No one can dispute the fact that Central is our most chichi 24/7 restaurant; where else can you eat gougeres and Michel Richard’s chocolate bar at 3 a.m.?
Last Saturday evening, July 7th, the restaurant, led by all-American Executive Chef Todd Harrington, held a belated Fourth of July cookout, with several craft beers, and Americana like hot dogs, mac n’ cheese, baked beans and sticky sweet pulled pork sandwiches. The hotel even threw in some fireworks, if you hung around until 9 p.m.
I did not. My wife and I dropped in as invited guests, as opposed to the throngs, who paid $30 per person for the privilege, which, in context of Strip prices, was a helluva deal. Most of the recipes, anyway, were not from the regular Central menu. Harrington created, for instance, sauce for his crumb topped mac’ n cheese not used normally here, and bacon wrapped roast suckling pig was also his idea.
The event was held on Central’s large, underused patio, and as anyone who has been in town lately will attest, the weather was hot enough to make many of us retreat to the interior of the restaurant to cool off.
Some of the highlights included flatiron steak with a chili rub, and ice pops made with fresh frozen fruits, among them kiwi and blackberries, held together with a bit of agar agar.
There were real Johnsonville bratwursts, swimming in a vat of beer, with trimmings like sauerkraut and brown mustard, and for dessert, a small version of owner Richard’s famed chocolate bar, topped with red and white frosting, as befits the season.
Normally, the guests would be eating themselves into oblivion at such a gathering, but the hot weather put a damper on everyone’s appetite, if not their spirit. When I asked Chef Todd if the restaurant would do an event like this one again next year, he said he wasn’t sure.
Maybe they should consult the Farmer’s Almanac first.
Central is at Caesars Palace. 731-7110.
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