Was in town recently for a little over 48 hours and this is what I consumed (pics on Instagram @sideorderofham)
Jaleo: Very tasty meal with very wonky service. They do the usual suspects very well: gambas al ajillo, croquetas de pollo, and pan con tomate were executed well and delicious. Our two tastes of Iberico (the supplement with the charcuterie plate, as well as the mini sliders) werfre highlights. As for the service, it seemed like we had two servers that constantly seemed amazed that the other was waiting on us. All in all, a very good dining experience. However, there was a little part of me pining to return to that secret room in the back where e resides. I long to dine there again sometime soon.
Mon Ami Gabi: The waiting queue to be seated at the patio was rather long at lunch (It was a gorgeous day). I have to say that the faux Parisian interior of the dining room serves as a rather calming respite from the constant clatter from the casinos. I had the standard issue steak frites. Mind you, I was starving – so my perception was that the steak was decent. It probably wasn’t It reminded me of those paper thin minute steaks my mom used to get when I was a kid. But I still don’t know what to make of those frites – not quite fries, and not quite potato chips. Salty as hell and not pleasant to chew. And when I asked our rather aloof server for some sort of dipping sauce, he brusquely responded, “I can give you ketchup or mayo.” The good news is that my hunger was satisfied, but I can’t see myself returning.
L’atelier de Joel Robuchon: I was super excited for my first dining experience at a Robuchon restaurant. One thing that I found remarkable was that I was completely distracted from the casino floor, which was in clear view from the open door way. The atmosphere was rather enveloping and engaging in a positive way. The service was great and somewhat casual without becoming too relaxed (We were told that it was sort of a slow night and that the servers were having a bit more fun than usual – it showed). The food was very good. Of note were the shrimp carpaccio (I have no idea how the cooks sliced the shrimp on the cross-section so uniformly) and the quail with the famous mashed potatoes (that totally lived up to the hype). It was a very good meal indeed, but I’m not sure if I would return or not. I really love eating at a chef’s counter, observing and interacting with the staff in that particularly intimate fashion. However, this meal did not live quite up to some similar meals I’ve had in similar settings (Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare, Commis, Frantzen, Mathias Dahlgran Matbaren, Momofuku Ko). Although the food tasted good and was prepared well, most of the dishes did not have much of a true “wow” factor. And there was some over-reliance of certain herbs (such as cilantro) which felt a bit redundant on my palate. Having said that, it was a very enjoyable experience and I’m very glad to have partaken. My curiosity is leaning me towards a trip to the mothership next door during my next visit. We will see.
Bacchanal Buffet: The negotiations on the table for our last meal in Las Vegas were some sort of a buffet, Estiatorio Milos, or DB Brasserie. Since our hotel offered a free shuttle to the Forum Shops, we settled on the buffet at Caesar’s. I have to say that I was impressed. I think that the quality of the food at Wicked Spoon might be a tad bit better, but the variety and creativity of the selections at Bacchanal were impressive to say the least. The only real disappointment was in the cold shellfish offerings. They were pretty under seasoned and tasted like variations of water in seafood form. Suffice it say, these places are deceptive. I thought that I had consumed a reasonable amount of food and wound up not eating another bite until the next morning. It the most gluttonous thing that I had done in Las Vegas and a fitting end of a rather delightful trip.