Elements Kitchen and Martini Bar
Time for the ladies’ birthday dinner. This year, after extensive deliberations, it was Elements Kitchen and Martini Bar at Rainbow and Tropicana.
So let’s start at the martini bar title of the equation.
The restaurant has 400+ martinis on their menu. It is hard for me to understand the reason for 400+ martinis, even though there are many repetitions with the primary alcohol interchanged. However, I decided to buy in. I am your standard scotch neat or on the rocks kind of guy, I went for the Triple Threat (scotch, lime juice, and cointreau). Not bad, like a scotch margarita minus the salt rim. The other three went with standard vodka or gin versions of the perfect martini; my wife did the Perestroika (Triple Threat with vodka rather than scotch). I do see how this would be a great happy hour place with $ 2.00 off drinks and appetizers.
Onward to appetizers!
The two couples chose to split appetizers. Our favorite dining couple went with the fried calamari and spicy dipping sauce. They both seemed to enjoy this course (I have a personal approach; if I didn’t order it I don’t try it. Everybody else was sharing, not my thing. Let the comments come!) The birthday wife and I split the mussels in coconut milk and curry. Mussels are my favorite shell food, but my preferred preparation is Mediterranean. But this preparation was very good. Not spicy, but excellent (not too strong) curry/southwest Asian flavors.
Entrees, three off the menu and one special. Let’s start with the other birthday lady. She ordered the Linguine Elements (Pasta with andouille sausage and Vidalia onions). I don’t have a take. Usually she has an opinion either good or bad. No indications here. However, her husband raved about the ½ duck entrée. Based on the rest of the table (see above) this was the evening’s best entree. My better half went for the NY Strip with chimichuri. She thought it was very good. I went for the special, half rack of ribs. Apparently, this is a popular special as the couple at the next table are regulars and didn’t need a menu to order. This was a tropical BBQ sauce vs. American smoke. VERY GOOD!
Desserts, not tonight, thank you.
With a flourless chocolate cake at home, no desserts were ordered. However, as Chef Jose does the savory cooking, including baking the bread daily (very good), Katherine, his wife, makes the desserts. We will save this for another visit. She said this night’s special dessert was bread pudding using her husband’s stale bread (bread pudding is one of my favorites, maybe next time).
How about the service and overall experience: Very Good!
Reviewers at another site (Yxxx.com) thought Katherine (front of house) was a little overbearing, especially in praising her husband. My thought, yes she talks highly about her husband, Jose the chef. But I am proud of what my wife does and will talk about it, she should too.
Some folks have compared this to Rosemary’s. I wasn’t a fan of Rosemary’s, but I would drive from NLV airport area to Elements for dinner.