We just got back from Mohegan Sun, and were able to hit a few places for some good meals.
The trip started off auspiciously enough. We drove up early Saturday morning to make the Breeder's Cup and (yay!) I hit the trifecta on the Distaff, lost the races in between, but then hit the 40:1 long shot in the Classic. Needless to say, I promptly spent it on dinner.
Rain is a beautiful water-themed restaurant, one of the most elegant at Mohegan Sun, done in shades of blue and greens with warm red accents, and lots of cascading water and glass. Briefly, some of the highlights - the goat cheese butter served with your choice of breads - the Waygu beef rib-eye entree served with tamari stir-fry (I usually don't order steak but had to try this famed beef used for Kobe-style), which was everthing I had heard; fork tender, beefy but sweet, juicy - and the 'pumpkin fritters' for dessert. These were delicous mini-cylindrical-shaped doughnuts, but lighter and airier, sprinkled with sugar, and encasing the most delicious pumpkin pie filling. Served with eggnog ice cream and cranberries, the combination was delicious. The chef, who has worked at the French Laundry, said he had just put it on the menu that night and I told him it was a winner. My WOW dish, however, was an appetizer of sweet potato agnolotti with chipotle, pistachio and brown sugar/butter emulsion. Don't let this unusual combo fool you. The chipotle was very subtle, and the sweetness of the brown sugar, richness of the butter, the texture of the pistachios - fantastic. Add to all this the excellent service, hot hand towels, amuse bouche to start dinner, and a piano player on Fridays and Saturdays -- If you hit it big at the Casino, or are trying to pick a restaurant at the Casino for a special occasion, I would highly recommend Rain.
Lunch at Johnny Rockets the next day - this has always been one of my favorite chains for a great burger. Add some onion rings and a vanilla malt; I love this place. Snacks at Michael Jordan's Sports Cafe to watch the game - usual bar food - shrimp cocktail, calamari, margaritas. All ample, but nothing to write home about.
Dinner at Summer Shack. Consensus is divided on the Boston Board about Jasper White's place in Cambridge, but I'm a fan, especially of their fried clams. HOWEVER, at Mohegan, we were served a batch similar to what detractors have described - soggy batter, chewy, lots of sand. ugh. Entrees made up for it though (well, almost!). Baked stuffed lobster, not over-cooked, but tender and sweet. Sea scallops with roasted corn and red peppers in a lobster cream sauce. This was excellent. I also had a great side dish of 'Brazilian Collards' - a mound of chiffonade greens, briefly seared in a hot pan and thin slices of garlic, and tossed with extra-virgin olive oil.
Final eats -- lunch the last day at Big Bubba's BBQ. Another good meal. Between the both of us, we had the brisket sandwich, fries, bbq pork ribs, bbq shrimp, Creole green beans (so-so), and mac and cheese (REALLY good). It's Southern-Style, smoked with a dry rub and your choice of sauces at the table (i.e, hot bbq sauce, vinegar-based, tomato-based, mustard-based). I would also recommend the key-lime pie for dessert and the margarita made with Cabo Wabo.