Bouchon at the Venetian

This place needs no introduction.

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Moscow Mule, quite a departure from our usual wine.

Oysters, of course, and Pâté de Campagne.

Steak Frites (for me) and I think this was Sole Meuniere (for Maya).

Flan and Beignets.

Then we were off to watch Britney like a pair of teenagers!

Bouchon
At the Venetian

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B&B Ristorante at the Venetian

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You know you’re in Vegas when Mario Batali is more powerful than Caesar himself. Seriously, look at this! You turn a corner and there he is, waiting for you, with a pair of his orange Crocs!

Good thing that all his restaurants are pretty legit; otherwise Maya and I would be picking up an overpriced Chinese food at a food court at some sorry mall. And this place lived up to the reputation of Babbo of the West.

Appetizers: Complimentary chickpeas on toast, Warm Lamb’s Tongue, and Grilled Octopus.

Main Course: Seafood pasta and roasted Brussel sprouts

Dessert:  Spiced Almond “Tronchetto”and I forgot the name of the other one 😛

B&B Ristorante
At the Venetian

db Brasserie at the Venetian

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When I was organizing my photo album, I came across a bunch of photos from BFF Maya and my Las Vegas adventure, which took place … wait for it … wait for it … in October 2015!

It’s been more than five months since our trip to the Sin City, but I decided to post them here anyway!

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These are the food photos from Chef Daniel Boulud‘s db Brasserie at the Venetian, where we stayed. We ate here the night before during the Happy Hour, and we had such a wonderful experience that we decided to come back for brunch the following day.

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Unfortunately, the dining experience the next day was night and day compared to the one we received the night before. 😦  Let’s just say that we wished we went somewhere else for brunch that day so we could have remembered this place fondly in our hearts.

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Here’s what we ate:  Charcuterie Board; Provencal Caesar Salad; Moulees Mariniere (for me); and Crispy Duck Confit Hash (for Maya).

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A lesson learned: A variety is the key to life.

db Brasserie by Daniel Boulud
At the Venetian

Episode 4: One Minute Gourmet: Giada

What happens in Vegas doesn’t really stay in Vegas.

I usually don’t have any remorse over things that happen in Vegas. Even if I lose a few bucks gambling, or went a little overboard shopping, I’m over it by the end of the trip. But I can’t get over when I overpay for a meal … and Giada De Laurenttis’ signature restaurant, Giada, inside The Cromwell is one hand I totally regret.

I must admit that the food was pretty decent. I won’t say it’s a four star restaurant but the plate of Gnocchi with tomato sauce was simple but flavorful, and the Eggplant Lasagna had the wonderful combination of rich and cheesy flavors. The Spinach and Ricotta pizza was mediocre, at best, but what doesn’t taste good if it’s washed down with a glass of fruity Sangaria?

I think the restaurant perfectly represents Giada herself, or the way I feel about her:  It’s gorgeous and there’s no denying that this place has an impeccable taste, but it’s not interesting enough for me to return, especially with the outrageous price tag that’s attached to it.  Yes, you’re good but you’re no Mario Batali or even Bobby Flay.

Think:  Overpriced California Pizza Kitchen, with below average service.  But it does have a nice view overlooking the Vegas strip.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Valentine’s Day … and congratulations to all the Los Angeles Marathon finishers today!

Giada
At The Cromwell
3595 Las Vegas Blvd South, Las Vegas, NV 89109

Puck Time with Kings and Wolfgang

Frozen FuryRight after I landed in Los Angeles from Atlanta, I hopped onto my boyfriend’s truck and headed to Las Vegas to watch my boys play in the annual Frozen Fury, a pre-season game that promises the exciting new season ahead. I didn’t even bother unpacking my luggage. I just tossed clothes in a washer and dryer and put them back in, some even unfolded!

Boy, has Las Vegas changed tremendously in the past 10 to 15 years or so. I remember going to the Sin City as a kid and the only things to do there were to hang out and play cheesy arcade games at Circus Circus and eat nasty $3 buffet. Now, the city has become the international entertainment and culinary mecca with endless rows of world-class shops and restaurants – the change I most certainly welcome.

With that said, please make all the fun you want at the fact that the first place we ended up was Wolfgang Puck Bar and Grill (I know, I’ll wait until you finish laughing). In our defense, the only reason why we ended up at this gastronomic cliché was because the hotel room wasn’t ready for check-in, and we had a $50 credit going toward our meal at MGM Grand … or so we thought. We didn’t find out until we finished our appetizer, our main course, and two drinks, that this was one of the ONLY restaurants in the hotel that did not honor the discount! In one sitting, we had burn through almost half of our weekend food budget  …. and it wasn’t even dinner!

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The saving grace was that the food here was surprisingly very, very delicious. We ordered the heirloom tomato and burrata salad to start, which turned out to be (dare I say it?) mind-blowing! I love Caprese salad and order it at every opportunity I get and this one felt extra special because this was probably going to be one of the last times I get to enjoy these special tomatoes this season. Also, the balsamic reduction and tiny dollops of pesto puree that accompanied the tomatoes hit the dish out of the rink. The sprinkle of halved cherry tomatoes, sliced onions and pieces of roasted artichoke gave this salad a delicious edge.

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Now, with the pasta dishes. My boyfriend ordered the linguini with clams and pancetta, which was, although drained in a sea of butter and oil, nicely salty and flavorful.

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In contract, my spaghetti with tomato and basil with a basil smear was light and refreshing. I’ve never been a fan of fresh pasta because I love my pasta el dente and the homemade type gave the mushy, watery consistency. This pasta, however, was still very firm and bouncy. The consistency reminded me a little of undercooked instant ramen noodle but I mean this is a most respectable way.

The bill came out to whopping $90 but oh well, this is Vegas afterall. We need to take a gamble sometime. You walk away a winner one day and a loser the other. In our case, I think we got the long end of the stick.  (And by the way, the Kings beat the Avs in a high-scoring, outrageously entertaining game, 4-3!) 🙂

Wolfgang Puck Bar and Grill
MGM Grand
3799 Las Vegas Blvd., Las Vegas, Nevada 89109
★★★★☆