Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Review of Elton John and The Red Piano Las Vegas

Elton John and the Red Piano is FUNNY, did he just call Celine Dion a "Skinny Little Bitch"???, OVER THE TOP, did I just see boobies???, FOOT TAPPING, nah I know I just didn't see a coochie on fire????, BEST show I have ever seen. Who knew Elton John had a funny side. He is still one of the best performers today and sounds just like he did back in his prime. I'm so glad I got to see him perform and is something I will remember forever. Don't miss your chance before he leaves Las Vegas!

Review of Bouchon Bakery Las Vegas!

A trip to Las Vegas isn't complete without several trips to Bouchon Bakery. I stayed at the Venetian Hotel and Casino for one major reason. Thomas freaking Keller! Whether I was dining at Bouchon Bistro or snacking on treats from Bouchon Bakery, I followed Keller like a fly on a horse's butt! First trip consisted of one of there famous macaroons which I didn't see what the fuss was. I got the Vanilla flavor but maybe they only taste good when they first bring them down because mine was a little on the stale side. While the vanilla cream inside was good the stale outside just ruined it.
Second trip was a little more successful. I ended with the famous Thomas Keller's version of a Nutter Butter and a freshly baked Chocolate Donut with a custard filling. The Nutter Butter was good, much better than the cookie, with a peanut butter cookie on the outside and delicious peanut butter on the inside making it a perfect little treat! Move over Dunkin Donuts because I run on Thomas Keller's Donuts. Perfectly shaped donut with a wonderful custard feeling with chocolate icing and chocolate sprinkles on top. MMMMMM Donut was the only thing that kept popping in my head while eating it! If I had a Bouchon Bakery near me I would problem be the size of a whale.

Third trip was my favorite. I got the Carrot Cake Cookie. It tasted so fresh and moist and looks just like that big cookie in the movie "Honey I Shrunk the Kids" that the ants were eating on. Hopefully ya'll know what I'm talking about. Just like the ants I couldn't get enough. It had that nice little spice that carrot cake has with a wonderful cream inside that reminded me of the cream in those oatmeal cookies I got growing up in my school lunches. Just a perfect cookie!
Last and final trip, a tear slowly ran down my eyes while I made my final purchase, was Red Velvet Cupcake with a Citrus Frosting. While cheesecake is my favorite desert, red velvet is my second and this cupcake is the reason why. I got it as soon as they came down from baking, it was perfectly moist with a wonderfully rich cream cheese feeling inside a nice citrus frosting on top with a cute little smiley face made of chocolate chips reminding me it was Halloween. It was very rich but very good!All I can say is thank you Thomas Keller for being the genius you are and making my trip oh so sweet!

Review of Jean Philippe Patisserie Las Vegas Review

Ignore the whole casino and mall type environment while walking to this place through the Bellagio and when your in front of it close your eyes and pretend your a kid again. Now open them. A candy store is for losers, this is place is a candy store on crack. I felt like I was walking into Willie Wonka's factory when I came to this place and felt so overwhelmed. Chocolate, Cheesecake, Fruit Tarts oh my!! After checking out all the wonderful treats, I went with my favorite desert. Cheesecake! Now this was no ordinary cheesecake. I felt like it could have been in a art gallery because it was so beautiful. After the first bite I was in heaven. Literally the best cheesecake I've ever had and probably the most calories I've had but it was worth every bite. So rich and creamy with the raspberries almost making it seem healthy, HA HA who am I kidding, and every bite just leaves you rushing your fork back to it. Amazing! Willie Wonka has nothing on Jean Philippe!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Review of B&B Ristorante Las Vegas

