The revolution continues.
The late Kerry Simon was always something of a rebel. Dubbed the “rock ’n’ roll chef” by Rolling Stone for the hip following — unusual at the time — at his restaurant at New York’s Plaza Hotel during the Trump era, Simon was always looking for the next big thing, as long as it was fresh and new, at several New York and Las Vegas restaurants. He even had a Soviet-themed burger spot at Harrah’s for a few years.
Simon’s legacy continues in the Simon Hospitality Group restaurants, which include Carson Kitchen downtown and now Standard & Pour, which was one of Simon’s last projects. It opened in August (with Titan Brands as a partner) on Eastern Avenue in Henderson.
What’s different about Standard & Pour? For one thing, while most small-plates restaurants hedge their bets with a few entree-size selections, Standard & Pour keeps it all small plates, all the time. The simple, straightforward menu is divided into four sections: “V,” “F,” “M” and “D,” which refer to “vegetables,” “fish (and seafood),” “meat” and “dessert.”
The dishes therein reflect the iconoclastic but playful spirit of both Simon and Simon Hospitality. Consider, for example, a dessert named Wine & Cheese Sundae ($8), which sounds like a bad joke. The execution, however, is quite the contrary, a cheesecake blondie with a scoop of merlot ice cream and a brandied cherry. It’s a touch of whimsy that hooks the customer into trying an offbeat but well-executed dish.
A whole smoked romanesco ($14) is another dish that doesn’t sacrifice quality for novelty. This ancient vegetable that’s still unusual in this country has a flavor similar to cauliflower but nuttier, which smoking brings out brilliantly. Capers and a shower of pickled red onion provided an acidic contrast.
Snow crab fondue ($14), which is a seasonal dish, was a riff on the ubiquitous artichoke-spinach-Parmesan dip. It had plenty of sweet, fresh crab and was a cheesy, gooey delight perfect for winter. Date and blue cheese jam ($12) was somewhat similar in texture and tasted like spreadable bacon-wrapped dates.
The one quibble was that we were charged $2 for additional bread.
Standard & Pour has, from the terrace and some spots in the second-story location, one of the best views around — a sweeping vista of the Strip, miles away. The interior designers wisely decided not to compete with that, leaving things sleek and streamlined, with industrial touches and wood accents.
Service was excellent, our server well-informed with a good sense of humor.
The best part about dining at Standard & Pour is that there is very little about it that’s standard.
Las Vegas Review-Journal restaurant reviews are done anonymously at Review-Journal expense. Email Heidi Knapp Rinella at firstname.lastname@example.org. Find more of her stories at www.reviewjournal.com and follow @HKRinella on Twitter.