Dan and I were excited to go to Vegas. He was excited because he likes to gamble. I was excited because I love food and nearly every website I visited touted Vegas as a "Culinary Destination." Fodor's 2009 Guide to Las Vegas dedicates quite a few pages to listing all the eateries at the various hotels, plus eateries off the strip. I think I had originally tabbed 20 places I wanted to eat at. Unfortunately, it would have been impossible to eat at all of them, so I had to narrow it down. And since I'm indecisive, it that was a tough exercise for me!
Our first drool inducing meal was at B&B Ristorante which is located at the Venetian. We really liked the comfortable and intimate atmosphere of B&B. Everything on the menu sounded delicious, so it was hard to decide what to order. To make life easy, they did offer two different tasting menus. But we decided to chose our own courses instead. I chose Calamari Seppie Fritti as my appetizer, Goat Cheese Tortellini for my first course, and the Whole Grilled Branzino as my second course. Every bite of every course was heavenly. I cleaned my plates. And I was so full at the end I couldn't even consider dessert. If I had room, I would have had the Blueberry Crostata though!
The next memorable eatery was Dos Caminos at the Palazzo. This was not one of the restaurants on our "to eat at list." Earlier in the day, at my interactive luncheon, a woman at my table highly recommended we check out Dos Caminos. And you know how much I love Mexican, so how could I not check it out? This was probably one of my favourite meals. We saw Blue Man Group, and then went to Dos Caminos. I was frickin' starving by the time we arrived. I practically inhaled their guacamole and fresh chips. The guacamole was fantastic! I don't know if it's because the avocados were fresher, or what. But it was the best guacamole I've EVER had. We also had a delicious assortment of salsas that varied in heat. I was having a hard time deciding what to get as everything sounded awesome (do you see a common theme here?). But then I saw it...the Conchita Pibil...slow roasted suckling pig, with sauteed plantains, habanero pickled onions, and achiote sauce. This photo was taken with my point & shoot and doesn't quite do it justice...
The pork was so tender it fell apart at the slightest pressure from my fork. The flavour was unbelievable. Words cannot describe how good it was. Hell, I'm drooling right now thinking about it!
One of our last meals was at Burger Bar which is located at Mandalay Bay. Basically, you make your own burger at this place. You chose the type of roll, the meat (3 different beefs, lamb, turkey, and vegetarian), then you chose your toppings from the garden, the grill, the ocean, the dairy, the farm, etc. Some of the more expensive options were Kobe Beef, Black Truffles, and pan-seared foie gras. Here's my burger...
I went with a more traditional burger consisting of ciabatta bread, Hereford Beef burger, topped with blue cheese, bacon, and sauteed oyster mushrooms. For my side, I got the sweet potato fries. I'm sucker for Sweet Potato fries and these were hands down the best I've had. The burgers were monstrous, cooked perfectly (I wanted mine medium), and absolutely delicious. I left wishing we had a local Burger Bar. I guess 5 Guys will have to do.
The last memorable place, I didn't have an actual meal at, but a snack. It was Jean-Phillipe Chocolates and Patisserie at the Bellagio. The shop features a free standing, floor-to-ceiling chocolate fountain. It's apparently the largest chocolate fountain in the world. You can see a photo of it if you go the above link. Unfortunately, it is enclosed by glass. I really wanted to stick my head in and drink! The shop had fresh made crepes, your normal baked goods like muffins, scones, plus fresh made gelato, and the most beautiful pastries I've ever seen. They were like little edible works of art.
Napoleon Cake (3rd photo, dessert on left) is one my favourite desserts, so when I saw it on the shelf, I knew it had to be in my belly. The pastry cream was light and was pefectly sweet, the puff pastry was flaky, and tender. It was perfect.
We enjoyed eating at quite a few other places, but these were our favourites. I went to Vegas for the food, and I was not disappointed. Next post I'll tell you about the Vegas Uncork'd Interactive Luncheon I attended.