Vegas Trip - Marche Bacchus, Rosemary's, China Poblano, etc.
So I had a recent opportunity to go to Vegas last week for business, and I stretched it out a bit by adding a day before, and inviting my wife to come along. We were planning to get some of our favorite restaurants in, and maybe try some new ones.
We drove in Monday morning, and headed to Marche Bacchus to have lunch. The setting is perfect, beautiful and right on the lake, peaceful and quiet. We liked our lunch - I had a bowl of gumbo and half a Croque Monsieur, and my wife opted for the flank steak since she likes bordelaise. Once our plates came, we switched, as the steak was a bit heavy for her, and I liked it a lot. It came sliced with a nice char on the outside, a plate full of roasted shallot bordelaise and some excellent frites. The gumbo was nice, full of shredded chicken and sausage, and the Croque was fine - it perhaps could have used a bit more cheese on the outside, but the ham and cheese was very good.
Throughout our meal, we were amused by the bold ducks that would walk right up to our table and quack until we tossed them some bits of bread. Of course, that attracted more ducks. They got kind of insistent!
The wines there were very nice, and we bought a couple of bottles of good Riesling and talked wine with the store owner. I liked the peace and quiet of the lake area, I would go back.
Dinner that night we went to Rosemary's, which is still one of my favorite restaurants in Vegas. It helps to have your own car though. The atmosphere is as nice as ever, refined but relaxed, quiet but fun. Our server was attentive and helpful, and everything came out very nicely.
We split an iceberg wedge salad (a special) to start - if that was a split, it was very generous, nice fresh lettuce, smoky bacon, maytag bleu and a tangy dressing that added up to a delicious salad. I generally don't love iceberg, but I really enjoyed this dish.
I opted for a special of andouille-crusted redfish served on a bed of red beans and rice. Very delicious and nicely spicy, the andouille was not heavy or greasy, the fish was perfectly cooked. My wife went for a NY Strip served with something they called "get a man" potatoes. This was a tall potato galette, kind of a constructed scalloped potato cake with slim layers of potato with cream, spices and what I think was gruyere. It was amazing. Her steak was flavorful with an onion jam, it had a bit of fat on the edges but easy enough to trim off.
We split the coconut bread pudding dessert, amazing as always. I think this may be my favorite dessert in recent memory, and while I always want to try other desserts there (they do a great carrot cake) if I have one dessert to eat there, that's it.
I like how they let me do the price fix for the three courses and split two of the three, and we also used a restaurant.com gift certificate to bring down the price. It's a decent deal if you work it.
Tuesday was my work event, we got a quick breakfast off strip, finding Harrie's Bagelmania. It was just okay - I thought my bagelwich was decent, Dee ordered an everything bagel and got only the bottom everything, but the top a sesame. Weird. Their coffee was pretty weak too.
We moved hotels to the Cosmopolitan, which was amazing, I need to go back there. We had intended to go to Lotus of Siam for lunch, but time was getting short, and instead we decided to try China Poblano. I liked the concept and design, and the food was pretty good too. I didn't mind sitting at a communal table as it was pretty empty in there. Dee tried a pomegranate margarita that came with the salt air on top, which was really super salty - it actually hurt my lip to drink it. I'd suggest trying a straw with those salt air drinks. I had a prickly pear agua fresca which was tasty and fresh.
We ordered several small plates as our server recommended - chips and salsa, the lobster tacos, the Silencio (duck tongues and rambutan), the BBQ pork bao, and Dee wanted to try the posole.
The chips were good, fresh and warm with a spicy salsa. I think they had some five-spice powder on them. The bao were pretty dull, not very fluffy or flavorful. The lobster tacos were really good, pacific langoustes with a good fresh salsa. The posole was okay, the pork in it was plentiful but fatty, and it came with fresh shredded radishes and a couple of chiccharones, but no lemon.
Dee did not want to try the duck tongue tacos, but I loved them. The meat was very soft and had none of the chewiness I have read about - our server even expressed suprise, I guess the batches she ate were a bit membraneous, but the ones I had were delicious. The rambutan and sauce complemented the tacos perfectly. I felt a bit guilty considering our duck friends from the other day, but I got over it.
The event I had was at the Stirling Club, which was palatable enough for banquet food. As it was a work-only event, Dee stayed at the Cosmopolitan and shopped, then had what she said was good wine but a terrible pizza at the Italian DOCG place there. I picked her up some Sonic on the way home from my event as she had not eaten most of her dinner.
The next day we were thinking about going to Hash House or Blueberry Hill for breakfast, but people working at the hotel told us how much they liked the Wicked Spoon buffet there, so we tried that. It was about $16 each, and a unique enough concept - lots of smaller dishes and individual serving pieces keep the food hot. There was a nice spread, interesting takes on benedicts and baked eggs, carvery bacon and house-smoked kielbasa, some excellent smoked salmon pastrami and one of the best yogurt and granola parfaits I've ever tried. It wasn't quite as special as we had been led to believe, though, and the service was not great - nobody refilled our coffee or water the entire meal - but I got enough to eat.
Overall, I'd say we had a good trip, especially since we got to experience the Cosmopolitan and enjoy Rosemary's. It's still one of my favorite restaurants in any city.
2620 Regatta Drive, Las Vegas, NV 89128
2605 S Decatur Blvd Ste 103, Las Vegas, NV 89102
855 E Twain Ave # 120, Las Vegas, NV
Lotus of Siam
953 E Sahara Ave Ste A5, Las Vegas, NV 89104
Love Marche Bacchus! Great place to sit outside on a nice day and have some wine and pretty good food. Next time you are at the Cosmopolitan, if you still have a pizza craving, try the "hidden pizza place" there. On the 3rd floor, just to your left as you get off of the escalator, there is a hallway; it is at the end. REALLY good pizza (by the slice or whole), Pabst Blue Ribbon on draft, a couple of vintage video game machines as well. Can't recommend it highly enough.
2620 Regatta Drive, Las Vegas, NV 89128
re: Friend of Bill
We finally did find the 'hidden pizza place' but we were full after breakfast. Next time, I'm trying it. The other Jose Andres tapas-style place looked pretty good. It was also the only hotel I've seen with a nicely curated gourmet cookware and wine shop themed around the restaurants.
I'm still craving those duck tongue tacos!