Gordon Ramsay’s solid new pub lacks the flair of his first Strip effort
Wed, Jan 9, 2013 (5:06 p.m.)
Photo: Christopher DeVargas
- Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill
- Caesars Palace, 731-7410.
- Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-midnight; Friday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-2 a.m.
To what should we compare the new Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill? It’s nothing like the celebrity chef’s first Las Vegas outpost, a high-energy steakhouse at Paris. It doesn’t resemble the former Bradley Ogden restaurant, whose perfect casino location it has usurped. It’s probably most similar to the Strip’s best gastropub, the lower-profile Public House at Venetian.
Why compare? Because Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill is not as simple as its name conveys. Especially after the breakaway financial and culinary success of Gordon Ramsay Steak, it seems reasonable to expect greatness here, classic comfort dishes elevated and all that. Just three weeks in, the place is clearly still finding its groove.
The food is tasty, but the menu is mildly confusing. GRPG is open for lunch, dinner and late noshing, and at night, there are two menus: pub and grill. On my first visit, I was seated in the bar, given no explanation of this dual menu stuff, and given only the grill menu. Weird, huh? I couldn’t help thinking of tourists singling out a luscious burger on the menu outside, waiting for a seat and not being able to order it. I’m guessing the restaurant will eventually change and offer one big menu all over.
The cocktails, displayed on an iPad just like at GR Steak, are tasty, and the beer selection is solid, not spectacular. A handful of dishes are a lot less flavorful than you’d think, like Scottish salmon with bacon-braised cabbage ($30) and a pork belly roll-up thing ($32). Simple stuff like mini-burgers, fried oysters, curry oil-infused cream of cauliflower soup and fish and chips shine from the grill menu. I hope the guy who didn’t get his burger appreciated the perfection of the Caesar salad dressing, or the truffled, crispy skin on the fantastic Cornish chicken ($28).
Some bites appear on both menus, but the pub menu has most of the fun stuff—Scotch eggs made with Innis & Gunn beer sausage, deviled eggs, a lamb burger on rosemary brioche, and an open-faced ham sandwich on cheesy Welsh rarebit sourdough. Almost everything is hearty and satisfying, which makes me think maybe this place isn’t trying to blow our minds. Maybe it’s just a good pub.