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Review: Le Cirque, Raku, Jean Phillipe, Five 50, Art of Flavor Etc...


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Review: Le Cirque, Raku, Jean Phillipe, Five 50, Art of Flavor Etc...

yesilovestotravel | Dec 27, 2013 12:55 PM

Le Cirque
My son & I had dinner reservations for 8pm and arrived promptly. Service from the start was very good, attentive, and somewhat formal. We noticed as we were being seated the ratio of diners to staff was about 3:1, but that being said, there were still a couple of misses in the service, the first and most forgivable, as it was in our favor after all, was the double delivery of the canapés to our table, to which I advised our server that we had already been brought the canapés, the second and the one that really didn’t settle well with us was the forgetfulness of the mignardises! This is my favorite and almost the most anticipated part of the meal and the last chance for the chef to leave a good impression.
I of course did not bring this to the attention of the staff, as to save mine and their embarrassment. I just couldn’t bring myself to politely bring it up, so I let it be… they brought me the check, and as I paid I sadly watched the other diners tasting their mignardises… that was for me a big miss.
Regarding attire, I will say that we were probably the best dressed people there, so I doubt that had anything to do with it, there was a good amount of people in street clothing, sweats & sneakers…I’m not even joking… it true! Very badly dressed people, I’m sure it wouldn’t bother most, but if I am paying that type of $$$$, I don’t want to be seeing others in sweats… people should make an effort :)

ok, on to the food…
Coming from a day and a half of heavy eating, we decided to each go with the a la carte instead of the tasting menu… appetizer, main & dessert, which was plenty.
The bread service was ok, bacon bread was tasty but none of the offerings sampled seemed fresh, they would have really benefited from a light oven warming.
The amuse was a delightful chestnut soup. Regarding the apps … I had emailed the restaurant 2 weeks prior requesting their Foie Terrine… to which I received no response… I had gotten very busy at work, and really just forgot to follow up, as did they. But being that it was still showing up in their online menu, I didn’t really worry. However, as I perused the menu in the restaurant, I realized there was no Foie Terrine, to which I was informed that it has been replaced with a Foie Gras Parfait… as in mixed with Heavy cream, as in Restaurant Saving $$... half the Foie, twice the profit. I felt a bit ripped off.
I did end up ordering the Foie Parfit, which was pretty small in comparison to the pictures I’ve seen of the Terrine, but It was tasty & smooth… but very light in taste (obviously by the heavy cream) I would have loved the terrine, but oh well… it was served with pretty good brioche bread and atop slices of beets, to which I didn’t really like… not sweet enough or tangy enough in comparison to say berries or bitter orange marmalade … that’s my fav combination!
My son had the Panko crusted egg which was superbly done, and it didn’t hurt that it had a nice little dollop of caviar! I could have that for a decadent brunch anyday!
For our mains, my son’s Lobster was over cooked and rubbery, a sad dish and if you are going to charge a supplement ($15) you better make sure it’s worth it… but it wasn’t. I had the good but safe Prosciutto wrapped monkfish. Yummy, but really nothing I couldn’t do at home.
For dessert, son had the Chocolate Ball and I had the Grand Marnier Soufflé to which we both agree were both overly sweet. There’s a word in Spanish “empalagante” which doesn’t really have a proper translation, but really describes the desserts perfectly… Great taste, but way too sweet.
Overall, we both gave it 7 out of 10… there’s plenty of room for improvement. Really want to try Twist next for excitement and Picasso for upscale “comfort” food.

Absolutely fabulous! Le Cirque, this is how it’s done. Fabulous service, pride in what they serve, well seasoned food, could not fault it.
We tried both the House Tofu which was, as someone else described it… like a delicate soft ricotta cheese… but this was better than that… unlike any other tofu I have tried, and the accompaniments really favored the tofu, second on the list was the agedashi tofu, in a well seasoned broth, delicious.
An outstanding Seared Foie Gras in a soy based glazed sauce, and although there was evidence of a very small vein, it was so deliciously done, well seared and seasoned, I can certainly overlook it. The Kobe beef with Garlic was tender and so flavorful, the chicken thigh simple but yummy. Also tried the refreshing Vinegary cucumber & seaweed with a lighter than expected vinegary taste, and lastly we tried the juicy deep fried chicken, which was delicious, but a bit too pink in the middle for my liking and safety.
We missed going to Sweets Raku afterwards, due that we had $50 worth of Jean Phillip Pastries to go back to… more on that below:

Jean Phillipe
We had $50 daily worth of resort credit at Aria, which we really had a hard time using up, as we had already made dinner reservations elsewhere for the remainder of our stay… so we did what any foodie worthy person would do… head to Jean Phillipe and start pointing to pastries that look good, until you’ve covered your allowed $50 for the day…

Likes: the almond croissant is just fabulous, very well done, crunchy, not gummy as many others I’ve tried, with a delicious almond paste filling. Also on the top of the list are both Brioches’ (the Nutella & Dulce de Leche) with a nice amount of filling… no skimping here. The cinnamon roll was very good, but nothing extraordinary.

