Blazing Roasted Mussels and Shrimp Skillet + A Lively Torrontes

Taqueria Canonita at The Venetian

Located in the canal walk in the Venetian Hotel, Las Vegas,  Taqueria  Canonita restaurant  is a favorite of mine for their spicy Mexican Soul Food. Bringing  to mind the authentic marketplace taquerias of Mexico, the menu is a  creative blend of the rustic  new casual concept that offers guests an  unforgettable, “true taste of Mexico.”

The taste of their hand-made corn tortillas, guacamole and refreshing margaritas  is enough to get anyone to rush to their door…again and again. Chef Reed knows what his diners want and delivers in spades.

Chef Osterholt gained his passion for cooking at a very early age growing up in central Ohio.  He spent his Sunday afternoons helping his parents and grandparents prepare their family dinner.  At the age of 15, his first job in the restaurant industry was as a dishwasher at his hometown’s family diner. He was intrigued by the flow of the restaurant and would wash dishes as fast as he could in order to help the prep and line cooks. Before his sixteenth birthday, Reed was working the grill on a busy Friday night.

As an adult, Reed  obtained a line cook position at a high volume Scottish restaurant.  He was working elbow to elbow with his brother who also shared a passion for cooking. But when adventure called, Reed took the opportunity to move towards the west coast and accepted a position as lead line cook at a prominent hotel in Reno. After a visit to Las Vegas, this is where Reed realized he could fulfill his dream of one day becoming a great chef.

Chef Reed Osterholt

Reed first helped open a quaint fine dining restaurant in the Green Valley section of Las Vegas and went on to become kitchen manager. He then accepted a position as sous chef at the House of Blues in Mandalay Bay, where he spent nearly seven years honing his craft and preparing meals for some of his favorite bands.

Reed was hand picked to open Dos Caminos Las Vegas. He engulfed himself in the flavors and passion of Mexican cuisine, first training at Dos Caminos New York City, then spending the next four years as executive sous chef for Dos Caminos in The Palazzo Las Vegas.

Reed now serves as the executive chef at Taqueria Cañonita located inside The Venetian Las Vegas Casino, Hotel and Resort. At Cañonita Reed brings a  wealth of knowledge, passion and creativity to another level as he settles into Canonita.

Executive Chef Canonita prepares a blazing shrimp dish

The décor is as spicy as the menu with casual ambiance, high ceilings and bright, bold colors. Taqueria Cañonita’s lively exhibition kitchen serves as a delicious centerpiece. Enjoy your meal amidst the sculpted steel and wrought-iron gates, colorful Mexican tiles and authentic Mexican folk art. Even better, Taqueria Cañonita’s patio is set beside the Grand Canal, offering terrific views of the Venetian streetscapes and passing gondolas

The Mexico-City-Soul-Food menu offers a wide variety of flavorful tacos and quesadillas made with grilled and fire-roasted meats, vegetables and seafood. You’re going to love the appetizers, drinks and main courses. All at surprisingly affordable prices. Great tasting & affordable?  Yup.

Chef Reed shares his  Roasted Mussels & Shrimp Skillet dish with you. Click here for the recipe.  I think  you’ll love  the flavorfull mixture of Tequila, Mexican Chorizo,  shrimp and black mussels


Loca Linda-Torrontes

Pairing:  Loca Linda,  Torrontes, Argentina ($15)

A medium bodied white wine with lightly spicy notes will work well with this recipe.  Loca Linda  is my recommendation.   “Loca Linda” translates loosely to ‘Crazy Beautiful.’ I first tasted this  wine with my family at King’s Fish House.  The translation is acutally  a compliment meaning “crazy in a good way.” I like this philosophical approach to wine and  life, so it now is one of my favorite wines…based on taste, price and philosophy.  Loca Linda is an appreciation of all people, places, and things that are crazy in a good way. Wonderfully aromatic and delicious its a well balanced,spicy but  refreshing wine that  speaks to citrus, lightly scented flowers, some star fruit and highly integrated flavors.