FOOD REVIEW: ROSE. RABBIT. LIE.
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You have probably seen the billboards, the blogger posts, the banner ads, the news spots, and maybe even the TV commercials (apparently people still watch TV?). Even a faux demonstration of grammarians protesting the gross misuse of punctuation in the name, Rose. Rabbit. Lie., joined the cavalcade of media presence.
There is a new… something in the Cosmopolitan, promising to be all things to all people. What is it exactly? If the aforementioned commercial is to be believed, it is a dark scary room where skinny women gesticulate in a horrifying manner.
Earliest whisperings of Rose. Rabbit. Lie. suggested the “rebirth of the supper club.” Impressive boast, no doubt, when the closest thing to a supper club we have is some goofy Italiano wedding dinner theater. More news came along, in the form of their beverage program gobbling up some of the better known names in our mixology scene. At this point, we know they have food, they have “entertainment,” and some serious bartending talent.
Now that they are actually open, they cannot be properly described in a list of accommodations. As hackneyed as it sounds, they are an experience more than the sum of its parts.
Down the long hallway towards the Wicked Spoon buffet, through massive doors and color-coordinated staffers, into a darkened anteroom, and into the unmarked door to the left, there is The Study. This is the mixology lounge, serving the already impressive and adventurous cocktail list (cognac and house-infused amaros make a big splash) supplemented with the “Study List” ($18 each) for the true cocktail nerds who need a turmeric and carrot influenced scotch drink.
The entire place has an immersive theater thing going on, so during drinks you might get tap dancing twins having an impromptu show along the bar top, or a dead-pan comedian doing magic tricks. A lucky few might even get an actor to take them away into a hidden sitting room for jokes, parlor tricks, and boozy punch.
The dining room, which between shows has a live polka/jazz band, serves food until 4 a.m. Such a span places their food against the few greasy spoons that stay open that long, easily crowned best of the late night spots. Their menu is, surprisingly, incredibly vibrant and exiting.
They are further bolstering the “vintage menu” trend we are experiencing by having dishes like lobster newburg ($26), with the twist of adding a bit of Vietnamese fish sauce to the traditional sherry cream sauce. Similarly, the rabbit fricassee ($16) - which I haven’t heard anyone eating since Bugs Bunny cartoons – has rose petals and red wine.
Everything from the bone marrow with sweet and sour braised beef ($16) to the Lobster Cocktail with lemongrass foam ($14) ranged from being delectable to mind blowing. Only rarely (a heavenly egg, $6, truly) was I let down.
The price, which I’m sure you’ve noticed, dear reader, is pretty friggin bonkers. Don’t go looking to get stuffed full American-style, unless you’re looking to drop a couple C-notes.
A particular dessert, the terrarium ($35), is so very worth the price tag simply for the terrific experience of experimentation. Chocolate “dirt”, chocolate truffle “rocks”, and several bouquets of herb flowers (fennel, basil, oregano, etc) meant to be eaten with the chocolate is such a sensory thrill.
The two different ticketed shows, split into “Cantos,” keeping in mind I am not a theater critic, were still very entertaining to my buffoon sensibilities. A good mix of bawdy comedy, sexy art, artsy sex, and plain old fun. With an appetite for a big night out, and a budget to match, this is the experience to beat.
Rose. Rabbit. Lie. is the new standard for the elusive Vegas experience. The Vegas experience, like the American dream, can’t be bought in a package deal, but damn if some people aren’t getting damned close… for a price.
ROSE. RABBIT. LIE. at the Cosmopolitan, 3708 S. Las Vegas Blvd., 877-667-0585. MITCHELL WILBURN is a food and drink writer in Las Vegas. You can read his other food news and reviews at EatingLV.com.