Posts Tagged ‘absinthe’

Travelogue: Sage Restaurant at the Aria Hotel, Las Vegas

Sage restaurant from Chef Shawn McClain at Las Vegas’ Aria Hotel is a gem. It was the most impressive meal of our stay. Maybe it was because I didn’t really know what to expect — what’s “new American,” anyway? — but Sage has turned into a place I highly recommend for any stay in Vegas. Everything that is placed in front of diners has been carefully considered — even the bread (crusty and fluffy) and butter (lavender, with a side of salt) are special.

We started our meal with cocktails, including a flaming absinthe demonstration. Check out the video:

My favorite drinks of the night were the Smoking Bulleit, with smoked peach-infused Bulleit bourbon, mint and lemon (the cocktail menu changes seasonally, so this one may no longer be available), and The Artful Margarita, made with Oro de Jalisco blanco tequila, Art in the Age root liqueur, Cointreau and lemon, which tastes like root beer.

The food at Sage was excellent. The Foie Gras Custard Brul√©e blew my mind, and the Wagyu Beef Tartare — topped with a gorgeous poached egg yolk and served with crispy chocolate chips — had made me reconsider the dish entirely. You know the food is good when something you normally don’t go for, in this case beef tartare, leaves you wanting more. The Slow-Poached Organic Farm Egg — all foamy, topped with shaved potato chips — was another delicious dish.

The Glazed Pork Belly, which is actually more sweet corn tortelloni than pork, is still a good choice; you’ll just want to know what you’re getting. The Main Dayboat Scallops were perfectly cooked, and the 48 Hour Beef Belly came so fork-tender that the meat practically fell apart just by looking at it.

We opted for the Signature Tasting Menu ($79 per person), which comes with optional wine or beer pairings ($39 each). This is a good value for four courses at this quality (by the time we got to the dessert course, I was stuffed, so please excuse me for not discussing it), so you’d be well-served making a stop here on your next trip to Vegas.

Further reading:

Las Vegas, NV: Sage is a Cocktailian’s Respite From Bottle Service by estarLA

Note: This meal was hosted.


12 2011

Absinthe does not make you crazy

The Liquid Muse (center) at Barkeeper

The Liquid Muse (center) at Bar Keeper

…What? You thought absinthe, that storied liquor that made Picasso cut off his own ear, made people go nuts? Well, you can rest assured that absinthe does not make you crazy. I know, because I had some and lived to tell about it, right here, right now on this very blog.

I had this absinthe courtesy of The Liquid Muse Cocktail Club, which I’ve blogged about before, at Bar Keeper in Silver Lake. This was a great event — fun, informative, and in the coolest location. This meeting of the club was sponsored by Lucid absinthe and came with its own absinthe expert, who explained the origins of the liquor and its infamy. Apparently, you have to drink a ton of the stuff to “go crazy,” and it was banned because the wine industry didn’t want the competition, not because it was dangerous. So there you have it. Now that absinthe has been un-banned, you can enjoy the liquor made from sugar beets, fennel, anise and grand wormwood any time you want.

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11 2009