|The Smash & The Fuhgettaboudet|
The sign of a truly great dining experience can be summed up via memory. After a week do you still crave that delicious intriguing popcorn? Are you thinking about how nice it would be to escape the Las Vegas heat and sip either a Elder Melon Sangria or a minty fresh "The Smash?” If the answer is YES then the dining experience at Therapy absolutely qualifies as memorable. Located at 518 Main Street this new chic Downtown Vegas restaurant with New York style has debuted on the restaurant scene with a splash.
The menu is simple enough that if you are not a full-fledged foodie you will not be intimidated and on the other hand if you are a sophisticated foodie you will find delightful pairings that will have you thinking “hummmm” interesting. What am I referring to? For starters the appetizers or “Bites” are served tapas style. Meant to be shared but honestly some are hard to share! The intriguing popcorn? Let’s start there; this popcorn has a myriad of flavors that fit perfectly, fresh popcorn served with fried paprika peanuts with bits of maple candied bacon, so satisfying and interesting. You might be tempted to pick through the popcorn for the thick squares of bacon and if your fellow diners don’t mind go for it! FLAVOR..FLAVOR…FLAVOR!
Since sharing is caring, another bountiful dish is the Basket of Bread which consists of soft pretzel bread and mini bacon baguettes served with a spicy beer mustard dipping sauce and sea salt butter. The mustard sauce has enough bite to coat the pretzel bread but is not overpowering, and the pretzel is soft and moist right out of the oven. Bring on the bread!
However do not, DO NOT leave Therapy without trying the “Gnudi” a wonderful combination of baked ricotta, truffle honey, fig jam, roasted almonds & cranberry served with walnut crostini’s. This dish is so creamy and flavorful that I literally wanted to eat it by the spoonful. As you might know ricotta cheese by itself is a little bland but the infusion of the above ingredients makes this a dish a definite do! Just one more rave about this dish, Truffle Honey seriously amps the wow factor and delights your taste buds.
|Charred Kale Salad|
Here is the part where the serious foodie might take notice of this unexpected and wonderfully different yet simple dish that is the Charred Kale salad. Kale is the new superfood on the block but if not cooked correctly it can be bitter and tough. Executive Chef Daniel Ontiveros knows exactly how to treat this leafy green food. He grills it in olive oil and then adds roasted beets, a sunny farm egg and radishes and tossed with a smoked bacon vinaigrette. Egg you say with Kale? Yes I had the same thought but the yolk blends nicely with the smoky kale and the bacon vinaigrette brings it all together perfectly! A harmonious unexpected pairing that I want to duplicate every day at home! Unexpectedly the tartness of the beets adds a brightness of flavor that is simply marvelous.
There are more fabulous dishes on this menu. With a nod to his El Paso Texas upbringing Chef Ontiveros has put together an oxtail empanada that is so rich and tender that you will not believe that it is oxtail! This braised beef part is paired perfectly with the light flaky crusty empanada and the rich gravy is slow cooked and savory. Another four star dish! Who can say no to Shrimp Scampi and who would want to? This Scampi has Garlic marinated gulf shrimp in a white wine sauce and grilled toast. The butter is not overpowering but serves to bring out the delicate shrimp essence and garlic flavor.
|Kurobuta Bone In Pork Chop|
Now we can talk about one of the big guns on the menu! The tempting and tantalizing delicious Kurobuta Bone in Pork double Chop topped with a fresh grilled peach compote served with mustard mashed potatoes and pork jus. The mustard in the potatoes tempts and brings out the sweetness of the peach compote and they complement each other perfectly. The Kurobuta pork is referred to as “black hog” and is the crème de la crème of pork. This pork comes from the Berkshire variety, a heritage breed that originated in Bershshire, England and has been kept pure bred for hundreds of years. This dish is a favorite not only because of the robust flavors but it brought back fond childhood memories of eating baked pork chops with peaches. Granted my memories were regular chops not this “Pork Beauty Pageant” winner but it still brought out some nostalgic feelings. This double chop was moist and juicy and cooked to perfection; another tasty testament to the prowess that Chef Ontiveros has with flavorings.
After such wonderful entrees and bites the meal would not be complete without dessert or Simply Sweets. The trio of freshly made sorbets in three flavors cherry, orange, and key lime were a perfect way to cleanse the palate and were the right light touch for dessert. But imagine my delight when the crumbled Carrot Cake was brought out with a schmear of cream cheese and it was not heavy! Usually after such a large meal one of the last items to enjoy would be a heavy cake. This carrot cake was fluffy and light and is a huge favorite of patrons. Not your average carrot cake and a must taste on the menu.
Here in Las Vegas everything is sparkly and new. Therapy’s interior is a muted blend of grays, blues, woods and the plate ware compliments this woodsy interior. However what adds to the charm are the exposed beams in the ceiling which are original beams from the early 1940’s and the exposed brick wall behind the bar which is reminiscent of pubs back east. Greys and golds and royal blue booths make this restaurant fun and chic.
Eating such incredible food creates memories and a complete meal prepared with fresh ingredients is a wonderful experience. Chatting with Chef Ontiveros and complimenting him on such a fabulous dinner I had to ask; where or what is your guilty pleasure when you feel like just “eating?” His answer, “Lucille’s BBQ! They catered my wedding and well you know I am from Texas”; a simple answer from a very talented yet down to earth Chef. Chef Ontiveros has plenty of experience with preparing fine cuisine after all he worked with the best here in Vegas! He has worked at such culinary standouts as L'Atelier de Joel Robuchons , Michael Mina and Bouchon; and now lucky patrons of Therapy can try his fabulous dishes at a fraction of the cost.
|Strawberry Sangria, Very Berry Sangria, Elder Melon Sangria|
What to try that I did not mention? The Very Berry Sangria! The Devil’s Eye, an Absinthe cocktail that is marvelous! The drink menu is so varied and utilizes fresh ingredients. As you sample the cocktails thank Restaurateur Jared Weiss, he is the inspiration and the drinks are his concoctions. So raise your glass to Jared!
Be on the lookout for secret menu items according to VP of Operations Roger Seahorn, which will be coming! You can also thank him for the east coast look as he is a Boston native. Love that!
General Manager Chuck Scimeca mentioned that late night at Therapy will have a fun mixture. Not only will the late menu be served but a DJ will add a nightlife flavor after 10 pm. Upstairs is available for private parties and holds 60.
Sunday - Wednesday: 11am - 12am
Thursday, Friday, & Saturday: 11am - 2am
518 East Fremont St
Las Vegas, Nevada