So it was a little ironic that I traveled to Las Vegas to go to the San Francisco-style Nob Hill Tavern by Michael Mina, but I have no regrets! It was actually one of the best meals of my life. I ate at Michael Mina in San Francisco years ago and it was a really nice, expensive 11-course meal. Nob Hill Tavern is definitely more casual and little bit lighter on the wallet.
We were celebrating my best friend Anne’s belated birthday and I requested a special table. The first few tables in the restaurant are a little bit more private and can fit 2-4 people in a booth. There’s a larger common room in the back. I was really impressed with the intimate feel of the booth (I felt like I was on a fancy date with Anne) and the great service!
Started the meal with raw oysters and they were some of the best oysters I’ve ever had. Even though they were smaller, the oysters were still plump, juicy and creamy. The waiter told us that the oysters came from British Columbia, but I can’t remember the name. Anne had the chilled cucumber gazpacho soup with dungeness crab and a little bit of lemon oil. The soup was light and refreshing and a great palate cleanser. I had to order the seared foie gras (I can never pass it up when I see it on the menu) and it was served with large pieces of toast and mango chutney. The foie gras was cooked perfectly with a buttery texture and rich taste. I actually wasn’t a big fan of the toast and the chutney. I thought the bread was too thick and a little too overwhelming for the foie gras. I actually cut the bread in half so that I could enjoy the combination better. While the chutney wasn’t bad, I’m a traditionalist when it comes to foie gras brulee. I like it more when it comes with poached pears or apples. I still managed to eat everything on my plate though.
For our main courses, I ordered the day boat scallops served on top of a bed of braised radicchio and topped with grapes and toasted almonds. I was immediately impressed by how thick the scallops were. Those succulent morsels melted in my mouth and I found myself cutting the scallops in smaller and smaller bites so I could extend the eating experience. The radicchio was almost caramelized, but the sweetness was also balanced out with a slight bitterness. We ordered the truffle mac and cheese and I almost felt like it wasn’t cheesy enough. I wouldn’t order that again.
My favorite part of the meal was actually Anne’s dish, chicken breast served with pole beans, lemon chickpea fritters, shallot marmalade, swimming in chicken jus. This was the best chicken dish I have ever had in my life. The chicken was incredibly tender and moist, and the skin was crispy. It was out of this world. I asked the waiter how they cooked it and he explained that they first sear the chicken, sous-vide* it, and finally crisp up the skin (*sous-vide is when you cook the food in a plastic bag in a water bed). If you go to Nob Hill Tavern, you must order the chicken!
Our waiter was super nice and I ordered a Grand Marnier souffle when Anne left the table. We surprised her with a candle and a sign, and it was delicious! The souffle was light and fluffy (almost like a cloud), but I wish it came with some sauce (creme anglaise would have been killer).
Overall, I was super happy with our meal at Nob Hill Tavern and I would totally recommend it! Totally appreciated the excellent service, nicer table and special birthday dessert.