A few years back I had a birthday party at Triple George Grill, an event fondly remembered by all. Or at least what we could remember after martinis at Golden Nugget, martinis at The Fremont followed by even more martinis at George. Downtown Las Vegas had just started to branch out, Golden Nugget had just completed its zillion dollar renovation and you could walk East Fremont without stumbling over too many drunks passed out on the sidewalk.
I was curious how George had fared the recent uptick in downtown so I popped by for lunch. Short answer – they’re doing well.
George evokes an earlier, rat-pack Las Vegas with its enclosed booths, soft lights, polished wood tables, weighty silverware and servers clad in black jackets and white shirts. While the patrons may be dressed completely up or down, the environment is distinctly grown-up and sophisticated.
Steak, seafood and Italian classics. If you want creative fusion, vegan or low-fat – go elsewhere. Since it was near freezing I wanted something warm and filling; Chicken Parmigiana was on the specials menu and that appealed. Sauce is always key for me and Italian dishes. At George the sauce is thick, slow-cooked tomato but brightened considerably with fresh oregano, lemon and a little fresh garlic zing; light on the salt. Lightly breaded and fan-fried chicken had a smattering of fresh mozzarella, chopped basil, grated parmesan and of course, the sauce.
I laughed when I tried to cut the chicken with the big ominous knife the brought me since a little fork pressure was enough. Ridiculously juicy, very flavourful, with just a slight crunch still in place from the breading – a total win. Obligatory side fettuccine and nice olive oil-sauteed medley of zucchini, yellow squash and carrots – you know, for decoration.
George has a good collection of wine, old-world cocktails and occasionally they create something new. I wanted the new, ‘Salted Caramel’ Martini but I wanted it dry-side. Not a challenge for them, instead of mixing the sweet caramel liquor into dry vanilla vodka, they simply drizzled a little of the caramel on the bottom of the glass first, then laid on the vodka. It was delicious and for me the balance was correct, a little sweet caramel, a lot of dry vanilla and a hint of salt around the edge.
Personable but not intrusive, good gauges of pace and mood, effortless accommodation of special requests.
Lunches are medium-range (Chicken Parm – $13, Salted Caramel Martini -$10). Dinners are definitely less expensive than what you would pay for the exactly the same quality on The Strip. However, they can still run $20-50 a plate, high-dollar cuts of beef and lobster weighing in at the expensive side.
I’ve only been to George twice but I was equally impressed with them in a group of 15 and solo. Service is stellar and their food offerings are consistently delicious. Since I’m still a little smitten with downtown Las Vegas and I have some hiking to do on the nearby Mary Jane Trails, no doubt I’ll be making another appearance at George soon.
Lunch: December 2014
Triple George | 201 N 3rd | Vegas, 89101