When the JetBlue flight touches down at McCarran Airport in Las Vegas, many people get that familiar tingly feeling. Excitement, adrenaline, gonna win big this time! But our thrill comes not only from fantasizing about hitting the $10 million MegaBucks jackpot (although that’s part of it). Our unique-to-Vegas sensation is mainly about hitting the Culinary Jackpot.
We agonize over our restaurant reservations well in advance of the trip, painstakingly coordinating visits to hot new Chefs, old favorite Chefs with new venues, various cuisines and locations. This time, my brother Don imposed a requirement – we could not eat anywhere we had previously eaten. Except, of course, Mon Ami Gabi @ Paris, because it’s our favorite spot for al fresco breakfast and the bar is our afternoon hangout for drinking vin gris and enjoying the Bellagio Fountains.
Another trip to Vegas, another trip to culinary heaven. Thanks to Don’s edict, this recent journey introduced us to Andre’s @ Monte Carlo, the bar at Michel Richard’s new Central @ Caesar’s, Bradley Ogden @ Caesar’s, Sirio @ Aria.
And brunch at Bobby Flay’s MESA GRILL @ Caesar’s:
Tiger Shrimp + Roasted Garlic Corn Tamale
*This signature appetizer is a real winner. Very rich, great for sharing.
*Mini Jalapeño Muffins
Goat Cheese “Queso Fundido”
Rajas + Blue Corn Tortilla Strips
*Kristy’s favorite, bar none.
The cheese comes out of the Bakers Pride oven bubbling hot in the Staub mini enameled cast iron dish,
it is then topped with “rajas,” rags of sliced peppers.
Smoked Salmon + Dill Quesadilla
Red Onion + Creme Fraiche
A Delightful Spanish White
2010 Berroia Bizkaiko Txakolina
A charming pale straw-color Spanish white wine produced from a blend of 85% Hondarribi Zuri with the balance of Riesling and Folle Blanche. Floral aromas with hints of mineral and green apple. Crisp, fruity with a hint of sweetness, well-balanced, this wine had a light spritz-y quality.
*A perfect morning wine. 🙂
Bloody Mary is a good choice too.
Baby Romaine Salad
Roasted Garlic Dressing
Warm Hominy Croutons + Parmesan Crisps
New Mexican Spiced Pork Tenderloin Sandwich
Grilled Red Onion, Arugula, Ancho Chile Mayonnaise, Southwestern Fries
*Don, Ron, and our server all give high marks.
Grilled Vidalia Onion + Horseradish Mustard
*My mother first couldn’t get over the size, then proceeded to enjoy this burger with knife and fork.
Perfect crust outside, medium rare and very juicy inside. Flay is the Burger King.
Yucatan Style Grouper
Blue Crab Succotash Sauce
*Lori Lynn’s top pick.
I would order this fish every time. The grouper was dense yet flaky, moist, smoky.
The sauce a perfect balance of textures and spicy/creamy flavors. The colors a delight for the eye.
*Where the magic happens.
Bakers Pride Oven
Service was prompt, but not rushed. Knowledgeable, friendly, professional.
The entire restaurant has an aura of vitality. The energy was everywhere from the dining room to the open kitchen to the bar. Mesa Grill mirrors the excitement that is Vegas. As soon as the moratorium on eating at restaurants we’ve already visited is lifted, we will be right back @ Mesa Grill.
In the mood for more Vegas culinary jackpots? Visit Gastronomic Wonderland!
And please stop by later in the week to Taste With The Eyes other highlights from this recent trip…