Cocktails And Dinner At Herbs And Rye

I was looking for somewhere to enjoy some good cocktails and the universal recommendation was Herbs and Rye, a small steakhouse and cocktail bar located well away from the Las Vegas Strip. It’s far enough that you’re not going to be able to walk to it, but the cab ride wasn’t horrible. Don’t let the outside fool you, it’s deliberately designed to look that way due to the 1920s speakeasy theme. Once you go inside, you’re in a dimly lit, red walled, vintage steakhouse. The lighting has the effect of turning each table in to its own island. They’re known for their extensive cocktail repertoire, to the point where the menu is pages of cocktails, broken down by era, and a half a page of food choices.

I was flying solo tonight, so I asked them if it’d be a problem to stuff me in a corner so that I could enjoy some food, cocktails, and read a book I’d brought along. They happily obliged, without any fuss. Amy, the hostess, was fantastic, as was Christian, my server. For starters, I asked him to bring me a Vieux Carré, which was delicious, as well as a 14 oz. New York Strip, butchered in-house, with a side of “Brussels Sprouts with Honey Swine”. The steak was cooked to a perfect medium rare, seasoned with nothing more than a little salt and pepper. The side was also tasty, and should help convince people who aren’t too keen on Brussels sprouts that they can be done well. After dinner I asked the bartender to surprise me with something based on an Islay malt. It didn’t have a name, but was Laphroaig 10, Cherry Heering, orange and grapefruit juice, bitters, and an expressed and flamed lemon peel. Also incredibly delicious, and went well with some quiet reading time. When I finished up, they called me a cab and notified me, at my table, when it had arrived.


Banger Brewing Tour And Tasting

I had some free time today, because Heather was working late, so I grabbed a cab and headed down to Fremont Street to visit Banger Brewing for a tour and tasting. They’re a small brewery right on the old strip. It was interesting to see just how much they’re able to do in such a small space. They’re not distributed outside of the Las Vegas area, so if you’re out there, go check them out.

The first beer I had was the More Cal-Bel, their take on a Belgian IPA. It was delicious, with a great hop punch and good malt sweetness. It’s a little higher in ABV, so pace yourself.

Next up was the El Jeffe Jalapeño Wheat, a lighter wheat beer with the kick of jalapeño peppers. I’m not usually all that in to pepper beers, because while I like spicy foods, they seem to have the heat without the flavor. This was one of the exceptions, as the fruity flavors of the peppers shone through. Yes, there was heat, but it was a component of a well rounded beer.

I finished off the tasting with a Knight RYEder, their take on an imperial stout, made with some rye malt. Rye’s been making an appearance in more and more craft brews, bringing its spiciness and body to various styles. It worked really well in this beer, balancing out the roasted malts and alcohol. I’d love to try this one in a barrel aged version, I bet that would be really tasty…