Saturday, August 4, 2007

Viva Hot Vegas - Part One

We are never going back to Las Vegas.

I've always thought it was too noisy, smoky, and filled with an overabundance of extremely obnoxious people. But it had been a few years and I was lured in by the possibility of restaurant adventures. While the Guy Savoy and Joel Robuchon's of the world were out of our reach, there were plenty of other middle of the road spots to keep us busy.

Long story short: We made a fateful decision to walk around in the 117 degree heat, I developed heat stroke, and left early. On the upside we had some great meals, our hotel room was cheap (I got a ridiculous deal online) and lovely, and we didn't lose any money on gambling.

But onto the trip report:

We stayed on the 31st floor of the Paris Hotel with a view of the Eiffel Tower and the Bellagio Fountains.

Our flight arrived at 8am so we were ready for breakfast which consisted of a chocolate croissant and a couple coffees at the Lenotre Patisserie in our hotel. The croissant was so-so, but it eased us into our first morning.
After we settled into our room we gambled a bit and then walked to Mario Batali's casual place at the Venetian. Our first long walk which wasn't in terms of distance but the heat and the crowds made it exhausting. Enoteca San Marco's menu is similar to Mozza, is set in the middle of the Venetian near the canals and the piazza, and it's beautiful in a surreal way.

M had an iced tea served with a tiny carafe of simple syrup. Loved this!

Do you see what I mean about it being surreal? It's charming, pretty, and totally fake

For our first course, we tried the Insalata di Acetaia, red oak lettuce, egg, prosciutto, cherry tomatoes, pecorino, and sweet balsamic. Sweet, salty, meaty, green. Excellent.

Moved onto the pancetta and goat cheese pizza with tomato, carmelized onions, and Coach Farm cheese. Again sweet, tangy, and quite rich.

As usual, the service was pure Batali: smart, impeccable, knew every inch of the menu, and sweet and authentic.
As we were heading out we noticed there was a Bouchon Bakery. Having room for a post-lunch dessert, we grabbed a vanilla eclair. As you can probably guess, it was perfect.
On our way back to the Paris, we stopped by the Flamingo to see the tribute to Bugsy Siegal, who built the hotel which opened in 1946 and started the first Vegas building craze.

Home sweet home.

To be continued....Mesa Grill, Lotus of Siam, Jean Phillipe Patisserie, and Bouchon.

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