10 days in las vegas – kind of a foodie’s dream these days.
Arrived early Saturday and had reservations at L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon with a client and his wife for dinner. We had the tasting menu and loved every bite. Highlights included the gazpacho, the scallop, asparagus with crab, the egg, both main course choices, and the tequila sorbet with strawberries. Everything was simply wonderful and the service was impeccable. Do not miss this meal.
Still on east coast time, I arrived just in time Sunday morning to open Bouchon for breakfast. It was still under 100 degrees (cool for a vegas morning) so I sat outside by the fountain. It almost felt like I was eating in a European courtyard. I ordered the Boudin blanc and eggs and got a bag of granola to go. I left feeling like there was no way I could ever top the combo of dinner and breakfast I had just had.
Sunday I played in the 10k plo event at the world series of poker and though I finished out of the money, I played too long to eat a decent lunch or dinner.
I played in the early morning poker tournament at the Palms Monday so I ate breakfast at the buffet there. Not bad for about $7, with fairly good fruit and a decent spread, but unless you have a reason to be there, the Bellagio buffet is worth spending the extra money on.
After busting out of the tournament I headed down Sahara to LoS with visions of Crispy Rice and Issan Beef Jerky dancing in my head. The buffet looked so good, but I stuck to my guns and ordered the above dishes. Both were as good as I remembered and my only regret was that I just couldn’t eat another bite afterwards so no dessert.
I met up with a friend later in the day and we got nostalgic for the ooooooold days when we would eat at Fatburger so, of course, we had to go there for dinner. Objectively, I have since eaten much better burgers, but sometimes comfort and memories make the food taste that much better.
I ate breakfast at the Bellagio buffet Wednesday before playing another poker tournament. The experience served to reinforce my belief that if one is in the mood for Scottish smoked salmon, rare filet mignon, the best fruit on any buffet in vegas, and your choice of exquisite pastries along with excellent coffee, this is the place to go.
I ended up taking 16th in the tournament and didn’t finish until 2:30 am, so on the dinner break they gave us free buffet tickets to the Orleans buffet. I stayed at the Orleans also and had to eat there a few times on this trip. My advice is NOT to eat anywhere at the Orleans unless you really have to.
Thurday I was up late and had some shopping to do in Caesar’s Forum Shops so I went to Joe’s for lunch. It is the off season, so there were no large claws to be had and I had to settle for the select size. Still, along with the lovely mixed basket of breads, it was a fine and satisfying lunch. In the course of walking the shops, I did notice that there is now a slew of good choices for food there. I only ate at Joe’s and I did enjoy it very much, but if I had more time ...
My brother arrived Thursday afternoon and we decided that he should not miss the tasting menu at L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon, so we arrived early without reservations and were able to get some prime seats at the bar. Emmanuel, the manager, remembered me from Saturday night and we spoke about food at length. Since I had just eaten the same tasting menu, Emmanuel agreed to bring me mostly new dishes.
It is the rare restaurant that not only meets high expectations, but exceeds them, and after the dinner Saturday night, my expectations were high indeed. This meal was even better than that one. We shared all the dishes and enjoyed everything. Emmanuel stopped by a few times and we talked of meals past and current cutting edge chefs. In the course of our conversation I mentioned how much I love chocolate and he made sure that on top of the two luscious fruity desserts we also got to sample the chocolate dessert. Pure bliss.
Friday was another poker tournament, but we both busted out just in time to head back to LoS for dinner. Since this was prime dinner time and we didn’t have reservations, we almost didn’t get the chance to eat. The hostess asked us if we could finish in 45 minutes and we nearly got whiplash shaking our heads so fast. For the record; Crispy Rice, Papaya salad, Tom Kha Gai soup, thai fried rice and duck curry can be ordered and eaten in just under 45 minutes. But again we missed dessert.
On Saturday we had snagged 5:30 reservations at Michael Mina at the Bellagio, so we ate an early breakfast at Bouchon. We shared the eggs au gratin and the croque madam and once again thoroughly enjoyed our breakfast.
By 11:30 we were hungry and ready for lunch so we drove back to LoS only to find they were closed for lunch on the weekends. So we turned around and drove up Sahara to Rosemary’s only to find that they too were closed for lunch on weekends. On our way to get some gas we lucked into finding a Wing Stop and gladly ordered a few flavors of wings and beer for lunch. We enjoyed this lunch as much as any we had in vegas.
Michael Mina was waiting later, so we held back on ordering more. We started our dinner with a couple of Cable Cars and a nice amuse and then ordered the seasonal tasting menu. The Hamachi, Lobster, and John Dory were all wonderful. The kobe ribeye was also very good, but paled in comparison to the steak course at L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon. The tasting of desserts was a great finish to a great meal. Highly recommended, and second only to L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon.
My brother was to go home Sunday night and we had to have the Mango, sticky rice and ice cream at least once, so we went back to LoS at 5:30 when they opened. This time we had plenty of time so we ordered the bbq giant prawns with garlic. Some folks may think almost $30 is a lot for two prawns, but they were more like small lobsters in size and very yummy. We also had thai beef salad, papaya salad, pineapple fried rice, grilled sausage, and finally, dessert. I wish I could fight with my brother over every bite of that dessert again tonight.
Unfortunately, Monday was all poker so I did not get to have another great meal. I would have liked to get to Rosemary’s or perhaps, Todd’s Unique.