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Las Vegas, Nevada
I just returned from a quick get-a-way to Las Vegas, where I tagged along with Bill (my significant other) to his ADSA convention. While he was busy working, I busied myself working out, shopping and of course eating! Living in Los Angeles, LV is basically in our backyard… so; I’ve been there many, many times. Each time I go, I hunt for some great new dining experiences. This trip was no exception.
We landed early Thursday morning, checked into Aria, unpacked our bags and it was perfect timing for brunch. We took a short walk over to the Cosmopolitan hotel and decided to try The Henry. Turns out we made a great decision, as the food was delicious and the service was outstanding. At this time of the morning, they offer only breakfast items. The menu was small, yet it had plenty to choose from. I decided to go the traditional route with scrambled egg whites, turkey sausage and wheat toast. I declined the potatoes as the waiter was honest and told me they are very greasy. I always like to start with a healthy breakfast and was pleased that it was no problem and no extra charge for egg whites and that I was able to get turkey sausage as an option.
Later that afternoon, after walking the strip and sightseeing, we found ourselves ready for a lite-bite. Located at The Shops at Crystals (located in The City Center, along with Aria, The Cosmopolitan Hotel and Mandarin Oriental Hotel), is a gastropub style restaurant called Todd English P.U.B. (stands for Public Urban Bar). A large bar, communal dining tables and plenty of seating outside, make this a great spot for friends to gather, catch a game on TV or grab a bite with your sweetie. I ordered the house pinot grigio, which was probably the best one I’ve ever had while I pondered what my taste buds were in the mood for. A large menu with lots of choices, I narrowed it down to the chicken breast from their carvery section. After selecting your meat, you choose 2 sauces and bread. It’s a fun way to create a sandwich just the way you like it. Mine, turned out just the way I like it, with a little barbeque sauce and blue cheese dipping sauce, how could it not be fantastic?
In my opinion, and for several reasons, it’s always a good idea to make your dinner reservations for late in the evening. Even if you don’t normally do this at home, do it in Las Vegas. Basically, it allows you time to fit your three meals into the day!
Bill has always wanted to try Gordon Ramsay’s Steak (celebrity chef and host of the TV show Hell’s Kitchen), which is located at Paris Hotel. I am not normally a fan of restaurants run or owned by celebrity chefs as I feel they tend to be a bit overrated. What stands out most in my mind about this restaurant are the décor and the service. On the way to your table you walk through a funky “tunnel” which is to give you the feel that you are leaving Paris and traveling through the Chunnel to London… I think that is pretty cool. It’s a dark 2-story restaurant with tables and booths. The noise level is moderate, making it easy to talk during dinner. Before you order, the waiter brings a cart to your table with all the different cuts of meat, giving a detailed description of each cut and how they are prepared. The wait staff was attentive and they serve your meal in tandem… it’s a great presentation. I am not a steak eater, so I ordered halibut. We shared salads and sides. The food was mediocre. I will say, the dessert is scrumptious. They are known for their Sticky Toffee Pudding and we are told people go there just for the dessert. Served piping hot, with a side of toffee sauce and brown butter ice cream, it is a divine way to finish your meal. I will also add that they have a very extensive wine list.
Friday was a day all to me, which I just love. It became all about shopping and just grabbing food along the way. For dinner we met friends at Javier’s located at Aria. We had so much fun drinking margaritas and eating Mexican food. Their menu is great and offers traditional Mexican food with a modern flair. I chose the seafood enchiladas filled with cheese, shrimp and crab and served with rice and beans. Bill had the carne Tampiquena served with a mole chicken enchilada, a taquito and refried beans. That was a plate filled with goodness! Everyone enjoyed their entrees and we all left knowing we would go back there again.
Later in the evening, we couldn’t resist a little sweet treat, can you blame us? Located on the main level of Aria, is a casual spot called Jean Philippe Patisserie. It is as French and wonderful as the name suggests. The pastries are so beautiful in the case; they are as much a work of art as they are desserts. Bill chose the gelato, a good choice as it was as creamy and tasty as those we’ve tried in Europe. I pondered my decision for a while, it wasn’t easy for me. My final choice was a Nutella crepe. I think I was the winner! I watched as the pastry chef, spun the batter creating the base for the crepe, filled the inside with Nutella and topped it off with chocolate shavings and powdered sugar. Of course, it was served with a large dollop of whipped cream. As I write this, I’m wishing I was there right now! Who would think the pastries at a hotel in Las Vegas would be as good as those in France?
Saturday was our last day in Las Vegas and then it would be time to head home. I decided to get a good workout in seeing as I was indulging at mealtime. The fitness center at Aria is actually the largest hotel gym I have ever been to. After my workout, I packed my bags and met some friends for lunch at Aria Café. It’s their breakfast, lunch, and dinner spot. Light, bright and with a very inventive menu, this is a far cry from a hotel coffee shop. I had a really nice sandwich and delicious sweet potato fries. The food was served hot, which is a pet peeve of mine. Their menu had lots of options… a great find. After that, I had just enough time to sip fine French wine at the bar at Bardot Brasserie, Chef Michael Mina’s classical French restaurant at Aria. I absolutely felt as if I was in Paris!
So… yes, Las Vegas is a hot spot, foodie destination. Whatever your taste buds are in the mood for, you will find in Las Vegas. Contact me, Sheri Epstein to book your next trip there!
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