Restaurant Review: Cornish Pasty Company
Cornish Pasty Company (Downtown Las Vegas, Arts District)
The Cornish Pasty dates back to the Middle Ages. Its origins rest in southwestern England, within the rolling pastures of Cornwall.
The Cornish Pasty became popular with miners during the 1800s. Unable to take typical lunch breaks or use knives and forks, the miners found eating a pastry shell stuffed with meat, potatoes, and vegetables not only inexpensive and simple to make, but it was also convenient to carry and easy to eat. They also tasted delicious.
Think of a cross between an empanada, a calzone, and beef wellington. That’s a Cornish Pasty.
It’s rare to find Cornish-themed restaurants anywhere outside of England. But now, there’s one in the Arts District just south of Downtown. It’s at East Charleston and Main.
The Cornish Pasty Company is a large restaurant that’s bustling at times, certainly during First Mondays and often on weekends. They’re open for lunch and dinner.
The menu is surprisingly diverse. Cornish Pasty comes stuffed with almost anything you can think of — any meats, or vegetarian. I counted about 20-25 different varieties. All pastry shells are hand-made and freshly baked. Everything’s served right out of the oven. Bread is also freshly baked (and costs $2), a steal. The Potato Leek Soup was one of the best I’ve ever tasted. I’m crazy for leeks, and always order Potato Leek where I find it. This taste, texture, and temperature were marvelous. $6 a cup. Next time, I’m getting a bowl.
Many countryside restaurants in Cornwall are farm to table and the Cornish-born operators of this establishment have brought authenticity to the premises. Everything on this menu from fresh lemonade to real butter to freshly baked bread, to piping-hot ingredients, will make you believe you’ve landed in Falmouth. About ten years ago, Marieta and I spent a full week in Cornwall (thanks, Des and Jane Wilson) and we miss that wonderful hospitality and unique cuisine. Well, it’s in Las Vegas now.
Be warned, this place can get very crowded. We visited during the afternoon and had no problem getting seated. The atmosphere is a bit rustic. It’s more of a place for groups and lends itself to sharing items. The service was exceptionally fast and friendly. Very artsy staff and crowd. We felt right at home.
We ordered two Cornish Pasties. Mine was sirloin steak with leeks (gotta’ get my leek fix) and Zucchini, with a nice sauce. We also had soup, bread, and shared red seasoned potatoes, along with lemonade. The total bill came to $41. Cornish Pasty Company also offers an extensive menu for tap beers (perhaps 40-50, many I’d not heard of before). Alc. drinks were very reasonably priced at $9 to 11. Happy hour has $5 cocktails and discounted beer pricing. Given the prices in new hip spots like this and especially in revitalized areas, these prices were very reasonable. We’ll definitely go back.
Cornish Pasty Company was a pleasant experience. Fresh, good food at reasonable prices and excellent service. But also nothing fancy. Interesting decor, also — the booths are wooden church pews and the walls are decorated with old black-and-white photos with the faces of grimy miners, including some images that remind us of the harsh lands that produced these proud ancestors of Cornwall.