Monday, July 30, 2012

A scene and a pizza at Nellcote

I'm going to Vegas in a few days, and I think Sunday brunch at Nellcote will have prepared me well. At Nellcote it's a party all day long, which includes a short-skirt wearing DJ blaring dance music from a raised, caged booth during the early afternoon. I had a beer and bobbed my head to the beat while smirking at the ridiculousness of this scene, wondering who supplied the ecstasy to all of these people who seemed to still be on their Saturday night highs.

I also had a pizza. A simple one with buffalo mozzarella, sauce and basil. The sauce was a smooth, thick, puree that I loved, with high acid balancing terrific natural sweetness. I don't know what brand of tomatoes they're using, but it's either better than anyone else's or the kitchen is doing something to make it taste that way. Neither the cheese nor crust struck me as anything special, and I thought the latter was dry and overdone. It was a homogenous, almost crackery-crisp texture throughout. Fresh basil had been cooked onto the pizza, so it was browned and brittle at the edges when it came out. I prefer pizzas with fresh basil added after the cooking is done.

If this has sounded negative, I guess that's an accurate idea of where my feelings about Nellcote lean. But the pizza wasn't bad, and I'd be lying if I said there wasn't an intoxicating vibe about the place. There have been eras of my life where I suspect Nellcote would have been exactly what I was after.

833 West Randolph Street
(312) 432-0500

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