Saturday, April 17, 2010

Las Vegas Trip Report - Part 4 - The Food

And now, one of the most important posts...the food!  We ate a some really great places on our trip.  P.S. I'm not going to review the Cheesecake Factory (which went to after the buffet at Bellagio had a gigantic lineup and was $40/person because it was a special Easter buffet).

Rao's - Caesar's Palace

We had reservations at the Italian restaurant Rao's in Caesar's Palace for Friday night.  When our hotel plans changed, they were very accommodating in changing our reservation time.  There are two Rao's in existence - a tiny 10 table location in New York City, and this location.  In New York, it's next to impossible to get reservations, as people tend to have standing reservations.  So, I was excited to try it in Vegas.

To start, we ordered their Antipasto Platter.  It was huge and great for the two of us.  It had  black olives, fresh buffalo mozzarella (made in house), yellow and red tomato slices, 3 hard cheeses, roasted red peppers with raisins and prosciutto.  And we had a lovely bread basket. 

For our main courses, I had their pasta special - penne with roasted cherry tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella, fresh basil and garlicky olive oil.  It was simple and very delicious.  The penne was cooked perfectly al-dente, and it was a huge portion...I couldn't finish it. Dan ordered their spaghetti in bolognese sauce, and a side of two meatballs.  Their meatballs are the size of tennis balls.  They were amazing.  The meatballs were caramelized and slightly crispy on the outside and actually meaty tasting on the inside (as opposed to tasting more like the filler).  They were topped with Rao's famous tomato sauce.

At the end of it all, we were so full we didn't have room for dessert.  

Worth mentioning is Rao's extensive wine list.  They have a great selection of reds and whites, at all different price points.  We had the sommelier help us choose a bottle of wine, and he selected a great white wine that cost around $45 (on the low end of prices).

Paris Buffet - Paris

We were really looking forward to Paris' champagne brunch Saturday morning. There was a huge lineup, but we waited for only about 45 minutes.  However, we had a very disappointing experience, and won't go back there. Outside of the restaurant, there was a screen showing rotating menus (for the different meals and special brunches).  We were excited to see things like smoked salmon and cream cheese, plus your typical breakfast buffet items (eggs, bacon, sausage, etc). However the buffet was nothing like this.

Our experience started off poorly when we got seated.  Our server was unable to handle our drink orders (despite having to tell them to the cashiers when we paid before we went in).  She constantly forgot things (brought a coffee carafe with no mugs, brought 1 orange juice to the table and left the rest at the service station, forgot champagne, etc).  When she brought milk to the table for the coffee (after us asking for it a few times), she spilled it on me.  Then she took off, and never came back.

When we checked out the buffet, we saw a lot was missing (e.g., smoked salmon, bacon, croissants (this was Paris!!!)).  We tracked down a manager who told us that they already started changing things over to lunch, and the menu outside said items subject to change.  We explained that this was brunch, not lunch and there should be certain things at the buffet. The manger tracked down smoked salmon and brought us a huge plate.  Eventually, they found bacon as well...and wouldn't you know, once they put bacon on the buffet, it was hard to keep that bowl full!

At the end of it all, we were definitely full.  They had some really great things at the buffet (cheeses, eggs Benedict) but one of the best was the soft-serve ice cream, with cones that were dipped in chocolate and coated with either sprinkles or crushed peanuts.  We took to go. 

We won't go back to the Paris buffet.

Diego - MGM Grand

Diego is easily my favourite restaurant in Vegas.  It's priced well, and the the food is delish. We went here Saturday night.

When we sat down, we were given chips and 3 different kinds of salsas, as well as 3 different flavoured salts (the salts were too be used with our meal). We ordered a pitcher of the Diego margarita (on the rocks of course).  They brought it with 2 tumblers with salted rims.   So good.  The pitcher was massive, could be used for 4-6 people easily.

To start, we had the appetizer sampler.  It came with taquitos, empanadas and a chicken soft taco.  They were really good, and we liked the flavoured salts to use with them.

For main course, I had the steak special.  It was a Kobe beef New York strip steak with a tequila lime butter sauce.  It came with 3 sides - sauteed spinach, fried plantains and mole sauce.  The steak was like butter, so soft and tender, and done perfectly medium.

Again, after this meal, we were so full with no room for dessert.  We sat longer to try to finish our margarita and chatted with the couple beside us.  Dan had the idea that we should get the rest of our margarita in to-go cups and i didn't believe we could.  Then the other couple got that and Dan got to say "I told you so!".

Augustus Cafe - Caesar's Palace

Sunday, Dan and I went to Augustus for brunch.  We were seated quickly.
When deciding what to order, we saw a table get this plate of a wall of onion rings.  They looked great, so we started with that.  And they were great!  They came with two dipping sauces.

I had the smoked salmon and cream cheese platter.  It came with an everything bagel, smoked salmon, tomato, onion, capers and lemon-dill cream cheese.  It was really good.  Dan had a sandwich. Then, Dan and I shared a delicious chocolate chip cookie milkshake.  

Serendipity 3 - Caesar's Palace

We met friends Annie and Steve for a pre-dinner drink/snack at Serendipity 3.  We waited about 20-30 minutes for a table on the patio.  IT was a gorgeous (if really windy) say, so I wanted to take advantage. 

Annie and I ordered the Candy Floss Martini in pear flavour.  We had no idea what to expect.  When they brought them, there was a puff of cotton candy in each martini glass, and then they sever poured the martini over top.  It was so great!   The boys got the frozen hot chocolate that Serendipity is known for.  That was also reallllly good.  Then the boys went an bought a GIGANTIC donut for us to share.  When we cut it in 4, each piece was like the same size as a regular donut.  And it taste like a donut, vs cake in the shape of a donut.

We ate realllllllly well on our trip, as we always do in Vegas.  The food is some of my favourite, and I really do try my best not to go to chains (like Cheesecake Factory) because we can go to those anywhere!

No comments:

Post a Comment