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Another Vegas report and it's long too!

Cookiefiend Apr 29, 2011 10:40 AM

Another conference in Vegas, another beautiful hotel to stay in (The Cosmopolitan – wow), another month spent debating on where we must go for delicious-ness. This time we tried a few new-to-us and a few tried and true.

MOzen Bistro – Mr CF had the Nantucket Eggs – poached eggs on crab cakes with spinach and hollandaise. Not a scrap was left. I had the Eggs Ranchero – 2 fried eggs over cheesy tortillas, topped with a bit of chorizo and black bean salsa (could have used a bit more), and lots of coffee. Very good and hot coffee.

Bouchon – Every time we’re in Vegas, we go to Bouchon. The first time was marvelous, but it hadn’t performed to the same standard in other visits. This time – they made up for past miss-steps. I think this was the best meal I’ve had here. Mr CF started with oysters – he enjoyed them. We shared the Terrine de Fois Gras de Carnard – once it warmed up it was delicious. Seriously though – when this is as hard as a rock because it’s come straight from the refrigerator - it is just not as good. There is a metallic flavor and you don’t get the smooth creamy-ness from the fois. Mr CF had the Crab salad – I can’t give much detail on this except to say that he said it was very fresh and light. For his entrée, he had the Gigot d’Agneau – roasted leg of lamb with spring peas and the most wonderful lamb jus. I had Grilled Sturgeon with burgundy snails (not escargot, but snails. Perhaps they got tired of explaining escargot are snails and just gave up?), lardons, fingerling potatoes and a parsley herb sauce. This was by far the best thing I’ve had here. The fish was perfectly cooked, the snails added an earthy hint to the grilled flavor of the fish, the sauce was wonderful. Dessert was 3 small brownie-like cakes – they were fine but that’s about all I can say about them.

Sage – love, love, love. We did the special tasting menu with one substitution. We started with the Wagyu Beef Tartare – with crushed caper aioli, topped with a slow poached egg yolk and crispy chocolate strips. So tender and so delicious. The second course was supposed to be a scallop, but due to an allergy, we substituted the Alaskan Halibut. We were not sorry. Delicate fish with white asparagus, peas, white chard and a bit of truffle. The peas could have been cooked a tad longer, and the truffle was extraordinary with the fish. Mr CF had the 48 hour Beef Belly with rhubarb morel mushrooms and Illinois pickled ramps. He said it was delicious and very, very rich from the fat. I had the Iberico Pork Loin with milk braised cannelloni (there was some love in this – angels were singing – it tasted like something your grandmother worked all day on), and green asparagus. Dessert was a warm Carrot Cake with toasted coconut sauce, candied ginger and cream cheese ice cream. Just awesome. This was so good we skipped dessert at another place and came here just for this cake. We had a wonderful evening, and we give major props to John (our waiter), Nicholas (sommelier) and Michael (GM) – excellent job!

Lemongrass – Our associate had the sweet and sour shrimp and he enjoyed it. The shrimp were large and tender. But I learned there was oyster sauce in almost everything which gave me very few options.

Jean Georges Steakhouse – sometimes your very first impression can make a huge difference in how things go for the rest of the evening. Our first sight was a very strange person leaving the ladies room. Next was our greeting – so hugely fake. Next our waiter was so nervous and anxious – I think he may have blown a gasket if we had interrupted him during the special recital. He hovered anxiously around waiting for our dinner order, until I told him we’d wait to order until after we had our cocktails. Once he got our dinner order, we only saw him when we flagged him down. The Sommelier was attentive at first. Because we had brought our own wine, he explained the ‘rules’ and decanted the bottle for us. He poured a taste for Mr CF. We asked him if he would like to try it as well, and he accepted but then vanished. He came back later with the half bottle of Champagne we ordered, popped and poured, put the bottle somewhere behind us, and then vanished. We had no idea where he put the Champagne, so when we were ready and needed another glass, we had to flag down our poor waiter. We poured our wine ourselves with our dinner. Our dinner started with Tuna Tartare, Peekytoe Crab Cake, Sweet Pea Soup – all were good. New York Strips and a Filet, creamed spinach, hand cut French fries, and black truffle comte fritter (this was really good) – all were good, but not knock-your-socks-off good. I think we were put off by the way things started and let it color the rest of our dinner. This is also the first time we’ve gone to a steak place in Vegas – we have great steak restaurants at home so I had just never given one a try here. I had previously had a reservation at Craftsteak, but canceled it to try JGS – I’m sorry I did.

Holstein’s – a great big juicy hamburger. We went for the Steakhouse burger. A great burger, lots of fries and lots of ketchup makes me a happy girl.

