Harvest By Roy Ellamar Sources All That is Natural in the City of Make Believe
Las Vegas has to be the most man-made paradise on the planet. How can it not be? First of all, it’s a desert, so I have been pretty certain that save for the cactus, not one inch of greenery hasn’t been brought in by corporations and planted by
Mexicans persons in my ethnic ancestry. As far as native animals, I’m also quite sure the town can only lay claim to the tortoise, the roadrunner, and those adorable tiny bunnies that run amuck on the golf courses. So I absolutely took a double take at the ambitious menu when I dined at Harvest by Roy Ellamar.
The key to Roy Ellamar’s innovative dining concept is sustainable cuisine. The 41-year old chef is driven by his focus on the ingredients and he is also nervous about having his name on everything that is served. “This is the first time a company has given an opportunity like this to me, because I was [at first] an employee,” the Chopped winner explained to me. Bellagio and MGM Resorts International have taken a wise gamble on the former Executive Chef of Sensi, a popular Asian Fusion restaurant that was essentially closed to hand over the space for Ellamar to create his own culinary vision, an homage to natural cuisine that hints to his native Hawaiian flavors with respect to the home grown products harvested from local and regional farms.
From the moment you set foot into Harvest, you realize you are about to enjoy a meal that is very special and you’re probably going to gain a few pounds in one night. But don’t worry, it’s the good kind of fat. It’s a fat that comes from grass-fed beef and local-ale-brined Porchetta. The decadent libations are also sourced from local and regional ingredients, which won’t get you drunk any faster but it’s nice to know where your poison comes from. Although the menu will change seasonally, here is what to expect:
Snack Wagon – An American take on dim sum, guests will find the snack wagon, traveling table-to-table as a fun way for diners to enjoy jars of Smoked Salmon Belly Dip and Broccoli Raab Pesto, raw offerings such as Harris Ranch Hangar Steak matched with an unexpected oyster aioli, and warm savory small plates like Pork Belly paired with pickled apple and braised radish.
Freshly Picked – Harvest’s signature Farmer’s Salad will be fine-tuned on a weekly basis with the freshest produce. Other market-driven options on the Garden menu include Charred Brussels Sprouts with bliss maple syrup and Roasted Baby Beets topped with spiced yogurt and pickled Asian pear.
Sustainable Seafood – Surprisingly rare for many U.S. cities, especially in the dryer regions, Harvest offers an extensive assortment of seafood from American waters. The Fisherman’s Stew – one of Chef Ellamar’s favorites – highlights seafood brought to the restaurant daily, including Maine lobster and Florida Gulf shrimp. Harvest also features Salt & Pepper Squid and the “Catch of the Day,” showcasing the day’s best fresh fish.
Choice Cuts – Methodically chosen from select farms, Harvest offers premium cuts of meat such as Grilled Pork Cheek paired with sweet roasted apple puree and seasoned apple kimchee; Cocoa Rubbed Lamb with red pepper chimichurri and roasted garlic eggplant; and all-natural, grass-fed beef raised in the Painted Hills of Oregon.
Modernized Rotisserie – The 24-hour local-ale-brined Slow Roasted Porchetta with rosemary and garlic; and Lamb Shoulder with internationally influenced seasonings are meticulously made-to-order to guests’ likings.
When it comes to food, I am a trynivore [a word I just made up]. I’ll try anything…except duck (because I previously had baby ducks), and thank goodness my friend ate the delectable duck buns served to us. But I’ll tell you what I did try…two kinds of salads, scallops, lobster, ribeye, charred brussel sprouts, tuna poké, au gratin potatoes, oh yeah and that Snack Wagon. What can I tell you? The service is so good, you just want to eat more [insert shameless shout out to a wonderful server, Marinko Jungic].
Also, this was my dessert…
So trust me, when I tell you, the food is [much like my appetite] extraordinary. Harvest by Roy Ellamar is now open from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. nightly and is located in Bellagio’s Spa Tower.