Archive for the 'Las Vegas' Category

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L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon – Las Vegas (MGM Grand)

L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon - Las Vegas (MGM Grand)

Joël Robuchon, where have you been all my life?

Just one evening spent under the Chef of the Century‘s spell and I am utterly smitten; I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to make my way to one of his world-class restaurants.

L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon - Las Vegas (MGM Grand)

Located a stone’s throw from MGM Grand‘s expansive casino floor, L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon is one of only two Joël Robuchon establishments in the U.S.  The other, Joël Robuchon Restaurant, is located next door and offers a more formal dining experience.

The L’Atelier’s space is positively sumptuous, swathed in glossy blacks and heady reds. Best of all is the open kitchen with court-side seating that allows diners to watch their feasts being prepared. It’s amazing how quietly each cook works and how calmly direction is given—Hell’s Kitchen this is not.

L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon - Las Vegas (MGM Grand)

The menu here allows for quite a bit of freedom. One can simply order a la carte from the “tapas” menu, construct an abbreviated tasting menu of four ($78) or five ($105) courses, or go all out with the Seasonal Discovery Menu ($165).

The Astronomer curated a fabulous five-course menu perfectly suited to his tastes and appetite, while I couldn’t resist the “Menu Decouverte De Saison.” Sommelier Ben Spicer ran the “front” of the house during our visit, and we could not have had a better time under his care.

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Tom Colicchio’s Heritage Steak – Las Vegas (The Mirage)

Tom Colicchio's Heritage Steak at The Mirage - Las Vegas

Palm Springs is rad, San Diego is too, but Las Vegas is my favorite weekend escape from the L.A. grind. There’s something about the city’s lights, energy, and glitz that makes traveling four hours out of town feel like a trip to a whole different world.

At the tail end of last year, The Astronomer and I jammed to Vegas for a celebratory getaway following the release of Food Lovers’ Guide to Los Angeles. We stayed at Aria and gorged all over town. It was the perfect escape.

Tom Colicchio's Heritage Steak at The Mirage - Las Vegas

Our first meal in the city was at Tom Colicchio’s Heritage Steak at The Mirage, the chef’s most recent Vegas venture. As luck would have it, the rodeo was in town the same weekend we were. We dined among cowboys this evening, gallon hats, serious boots, and shiny buckles…errywhere.

Tom Colicchio's Heritage Steak at The Mirage - Las Vegas

The specialty here is meats prepared entirely over an open flame—from wood-burning ovens to charcoal grills. I admire that Chef Colicchio only sources antibiotic-free animals raised by purveyors committed to time-honored farming practices and heritage breeds.

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Fountains Brunch at Jasmine – Las Vegas (Bellagio)

Bellagio Fountains Brunch at Jasmine  - Las Vegas

Along with playing slots and attending a show, dining at a sumptuous buffet rounds out my list of Vegas must-dos. Every Sunday morning, Jasmine at Bellagio is transformed from a Chinese restaurant into a wonderland of brunchy delights complete with live cooking stations, a raw bar, and chocolate fountains.

Saturday nights in Sin City can be a bit of a blur, even for good kids like The Astronomer and me, so the Fountains Brunch was just the thing to replenish our minds and bodies before hitting the road home.

Bellagio Fountains Brunch at Jasmine  - Las Vegas

The setting here is as tranquil as can be. The room is filled with plenty of natural light and faces the famous fountains that never seem to get old.

Bellagio Fountains Brunch at Jasmine  - Las Vegas

Elegant touches throughout the room, like this elaborate charger plate, made the girly girl in me smile.

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Epicurean Epicenter at Bellagio Featuring Pinot Noirs from Pisoni, Siduri, & ROAR Wineries

Epicurean Epicenter at Bellagio Featuring Pisoni Vineyards & Winery, Siduri Wines and ROAR Wines

For our second evening in fabulous Las Vegas, The Astronomer and I attended a wine dinner in Bellagio‘s Tuscany Kitchen as part of the Epicurean Epicenter series. This event featured a parade of California pinot noirs from producers Pisoni, Siduri, and ROAR and a four-course menu designed by Sensi Executive Chef Royden Ellamar.

Epicurean Epicenter at Bellagio Featuring Pisoni Vineyards & Winery, Siduri Wines and ROAR Wines

Jason Smith, master sommelier and Bellagio’s Director of Wine, not only selected the participating wineries and orchestrated the pairings, but he also served as our host this evening. Also on hand were all three winemakers. Each one was invited to speak at various points during the event to provide insights into the wine making and wine drinking process.

Epicurean Epicenter at Bellagio Featuring Pisoni Vineyards & Winery, Siduri Wines and ROAR Wines

What made this event stand out from other wine dinners I’ve attended was the interactive live cooking component. Attendees were encouraged to ask Chef Ellamar questions about everything from ingredients to technique. The Astronomer was tempted to ask Chef why he was cooking with Malibu. I had to keep my tipsy guest in check.

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