Hi everyone!! I have missed being able to sit down for a few minutes and chat a bit about what I'm working on - and just chatting in general (well in my head we are chatting in person but you know what I mean) Between the hectic Holidays, being sick for two weeks and being away for most of last week, I have barely had time to think, but I had sometime today so I figured I would share a little of my Vegas trip with you all. I was recently in Las Vegas (if you haven't guessed it yet) for some work meetings and to attend the CES convention, it was a pretty crazy busy, meeting packed few days but we managed to sneak in a Celine Dion concert (I'm still balling my eyes out over here) and of course, had to indulge in some good food! Las Vegas has some of the most wonderful restaurants and I really wanted to try and check out as many as I could and report back about the experience. We got there on Tuesday morning around 11am, and by the time we got to our hotel, it was 1pm, we had to go check out the show first and get our badges, walked around for a couple hours to check out some cool things and then headed to a much needed lunch! We headed to Carnevino which is an amazing restaurant owned by one of my favorite chefs Mario Batali. The restaurant is located in the Palazzo and it really is all it's cracked up to be. Incredible food, relaxing atmosphere and the prices were pretty reasonable. So this is what I had for lunch.
This what we had as our appetizer, a delicious Caprese salad with incredibly good pesto and buffalo mozzarella. This is an all time classic and when made with delicious ingredients, it's one of the best things in the world!
For my entree, I had Orecchiette with Sausage and Broccoli Rabe in red sauce. I am very familiar with this dish but i must say that this is the first time I have ever eaten it with red sauce and it was unbelievably good and so inspiring, I can't wait to make my own version of this, and you bet that once I have it perfected, I will be sharing it with you! I will say that I almost never get an appetizer when I eat lunch, but since we had not eaten since 7pm the night before, we were famished!! And as you can see, the portion was on point! A small little plate of this was perfect. So overall my experience at Carnevino I give it a 10! Loved it.
For dinner (at 10pm) we headed to Mon Ami Gabi, located in the Paris Hotel and Casino. I have been to Vegas a few times, the last time was in 2010 and this place was my very favorite. I was so excited to go back. The best thing about this place for me, was the amazing warm crispy baguette and whipped butter that they bring to the table as you get settled and read over the menu. This was my favorite part of the meal and never disappointed me, until we went back this time. I was so disappointed to see that the once crispy amazing (and completely addictive) baguette was no longer, it's now soft and not at all as yummy as it used to be. If you're not a bread lover (it's a blessing and a curse if you ask me) then this probably won't bother you at all, but as a complete breadaholic, this was disappointing. However, the rest of of the food we ordered was DELICIOUS!
To start, I ordered the frisee salad with the poached egg, it's a classic combination that I just can't get enough of!! I have made my own version of this salad and I love making it at home when I'm in the mood to feel like a fancy pants.
My husband ordered the mussles mariniere, oh my goodness are these delightful!!! Not much to say besides that. Do yourself a favor, book a plane ticket to Vegas, go this restaurant and get these mussels, that's all I have to say!
As our entree, we shared the steak au poivre, black pepper crusted steak with a sweet yet tangy sauce and serves with their famous frites. This steak is as good as i remember but since it was pretty late, I only had about 3 of the little frites (not a fan of eating late - especially eating fried foods late). I would rate this place an 8 out of 10 simply because I was just really looking forward to that baguette. The portions for the appetizers were a good size, they were on a 6.5" plate which was perfect but the steak is a pretty big size so I suggest sharing. Overall, you have to give this place a try if given the chance, it's pretty awesome!
On Wednesday we had a late lunch meeting (at 3pm) at Otto which is again another fabulous restaurant owned by Mario Batali and also Joe Bostiniach, this place is seriously good, this is what i got:
I went with a Margherita DOC pizza which is a margherita with buffalo mozzarella. In the picture it looks massive and it is a pretty good size (about 8") but it has the thinnest crust of any pizza I've ever eaten! It was so thin yet it held together beautifully and had such a lovely flavor from the brick oven, a bit of a splurge for lunch I admit, but since we didn't have dinner plans, I figured I would go ahead and enjoy it since it was basically the only thing I ate that day besides a couple oysters at a Youtube party. I give Otto a 10 for sure! Loved every single thing about it!
The only thing on that plate that I ate were the oyster and giant shrimp (fine I also had one more oyster, too good to only have one,) and of course I enjoyed a glass of champagne. Youtube knows how to throw a party!
On Thrusday, we skipped lunch because we had a meeting to run to, so we had an early dinner since we were leaving early the next morning, we decided to go to Olives located in the Bellagio, owned by the wonderful Todd English.
When I found out we were going to Vegas, this place was on the top of my list of places to check out. I read the menu online and pretty much already knew what I was going to get when we got there.
I started off with a Bibb Lettuce Salad with walnuts and buffalo mozzarella, kinda saddens me to say that this was not at all worth the 14 dollars I paid for it. While it was good, there was nothing exceptional about it and the mozzarella was regular cow's milk mozzarella and definitely not buffalo. For sure this was a good salad, but I just feel like it could have been better.
For my entree, I chose one of the specials which was a filet of Bronzino with a cannellini bean ragout with artichokes and a shaved asparagus salad. The first thing I will say is that I was totally shocked by the gigantic portion that was presented to me. From reading it off the menu I thought it would be something delicate and a perfectly portioned filet not the big portion i received. While the flavors were on point, I found the cannellini beans and potatoes to be totally under cooked therefore I couldn't eat them (insert sad face here) and while the fish was perfectly cooked, I could only eat one filet not both so it made me kinda sad to leave it behind. I am someone who prefers smaller portions, I feel like you can enjoy the food more and I don't like leaving a restaurant feeling like I need to unbutton my pants or they'll burst. However, now that I know they serve large portions, if we end up going back there my husband and I will definitely be sharing an entree. But on the other hand, this dish was 45 dollars so I totally get that they wanted to give you what you paid for. But I say, cut the portion and the price in half (and make sure the beans and potatoes are cooked though) and it will be perfect. Overall I give this place a 7 out of 10, good food, not exceptional, but the experience is what counts.
So I hope you all enjoyed this blog post about my eating experience in Sin City, I'm off to Los Angeles this week to attend the TASTE awards (Laura in the Kitchen was named an Honoree this year!) and I will keep you all posted on my facebook page about what I'm up to. So make sure you follow me there. But until then, I'll be living on my treadmill trying to get back into my normal routine from all eating all this fabulous food and overindulging. Talk to you all soon!