Vegas Baby, Vegas

by Susan on November 12, 2008

Yep, you guessed it; I’m in Sin City. For some reason or another I find myself here once a year and each visit I’m blown away by the gluttony that permeates from the shining marble and glistening fountains. The good news is that in a city where excess prevails and bigger means better, big name chefs are part of the patchwork (er, make that granite tiles). Batali, Burke, Puck, Rubuchon, Lagasse. Oh, and Keller? Yep, he’s here too.

We’ve already eaten dinner at Bouchon and CUT and over the next two nights we’ll dine at Nobu and B&B Bistro. Without Vegas, we’d have to hop planes between Los Angeles, Manhattan, and Yountville to eat at the same set of restaurants. But here, the greatest distance you might have to travel is a five-minute cab ride. Heck, it’s highly possible you won’t even have to leave your hotel. No fresh air required.

Though the intimacy and charm of Thomas Keller’s Yountville Bouchon gets lost between the tabletops and the monstrously high ceiling, our dinner was very, very good. The Brandade beignets were creative, the pan-fried trout was light and flavorful, and the steamed mussels were some of the best I’ve had in recent memory.

Wolfgang Puck has always catered to the stars and CUT, his shiny steakhouse, looks very much at home in the Vegas landscape. We splurged on the Tasting of Sirloin, a sampling of Japanese Wagyu, American Kobe, and USDA Prime Dry Aged beef. We’d never had true Wagyu before and though its richness was mind blowing, the Kobe was our favorite. Creamed spinach with fried egg and a date cake for dessert were the other highlights.

Steve Wynn once said, “Las Vegas is sort of like how God would do it if he had money.” If that’s true, God would also be a foodie.

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