3930 Las Vegas Blvd S
Las Vegas, NV 89119
Dining date: 5/11/12
When my family was looking for the ideal lunch spot before the Vegas Uncork’d Grand Tasting, rm seafood seemed to fit the bill. None of us had been before (harder than it sounds), and the seafood-centric menu promised some lighter fare ahead of the binge eating that would happen at night.
Rick Moonen made a name for himself on the East Coast before opening this two-story restaurant at Mandalay Bay in 2005. The top floor is more of a fine dining dinner-only establishment, while the downstairs offers a more casual atmosphere and lunch service. Moonen may be best known for two stints on Top Chef Masters, including a memorable second season in which he was a runner-up behind winner Marcus Samuelsson. For some time now, I’ve been eager to try his food; this lunch would be my first time.
A display of fresh seafood greets everyone at the entrance, as well as a large fully-stocked bar; a must in Las Vegas it seems.
Between the seven of us, we ordered a number of appetizers and entrees.
rick’s white clam chowder potatoes, littleneck clams, bacon
The chowder was milky with a strong smoky flavor, presumably from the bacon. Almost overpowering. Delicious plump clams filled the soup, really making the dish.
jumbo lump crab cake fresh blue crab, carrot salad, chipotle aioli
A large crab cake was seared to a crisp and filled with chunks of crab, pretty well done. Lightly pickled vegetables added some cool acidity to pair with the crab cake.
clams casino baked littleneck clams, bell peppers, bacon
Next came the appetizer I ordered: clams casino. Plump littleneck clams were complemented by the texture of the crisp bacon and breadcrumbs; again, the bacon provided a very strong smoky flavor.
maine lobster rolls 1/2 pound lobster “new england style”
A generous portion of two lobster rolls were my entree. Finely chopped red onions and celery accompanied the lobster as well as a heavy-handed helping of mayo. I thought these were pretty good rolls, but they could’ve used less of the mayo, which never seemed to stop dripping out of the bottom. Many of the potato chips were so oily I was surprised they were served.
This off-menu dish came highly recommended from the server. A rice-less roll of sushi had a tuna base and what I thought was spicy scallop, topped with eel sauce and puffed rice. The eel sauce provided nice savory depth while the puffed rice added some textural contrast.
fish tacos pico de gallo, shredded cabbage, chipotle cream
My cousin opted for fish tacos.
grilled chicken wrap tabooley, tzatziki, spicy pickled vegetables
My mom went with the chicken wrap – she liked the chicken but found the wrap to be disappointingly stiff and bready.
We were debating passing on dessert in anticipation of dinner that night, but this dessert caught my dad’s eye. It would be a perfect dessert to share between the seven of us too.
rick’s tasting game 16 flavors of ice cream and sorbet served blind
One of the more fun desserts I’ve seen in some time, 16 scoops of ice cream came out with a blank sheet of paper. There isn’t a prize involved (just bragging rights), but you make a guess for each flavor and the answers are shared at the end.
I thought we did OK with the guessing. It was kind of tricky since most of the ice creams were a combination of 2+ flavors.
Our lunch at rm seafood was one I’d say was “just okay.” Nothing was particularly impressive, though nothing was really disappointing. With all of the options in Las Vegas dining, I can’t say it was enough for a return visit for dinner.