On my second night in Las Vegas I was thrilled to accept an invitation from one of my favorite vendors, who happens to handle the Alain Ducasse properties in France. RIVEA, Ducasse's newest installation, just happens to be the top floor of my hotel, the Delano with outrageously wonderful views of the Las Vegas skyline. We had drinks and champagne first in the elegant Skyfall Lounge next door with even a better view and outdoor heaters aflalme in this chilly weather.
RIVEA has Chef Bruno Riou in charge and while he is in control, I do not understand why the food is Italian bistro, where M. Ducasse is indeed one of the greatest French chefs on earth.
No bread here, just excellent grissini, which we munched on with Rolle, La Chapelle Gordonne, 2013, a white Vermintino from Cotes de Provences that I adored. The starters were Mozzarella di bufala & tomato, excellent Tomato Pizzettas with Culatello, San Daniele (prosciutto) & Bresaola that was truly lean and excellent. I also loved the piquant and tasty Octopus Salad with Coco Beans and Confit Bell Peppers.
The pasta was Paccheri with superbly cooked Ox Cheek and a French Daube-style sauce which is a hearty brown sauce that worked superbly with the meat. I was ready for the red wine and it did come as I almost finished (we were a big group and the place was jammed). Domaine Triennes 2013 from Var, France is a blend of Syrah, Merlot and Cab that was smooth, drinkable and tasty with a good body to boot.
The main course was an amazing Pepper crusted Bison Tenderloin that was soft, rare and divine.
It was the dessert that blew us all away. LIMONCELLO BABA with Meyer Limoncello from CelloVia in the USA, which is as good as any Italian limoncello I have had. The baba was split, soaked with limoncello, as opposed to rum and then doused with a delightful gob of whipped cream. Nobody left a bite on their plate and then a fortified red granache akin to Banyuls arrived.
We had more time overlooking the city from the private dining room at the other side, which had just emptied out (there is also a chef's table in the kitchen with no view save to the food).
Our meal was enjoyable, for sure but I guess I wanted more sublime French and was taken aback. I have no clue what the cost was, so I can't compare, but I am sure this view and M. Ducasse's name go for a price as high as the sixty-something floor it is on!