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Our recent Vegas trip


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Restaurants & Bars Southwest

Our recent Vegas trip

maestrette | | Apr 29, 2009 06:24 AM

Just a few notes from our "weddingmoon" trip to Vegas last week (4/22 - 4/26).

Highlights, roughly in order of our favorites -

1) Carnevino. We had the $49 Pre-Theater dinner on Saturday evening prior to seeing Phantom. Absolutely fabulous - beginning with the rosemary focaccia and lardo, which our server tried to convince us was healthier than the unsalted butter that also accompanied the bread. For the first course, I had the calamari with marinara and pickled peppers. The calamari was perfectly fried, not tough at all and not greasy, sitting on a bed of spicy marinara. Hubby had the beef carpaccio and loved it as well. We both had the 8 oz filet mignon for our main course. Hubby's was rare as ordered; I ordered mine medium, but it came out with a dark red center, a little on the rare side for my taste, but tasty nonetheless. The risotto cake side was a bit overdone, but the brussells sprouts with pancetta and grainy mustard was perfect. Dessert was a key lime semi-freddo for me and chocolate malt gelato for hubby, who kept stealing bites of mine. Service was very attentive. Definitely would dine here again!

2) Bartolotta. We had dinner from the Taste of Wynn menu on Thursday evening after our wedding. No problem at all with ordering from the special menu once we got there, and although it may have been because we were still dressed from the wedding, but the service we received was amazing. Hubby had the charcoal grilled cuttlefish and I had the seafood risotto for first course. My entree was amazing - fish of the day, which was a similar cut to amberjack - 3 large pieces roasted with tomatoes and artichoke hearts. Hubby had the medallion of beef, which ended up being an 8 oz filet. He said it was excellent, but not as good as the steaks we had at Carnevino later in the weekend. He had a chocolate dessert that was tasty, but again, he ended up preferring my dessert - a ligurian lemon cake with a warm custardy center, served with a side of rosemary gelato. Sounds weird, but the lemon and the rosemary were wonderful together. All in all a great deal for $75 per person.

3) Mesa Grill - We had lunch on Friday at Mesa Grill. Started with the goat cheese queso fundido. We shared a Mesa Burger and a pork tenderloin sandwich. Everything was very flavorful, including the crunchy, spicy french fries. Our favorite lunch of the trip.

4) Zeffirino - Sunday Brunch. A huge selection served buffet style. Distinct focus on seafood, including steamed shrimp and lobster, marinated jonah crab claws, and oysters on the half shell shucked fresh to order. The carving station included filet mignon, pork tenderloin, and rack of lamb. Not a lot of traditional brunch type foods, although they did make omelets by special order. Everything we tried was fabulous, including the bellinis. Definitely worth the $55 per person price.

5) Bouchon. We had breakfast on Friday at Bouchon, which was just an elevator ride down from our suite in the Venezia tower (which I highly recommend). Started with the beignets. Not like a typical New Orleans fried bread, but more like warm spice cake doughnuts with homemade jam and chocolate nutella. Very tasty. Hubby had the omelet special, which had roasted chicken, tomatoes and cheddar cheese, with a side of perfectly cooked bacon. I had the french toast, which was a brioche bread pudding with chopped apples. Amazing! Definitely on my must-go list for future Vegas trips.

6) Aquaknox. We had a late light dinner here on Wednesday evening. We had a bowl of the lobster bisque and a seafood plateau, which included oysters, clams, mussels, shrimp, lobster, jonah crab claws, shrimp ceviche and ponzu oyster shooters. All of the seafood was perfectly cooked and very fresh. Dessert was a chocolate hazelnut mouse cake that was mediocre and a creme brulee which had an odd garnish of citrus salad (kumquats, orange and grapefruit) with mandarin orange gelato. The creme brulee itself was good, but the gelato was not a good match - the textures did not work together.

7) Table 10. We had lunch there on Saturday - a huge disappointment. I had a mahi-mahi sandwich, which was grilled and served with a pineapple salsa on what appeared to be a plain white grocery store hamburger bun. It was a soggy mess by the time it arrived at the table. Hubby had the carnitas poboy, which in reality was a bbq pork sandwich drenched in cole slaw. The side for his sandwich was fried sweet pickles coated in unseasoned flour and dripping in grease. Hopefully they were having a bad day, but neither of us finished our lunch and we would not go back on future visits to Vegas.

One other highlight was the in-suite dining from the Venetian - perfect omelet and eggs benedict, along with thick-sliced wheat toast that somehow made it to our suite still warm and crunchy. The server even sent hubby's espresso up separately to insure that it would arrive still hot when we sat down to eat.

In addition, we had meals at Grand Lux, Rainforest Cafe, Enoteca San Marco, and Isla. All adequate but nothing special.

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