Expectations hit the ceiling when MGM Resorts and the Sydell Group planted award-winning chef Bryce Shuman on the Las Vegas Strip to launch Primrose, the next evolution of the casino three-meal restaurant at Monte Carlo (which will soon become Park MGM). We only knew that the food and drinks would be French-inspired and thoughtfully composed to match the country home and garden environment inside the new restaurant space.
It turns out Shuman is really good at frying things, the first of many discoveries made at Primrose. Lunch or dinner must start with the mozzarella croquette, a fancy name for what’s essentially the best version of the bar-food favorite you’ve ever encountered. The soft, salty cheese with the perfectly crispy crust rests on a bed of bright, fresh tomato sauce, topped with crispy basil. A similar approach results in the fried chicken Provençal, boneless tenders coated in a remarkably flavorful and light batter with herbs de Provence blended in, a fresh and savory take on the classic comfort dish. There’s tangy spring onion aioli for dipping, too.
Shuman’s “garden fries” are another must-eat offering, an addictive array of pickled and tempura-fried dill beans and hot peppers with a light, mustardy sauce gribiche as accompaniment. Each bite is crunchy and stunningly non-greasy, a snack you simply cannot resist. These appetizers offer an ideal gateway into the Primrose menu, full of roasted and grilled specialties and delicate vegetable dishes. And they’re an early indication that we’re all going to be spending a lot of time exploring the cuisine at this refreshing new restaurant. Primrose at Monte Carlo, 702-730-6600; Sunday-Thursday 7 a.m.-10 p.m., Friday & Saturday 7 a.m.-midnight.