Upcoming Vegas Trip - Aria restaurants, Raku...

Traveling and dining in other Arizona cities and beyond
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Christina
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sinosoul wrote: Mark Twain is a whisky sour with bitters, and it's my drink of choice on a daily basis, especially during citrus season when the Meyer lemon tree is birthing like rabbits.
Yes, Scotch whisky (which is why the smoke paired nicely ). Hmmm..now that you mention it, I just picked a huge Ponderosa lemon. Mark Twains tonight!

It seems rather well-known; I can't believe I wasn't familiar with it before. I guess it comes from a letter to his wife:

"Livy my darling, I want you to be sure & remember to have, in the bathroom, when I arrive, a bottle of Scotch whisky, a lemon, some crushed sugar, & a bottle of Angostura bitters. Ever since I have been in London I have taken in a wine glass what is called a cock-tail (made with those ingredients) before breakfast, before dinner, & just before going to bed."

(PS - Speaking of good cocktails, did anybody else go to the Bartenders Bourbon Battle last night at BLT? It was a lot of fun).
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Christina
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uhockey wrote:Been to most/all the best of Vegas - if you have the money, Robuchon (not the $400+ menu, but the cheaper prix fixe) is a true "destination" spot, and Kamal is probably the best pastry chef outside of Livingston III at wd~50 and Jordan Kahn at Red Medicine that I can think of.
At the risk of sounding like a hedonistic glutton, we've been invited by friends to join their birthday reservations for Robuchon in October. Do you know if the whole table has to do the 16-course, i.e., if three of us want to and E doesn't? ;)
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uhockey
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Christina wrote:
uhockey wrote:Been to most/all the best of Vegas - if you have the money, Robuchon (not the $400+ menu, but the cheaper prix fixe) is a true "destination" spot, and Kamal is probably the best pastry chef outside of Livingston III at wd~50 and Jordan Kahn at Red Medicine that I can think of.
At the risk of sounding like a hedonistic glutton, we've been invited by friends to join their birthday reservations for Robuchon in October. Do you know if the whole table has to do the 16-course, i.e., if three of us want to and E doesn't? ;)
I do believe all must participate. The timing would be totally ruined otherwise, I think.
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The Cosmic Jester
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Christina wrote:
uhockey wrote:Been to most/all the best of Vegas - if you have the money, Robuchon (not the $400+ menu, but the cheaper prix fixe) is a true "destination" spot, and Kamal is probably the best pastry chef outside of Livingston III at wd~50 and Jordan Kahn at Red Medicine that I can think of.
At the risk of sounding like a hedonistic glutton, we've been invited by friends to join their birthday reservations for Robuchon in October. Do you know if the whole table has to do the 16-course, i.e., if three of us want to and E doesn't? ;)
This may sound silly, but may I suggest calling the restaurant? Something in the back of my head tells me that they can accommodate diners who wish to do less than the full degustation menu. But wouldn't the whole thing be fun?
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Christina
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The Cosmic Jester wrote: But wouldn't the whole thing be fun?
You are right of course. He's already agreed we would do whatever the birthday couple wanted, but thought I'd ask since at Sage they allowed him to order a la carte while I did the tasting menu. Of course, JR would be a lot more courses.
sinosoul
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Skillet Doux wrote:The Raku report went up last week (above), sans photos
duh. I've been told I have lousy reading comprehension.
Christina wrote:Yes, Scotch whisky (which is why the smoke paired nicely ). Hmmm..now that you mention it, I just picked a huge Ponderosa lemon. Mark Twains tonight!
TBH, I think the drink made with rye is still tasty. Ran out the mixer Scotch a few weeks back, and started using Bulleit. Still tasty, just (obviously) not as smoky. If a Mark Twain was made with an Islay, I might want to throw it up.

(Note to mod: Again, MULTI-QUOTED!)
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CelticBellaAZ
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Christina,

I've been dying to hear about your experience at Gordon Ramsay Steak. How was it?
Good food does not have to be difficult or expensive! Sláinte!
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Skillet Doux
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CelticBellaAZ wrote:Christina,

I've been dying to hear about your experience at Gordon Ramsay Steak. How was it?
Go back one page :-)
Dominic Armato
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uhockey
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I know 6 people I trust who've been to Ramsay and this is the first good review I've heard - interesting.

