Thursday, May 5, 2016

Whoop whoop! Vegas time!

Ok, we now take a break from our regularly scheduled (or not scheduled at all) programming to talk about food! Specifically, the magical meal journey I just had the pleasure to embark on while in fabulous Las Vegas.

I seriously love going here, just for a weekend, just to eat all the ridiculously amazing cuisine. No joke, I've had some of the best dishes of my life here (and I've eaten at Animal and Ink for comparison) and food is probably what boyfriend and I spend the most money on. 

So allow me to guide you through this Vegas trip, mostly highlighting food excitement. 
We were staying at the Signature at the MGM Grand, a really nice non-casino hotel we've enjoyed before, complete with balconies and one bedroom suites as large as my whole apartment. It's connected to MGM which is super convenient, and I love the food options here! 

bathroom selfie/balcony selfie from our nifty hotel room
Definitely better than the options at Mandalay, SLS, Palazzo, Luxor, Excaliber, and NYNY. When we go, we try to eat somewhere different each time, but we've explored the places named above, Cosmopolitan, Planet Hollywood, Caesar's Palace, and now Aria. And that being said, we've found some top notch places, specifically Shibuya, the sushi place at MGM, Gordon Ramsay's Burgr, and now, Sage at the Aria. And Sage wins. 

picture before the meal at Craftsteak

But let me back up, we started this particular trip with dinner at Tom Collicchio's Craftsteak in MGM, and were Extremely disappointed. Like disappointed doesn't even cut it. We ordered the Rib Eye and Short Ribs, with puréed potatoes and roasted cauliflower as sides. And it's a sad day when the side dishes are more of a standout than the main course, but the sides were fucking amazing. Like, really nice potato dish and great cauliflower dish, but let's be clear- they're by no means revelatory or any great work of cuisine. They're just really good potatoes and veggies. And there were some delish dinner rolls, but I'm not going to a goddamn super highly rated restaurant for some MF dinner rolls. But let's get to the meat, I had a nice short ribs dish. I'll also mention that I've eaten at the restaurant Crush, also in MGM, and had some actually amazing phenomenal short ribs with gnocchi. So, just saying, their competition in the same damn casino is killin it. And the Rib Eye admittedly looked beautiful, but it didn't taste like a damn nice steak, it tasted like Outback. And was about just as chewy. The best part of the whole thing was the wine (totally fucking rad recommendation from the Sommelier) and the sides. A $250 meal and the claim to fame was side dishes and wine. Fuck that. Also, boyfriend had one of the saddest old fashioned's and I would never expect that kind of place to deliver such an uninspired cocktail. I'd much rather go to Vesper at the Cosmo, and order a much better craft cocktail for half the price. 

So, in conclusion, one really disappointing meal from Craftsteak. I really expected better. 

But omg our next dinner TOTALLY FIXED IT. Omg. Omg. Sage at Aria. Uggghhhh it was perfect. Literally one of the best meals of my life. OF MY LIFE. 

But before we made it there, we stopped at the Mirage to look at kitties 😻

Such big paws! Ugh. Big kitties are cute kitties too. 

But ok, food time. 

This is the menu. It's motherfucking shiny. Fucking iridescent. And it's a pretty rad system they've got for ordering, you can choose 2 dishes -an appetizer and an entree- 3 dishes -2 appetizers and an entree- or 4 dishes -2 of each so one item from each of the four sections. We chose to do a 2 dish meal and a 4 dish meal so we could split 3 appetizers and 3 entrees. And trust me, every dish was a damn masterpiece. 
We started with a couple of cocktails, which were delicious. And they brought some bread to our table, a French type and a fricken bacon bread. I don't even like bacon and it was delicious.

This is the little butter stack and sea salt that came with the bread. Goddamn delicious. Next, they brought us these adorable Amuse Bouches

It's a strawberry mint cilantro gazpacho. I don't even know how those things go together, but they fucking do. 

Next we had our appetizers, starting with the salted beets. 

Read all the dish descriptions in the menu, cuz they're something wonderful. This was a work of art visually in and of itself, let alone how light and tasty it was. I never would have guessed chocolate and beets went well with yogurt. 

This masterpiece. This was heaven. This is the Wagyu Tartare. It is pure magic and spread on the toast that came with it like goddamn butter. It was so smooth and creamy I don't even understand how raw beef can be creamy, but it was. Also another thing I didn't know would go well with a slow poached egg and chocolate. 

This is the Fois Gras Brûlée. It was one of the richest dishes I've ever experienced, but also stupid delicious. It cracked like a Creme brûlée and had strawberries, which weren't sweet, just added this amazing acidity that really balanced out the intensity of the custard consistency. 

Ok, entrees. 

Welp, this is one damn good lamb dish. I isn't know lamb could be even more delicious than I already knew. It was so tender, and the neck so tasty, and those snap peas! Sweet and crisp and spicy all at once, with pickled eggplant, this dish was amazing. 

Scallops. What is better than scallops. These were served with oxtail, mushrooms, broccolini and a salted caramel reduction. Again, something we expected to be super strange, but the sauce really added something special and heavenly. These are what inspired dishes are made of. 

Finally, the Wagyu Filet. 
So good. But definitely heavy and we were getting damn full by he time this beauty came around. So so so tender. Phenomenal. And the fennel and dill salad was great. Really something to make the trip for. 

Finally, dessert. 
Meyer Lemon Cake. With lemon curds and elderflower pearls. Too damn good. So worth the food baby. 

There's also an absinthe tasting menu.  
Oh, and they also served a little something for after the meal. 

This little biscotti delight with a delicious little drink that almost tasted like an after dinner mint mixed with cereal milk. It was a very refreshing end to a fantastic meal.

and my feet were killing me so hard from walking in heels, a truly ridiculous bath was necessary

all of this fanciness from Nectar Bath Treats

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