Monday, May 18, 2009

Vegas – Home of a never empty belly

As with any getaway, I can’t believe it is already over.  Vegas is no exception.  After a whirlwind 4 days, we are back home wondering where it all went.  As usual, I ate my way through town.  Here are the highlights:

Jasmine at Bellagio

For me, Jasmine was all about location.  Our table faced a huge swath of windows that overlooked the Bellagio fountains.  Every fifteen minutes we were able to watch as the fountains did their thing.  Very cool. 

Jasmine bills itself as authentic Cantonese cuisine which I took to mean order everything on the menu that has pork in it.  For an appetizer I had ribs and for my main I had the Wu Xi Ribs, which were braised belly ribs in rock sugar, star anise, and far dew ginger sauce (whatever the hell that is).  The waitress warned me that there was a lot of fat on the ribs.  She obviously didn’t know me, because that sounds an awful lot like an invitation.

My only skeptical eye was raised when they kept incorrectly pronouncing Tsingtao.  They can pronounce Wu Xi, but not Tsingtao?  Come on people!

Piero’s

Doing what I do best...Piero’s is off the strip, but within walking distance of the convention center and monorail line.  Voted the “Best Italian Restaurant in Las Vegas” for the past 10 years, Piero’s is the one place I really, really want to revisit.

With a more intimate vibe, Piero’s is apparently the destination of the locals, politicians, and celebrities.  Zoe & Michelle (Especially Michelle and her Tommy gun hand motions) felt the place really had a “mobster” feel to it.  Groups of men where huddled around dimly lit tables, talking with their hands, wearing bibs, and gulping drink…oh wait, that was me in a mirror. Sorry.

Keith and I had the Osso Buco, Piero’s signature plate.  It was a huge braised veal shank served with a side of fettuccini.  Absolutely heavenly.  My favorite part was using the smaller fork to pull out the bone marrow.  Yum, yum, yum.  After having our waiter recite the specials from memory 4 or 5 times, the ladies settled on halibut and were not disappointed.  The beer of the evening?  Peroni.  Enough said.

The Grand Canyon

Zoe’s birthday started out with Zoe and Michelle getting a massage, facial, and body scrub and then moved on to a beautiful helicopter tour of the Hoover Dam and the west rim of the Grand Canyon.  The four of us had a great time hauling ass across the Arizona tundra.  Unfortunately for me, but good for everyone else, I discovered the headset system’s microphone too late in the trip.  “Roger, roger…over, over…"  I easily entertain myself sometimes.

Zoe

Mix

The Mix lounge and restaurant is located on the 64th floor of THEhotel at Mandalay Bay.  We started off with drinks at the lounge, which has an open air seating area looking out across the south strip.  This was oddly similar to the drinks we shared with Keith & Michelle in London at Vertigo several years ago.

The view from Mix

Dinner was fairly mind blowing.  I started off with a spicy crab salad and then moved on to a bison tenderloin with sauce au poivre for my main.  With bison already being such a lean meat, I found the tenderloin really enjoyable and aptly suited to the dish.  The food is French American which to me means “small French”.  As is such, I took it upon myself to help out my guests with anything they couldn’t finish. 

Gin Martini

Our waiter, Randy, was great.  As we learned through the course of dinner, his wife was English and he used to be a Chippendales dancer.  I knew that guy had moves.  I just knew it.

Keith

Dinner was finished out with sponge cake and a Nutella dipping sauce to celebrate Zoe’s birthday.  The service was impeccable.  So much so that Mix was closing at 9 for a private party in celebration of the opening of The Lion King at Mandalay Bay.  Even as the tables around as were moved out of the way and re-situated with place holders for the various actors, never once did we feel rushed or hurried.  Yet another great and memorable meal.

Happy Birthday

After dinner, the girls went off to get their Aussie grove on by attending The Thunder Down Under.  Because as I put it, my cloudy with a chance of rain just doesn’t cut it.

The strip

4 comments:

dustin said...

Piero's! I ate there a few times in my CES days. Always a great meal. Don't remember the mobsters though... Maybe I ate too early.

Andrew said...

Looks like a great trip, glad to hear at least some of the wheels in vegas are greased with pork fat!

Mike said...

@Dustin - I wondered about that, seeing how close it is to the convention center.

@Andrew - Yes, I was thrilled to find pork fat...thrilled!

Ninette said...

I went to Vegas too and ate at different joints: http://bigboldbeautifulfood.blogspot.com/search/label/Travel