That noted, CUT will have Japanese A5 Wagyu back on the menu as of Sept 10th when the ban ends.
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CelticBellaAZ
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Skillet Doux wrote: I could be tempted to give GR Steak a try. But I feel like the Wheel of Steak needs a hub and an indicator arrow at the top so I can spin for my supper.
The top row is American Kobe, the rest is prime. I agree with Christina the wellington was mmm good.
Good food does not have to be difficult or expensive! Sláinte!
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CelticBellaAZ
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uhockey wrote:I know 6 people I trust who've been to Ramsay and this is the first good review I've heard - interesting.
I realize you don't know me yet, but I wrote a wonderful review also. It was the best dining experience I've ever had. But in that vein have read some poor ones too, it just wasn't my experience.
Good food does not have to be difficult or expensive! Sláinte!
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uhockey
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CelticBellaAZ wrote:
uhockey wrote:I know 6 people I trust who've been to Ramsay and this is the first good review I've heard - interesting.
I realize you don't know me yet, but I wrote a wonderful review also. It was the best dining experience I've ever had. But in that vein have read some poor ones too, it just wasn't my experience.
No offense intended at all - will look for it. High praise indeed and I'm still trying to fill one last dinner slot for my end-of-september trip.
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CelticBellaAZ
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uhockey wrote: No offense intended at all - will look for it. High praise indeed and I'm still trying to fill one last dinner slot for my end-of-september trip.
Oh no worries I wasn't offended. You just said people you trust, and you'd have no way of knowing if I were someone you could trust or not. It was a great experience for me and even some parts of it were not so great but they were so over shadowed by the awesome experience. If you go I'd really like to hear your thoughts. Please keep in mind however I am extremely bias when it comes to GR.
Good food does not have to be difficult or expensive! Sláinte!
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Christina
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Updating re: Robuchon. E just called and the whole table does not have to do the 16-course. OTOH, wine pairings for that start at $295 pp, then $595, and $995. Yikes.
PHXeater
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That's great news! I went in June and we both got the 6 course, with each of us getting different items to split, and overall didn't feel like we missed out by not doing the 16 course. By the time the bill came with supplemental items +tax +tip it was still $950 for two with just a couple cocktails and after dinner drinks. For me the experience was insanely expensive but great, and luckily it was my birthday present so I didn't have to pay!

Also, side note about my experience, halfway through the dinner the sommelier came up to us and said the wine didn't open to his preference and he was taking it off our bill - without one comment from either of us. I thought the wine seemed mediocre even for the relatively low price of $120 and had whispered that to my date but neither of us said a peep to staff. It was great service and I was really blown away since the wine certainly had not turned or been blatantly off. After he took it off the sommelier very generously poured multiple wines to pair with our cheese and dessert course. It was something that I guess you should expect at this price point but this was my first "OMG this meal is more than my mortgage" experience so I was very impressed.

Beyond JR my Vegas favorites are standard advice:
Bouchon for brunch
Lotus of Siam
SW is also my hands down favorite steakhouse over CUT, Prime, and Delmonico.
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BillBuitenhuys
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I never even thought to ask about wine pairing prices. OMG. Only live once, right? ;-)
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Christina
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Heads up to fellow Lotus of Siam fans: Projected opening date of Bank Atcharawan's Chada Thai is October 12th:

http://vegas.eater.com/archives/2012/10 ... g-date.php
sinosoul
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bevy of small plates to encourage sharing. The wine list slants heavily toward Rieslings and global whites while beers span the globe from Belgium to Japan
smh.
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Christina
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Sooo...back to Vegas, this time with Bill and Lill! We're staying at Aria again, my new favorite hotel in Vegas. Also love that it's across from the Cosmo with all its great spots...yes, one being Vesper. :D

Plans are first dinner at Voodoo Steak. I think this is a hidden secret in Vegas because many associate it with the New Orleans-inspired place it used to be or as part of that crazy roofdeck Voodoo Club. Aside from the fabulous view at the top of the Rio, it has local Four Seasons Scottsdale Chef Mel Mecinas' brother, Chef Honorio Mecinas, helming the kitchen and it's now a modern steakhouse. We've had fantastic lamb, NY strip, and domestic wagyu ribeye. This will be our third visit (first with my parents who were introduced to caviar, foie gras, and steak tartare and loved it all! and the second for E's daughter's wedding dinner). Both times were tasting menus. Can't wait to see what Chef has in store for us this visit. A few past highlights:

Foie gras with vanilla butter and strawberry-apricot French toast
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Veal cheek with asparagus risotto
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Lobster with housemade pappardelle, chorizo, and prosciutto
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Scallop with braised Wagyu short rib over fennel fondue
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I'd like to check out the new Javier (Aria) just for the atmosphere for at least a drink, maybe fit in a repeat Sage visit, and/or the fried chicken everyone is talking about at Bouchon, but the two definite new-to-me plans we have are Herbs and Rye (off-strip/West Sahara) and Joel Robuchon (MGM). Can't wait! Would love thoughts on any of these or other info. Anyone been to Herbs and Rye? I've been wanting to get here for cocktails since it first opened.

Javier
http://vegas.eater.com/tags/javier-s

Herbs and Rye
http://slowcocktails.squarespace.com/di ... vegas.html
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uhockey
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Bouchon only offers the fried chicken rarely. YMMV. The better bet is their roasted chicken w/ waffles on the brunch menu. Incredible.

Robuchon is the best restaurant between SF and Chicago, imo. The long tasting has minimal appeal to me - too many "meh" sounding dishes, but the crustacean dish is quite unlike any other. Their cheese cart is not to be missed, and imo, Kamal is the best pastry chef in the US currently.