Fleur – Tapas or small plates is an intriguing notion. We had a fun time trying lots of different things. Parmesan paprika Popcorn – good. Maple glazed Pork Ribs – comes to the table with a dome over the plate, once they take the dome off, smoke swirls out. The ribs came off the bone easily but the meat itself was a little tough and the sauce wasn’t anything to write home about. Tuna Tacos – Serrano chill slices, cilantro and avocado cream, very tasty. Tarte Flambee – special was bacon, fig and blue cheese – mmm good. Pork Schnitzel – potato cake, cucumber salad and ligenberry, very crispy pork, very good. Crab and avocado sphere with watermelon gazpacho – Mr CF loved this, very fresh. Peking Duck with spring vegetable and spinach puree – tender duck well spiced. Ceci Frito – fried chickpeas with preserved lemon – fun to eat with chopsticks and the lemon added a nice zip. Filet with frites – a large-ish filet we shared with the fries. We ran out of wine and so ordered a glass – blech. But dinner was a lot of fun and very tasty.

China Poblano - Chinese and Mexican in the same restaurant – what a wonderful idea! We tried a bit from each side. Happy Buddha Vegetable Spring Rolls – 4 thin crispy fried rolls with a spicy sauce. Traditional Sui Mai – steamed vegetable and pork dumplings with a dish of soy sauce on the side. Rou Jia Mo Street Sandwich – fried dough with red pork inside. Guacamole freshly made and corn tortillas – we also asked for chips with this. And then they brought on the tacos – Carnitas taco with braised baby pig, pork rinds and spicy salsa verde cruda – messy but good. Cochinita taco with Yucatan-style pit barbeque pork and marinated onions – my favorite. Setas taco with wild mushrooms and guacamole – good but the mushrooms didn’t work for me. And last a Pollo a la Parrilla taco – grilled chicken with mole sauce – nom. The sesame seed with this were a perfect touch. I liked the Mexican foods better than the Chinese. I did see some noodle soup dishes that looked really good though.

Comme Ca – we had two meals here. First lunch – we split between the two of us the Charcuterie – duck rillette (great), country pate (great), head cheese (something I never thought I would eat, but this was really good) and salumi – two different and both very good. Lots of great crispy toasts to go with and coarse mustard. We also split the CCBLT – the Comme Ca BLT. Bacon, crisp pork belly and tomato jam, lettuce and toasted bread. My first few bites were great – hot crispy bacon and pork belly fat on crunchy, toasted bread but as the bread cooled the tomato jam soaked into the bread. So I just took the soggy, jammy side off and ate the bottom. Win win for me.
Dinner was a huge success. First, let me say that the sommelier Gloria was excellent and so glad to help us. Our waiter was also great (and patient with us). We started with a large plate of oysters that even the ‘I dunno know about oysters’ people loved – the horseradish sauce was wicked hot too. We were warned! We started with several appetizers – the Escargot en Croute – garlicy snails on a puff pastry shell – delicious. Steak Tartare with Creekstone Farm beef and egg yolk, capers and cornichons – very good with a nice hit of heat. Not quite as delicious as Sage’s but damn good. Duck confit – leg and thigh with apricots – this was wonderful. I love crispy skin over the tender, tender meat that can be so easily pulled apart. We asked the chef to divide the Comme Ca Burger into 6 so we could each have a bite of great hamburger and fries with garlic aioli. Mr CF had the Beef Bourguignon with pomme puree and glazed carrots – a huge chunk of beef, super tender and wonderful. I tried the cod with chorizo, beans and tomatoes – very light and mild. A cheese plate and chocolate beignets for dessert. The beignets were ridiculous – chocolate beignet dough that a ball of incredible rich chocolate had been dipped into and then fried. Seriously good.

Milos – that $20.11 lunch is great and what a beautiful space out on the patio. I had the Greek Meze plate with Tarama, Tzatziki, Htipiti and Dolmadaki, all delicious. I especially liked the tzatziki. I ordered the Lavraki with horta but our waiter came back to say that the chef said we couldn’t do it… okay… but it’s on the same menu everyone here is getting… So anyway, I ordered the Honjake Salmon with steamed vegetables – very tender and enjoyable. Dessert was the yougurt martini – afterward I wanted to put orange marmalade on everything. Everything!

Now we’re back home and I’ve gained 5 pounds. I should probably be glad it’s not more! We had a wonderful time. Thanks to all the CH’s for their reports that helped me make my decisions. Thanks for reading!

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Bouchon
3355 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89109

Comme Ca
3708 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89109

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  1. d
    DagnyTaggart May 3, 2011 10:30 AM

    Nice review Cf!

    1. b
      bishopsbitter May 26, 2011 04:19 AM

      Always enjoy hearing about the service aspect as that makes a huge difference. Bouchon fan also. Not so impressed at Comme Ca on first visit last month but at the time construction noise was irritating. Great report.

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      Bouchon
      3355 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89109

      Comme Ca
      3708 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89109

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