Savor a taste of Ortanique

March 05, 2002 9:52 AM
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Ortanique is one of the few restaurants inside Paris Las Vegas that doesn’t specialize in French cuisine, yet it offers a unique, international culinary experience. Tracing its spicy roots to South Florida, Ortanique puts an eclectic spin on traditional Caribbean cuisine to create an ensemble of innovative dishes uniquely its own.

The restaurant takes its name from a delicious and delicate hybrid, a combination of an orange and a tangerine found only in Jamaica.

“We like to think of Cuisine of the Sun as an eclectic fusion of different nations and their natural bounties,” said Cindy Hutson, executive chef and co-creator of Ortanique. “We’re delighted to bring Ortanique’s cuisine to what has become one of the most dynamic dining cities in the world.”

Hutson has already developed a loyal following in South Florida, where she opened Ortanique on the Mile in Coral Gables, which followed on the heels of her very successful Norma’s on the Beach.

A self-taught chef who developed a passion for cooking at the age of nine, Hutson focuses her culinary talents on the lighter side of Caribbean cooking. While living in Jamaica, she developed a unique style of tropical cuisine, which she refers to as “edible art,” by concentrating on the wonderful flavor combinations of fish, fruits, vegetables and traditional tropical seasonings. She avoids conventional island cooking techniques, which rely on excess oil and heavy sauces for flavor.

Indeed, Chef Hutson’s menu features a myriad of flavorful choices, including a heavenly Tuna Tartare Margarita tossed with sesame teriyaki, coconut lime sauce and fried plantain gaufrette ”” served in a tall cocktail glass!

Other popular appetizers include the Caicos Island conch ceviche with various peppers, or the fresh seafood ceviche made from marinated cucumber, fresh fish of the day and other garnishments; curried crab cakes; jerked foie gras on a bed of tender mache, golden potato curls, citrus duck confit and dried mango demi drizzle.

The list of entrees is so intriguing that you’ll want to come back ”” perhaps several times! ”” and sample them all. Highly recommended are the pan sautéed Bahamian black grouper (marinated in teriyaki sesame oil with Ortanique orange and Bacardi lemon sauce); and an award-winning jerked (slow cooked) double pork chop with guava Bacardi spiced rum sauce, South American Moros, topped with drunken raisin tropical fruit flambé.

Other chef specialties include the mahi mahi coconut rundown on a bed of Jamaican rice and peas; the spicy lemon thyme roasted Cornish game hen; guava soy barbecued Norwegian salmon; and roasted peppercorn black Angus beef tenderloin with wild mushroom, Yukon gold mashed potatoes, pencil asparagus and shiitake-Port Demi.

The delectable desserts are superb and feature 100 percent Blue Mountain Cappuccino Ice Cream with Belgian chocolate chips, banana fritters with cinnamon ice cream; a milk chocolate mousse with dark chocolate Nougatine and Vhalrona ice cream; and a light and airy Meringue Cloud Souffle.

Perhaps the most intriguing dessert is a simple Granny Smith Apple that’s either poached or sautéed, sliced and layered with caramel Marscapone nutmeg crème and Calvados sorbet ”” an absolutely delicious blend of tart and sweet!

“We are excited to bring such a unique dining experience as Ortanique to Paris Las Vegas,” said Anthony Santo, president of Paris and Bally’s resort hotels. “We think Ortanique will quickly establish itself as one of the premier restaurants in a city whose fine dining reputation continues to expand.”