Food Hunter's Guide to Cuisine: Ears, Tails, Cheeks...Oh My!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Ears, Tails, Cheeks...Oh My!

My husband says I do it for the shock factor; but I swear I do it because I enjoy it. Who's he was totally his idea to order the ear and tail salad this past weekend at B&B. I can't help it if I happened to enjoy it more than he did.

We spent last weekend in Las Vegas, with my mom and uncle, to celebrate our birthdays. Like every other city we travel to; food was the focus of our trip. B&B is one of Mario Batali's restaurants; located in the Venetian Hotel. We had eaten there once before and loved it. My goal this trip was to try another one of Mario's restaurants but I just couldn't resist going back to B&B.

Since we weren't that hungry my husband and I both agreed to do appetizers and pasta; forgoing the meat course. The ear and tail salad was a special that night and came highly recommended by our waiter, Patrick. So we decided to give that and the asparagus appetizer (new to the menu) a try.

The mixed green salad was surrounded by flattened discs of pig's tail; which were very creamy in texture. On top were crunchy pieces of pig's ear; similar in taste and feel to bacon. The contrast in both flavor and texture between the two was awesome. Not having eaten either tail or ear before I wasn't really sure what to expect. I have to say I would definitely eat both again.

The asparagus, in our second appetizer, was sitting in a pool of egg puree topped with a dollop of smoked ricotta cheese and sprinkled with caviar. The combination of flavors was delicious. I only wish there was more.

My husband ordered the pici with lamb ragu next. Pici is a hand rolled pasta, similar to a thick spaghetti in shape. We've made our own lamb ragu before; but this one was brought to a new level with the addition of fresh mint to the sauce.

After much thought (I admit I was a little nervous) I ordered the beef cheek ravioli. The half moon pasta were stuffed to the gills with ground beef cheek meat covered with a sauce of crushed duck liver and black truffles. It was one of the best dishes I've ever eaten.

We decided to finish off our meal with one of our favorite desserts; Italian fried doughnuts dipped in chocolate. A perfect ending to a perfect meal.

I know that B&B gets a lot of negative press but I really think the food is delicious. Where else can you eat ears, tail and cheeks in the same meal?


  1. Wow! I dont think I'd be as daring as you but my husband and I did go to B&B in January despite the negative reviews. We both were blown away by our experience there and would go again in a heartbeat. Glad you enjoyed it! :)

  2. Yum! We went to a Vietmnamese Family's party a few weeks back and had pickled sow's ear. It was crunchy, which is what I couldn't handle, but still tasty (and fine when combined with the crunchy veggies that accompanied it like onion and carrot)
    We've been meaning to make it up to Mario Batali's in LV forever! This has concreted my want and need to go!