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Eating in Las Vegas

June 10, 2010

I got married in Las Vegas a couple months ago. We picked Sin City for its easy wedding planning (a couple of emails & online reservations is all it took) and for its food.  As with most of our vacations, our itinerary revolved around when & where we were eating.

My favorite dinner was at Mario Batali’s Enoteca San Marco in the Venetian Hotel. We went before our ceremony specifically for the antipasti & wine tasting.

“The Chef’s Antipasti tasting consists of a selection of cured meats and are accompanied by three artisinal cheeses; three selections from our antipasti verdure menu; three house-made fritti; and our grilled radicchio salad. To finish, we offer two of our wonderful house-made biscotti.” The tasting menu is available at the antipasti counter only from 3-7 p.m. & 10-11 p.m. At only $25 for the antipasti & $15 for the wine, this is by far the best food deal in Vegas.

We chose Rick Moonen’s RM Seafood for our one big, fancy dinner.  Jerad and I each had the oyster sampler, 6 different oysters from the Pacific & Atlantic Oceans. I liked tasting the subtle differences in each oyster. The descriptions, which read very much like wine descriptions, were amazingly accurate. For appetizers, we ate the steak tartare & the “Moon Doggies” (shrimp corndogs that Chef Moonen made on the first season of Top Chef Masters). For dinner, I chose the Alaskan Halibut with pea & basil broth; Jerad ordered the cioppino.

Jerad and I were both pleasantly surprised by Bobby Flay’s Mesa Grill, where we stopped for lunch the day of the wedding. Everything we ate was delicious…the tuna tartare “nachos”, tenderloin tartare (yes, we like raw meat!), smoked shrimp tacos, and the pressed Cuban burger. Jerad still says this is the best burger he’s ever eaten. It’s a burger with ham, Swiss cheese, pickles, Dijon mustard, & roasted garlic mayo pressed on Cuban bread. We plan to replicate this at home soon.

Our best spontaneous decision, however, was eating at Sushi Roku at The Forum Shops in Caesar’s Palace. We were just walking around one night and happened upon this trendy little place. We splurged and ordered the most expensive piece of sushi I’ve ever seen: foie gras wrapped with yellowtail and topped with truffles & gold leaf. It was AMAZING.

Of course, we couldn’t NOT go to Hash House a go go, which is infamous for their huge portions of classic Southern comfort food. I ordered the sage fried chicken & bacon waffles but barely made a dent in it. (FYI: There is now a Hash House location on the strip.)

We also ate at Thomas Keller’s Bouchon for brunch. It was, as expected, pretty good. Though, I wouldn’t say it was phenomenal.

One night, we popped in to Charlie Palmer’s Aureole to see the famous wine tower. I was disappointed that no wine angels were there that night. We sat at the bar at the base of the tower and perused the wine list, which is so extensive that it is presented in electronic version for easy searching. We talked about ordering a bottle but felt so lost that we left after only have one glass (we were also short on time since we had dinner reservations that night).

Even though Serendipity was right across the street from our hotel, we never made it in. I really wanted to try the frozen hot chocolate but I was always too full for dessert! However, I plan on making it at home sometime this summer !

Serendipity’s Frrrozen Hot Chocolate

  • 6 pieces (1/2-ounce) chocolate , a variety of your favorites
  • 2 teaspoons store-bought hot chocolate mix
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 3 cups ice
  • Whipped cream
  • Chocolate shavings

Chop the chocolate into small pieces. Place it in the top of a double boiler over simmering water. Stir occasionally until melted. Add the hot chocolate mix and sugar. Stir until completely melted. Remove from heat and slowly add ½ cup of milk until smooth. Cool to room temperature.

In a blender, place the remaining cup of milk, the room-temperature chocolate mixture and the ice. Blend on high speed until smooth and the consistency of a frozen daiquiri. Pour into a giant goblet and top with whipped cream and chocolate shavings.

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