Posts Tagged ‘CityCenter’

Travelogue: Julian Serrano Tapas at the Aria Hotel, Las Vegas

Julian Serrano at the Aria Hotel in Las Vegas is a fun and flavorful way to have a meal. Not only is the food a delight, but the restaurant’s decor complements the playful tapas menu with its bright colors and modern design. This was one of my favorite meals while staying at the Aria.

First and foremost, the cocktails. The drinks here were great — the Manzana Deliziosa made with Hendrick’s gin, green apple purée, Lillet and fresh thyme was nicely balanced as it packed a punch. The Piña 43, made with Herradura añejo tequila, Cuarenta y Tres liqueur, pineapple and lime, and the Dulce y Picante, with Spanish brandy, St. Germain, strawberry and cayenne pepper, were also standouts.

As for the food, most of my favorite tapas dishes turned out to be vegetables. The sautéed baby spinach with pine nuts, raisins, apple and shallots, while it sounds a bit boring, was the most flavorful plate of spinach I have ever had. And I couldn’t down put the sautéed padron peppers (which I thought were piquillo peppers) simply prepared with extra virgin olive oil and sea salt. The Brava Potatoes topped with spicy tomato and alioli sauces were satisfying, and the seared scallops in romesco sauce were perfectly cooked.

And the, of course, there was the paella. We got the mixed version chock full of lobster, mussels, chicken, Spanish pork chorizo, vegetables and saffron rice. Take a look at the photo — somehow this huge plate is meant for just two people! With all the other dishes we had, we barely ate any of this, which was a shame, but it was tasty.

We had three desserts — churros with chocolate sauce, almond cake and rice pudding. The arroz con leche de coco, a rice pudding made with coconut milk topped with fresh pineapple, was the most appealing to me. I love rice pudding, and this version had perfect consistency and interesting flavors.

If you’re visiting Las Vegas, Julian Serrano should be on your short list of places to eat and drink. Hey, you’ll even get a Spanish lesson in the restroom over the speakers — not a moment will be wasted.

Further reading:

Destination Vegas: Lunch at Julian Serrano by LAist

Note: This meal was hosted.


11 2011

Travelogue: Sirio Ristorante at the Aria Hotel, Las Vegas

I recently told you about my stay at the Aria Hotel & Casino and what the property has to offer. Now for the important part — the food!

Our first meal was a 10:00 p.m. dinner at Sirio Ristorante, Aria’s upscale Italian concept. We were obviously tired at this point, having just driven in from Los Angeles, but we were more than ready to have dinner. Here are the meal’s highlights.

My favorites included the veal carpaccio, something I normally wouldn’t have touched with a 10 foot pole, and the hand-rolled spaghetti with the three-meat ragu. Both had great flavor and texture, especially the spaghetti, which reminded me of Chinese noodles (the historical cultural exchange between the East and West was not lost on me here). The decadent specials of the night — lobster bisque and truffle risotto — were also tasty and did not skimp on the luxurious ingredients. My favorite course here was dessert, in which everything was good: you can’t go wrong with the melon panna cotta, semifreddo with Gran Marnier foam or the chocolate arancini.

Unfortunately, the cocktails were mostly forgettable. Also, steer away from the unremarkable cheese pasta pockets and the tuna tartare maksed by too much avocado.

Nothing here was bad, but some items just didn’t “wow” me. Stayed tuned for more food from the Aria that was definitely more exciting.

Note: This meal was hosted.


11 2011

Travelogue: Aria Hotel and CityCenter, Las Vegas

If you’ve been following my Twitter and Facebook page feeds, then you already know that I recently spent a weekend in Las Vegas with Lindsay of LAist, Esther of estarLA and Caroline of Caroline on Crack, and that we stayed at the Aria Hotel & Casino. The property was a breath of fresh air in many ways, and not just because of the vanilla scent that’s pumped in. Aria seems to attract a more mature, yet still hip, clientele, which makes getting around a lot more pleasant than it is at many other hotels in the area (i.e., the douchey factor is a lot lower). The decor is modern but low-key (The Cosmopolitan it is not), but there’s still a nightclub and a daytime pool club for partying types. All this made for a relaxing and fun stay.

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10 2011