Dislikes: The desserts. Both cheesecakes we tried, pumpkin & original were not really proper cheesecakes, but rather a lighter version made with mouse. Too much air, too light for a cheesecake … When inquiring I was told that most if not all of their cakes and desserts are made with mouse. A proper cheesecake should be a bit dense, not too sweet, with a bit of cream cheese taste still identifiable… and these just weren’t.

Used up part of our daily resort credit one night here and went with the regular cheese pizza. Very Large, almost too much… see, the pizza is very thin, which I don’t mind, the sauce had a nice tang to it, which is much appreciated and the cheese was pretty good, but the weight of the cheese and sauce weighted down the pizza triangle about 2/3 of the way…to my liking, the crust should be able to stand up to the toppings… the crust however, had a very nice crunch, and I usually don’t eat the crust, but I made an exception on this one.
Service here is very strange, borderline bad, with pretty snobby staff. I inquired if our to-go pizza was ready to which they implied “4 more minutes”… so we waited by the little tables right there in plain view… few minutes go by, I see a pizza sitting there and ask if that was mine… “oh, yes” they say. Wait, I said, you don’t call them…. to which I quote “no, not really…. sometimes the girls will” …. so you know I’m right here… and you leave my pizza to get cold here on the counter?? ugh .. enough said.

The Art of Flavor
Fabulous, fabulous Gelato… I’m not an Ice Cream type a Gal… but this was just superb… no ice crystals what so ever, (I can sense them miles away) bold flavors and brave combinations.
Taking with her a bit, I found out she’s from Venezuela, when I told her my parents are Argentinean, she immediately switched to Spanish… we south Americans have to stick together :) we chatted a bit regarding both our Italian Heritage while she had us try most of the flavors. She also mentioned she makes her own Panettone for said flavored gelato. Let me just say the quality of the panettone is miles above anything we’ve been able to purchase for our holidays… just delicious.
The Pear & Gorgonzola… wow! just Wow… you can really taste the bold Gorgonzola flavor and the bright fresh notes from the pear… this was by far our favorite… but really, they’re all amazing! Can’t wait to go back, I just wish I could find a way to take these back to Cali without them melting… although I’m sure they’d be great melted, as a smoothie :)

Aria Room Service
Not technically a restaurant, but wanted to give a little shout out to the wonderful room service staff and pretty good breakfast menu here. We had the potato cakes with a soft fluffy interior and super crunchy exterior, simple but well done & well seasoned. Accompanying the potato cakes were 1 plate of French toast, 2 thick slices of slightly sweet bread with an apple compote, probably enough for 2 and a plate of eggs Benedict, again, simple but well prepared.

Aria Buffet (lunch)
This was a comp so I didn’t pay for it… but in order to be able to afford the rest of my splurges & vacation we did try out 2 buffets… this was one of them. Really nothing to write home about, not much better than other buffets… some passable selections were the cheese/deli section with blue cheese & even Parmesan chuncks with Several nut choices, crackers, honey, dried fruits I thought that alone would do if I didn’t find anything worthy, also the chicken curry was decent with jasmine rice.
Desserts were ok, not great, but better than average for a buffet

Mirage Champagne Brunch
Again, comp … cheap champagne, cheap breakfast… if you stick to the basics bacon, pancake, hash browns… you’ll be ok… desserts were terrible… but as with Aria, they did have a nice selection of cheeses and deli meats.

Can’t wait to go back to Vegas…. next trip we want to try Twist (I need something creative!!) and Le Cirque was not one of them, Picasso as I feel I identify somewhat with the flavors although I understand they are by no means trying to stir the pot or reinventing the wheel sort of speak with their dishes, Sweets Raku which we missed (I was very very sad about this one) and JR if I have enough courage to spend that much (x2 since I travel with my son).

Hope you enjoy, feel free to ask questions, hope your not too hard on me
Happy New Year Chowhouders!


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