THIS IS HOW WE VEGAS
Yes, we have an ongoing LOVE AFFAIR with French Cuisine. And Italian, and Spanish, and California and so on and so on. We also have a LOVE AFFAIR with Vegas. THE Foodie Paradise where gorgeous restaurants are designed as if money-were-no-object, with the highest concentration of World-Class chefs, and our favorite alfresco-dining galore. Yes, we love to play blackjack (thanks Dr. Thorp), take long walks along the strip early in the morning, spend time at the spa and pools, and take in the fabulous shows – but truth be told, it’s the food that is our main attraction. THIS is how we Vegas, last weekend:
Bardot Brasserie by Michael Mina – Aria
Lavo Italian Restaurant – The Palazzo
Lago by Julian Serrano – The Bellagio
Giada by Giada De Laurentiis – The Cromwell
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French Dining Tour of Vegas
Not exactly sure how this “dining tour” idea came about. Maybe it had something to do with refreshments at the pool in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower? Anyway, fellow bons vivants (my brother, sister-in-law, and our dear friend Susan from New Jersey) adore Vegas and its impressive collection of world-renowned Chefs. When we plan our trips to Vegas “where shall we dine?” is the first order of business.
Thanks to my brother’s edict that we try new restaurants each visit, on last Fall’s trip we hit the mother lode. We re-discovered Las Vegas’ first celebrity chef, the charming André Rochat. It may have been we were so blown-away by our experience that we convinced Don we absolutely had to go back to André’s, tout de suite. However it evolved, the first “French Dining Tour of Vegas” was born – a trip where we would eat at exclusively French restaurants, or those with French Chefs, and of course we would stay at the Paris Las Vegas Hotel & Casino.
French Dining Tour of Vegas Itinerary
Late Night Snack
Michel Richard’s CENTRAL @ Caesar’s
MON AMI GABI @ Paris
POOLSIDE below the Eiffel Tower
EIFFEL TOWER RESTAURANT BAR @ Paris
ANDRE’S @ Monte Carlo
FRANCOIS PAYARD PATISSERIE & BISTRO @ Caesar’s
Afternoon Wine & Cheese
PETROSSIAN BAR @ Bellagio
L’ATELIER DE JOEL ROBUCHON @ MGM Grand
MON AMI GABI @ Paris
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tagliatelle con il primo tartufo bianco @ sirio
tagliatelle pasta with fresh shaved first of the season white truffles
We’ve been hitting The Las Vegas Culinary Jackpot, big time! A week ago I shared what is now our absolute favorite spot for Brunch in Vegas – Bobby Flay’s Mesa Grill @ Caesar’s. Among many other items, the Yucatan Style Grouper with Blue Crab Succotash Sauce is brilliant. Our epicurean bonanza did not stop at Mesa Grill, though.
Thanks to my brother’s edict that we try new restaurants, on this trip we hit the mother lode. To our immense delight, we re-discovered Las Vegas’ first celebrity chef, the charming André Rochat. It was with fond memories of escargots and duck à l’orange enjoyed at André’s in Downtown Vegas decades ago that we made our dinner reservations.
“In the 1980s, it was a whole different city. We were the only freestanding gourmet restaurant in town. We were very busy, very busy, sometimes with a line at the door,” said Rochat, who was raised in a small town outside Lyon, France. (Read more about our favorite Las Vegas legend here).
André’s @ Monte Carlo reflects the original old-world Downtown Vegas charm and combines it with new-world breathtaking aqua décor and warm, personalized service plus the Chef’s years of talent and hospitality. We were so blown-away by our experience we are certain that foodies coming to Vegas to meet the hottest new Chefs will be even more impressed to meet the town’s hottest old Chef!
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Bobby Flay’s MESA GRILL Las Vegas
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:
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Come join me, my friends, in a Gastronomic Wonderland!
Hello my fellow foodies, bons vivants, gastronomes, gourmets, connoisseurs of the finest food and wine! To celebrate the end of a tasty 2010 and to welcome in a delicious 2011, come travel with us to Las Vegas this last weekend of the year and experience some of world’s best food created by renowned chefs, served in breathtaking ambiance with superlative service. Vegas, it’s a food lovers dream-come-true, a gastronomic wonderland!
An Invitation to Taste With The Eyes:
Twist – Pierre Gagnier
Comme Ca – David Myers
Jaleo – José Andrés
Osteria del Circo – Egidiana & Sirio Maccioni
Mon Ami Gabi – Gabino Sotelino
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KIWI-TINI @ tommy bahama’s
Town Square Las Vegas
Is it possible to visit Las Vegas and not indulge in food and drink? As foodies, we LOVE Vegas. This past weekend we dined at the BEST of the BEST – Alain Ducasse, Pierre Gagnier, and Joel Robuchon among others. We were obviously leaning French this trip! Is there a city where one can find so many of the world’s top chefs? It’s Vegas, baby!
In addition to dining at the crème de la crème, how about some just plain ol’ fun? On the patio at Tommy Bahama’s…in the open air bar at Mon Ami Gabi with views of the strip…relaxing on the couches at Morels with their unmatched cheese bar…high atop the strip at Mix with views from the 64th floor…and at Red Square where we contemplated purchasing the requisite bottle of vodka, to don fur coats and enjoy the beverage in the vodka vault at minus 5 degrees. Alas, as we had dinner reservations later that night at Joel Robuchon at 9 PM, so we sipped a glass of Veuve instead. Maybe next time?
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stuffed piquillo peppers/ goat cheese/ mushrooms
On this night we sat at the bar at Julian Serrano in the Aria Resort & Casino. Color, food, people, energy! Serrano wanted his eponymous restaurant to offer flexibility and comfort to all guests; from a quick bite to a long meal, small bites to larger portions, and what he calls economics – spend a little or spend a lot, he’s serving Spanish foods of his homeland with an International flair…
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