B&B gave me the best possible customer service one can ask for all the way to the end. I contacted the restaurant about doing a custom pasta tasting because there were certain pastas I wanted to try and my wish was there command and even offered to do a custom wine pairing for it as well, which I didn't take advantage of. While I didn't really like the ambiance of the restaurant, just felt like I was eating in a mall for some reason...idk weird feeling, but I did love the food. The amuse was Bruscetta w/chickpeas & olives which was alright but nothing that impressed me. The first pasta dish was the Sweet Potato "Lune" with Sage and Amaretti. As said before I'm a huge sweet potato fan so of course I loved this dish. It has a strong sweet potato taste filling inside a small flat ravioli and a sweet amaretti cream sauce that almost made the dish to sweet but I still loved it!Pasta dish two was the Lamb's Brain "Francobolli" with Lemon and Sage! Call me Hannibal but this dish is what I was looking forward to the most during my trip. It was surprisingly very good. Tasted slightly like ground beef with a much smoother texture. It was filled in small raviolis covered in a lemon sauce that added a nice lightness to the dish that was simply delish and had me almost licking my plate! I am now a Lamb's Brain lover and which is why I like Mario Batali because he isn't afraid to try something crazy like this.
Pasta dish three was the there pasta of the evening which to be honest I don't remember because I didn't like it so I will skip that one and go straight to the last pasta dish which was the Pici with Lamb Ragu. Tasted and looks just like spaghetti but with a little kick which I liked and had little bits of lamb that tasted much like sausage. Great dish! For my deserts I went with the sorbet of the evening which was coconut and a special pumpkin torte that they had. The sorbet was very refreshing after having all those rich dishes and had a light sweetness to it that made it feel like I was eating a nice refreshing piece of fruit over some sugar enriched sorbet. The pumpkin torte on the other had was WAY to rich and had to stop after two bites. Tasted just like pumpkin pie but found it to be much more richer.
Overall I loved this place. Even though I didn't like the ambiance, the food made up for it. I love Italian food and I think Mario Batali's strong points are in his pasta's. While I've seen many bad reviews of this place, most of the people who had something negative to say was geared towards his entrees or Secondi's he calls them. When I go to a Italian restaurant I go for one thing and one thing only, PASTA! I experienced no over saltiness at all but did experience pasta that was flavored just beautifully. Service was top class through the whole meal. I can't wait to return and to try his restaurant in NY!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Review of Border Grill Las Vegas

While I don't know who the "Too Hot Tamales" are, I do love Mexican food. I came for a early lunch hoping to snag a nice patio seat but quickly realized IBM and the Rodeo was in town and the restaurant was packed. I was forced to sit at the bar which doesn't bother me to much. I ordered one of their signature margaritas and the guacamole. Now as for the margarita, it sucked. Tasted like sugar water and defiantly not worth the hefty price tag they put on those "Signature" margaritas. One thing I hate the most is when bars feel the cup with ice to the very top so you get little drink. But anyways, onto the guacamole. Very fresh tasting and tasted like your normal guacamole. Nothing special nothing bad but a overall good dish!

I went with there Border Classics dish which consists of two green corn tamales, two plantain empanadas, and two chicken panuchos. The green corn tamales weren't bad but not good. Where do they get the green from? It was basically cream corn inside and very little of it. The two plantains were good. Filled with smashed black beans and poblano peppers with cotija cheese on top. Had a nice kick to it which I like. Not to much cheese which a lot of mexican restaurants seem to do. Next were the chicken panuchos which were my favorite. Loaded with citrus roasted chicken, guacamole, and pickled onions all on top of a black bean stuffed tortillas. Now I was a little confused because the tortillas were just plain fried tortillas. Where the heck are the black beans? Maybe a fairy came a long and took my green and my black beans. Hmmm. But they were still good. The chicken cooked perfect with a nice citrus tasted that was really good and not over powering. Overall this place is nothing special and I think food network needs to keep some of there Chefs on TV and not in the kitchen.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Review of Alize Las Vegas

Out of all the restaurants I have dined at in Las Vegas, or anywhere for that matter, nothing comes close to the dinner I had at Alize! Located at the Top of the Palms Casino, it brings a classy restaurant to a extremely trendy casino. As soon as I stepped into the private elevator to when I left, the experience was nothing but top class and a meal I will remember for a long time. I e-mailed the restaurant prior to making my reservation to ask if I could have a few items incorporated into the tasting menu and let the Chef choose the rest. They replied the next day and were more than happy to make my requests! I was seated in at a decent table but saw a little table in the corner that look much more comfortable and they were more than happy to move me there! The view is breathtaking! No bad seats in the house! If any couple is looking for a romantic dinner or a guy to pop the question this is the place to do so. Dark and spacious room with a sort of classic look to with large windows surrounding the entire room so every single person has a view of the Strip!

