It’s opening day at star chef Robert Irvine’s huge new restaurant on the Las Vegas Strip, and I’m trying to find out his favorite dish on the menu. It’s a tough call; the all-day menu offers hearty, familiar comfort foods with fun, flavorful twists, like the kale pesto pizza with speck, or a devastatingly delicious version of fish and chips with shoestring fries topped with curry, bacon and feta cheese.
“It depends what mood I’m in,” says the burly Brit. “Yesterday, I had the tomahawk ribeye, and it’s a meal and a half; easily feeds four people. I was stuffed, but not stuffed enough to skip the banoffee pie.”
Indeed, the classic English treat made with bananas, cream and toffee should not be missed. Other standouts include the “fork and knife” fondue burger, Creekstone Farms Black Angus beef on brioche smothered in mushrooms, onions and bacon; creative salads like mixed heirloom tomatoes with grilled ciabatta; chicken-fried duck confit with maple and sherry vinegar; and the stone-fired shepherds pie, made traditionally with lamb and a mashed potato crust.
Robert Irvine’s Public House is off to a quick start, thanks to its Strip-front location at the Tropicana. The star chef says that’s just the start at the iconic Vegas property. “They’ve put a lot of money into this place, and they’re really restoring the luster of it,” Irvine says. “This restaurant and the rooms and suites is really only the first part. I’ve seen the plans, and it’s really cool. I’m just glad to be part of a company that has the same feelings about food as I do.” Robert Irvine’s Public House at the Tropicana, 702-739-2307; daily 11 a.m.-11 p.m.