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Vegas Anniversary Trip: LOS, Picasso, Robuchon at the Mansion

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Vegas Anniversary Trip: LOS, Picasso, Robuchon at the Mansion

alp102000 | Nov 1, 2005 01:24 PM

We're back from celebrating our 5-year anniversary in Vegas, where we certainly ate well (if not cheaply).

Here's the rundown:

Thurs. lunch: Burger Bar at Mandalay Bay. I had the Kobe beef burger, DH had an Angus one. The Kobe beef burger was tasty, but so steaklike it was kind of overwhelming. I felt like I'd overdone it afterwards (but then again, Vegas is about wretched excess, right?).

Thurs. dinner: LOS. We started off with the garlic and black pepper chicken wings, then moved on to Northern red curry with catfish, pineapple fried rice, and the Issan sour sausage. Everything was really good. I was a bit disappointed in the mango with sticky rice, because the mango was not as perfectly ripe and sweet as I had been led to expect. But it was truly a fine meal and we would go back in a heartbeat.

Fri. brunch: Bouchon at the Venetian. Eggs Florentine for me, Caramelized Brioche French Toast stuffed with apples for DH. We also split a strawberry croissant, which was a split croissant covered by a layer of strawberries with some butter and brown sugar mixture sprinkled on top. This was a spectacular meal -- thanks to whoever recommended it here on this board.

Fri. snack: a ham, mushroom, cheese, and egg crepe at Jean Phillippe at the Bellagio. This was just OK, nothing to rave about.

Fri. dinner: Picasso. Poached oysters topped with caviar, roasted veggies with foie gras, and sauteed venison medallions for me; butternut squash soup, ruby red shrimp with peaches, and roasted veal chop for DH. We split a caramelized banana and huckleberry napoleon and a chocolate genoise for dessert. This was an excellent meal, but after reading all the raves here, I must confess that I was expecting something transcendental, and this was not it.

Sat. brunch: Commander's Palace at the Aladdin. Soup 1-1-1 (roasted red pepper/carrot bisque, duck and wild mushroom gumbo, turtle soup with sherry), shrimp and grits with andouille sausage, and beignets for me; salad with candied pecans, Eggs Versailles (poached eggs on a buttermilk biscuit with smoked salmon and hollandaise sauce), and Bananas Foster for DH. An excellent brunch, although the food was really rich and the portions were overwhelming (that or we were hitting our foodie limit after a couple of days of heavy eating). The place was pretty empty, so I understand those previous postings that say CP might do better in a better location.

Sat. dinner: Joel Robuchon at the Mansion. This dinner was AMAZING -- it knocked our socks off. IMHO, Picasso isn't even in the same league. We had a six course tasting menu (down from the nine courses I'd read about, but I must say we didn't miss the other three courses): (1) lemon gelee with anisette vanilla cream; (2) crispy soft boiled egg (basically, it was covered in thin crispy potato sticks) with smoked salmon and osetra caviar; (3) light lettuce foam (basically a soup) served over onion custard; (4) pan-seared sea bass with lemongrass sauce and stewed leeks; (5) veal chop with some sort of vegetable tagliarini with pesto; and (6) some sort of chocolate mousse or fondant thing with mint sorbet and mascarpone cream on top. Everything was absolutely top-notch. I could understand why RW Apple raved about the place in the NY Times last week.

Sunday was a run-off-the-mill breakfast at the hotel, so I won't bore you with the details. (Besides, at that point we really had burned out as far as food was concerned.)

All in all, we were very happy with our meals in Vegas. We based our restaurant choices on what I read on this board, so thanks again to anyone who recommended these places. For me, the real standouts were Bouchon and Joel Robuchon at the Mansion. I'm already trying to figure out where to go if we ever make it back to Vegas again -- I'm thinking maybe Alex, Rosemary's, and Bradley Ogden?

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