tarte ($14), maybe the best single bite I’ve had so far this year. Light, flaky pastry is topped with caramelized onion, chunks of bacon, goat cheese delicately accented with lemon and thyme, and thin shards of musky, dry mushrooms that achieve a truffle-esque phenomenon. This masterpiece could be a satisfying meal all by itself, but share with your friends and make room for smoky Mediterranean octopus ($18) with a ragout of basil, piquillo peppers and purple runner beans, and pan roasted sweetbreads ($18) with cauliflower, morel mushrooms and blackberry.
There are eight new seasonal entrees, and working my way through them all might be a little obsessive. I’ll have to come back for the heritage pork collar with braised mustard greens ($34) and the house-made boudin blanc ($24). I couldn’t stop eating Provencal steamed mussels ($26) in fennel broth with a touch of Pernod, a toasty slab of bread ready and willing to sop up those delicious juices.
Precision? The loup de mere, or European sea bass ($35) was absolute perfection, crispness enveloping tender, flaky flesh with a charred lemon butter sauce plus melted spring onion and green garlic peas. And the surprise? A twisted take on arancini, the crispy lemon risotto ($24) is actually several crunchy cubes of bright and rich rice with artichoke, fava beans, cilantro and parmesan. With main plates like these, it’s easy to forget side dishes, but you’ll want to check out mac and cheese gratin with smoked duck ($12).
These dishes are just the latest adjustments at Comme Ça, which also recently added happy hour menu items in the bar including chicken fried foie gras with black truffle gravy on a sweet roll (seriously!). The bad news is seasonal specials don’t last forever. The good news is you still have time to eat this wondrous food.
Comme Ça Cosmopolitan, 698-7910. Monday-Thursday, 5-11 p.m.; Friday-Sunday, noon-11 p.m.