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Commander's Palace Restaurant - Las Vegas
by
Jon Gerloff and Esrin Gozukizil

When it comes to eating at our favorite restaurant, Commander’s Palace, the only thing the Princess and the Frog disagree about is that she likes Cajun Martinis and he likes Dirty Martinis.  The Dirty Martini is made with olive juice, is less spicy, has a smoother taste, and whatever it lacks in oomph can be compensated for by requesting that the lip be rimed with their special Cajun spice concoction.

Whenever the Princess and the Frog are in Las Vegas, we always, always, go to Commander’s Palace.  Located at 3663 Las Vegas Blvd. South, Suite 730, it’s just inside the Aladdin hotel’s shopping arcade, the Aladdin Passage, which they’ve modeled after a Moroccan souq.  For reservations, definitely a must, call 702-892-8272.

Santino, the Maitre D’, greets everybody at the door so warmly you’d think you were related to him.  He runs an efficient, friendly place where the food and the service are both exceptional. 

Commander’s is an offshoot of the original in New Orleans and serves Creole and Cajun cuisine.  It’s been open in Las Vegas for almost two years and has done well despite the recent financial troubles of the Aladdin hotel.  Commander’s has won numerous local awards for service, preparation and it’s cuisine.

Appetizers range from $8.50 to $12; entrees from $30 to $36, while the tasting menu will set you back $85, but does include wine with each course.  Their wine list is large and varied, both for bottles and by the glass.  I have found their sommelier to be helpful in choosing the right wine at the right price while not being in the least bit intimidating.

On a recent night, there for a friends fortieth birthday, our table started with several orders of the spicy-sweet Tasso Shrimp Henican and the Crispy Alligator.  For entrees, the BBQ Seafood Stew is their specialty, and the encrusted fish of the day is superb.  Some in our party had the grilled escalade, which drew raves, the veal chop, which was cooked to perfection, and the fillet, which came with garlic mashers and spicy onion slivers.

Desserts are a little disappointing.  I thought the chocolate pecan pie, really more of a tort, wasn’t as good as something from Marie Calendar’s, but the Black Out Cake was very good.  Their signature dessert is the Bread Pudding Soufflé.  It takes time to prepare and your waiter will ask you at the time you order your entrees. 

Make sure you try the Beignets and coffee in the morning, or like us, for brunch.  $6 for the best coffee, with steamed milk on the side, and fresh, warm beignets served with a delicious café au lait caramel sauce for dipping. 

If you’ve had an especially hard night, not uncommon in Vegas, Commander’s makes the best Bloody Mary (or Virgin) I ever tasted with lots of fresh ingredients like slivers of horseradish you can see AND taste, and enough spices to make you sit up and take notice.

Jazz Brunch has been expanded to include Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and runs from 11:30 to 3:00 and costs $35.  You can also order ala Carte off the menu and entrees start at $21.50.  Or, you can be like us, have a couple Bloody Marys, drink steaming coffee, and dunk hot beignets all on the cheap, while listening to the Dixieland jazz of The David Poe trio.

Whether it’s for steak or seafood, dinner or brunch, Commander’s Palace will not disappoint. 

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Jon Gerloff and Esrin Gozukizil are a husband and wife team specializing in world travel and fine dining. Jon is a writer currently working on his second novel. Esrin works in television development for a major production company.

You can reach the authors at: JonGerloff@aol.com (Jon Gerloff and Esrin Gozukizil)

 

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