Saturday, December 19, 2009

Our Trip to Las Vegas - Tableau Wynn, L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon, B & B Ristorante, Bouchon, Le Reve

Cindy and I decided to take a short, 2 day, trip to Las Vegas as a break from the miserable weather in Seattle. We go to Vegas only once every few years for the Food and the Cirque de Soleil shows. In our breif time there we were able to visit 4 really excellent Restaurants and see one really spectacular show. We stayed at the Wynn and our room had a great view of the Strip.

Our first night we went to L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon for the 9 course tasting menu.

Foie gras parfait with port wine and Parmesan foam -- the first of three foie gras servings of the night, this was presented in a small glass. Savory and creamy, the port wine added the necessary tartness to contrast the richness of the foie gras. You will see this on my tasting menu's at home! Yum!.

King crab on a turnip disc with sweet and sour sauce -- two large bites of an extremely high quality King crab meat. Looked somewhat like a steamed roll presentation at a dim sum place - I will definitely try this one at home.

Sea scallop cooked in the shell with chive oil -- a single scallop that was packed with intense flavor due to the coating of micro-chives. Not seared and quite rare but excellent - and a huge diver scallop.

White onion tart with smoked bacon and asparagus -- very soft and creamy in the style of a small french pizza on filo.

Duck foie gras with confit quince and yuzu -- the sweetness and tartness of the quince and yuzu was excellent. The seared foie was a little under-seasoned so missed amazing but very, very good..

Dover Sole fillet, baby leek and ginger. Tasty and a beautiful fish presentation.

Foie gras stuffed free-range quail with truffled-mashed potatoes. Hard to imagine Cindy eating a quail - but there you go!. Super dish and very fun to finally try Joel's Potato Puree which I have made many, many times. The truffle is a nice addition and was not overpowering. The interesting thing is i truly think he got maybe 50% more butter in the puree than I do and I didn't really think you could do that.

Grapefruit infused with Prosecco, lychee sorbet. A very inventive, fun, and hokey looking (as only the french can do when imitating something from American culture) dish and really hard to describe. Kind of a foam/sorbet over grapefruit with a pink sugar rimmed cup eaten with a plastic spoon.

Chocolate cake cremeux layered with espresso ice cream and roasted almonds - pictured at left. Yum!!!

Finished with espresso.

This restaurant is an open kitchen concept where you - if you are sitting in the right place - as we were - can see and hear everything going on in the kitchen, and the pass. Atmosphere was a more upscale version of Kaspar's Chefs Table for those of you who have done that in his kitchen. It was really fun. They are really working each and every plate - no mass production - but certainly good mis en place.

We had a half bottle of a Puilly Fume French Savignon blanc - very nice. The final bill was a little over $200 each. This a bargain when compared to the main Restaurant next door where the 12 course menu would have ended up over $500 a person.

The next morning we had one of the most elegant and wonderful breakfasts of my life at Tableau at Winn. It was a "perfect food and drink" version of the Olympic Four Seasons dining room. Cindy had a great Egg's Benedict with fresh Tarragon in the Hollandise. I had poached eggs with potatos, sausage and we both ahad fresh squeezed grapefruit juice. The rolls and jams were just perfect. $75 for two and well worth it. We were seated next to 3 older Mifia Don's and their elegant wives.

For Dinner that night we went to Mario Batalli's B & B Ristorante which is a knockoff of Babbo in NYC. This was also a near perfect experience. cindy had a beet and pistachio salad with Ricotta Salita cheese in a wonderful vinaigrette. I had a GREAT fennel dusted and wonderfully sauced and presented Sweetbreads. Then Cindy had a huge, beartiful, super tasty Veal Chop which was very reminiscent of Jerome's in La Turbie, France - Which is perhaps Miranda's most memorable dish ever. I had the Rabbit served hunters style with pancetta. Close to the perfection of Cafe Juanita which is sayinga lot. Everything was very assertively salted - which we both loved but which might be too much for many folks. We were, unfortunately stuffed by this point and thus did not try dessert. About $200 for two with tax and tip.

For our final meal we got up early - getting to watch some very beautiful and elegant prostitutes meeting their pimps outside the Wynn hotel entrance - and whet over to the Venetian for Thomas Keller's Bouchon breakfast. We have learned to get there early for the best experience. Thomas Keller has impeccable standards but his Bouchons (NY, Yountville, and Las Vegas) all seem to suffer a little after the peak of service for any meal. I had a wonderful baked eggs in a mornay sauce with spinach and tomato. Maybe my best egg dish of the year. I also had a pecan sticky bun, some sausage, and nice fresh squeezed grapefruit. Cindy had an amazing bread pudding "French Toast" with a side of bacon and grapefruit juice. everything was perfect. About $75 for two.

For our show we went to See Le Reve at the Wynn. This is an almost totally water based Cirque Du Soleil. As with any Cirque show it is hard to describe but UNBELIEVABLE. WOW!! If you have the opportunity to see this show DO IT.

Tableau (Wynn) on Urbanspoon
L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon (MGM Grand) on Urbanspoon

Bouchon (Venetian) on Urbanspoon

B & B Ristorante (Venetian) on Urbanspoon