Thursday, March 24, 2011

Las Vegas - gluttony was maybe our only sin in Sin City!

Tricia and I poolside at the Mandalay Bay where we stayed
In October of 2009, Tricia and I took our first vacation together to Las Vegas. We went over Halloween weekend, when Sin City was perhaps at its most saturated point in terms of debauchery and excess (excess might be a misnomer, because you wouldn't believe what some girls wear out there!). However, Tricia and I refrained from the club scene for the most part in favor of hitting up some of the fine restaurants along the strip. We were treated to some of the most fabulous culinary delights that either of us has ever encountered. The highlights from 3 of the most memorable below:

One of the best places Tricia and I ate at was Todd English's Olives in the Bellagio Hotel. I had been to Olives in Union Square in NYC previously, so I knew we were in for a treat, but our orders did not fail to blow us away. We started with, in all honesty, the best beef carpaccio I have ever tasted. it was served with shaved asiago, marinated cippolini onions, and a cilantro cream (along with some other key ingredients that I cannot remember):
After that, we had this outrageous soft-shell crab sandwich (food can't look much cooler):
Topping Olives in terms of exotic would be tough, but we found a place that could do it with remarkable flare in Shibuya at the MGM Grand. Shibuya is an incredible Japanese restaurant that goes all out with presentation. We started with this striking dish (apologies that the image is sideways):
 Yes - that is a live fish at the bottom of the dish (this is in fact the dish that Trish has referred to in other posts). On top was a salad of about 5 different crabmeats, including King Crab and this little guy:

It was delicious. After this we moved on to some spectacular broiled eel (unagi), that rivaled the best unagi that I have ever had:
Next, we sampled some of Shibuya's sushi offering with several special rolls (a rainbow roll, and a tiger roll that had spicy tuna outside and shrimp tempura inside!):

For dessert, we were able to drink a sparkling blueberry Sake. Our waiter was knowledgeable enough to let us know that this type of Sake is popular with the younger crowd in Japan. He also told us that Shibuya was a very chic district in Japan. So overall, we were truly enriched by are experience at the Shibuya restaurant!

Compared to the great amount of pizazz that we experienced in these first two places, the next highlight is fairly tame. But it was no letdown, and in fact despite its more traditional nature, it was perhaps the most extravagant place we ate at. We visited Wolfgang Puck's CUT, where we were treated to kobe-grade steaks that were about 4 inches thick. Seriously. Take a look:
It was amazing, as was the whole Vegas trip. As our first vacation, it was great. It set the tone for our sharing a love of food, and it was the first time that either of us started photdocumenting our meals. So, we can really point back to this Vegas trip as one of the starting points for the development of this blog!


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