Posts Tagged ‘Las Vegas’

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 Brulée 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.

19

12 2011

Cooking, schmooking: eat out this Thanksgiving

Foie Gras Creme Brulee at Sage Restaurant

Foie Gras Creme Brulee at Sage Restaurant

If the idea of cooking a huge meal this Thanksgiving freaks you out, then go out to eat! Here are some local (and not-so-local) options:

Akasha: For $65.00 per person ($35.00 for children 12 and under), this Culver City farm-fresh and vegan-friendly eatery offers a bevy of choices, including a roasted cauliflower bisque with white truffle sea salt, a fuyu persimmon (my favorite!) and pomegranate salad, crab-stuffed Idaho trout, peppercorn and hemp crusted tofu, and turkey with all the fixings, of course. You’ll also have your choice of sides, including orange candied yams, brussels sprouts, green bean casserole, creamed spinach, cheddar-gruyere macaroni and cheese, and stone ground cornbread and turkey andouille sausage stuffing. Oh, and there’s a pie buffet for dessert featuring organic and vegan pumpkin pie, maple pecan and chocolate pie, coconut custard pie, peanut butter pie, pumpkin cheesecake with whiskey caramel, and much, much more.

Saint Amour: This new Culver City favorite is offering Maine lobster and roasted chestnut bisque, an autumn harvest salad, Mary’s Organic Farm turkey with traditional garnishes, and a variety of desserts for $65.00 per person ($30 for kids under 12). You can substitute an entrée from the restaurant’s regular menu, too, including mushroom pot pie, New York steak or loup de mer.

CAFE del REY: This Marina del Rey restaurant is offering a three-course, prix-fixe holiday menu for $55 per person with a cauliflower and apple soup, housemade veal and pork sausage, free-range turkey breast with duck sausage stuffing, Maine scallops, a vegetarian beet risotto, and a sweet potato cheesecake. Kids get their own menu at $18 with a a choice of roasted turkey with mashed potatoes and green beans, cheese pizza, or penne pasta with marinara sauce, as well as a mini chocolate cream pie paired with hot chocolate.

Sage: Going to Vegas? Then you’ll want to spend Thanksgiving at this ultra-satisfying restaurant at the Aria Hotel (my full review to come soon). For $83 per person, Sage’s prix fixe menu features your choice of a roasted pumpkin soup, pear and brussels sprout salad, or the unique and decadent foie gras crème brulée to start; mains of roasted organic turkey, day boat scallops or braised veal cheeks (all with seasonal side dishes); and for dessert a pumpkin mascarpone tart or a bourbon caramel bar.

22

11 2011

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.

20

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.

08

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.

Keep Reading

22

10 2011

Sweet fun: Max Brenner Las Vegas

Milkshake in an Alice cup at Max Brenner

Yes, I’m writing this post a month and a half late. But I wanted to document my bachelorette party on this blog in some way, so I’m going to tell you about my meal at chocolate heaven-on-earth Max Brenner in The Forum Shops at Caesars Palace. This may not have been the best meal in terms of food, but it was definitely the most fun.

The best part of the menu was the variety of drinks. My friends and I ordered the Mexican Spicy Hot Chocolate (red chili, cinnamon, nutmeg and pepper), the Melting Marshmallow Hot Chocolate (hot chocolate with tons of mini marshmallows on top), what I think was the Hazelnut Cream Chocolate Milkshake (vanilla bourbon ice cream, dark chocolate truffle and whipped cream) and the Chocolate Chai (chai spice blend infused with white chocolate). All were very good, but my favorite was the chai, which was enhanced by the white chocolate, not overpowered as I had feared. The presentation of the drinks is noteworthy, too, as Max Brenner has created his own cups for different drinks (the Hug Mug for hot chocolates, the Alice for milkshakes, a tea pot that dispenses when you place it on top of your cup).

Keep Reading

02

05 2011

Labor Day weekend travel deals

Legacy Golf Resort in Phoenix, Arizona. From Shell Vacations Hospitality.

Fewer things make me happier than a long weekend. The time off is reward in itself, but going on a trip is even nicer. For those of you who have the time (and money), here are a few travel deals to keep you sane…at least until Tuesday rolls around.

Terranea: Looking for a staycation in the L.A. area? Terranea in Rancho Palos Verdes is offering its Sunset Package, which includes the daily resort fee (I *hate* these things!) and a $75 dining credit, for $375 per night. Use your dining credit toward one of their special meals this weekend, which include a barbecue and a luau.

Las Vegas: Willing to drive a bit farther? Head on over to Las Vegas, where you can find some great deals. Expedia has the Sahara going for as low as $74 per night, which could be great if you don’t plan on spending a lot of time in your room.

Arizona: Want to go even farther? Shell Vacations Hospitality‘s Legacy Golf Resort in Phoenix has rooms starting at $59 per night, with one-bedroom suites at $79 per night and two-bedrooms suites at $129 per night. Each suite has a full kitchen or kitchenette, living area, and either a balcony or patio overlooking the courtyards and golf course. And there are no resort fees!

Related Posts with Thumbnails

02

09 2010