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Vegas report

Elaine(snutteplutten) | Apr 22, 2001 12:39 AM

I've been crazed... but wanted to briefly comment on last weekend's Vegas trip, our big splurge was at Picasso, in the Bellagio, and this was definitely one of the ten best meals I've ever eaten. Each course was simple, beautifully presented, and exploding with flavor. Highlights included oysters with a touch of caviar, a perfect loin of lamb, and a light financiere stuffed with apples and raisins with an incredibly uncloying scoop of Calvados ice cream. The menu changes daily, and you can do an $89 menu or a $79 menu. Each menu can be paired with a flight of wines by the glass, one per course - you'll be wasted - but they are SO outstanding and perfectly married to the flavors of the dishes. Service was professional, gracious (no qualms about mixing and matching courses from the two menus, or serving menus of different lengths to people at the same table), if a bit more informal than you'd get in a restaurant of equal caliber in new york. And then there is the incredibly ridiculous decadent nonsense, seductive and offensive at the same time, of dining in a secluded nook with your own real life genuine Picasso hanging over your table. For New Yorkers, the sheer roominess of the restaurant is also novel and lovely. Courses are perfectly proportioned, you'll be sensuously full, nicely buzzed, but not stuffed, and you should take your after dinner coffee onto the terrace to look at the enormous Bellagio fountains sinuously gyrating to Sinatra singing "Luck be a Lady Tonight." Insane, absurd, the end of civilization as we know it, but fabulously fun and the sheer incongruity of perfect food in such an outre setting is pure Vegas. Do it.

Then, the next night, get a grip on yourself and mingle with real people in a strip mall at Lotus of Siam (right near the Showgirl Wig Center). No Picassos, but so friendly and every bit as wonderful as everyone has said.

All the quick casino food we had utterly sucked, although our third dinner, a moderately priced tasty meal of pasta and salads at Wolfgang Puck's Mandalay Bay place (whose name is escaping me) was competently yummy and not expensive (if you stuck to pasta), and a good option for non-event dining, and relatively speedy for Vegas, enabling me to get back to the tables to recoup (most) of my losses...

What a town...

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