Yard House Expands Menu with Taste and Variety
In case you’re wondering, Yard House, the popular brewery-themed restaurant and bar, derives its name from a 3-foot tall glass originally designed in England to hand to stagecoach drivers back when travel by horse drawn carriage was common. Today, stainless pipes curve along the ceiling, feeding into scores of taps at the bar, each holding a different variation of fermented refreshment (over 130 varieties).
Multiple video screens broadcast sports from strategic points around the venue. Dark wooden tables and chairs, large, colorful artwork, and dim lighting add to the elegant, though casual atmosphere. An extensive, mouth-watering menu of burgers, steaks, pizza and seafood, served up by a friendly, knowledgeable staff have always made the Yard House experience one to look forward to. Now there are six more reasons.
A recently expanded menu features soup, salad, sandwiches and a New Orleans favorite, Jambalaya to tempt visitors’ palates even further. Ranging in price from $7.50 to $16.95, the new offerings are listed under New House Previews and are sure to become favorites in their own right.
The velvety Chicken Tortilla Soup is more of an event than a mere bowl of soup; in fact, the word “bowl” doesn’t do it justice. This is a veritable lake-like expanse of creamy, flavor-packed goodness. Cilantro and pasilla peppers give it its fresh taste; sliced avocado gives it its own mini island of luxury, and multi-colored tortilla strips add crunchy texture along with presentational flair. You won’t want your spoon to hit bottom once it’s in motion.
The Greek Salad featured unique pita matchsticks that spread a crunch throughout each bite. A lemon, mint and red onion vinaigrette anointed baby lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes and kalamata olives, although the grated feta cheese made such a brief appearance as to be considered AWOL. More feta would definitely make this salad more feted.
Spicy Jambalaya debuts at Yard House in a regal fashion and one taste will have your tongue paying attention. A mountain of jasmine rice rises above a moat of Cajun tomato cream sauce, chicken andouille sausage, red bell and blackened pasilla peppers, and sweet crawfish. Two jumbo shrimp crown the top of the rice mound, locked in a succulent embrace. Hostess Sarah Marshall, a New Orleans native recommended it as one of the best she has encountered, and your humble correspondent, a formerly land-locked Chicagoan, enthusiastically concurs.
Comfort food is a welcome addition to any menu and the new Grilled Cheese and Organic Tomato Bisque make a splendid culinary couple, combining crusty artisan bread, roasted tomatoes, and a quartet of cheeses (cheddar, gorgonzola, Swiss and fontina), oozing over its crispy edges. A sweet, creamy scarlet bisque is served with a fried basil leaf skimming the surface and is suitable for both sipping and dipping.
Like an epicurean matchmaker, the Surf and Turf Burger unites disparate taste sensations like lobster and beef so well, you’ll wonder why they hadn’t met earlier. Maine lobster rests on Swiss cheese and grilled asparagus and the whole trio relaxes atop a Naturewell natural Angus burger (served medium, it’s a steak-like experience).A sweet egg bun makes the perfect pillow for these fanciful fillings.
A Pepper Crusted Gorgonzola Burger tops its Angus patty with crimini mushrooms, caramelized onions and crumbled gorgonzola cheese, all sautéed in a Marsala wine sauce. A Portobello mushroom cap was substituted to accommodate the vegetarian at our table, which made for a flavorful (both salty and sweet) but somewhat unsubstantial offering. Yard House is exploring the introduction of a vegetarian burger to its menu sometime in the near future, a plus for the non-carnivores among us.
One member of our party had a truly spectacular dish from among the classic menu items: a tender swordfish filet nested on a bed of wasabi mashed potatoes accompanied by snow peas and julienned carrots. The first bite sent three heads leaning backward in closed-eyed appreciation. The lemon grass beurre blanc, a wine/butter sauce light enough to let the naturally delicate flavor of the fish capture the starring role, was like a magic carpet upon which the mouthwatering entrée sat. Although this serving was unadorned by any type of coating it can be served with a broiled crab crust for those who simply can’t get enough seafood in one sitting.
Our hostess, Sarah, verbally guided your humble correspondent through the new menu, making helpful suggestions and recommendations. Server Becky Obedisano’s personality matched the sweet dessert trio she presented us with: warm lemon soufflé, spiced apple/peach cobbler with caramel ice cream and a banana/chocolate crème brûlée appeared like angelic triplets on a long, white platter. Spoons became clashing swords in the quest for each sublime mouthful of these confections, but you won’t mind the delicacy duel one bit. It’s worth it to see your entire party smiling at the same time.
With establishments in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Kansas, Texas and Nevada, Las Vegas has one more reason to be known as a city full of luck; but this time it’s not a gamble. Yard House is a sure bet to please.
