Sparrow + Wolf another off-Strip restaurant with Strip chef

It’s true, that thing about a rising tide lifting all boats: The restaurant revolution in the tourism corridor has brought some great dining to areas outside of it. We’re in the middle of the latest wave of Strip veterans establishing neighborhood beachheads, and one of the latest is Sparrow + Wolf from Brian Howard, whose credits include Comme Ca at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.

Instead of decamping to Henderson or the western valley, Howard has settled in Chinatown. His spot, a little west of most of the action, has a neighborhood feel. Unlike the more familiar fare you might find at a neighborhood restaurant, Howard’s offerings continue to surprise.

The menu has no categories (appetizers, entrees, etc.) and doesn’t arrive with a server tutorial, refreshing on both counts. Beef cheek and bone marrow dumplings ($14) may have been less exotic than they sounded but had a luxe feeling, the meat tender and the marrow buttery. A green-onion emulsion added color to the plate and interrupted the soporific tendency of all that richness.

Plump oak-grilled sea scallops ($28) had been thoroughly caramelized for texture as well as flavor. The “Brentwood” label on a pile of crunchy-tender corn may forever evoke images of O.J., but actually referred to a prime growing region in the East Bay that’s prized for its ears of corn and is as near to “local” as desert-dwellers are likely to get. Bacon was meaty but not extremely smoky; that niche was filled by the more remote smokiness of miso butter.

Beef chunks threaded onto skewers ($19) were bold in flavor and tender in nature, and Howard showed his creativity in the accompaniments. The Vadouvan crepe pieces that brought Indian cuisine to the party by way of seasoning were deftly complemented by a sweet-and-sour chickpea relish. Howard put to good use what we used to consider byproducts, with a trace of smoked tallow butter.

Paying for bread is a subject of great debate in some circles, but in an era when many of us are trying to eat less, and an increasing number of restaurants don’t serve it, $5 seems a small price to pay for a loaf that’s exceptional — and this one was. Hearth-baked, it had a firm crust with a gratifying crunch and an interior with a large, stretchy crumb. The artistically piped squiggle of salted butter was precisely the right consistency.

Service was good overall, but what impressed most was that the fairly casual Sparrow + Wolf doesn’t skimp on the finer points, such as fresh flatware between courses. Dish-towel napkins may be trendy but they’re always effective, and a server crumbing a hard-surface table was a considerate touch. Decor is mostly in keeping with the towels, a sort of rustic/industrial mashup that’s quasi-both, but most of all, just comfortable. Cocktails are creative and chef-driven.

Asked about the restaurant’s name, Howard said it reflects his energy and search for balance, the humble forager and more ferocious predator. That’s certainly more difficult to digest than Howard’s food, but it does come through in this cozy nest with most ambitious food and beverages.

If you go

■ Sparrow + Wolf, 4480 Spring Mountain Road; 702-790-2147

■The essence: Creative, Strip-quality cuisine continues neighborhood dance.

Las Vegas Review-Journal restaurant reviews are done anonymously at Review-Journal expense. Contact Heidi Knapp Rinella at Hrinella@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0474. Follow @HKRinella on Twitter.

ad-high_impact_4
Entertainment
Artists from Cirque du Soleil contribute art to Las Vegas art exhibit
Artists from Cirque du Soleil contribute art to Las Vegas gallery exhibit
Red Plate on the Las Vegas Strip serves a cocktail made with blooming jasmine tea
Red Plate on the Las Vegas Strip serves a cocktail made with jasmine tea
Benny the Ice Skating Dog
Benny is a Las Vegas Labrador who was rescued by former pro skater Cheryl Del Sanyo, and trained to ice skate. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Nevada State Museum
The Nevada State Museum of Las Vegas, located at the Springs Preserve, covers all eras of the state, from prehistoric to today.
Throw a better dinner party
Cash appears at Baseball Winter Meetings
Lights FC mascot Cash plays the electronic drums at the EZ Inflatables’ booth on Tuesday at the Baseball Winter Meetings trade show at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.
5 albums to soundtrack your holiday gatherings in style
1. Various Artists, “Holidays Rule," with Rufus Wainwright, The Shins, Calexico and more. 2. Various Artists, “We Wish You a Metal Xmas and a Headbanging New Year," with Lemmy Kilmister, Alice Cooper, Chuck Billy and others. 3. Various Artists, “Christmas on Death Row," featuring Snoop Dogg and Nate Dogg to name but a few. 4. Bright Eyes, “A Christmas Album.” 5. Various Artists, "The Motown Christmas Album." (Jason Bracelin/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Inside the kitchen at Springs Preserve
The staff of Divine Events do party preparation in the kitchen at Divine Cafe at Springs Preserve. With nine parties the following day, this is a particularly busy time for the crew. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
WinterFest
WinterFest in Henderson.
Miss Rodeo America Fashion Show
The 28 women contestants of Miss Rodeo America compete in a fashion show at the Tropicana on Dec. 7, 2018.
Tournament Of Kings Holiday Show
Wizards and warriors are ready for the holidays at Excalibur's Tournament of Kings Holiday Dinner Show.
Take a dive with the Silverton mermaids
A visit to the Silverton Casino Hotel is not complete without taking in the popular, and very unique, mermaid show.
Cowboys and western aficionados can buy virtually anything at Cowboy Christmas
Vegas Golden Knights Christmas Display
In the Las Vegas Valley, the chances of getting a white Christmas are slim. But this year, you can have a “Knight” Christmas. A Henderson resident has a Christmas lights display that is synchronized to the entrance music for the Golden Knights. GG Misa’s Knights light show is played every 30 minutes from 5 to 10 nightly. His light show consists of two songs: Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You” and the entrance music, “Le Castle Vania,” from the movie “John Wick.” The display is located at 730 Bollons Island St. (Richard Brian/Las Vegas Reivew-Journal)
Holiday Hooch At El Cortez is Just in Time For Repeal Day And Christmas
Holiday Hooch At El Cortez Is Just In Time For Repeal Day And Christmas. Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal
TV's LGBT superheroes
Green Valley Ranch's Winter's Village
The Mob Museum
Best Friend Menu Reveal Wednesday
Chef Roy Choi tells us what to expect from Wednesday’s Facebook Live Menu Reveal for his new Park MGM restaurant Best Friend. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Quick Chat With Criss Angel
James D. Gish and Susan Anton rehearse
Susan Anton will be special guest at James D. Gish’s holiday concerts Dec. 7 at Summerlin Library and Dec. 9 at Clark County Library. (John Przybys/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bellagio Winter Wonderland
"Majestic Holiday Magic" at the Bellagio Conservatory.
Underwater Santa At The Silverton
Santa takes a dive Sunday, December 2, at the Silverton Casino Hotel. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Cowabunga Bay Christmas Town
Las Vegas Natural History Museum
Las Vegas Natural History Museum, which opened in 1991, has exhibits of mechanical dinosaurs and taxidermied animals, along with live snakes, fish and sharks. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Magical Forest Lights
Cirque Du Soleil Performers Team Up For New Show "Kinekt"
Through dance, acrobatics and aerial arts, “Kinekt” tells a story all too familiar to modern families: how to maintain a human connection in the digital age. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Ethel M Holiday Cactus Garden
The Pinball Hall of Fame in Las Vegas
The Pinball Hall of Fame was created by Tim Arnold and opened in 2006. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Jump! The Ultimate Dog Show at Springs Preserve in Las Vegas
Trainer Lou “Mack” McCammon guides several rescue dogs through a series of tricks and jumps two shows a day weekends through December at the Springs Preserve in Las Vegas. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like