Once I was seated my server Ricardo Hernandez, PLEASE request this server as he gave me the best service throughout the night and the best I have ever received from a restaurant, presented me with my first dish, which was a request, Jumbo Lump Crab with Potato Gnocchi, Smoked Paprika, Mushrooms and Lemon Chive Butter Sauce presented perfectly on a bed of rocks still in the crab shell! OMG words can't even describe how good this dish was. A gift from God is what it was. So melt in your mouth good! Everything just blended so well together and had a silky, rich and smooth taste on the palate! Just try it and you will see what I mean!! Next request was the Phyllo Wrapped Anjou Pear with Roquefort Cheese, Spicy Pecans and Pomegranate Vinaigrette. The pear had a nice crispy outside and a sweet taste inside! Pecans added a little spice and the cheese adding a richness to the dish that I loved! Overall a great dish!I had requested there duck dish but after overlooking there tasting menu of the night I saw it featured there signature Dover Sole dish and I couldn't resist! It consists of Important Dover Sole Sauteed Veronique with Winter Vegetables and Truffle Potato Puree! WOW! Much like the texture of Halibut, this unique and delicate white fish has a mild but yet sweet taste and was a honor to consume such a well respected fish in the culinary world that was prepared just perfectly. The potato puree was the best I've had and the vegetables fresh and cooked perfect as well! Its worth every penny!Last and final dish before desert was the Rib Eye with Parmesan and Sweet Potato Gratin, Honey Glazed Turnips, Nebrodini Bianco Mushrooms and Horseradish Beef Jus. Steak was cooked perfectly with the juice still flowing out. The Parmesan and Sweet Potato Gratin was sweet and rich and I loved every bite of it. Simple, beautiful, and tasteful dish!The palate cleanser was a refreshing peach sorbet that was the best sorbet I've had and cleansed my palate perfectly!Last and not least the desert trio!!! First was the Carrot Cake with Ginger Brulee which was my favorite! Secound was the Hazelnut Marquis and Chocolate Custard! Third was the Pineapple Fritter with Macadamia Caramel Ice Cream. All were of Oh So Good and rich but portion sizes were perfect making it able for me to eat all three!
I asked the Wine Sommelier, who was a nice fellow named Alain Visinoni , to do a wine pairing throughout my meal and he was spot on letting me try some very great and rare wines that I am now in search of for my own collection! At the end of the meal the Chef came out and introduced himself and I told him congrats on keeping the Michelin Star for 2009 and thanked him for the best meal of my life and he graciously said thank you and invited to dine at Andres downtown before they closed but unfortunately will not make it back to do so but I can't wait to see the adventure that awaits me when I try the one at The Monte Carlo in the feature. Everything about my meal here was perfect. Ricardo was AWSOME, Alain was AWSOME, Food was AWSOME, and the view is AWSOME. The portions were sized perfectly unlike the other restaurants I dined at and was able to enjoy the meal more this way. I was made to feel like the only guest in the room! At the end they present me with a plate of Petite Fours and a mini menu featuring the custom tasting menu along with the wine pairings I had and I left feeling like a King!

Review of Enoteca San Marco Las Vegas

This was my first of two Mario Batali's restaurants I went to. Went for lunch and sat at the bar. I went with the Bavette Cacio e Pepe with black pepper and pecorino. It was simple yet so good. Out of all the pasta dishes I had of Mr. Batali, this was by far my favorite. The pasta was slightly and I mean slightly undercooked but I still loved the dish. Simple yet nice and well balanced flavors! Service was good. I asked for a good pasta recommendation from my server and he was spot on. Great place for a people watching lunch and will definitely be back!