After eating the Bromberg brothers’ comforting cuisine for years in Las Vegas at Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar & Grill, Brooklyn Bowl and Blue Ribbon Fried Chicken, my familiarity with their food might have caused me to make a mistake: not prioritizing a visit to the updated Blue Ribbon at the Cosmopolitan. It opened in June, a conversion from the sizzling hot, sushi-laden nightspot that arrived with the resort in 2010 into a new take on the original Blue Ribbon Brasserie from SoHo. The transition appeared to be an assist for Zuma, the sushi-centric izakaya that also arrived this year, just steps away, as part of Cosmo’s restaurant refresh.
I ate my way through Zuma—and Momofuku and Milk Bar and Beauty & Essex and Eggslut—the new restaurants at the cool casino, almost forgetting that this Blue Ribbon is also new. But the thing you’re looking for is always in the last place you look, and this is the Cosmo arrival I’ll come back to the most.
Designed by Asfour Guzy Architects with contributions from longtime artistic partner Jen Ferguson, the space is shiny, dark, classy and sexy—the perfect brasserie. I’ll go back and forth between a seat at the handsome, well-serviced bar and one of the secluded, almost secret booths in the back.
The sushi is gone, unless you count yellowtail and salmon ceviche ($20) and a subtle sashimi plate ($26). In its place are over-the-top raw bar offerings like the Imperial tower ($425) with its entire lobster, 50 grams of Baeri Royal Siberian sturgeon caviar and a whole lot more. That’s for those with expense accounts. I’m here for the soothing matzoh ball soup loaded with dill ($14); escargot and mushroom toast with bacon and apple ($19); and buttery, flaky red trout with crispy skin served over cheesy spatzle with almond brown butter ($29). The Blue Ribbon Burger ($28) will change, but for now it’s a blend of chuck and smoked brisket topped with half a twice-baked potato and served with foie gras fries.
Of course, there’s fried chicken ($30), and they’ll bring out some wasabi honey if you want to reminisce. But there’s also a Pu Pu Platter ($19 per person) with wings, ribs, shrimp, fried oysters, chicken skewers and duck eggrolls. It’s so much fun, I’m rounding up a group. Want in?
Blue Ribbon The Cosmopolitan, 702-698-7880. Sunday-Thursday, 5 p.m.-1 a.m.; Friday & Saturday, 5 p.m.-2 a.m.