Robert Irvine’s Public House built for everyone
Robert Irvine is the new face of the Tropicana—literally. For nearly a year, the celebrity chef’s visage and bulging biceps have been plastered on the outside walls of the resort announcing his Las Vegas restaurant, Robert Irvine’s Public House. And now it’s here, a large, sprawling area with hardwood floors and a lacquered look that has its own corner of the hotel. Although the clientele will be mostly tourism-based, Irvine’s team has stressed they want to reach out to locals and military members (in keeping with Irvine’s commitment to our armed forces).
Speaking of the military, poutine, from the appetizer section, is big enough to feed an army. This riff on the Quebecois dish replaces French fries with tater tots, giving it a playful feel. Pulled pork is laced throughout thick, dark shitake mushroom and onion gravy. Dollops of peppered goat cheese give the whole thing some kick.
You'll want to include one of Irvine’s pizzas (made with wheat and quickly cooked) in your Public House journey, particularly prosciutto, a sweet, savory, salty, acidic, and peppery interplay of the Italian cured meat with fig jam, goat cheese, arugula, lemon and Parmesan.
Standout entrées include two of Irvine’s signature dishes. The F & K Fondue Burger features a thick Black Angus patty topped with mushrooms, onion, bacon, lettuce and tomato. It rests on a thick brioche bun, which is necessary to soak up the gooey Camembert fondue that accompanies the burger. Pour the fondue directly on top of the sandwich and then dig in with f & k (fork and knife.) Fish and chips is presented with a mammoth beer-battered wild Alaskan cod sitting atop french fries that are doused in malted curry aioli, green onion, bacon and feta. Cut into the fish and scoop it up with the flavorful fries for a complete bite of deliciousness.
Nosh: Public House
Two areas where Public House shines are dessert and drinks. The cocktail menu, courtesy of Francesco Lafranconi of Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits, shows a great deal of thought. The Drink Healthy section features Chef Irvine’s organic Boardroom Spirits. So far the most popular item in that area has been the watermelon mint cooler, which uses Boardroom ginger vodka, lime juice, Wilks & Wilson Millicent's Lime Mint Simple and fresh watermelon. It’s an adult cool-me-off and a fun way to beat the heat.
Signature cocktails have a number of top-notch options. The titular Public House Punch has all types of goodness in its combination of Appleton Estate Reserve Jamaica rum, Lustau brandy, fresh lemon, Angostura, smoked peach and Lustau Amontillado sherry. You’ll want to rest your toes at a sandy beach as you drink this one.
Mason jar apple pie is a real winner with the pie presented in the jar, just barely hanging onto the crust. Vanilla ice cream would complete most American versions of the sweet, but the addition of five-year aged Grafton English cheddar makes the British play even better than ours.
Local or tourist, everyone is bound to find something to their liking at this Public House.
Tropicana, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. daily. 888.381.8767