Vegas Trip 1/3: Sage
OK, so I'm back from my Vegas trip... and I hit 3 'fine dining' restaurants while there: Sage, é and Robuchon. I thought I'd leave my impressions of all of them. I've split them so that it's not a monster post.
Sage was awful. That sounds strong, but I really hated it. AND I had dragged about 10 people there, because they were too frugal to go to é or Robuchon. So THEN I had to pretend to not hate it, because some of them were OK with it and I didn't want to impinge on their enjoyment, while feeling guilty that this had been their fine dining Vegas experience.
My first beef is that if you want to do a prix fixe menu, the entire table has to do the same menu. This strikes me as a bit ridiculous. Yes, it's logistically challenging to serve a different number of courses, but other restaurants manage (usually by putting a charger out for people who have less courses). So we ended up doing the 3 course early-evening menu.
But my main problem was the food, which seemed very flat. The bison terrine amuse bouche - salty, like liver pate on a spoon. The artichoke salad was just salty and acidic - there was nothing rich or sweet to cut the acidity. My main course of pan roasted fluke was similarly acidic - doused in lemon and served with super tart apple. The peanut butter and chocolate dessert was fine, very sweet and quite rich, but at least different textures and flavors. A parting shot of caramel hot chocolate was so sickly sweet that I couldn't do more than taste it. It tasted like melted Werthers Originals... with added sugar.
I just... I don't know. I think I enjoyed random burgers more than what I had here.
Oops, thought I was going to be agreeing with you about all of your restaurants, but I LOVED Sage when I had dinner there three weeks ago. I actually preferred it to my dinner this year at Joel Robuchon (yes, it was that stellar!). I was dining solo, and ordered the 6 course tasting menu, that they very happily made a substitution for me (subbed out the rabbit course for a pasta with duck). LOVED the foie gras brulee. Definitely will return to Sage.
Yeah, I don't know... we kinda went based on the many, many glowing reviews that we found here, so maybe it was just the dishes that I sampled. So I guess all I can say is stay away from the artichoke salad and the fluke (and the caramel shot at the end if you get it).
On the one hand, maybe it's not fair to compare Sage to the pricier restaurants that I went to in Vegas. But really, it wasn't the quality of the ingredients that irked, it was the preparations. And my non-foodie friends were very polite about it, but I could tell they weren't impressed, either.
Interesting, I have not had any of those dishes you named aside from the complimentary hot chocolate which I found very rich and slightly sweet. I have had the braised beef cheek, short ribs, steak, and scallops which were quite good as were the roasted beets app. I was not fond of the foie gras brulee as I found it a bit too sweet for my liking, but not unbearably sweet. Even the bread I found to be stellar, love that bacon roll. Bread pudding was also great.
Thanks for reporting back though, I always like to hear the good and the bad. Mental note not to get fluke or artichoke salad.