And it was damn good!
So a little backstory on this trip. We bought plane tickets on Southwest to visit Jarrad’s parents in Florida. Two days after purchase, they sold their house and started preparing to move back to Pittsburgh. So we had these ticket to use on a fun little getaway. I wanted a destination with a direct flight and a mix of relaxing & sightseeing. Jerry suggested Las Vegas and was a bit skeptical…I’m not really a gambler and my partying days are way behind me. But I’ve talked to enough people to know that blackjack and nightclubs are just a small part of the Vegas experience. So i said “Let’s do it!
It’s no secret that Jerry and I love food. I don’t consider us “foodies” by any means…we are definitely not adventurous eaters. We love seafood and most vegetables. But we like typical cuts of typical proteins prepared in typical ways. Give me a gorgeous filet but hold the bone marrow. I’ll pass on the duck breast but devour your perfectly prepared chicken breast. We prefer sushi rolls over sashimi (hold the eel) and draw the line at anything tongue, cheek or brain.
I immediately started seeking out the best restaurants. Not too fancy, not too pricey and not too far from our hotel. They weren’t hard to find. Here’s where we went:
First stop…Mesa Grill. I love me some Bobby Flay and I love me some burgers.
Jerry got the Mesa burger and I got the Green Chile burger. All I can say is WOW! It was one of the best burgers I’ve ever had. Perfectly prepared with a creamy queso and roasted chiles. The bun was so fresh and light and the pickled onions had such great flavor. So good!
There was a spice on the fries that I didn’t love. But I ate them anyway.
For dinner, we went to Jose Andres’ restaurant, China Poblano where I failed to take any pictures (rookie mistake). But we loved everything we had.
Queso Fundido to start (give me all the CHEESE). Jerry and I each had a taco…pork for him, shrimp for me. And at the waiters recommendation, the XO Rice Noodle (A traditional Chinese comfort dish, rolls of rice noodle are tossed with house-made XO sauce, sautéed shrimp & egg). These noodles were unlike anything I’d ever eaten. They were more like gnocchi than noodly but the flavor. Oh my. It was out of this world.
We had breakfast the next morning at Tom’s Urban Legend at New York, New York. It had outside seating that was awesome for people watching. And the breakfasts were so good, we ate there the next day too!
Day one eats: The Beach Bum omelet (lots of veggies & cheese) with the most amazing hash browns
Day two: Huevos Benedicto (a ridiculously good Benedict of carnitas, peppers, cheese and roasted chile hollandaise sauce) and cheddar polenta grits)
We originally had dinner reservations at Tao for Monday night but our spot-on waiter at China Poblano recommended Sushi Samba at the Venetian. I wish I could go back and give him a big ole kiss because it will go down as one of the best meals I’ve ever had.
When we arrived, our waiter told us about the Chef’s tasting menu. You give him a price point, tell him your likes/dislikes/allergies/aversions and the chef prepares several courses based on your preferences. As we weren’t going to any shows or big excursions, Jerry and I decided to blow our budget on this meal and told the waiter to Bring. It. On.
Did he ever…
ROCK SHRIMP TEMPURA to start. (golden pea shoot, snap pea julienne, 18 spicy mayonnaise, green peas, black truffle dressing)
CRISPY TAQUITOS with Yellowtail served with spicy aji panca sauce, fresh lime, yuzu aji
Roasted Sea Bass
Sushi Rolls: LIMA shrimp tempura, spicy king crab, avocado & NEO TOKYO* bigeye tuna, tempura flake, aji panca
And the highlight of the entire meal…the Japanese Wagyu. The stone is heated to 700 degrees and you sear the thin slices of beef for 4-5 seconds per side. Served with several dipping sauces and salts. The beef literally melted in your mouth. The flavor was so tremendous.
We are ruined for all other beef forever.
Our final meal was at Scott Conant’s D.O.C.G Enoteca. We shared a sausage and pepper pizza
and spaghetti & meatballs. I knew the pasta would be amazing because…Scott Conant. It didn’t disappoint.
Our final meal was at the Le Cafe in our hotel (we stayed at Paris). I had the ham & cheese croissant sandwich with roasted fingerlings. Can’t you just taste the butter? So much butter…
And that’s not a bad thing.