For further information:
6593 Las Vegas Blvd South,
Las Vegas NV 89119
Open daily from 11:00 am – 2:00 am.
The Bacon Brothers Bring It Home
at The Canyon Club of The Four Queens Hotel and Casino
The Bacon Brothers (Kevin and Michael) accompanied by their four-member band, rocked The Canyon Club of The Four Queens Hotel and Casino on Saturday, November 22 to a full house of enthusiastic fans.
Kevin, best known for his film work in Footloose, JFK, Stir of Echoes, Apollo 13, A Few Good Men, and most recently, Frost/Nixon, can write lyrics, compose original music, carry a tune, harmonize, and make a tambourine look hip. Older brother Michael is the balladeer of the two, a bit more mellow but just as comfortable with original compositions and the mastery of multiple instruments as his younger sibling.
As the band with rock, folk, soul, and country influences took the stage for their first number, “Tell Me What I Have To Do”, all eyes strained to see the movie star. Kevin played harmonica, kept the beat with a tambourine and accompanied Michael, who expertly manipulated an acoustic guitar. And just what does 50-year old Bacon look like? Kevin, dressed in black was a slender, youthful column of energy; Michael, attired in lighter colors, possessed a slight resemblance to music legend Lou Reed and moved at a calmer pace.
The pounding rhythm of “Living on Wild Lights” and Michael’s composition, “Hasn’t Got a Heart,” about a philandering friend, followed in short order, with Kevin on a Ricky Ricardo-like bongo and providing vocals. Michael has a grittier, gruffer sound than Kevin, and both harmonize well, admitting they’ve become more refined since forming the band in 1995, espousing the learn-by-doing philosophy.
Their recently released New Year’s Day CD provided the reggae-influenced song “Bunch of Words” about paying lip service to issues while chaos reigns. Kevin sang lead vocals on this as well as the humorous “Too Old For Playboy (Too Young to Die)” track he composed and danced to, a la Mick Jagger. Remember Footloose? Kevin does, and he won’t hesitate to show you onstage, prompting your humble correspondent to dub him “Shakin’ Bacon.”
Michael played the cello for the slow ballad “Let Your Love Make Me a Better Man,” and for Kevin’s original composition “Children,” an upbeat plea for peace. A plaintive song that Kevin wrote about a giant squid’s plight was accompanied by an accordion chorus to lend a nautical sound.
Aside from the musical brothers, the band is comprised of left-handed lead guitarist Ira Siegel, drummer Frank Vilardi, keyboardist Joe Minnono, and bassist Paul Guzzone. Kevin and Michael are well versed in stringed and percussive instruments as well.
A cover of George Harrison’s “If I Needed Someone” was an evocative, rhythmically enhanced rendition with Michael’s lead vocals enhanced by Kevin’s harmony. Then Kevin took the lead on “Go My Way” and Michael helmed the vocals on his original “Almost Got Rich.” Kevin joined the musical tug-of-war with the sassy tune, “Strung Out on Ya.” Both brothers got into the act with the fast-paced, “If I Could Write a Song” before leaving, only to return for a multi-song encore.
Kevin has said of the brothers’ creative process, “We tend to write separately. I think we both find that music and lyrics come at the same time. We do demos in our home studios.”
Even vegetarians will embrace the fabulous Bacon Boys, who may have played off-Strip, but retained their sizzle without once being panned.
Kevin and Michael’s dad is a seventh cousin to Richard M. Nixon.
In 2008, Michael composed the soundtrack for the PBS mini series The Jewish Americans.
Winter’s Eve at Lincoln Square
New York, New York
For further information: The Canyon Club The Four Queens Hotel and Casino 202 Fremont Street Las Vegas, Nevada 89101 (702) 385-4011 (800) 634-6045
The Ram’s Head Tavern
Bacon Brothers Discography
Getting There 1999
Can’t Complain 2001
White Knuckles 2005
New Year’s Day 2008
About The Canyon Club:
Resembling a large Middle Eastern living room with deep burnt orange colored walls and a black ceiling punctuated by performance lights and a mirrored disco ball, the Canyon Club’s expansive floor is covered with scores of 6X9 area rugs. Tables, chairs and sofa-like seating are featured on the main floor, and a slightly upper level is where the mixing board is housed along with several U-shaped booths that look like they could seat ten easily; these have upholstered cushions and an abundance of plush pillows in bronze, beige, and gold tones. Flat screen video monitors are affixed to several black columns and play music videos between sets. Twin Buddhas and the Hindu deity Ganesh shared places of honor at the bar and VIP sections.
For further information:
The Canyon Club
The Four Queens Hotel and Casino
202 Fremont Street
Las Vegas, Nevada 89101