Jeannie's brings Seattle to Vegas
Growing up in New Jersey, the mall capital of the world and proud of it, one becomes something of an expert on the dining options in these shopping centers. There are mediocre food courts, countless Mexican and Italian restaurants, and random pretzel stands that are at least somewhat satisfying.
Jeannie’s, the new restaurant in Nordstrom in Fashion Show, has destroyed the idea that one cannot have excellent food in a mall. To be fair, Fashion Show already has some higher-end places that exceed traditional mall standards, but Jeannie’s actually feels like it fits in the complex and blows everything in its sight away.
The open-spaced eatery, located in an upstairs corner, feels both hidden and welcoming. Nordstrom, based in Seattle, was wise to sign up James Beard Award-winning Seattle chef Tom Douglas to oversee the menu.
Douglas’ focus on fresh ingredients shines through in every dish. What diners get here are familiar items with a few twists, and just about everything tastes like there is some secret farm on top of the mall where Jeannie’s is sourcing its products directly.
Toasties are foccacia bread sandwiches inspired by Douglas’ expeditions to Scotland. Beecher’s Flagship cheddar lets the tangy cheese shine with each bite. The eggplant Parmesan, featuring a light, panko-coated eggplant, is as good a version of the Italian sandwich as any in the city.
One would be wise to go the combo route with these sammies and revel in the goodness of the soups that come with this option. Vegetable minestrone features a heavenly Parmesan broth, and roma tomato basil is the perfect dipping component for the aforementioned grilled cheese.
Pick any appetizer—or all of them. They are that good. Roasted baby beets are gussied up with citrus, pistachios and mint, three welcome flavors to a dish that could easily be mundane. Lovely heirloom tomatoes with burrata might as well transport you to an Italian villa. And roasted apple with smoked bacon (pork belly) and balsamic crème fraîche brings a medley of harmonious flavors and complimentary textures to the table.
Baked cauliflower mac and cheese is a luxurious pasta option. Shell pasta gets bathed in that awesome Beecher’s cheddar along with a lush Mornay sauce. All that richness is cut by the cauliflower, which sits on top of the dish in a clean basil pesto.
Then there are the pizzas, inspired by Douglas’ Seattle pie joint, Serious Pie. These are super-thin crust wonders, made specifically to get the perfect amount of crunch and chew in each bite. The broccoli rabe pie steals the show with Taggiasca olives, spicy tomato sauce, preserved tomato, basil, almonds and pecorino cheese.
Desserts meet the same high bar. The best way to describe the cinnamon and sugar-coated bombolini doughnuts is as upscale street fair food. The vanilla mascarpone dip it comes with should be sold at groceries everywhere and eaten as a guilty pleasure—a la raw cookie dough. Black Market Gelato out of Los Angeles supplies wonderful flavors including pistachio, mint chip and seasonal mixed berry. It’s easy to tell how much care this purveyor puts into his product.
Then again, that’s the perfect representation of Jeannie’s. Quality product plus pride in execution means there’s no going back to your memories of what mall food once was.
Fashion Show, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Sun., , 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Mon.-Sat. 702.784.1610