Report - Two nights in Vegas
Single diner, first-ever trip to Vegas. Really not my kind of scene, overall - not a gambler. However, I was greatly looking forward to the dining opportunities, and was not disappointed.
Was looking for high-end places without breaking the bank - which I like to reserve for the times that my wife is with me! Thanks in part to rec's from this board, here were my choices:
Night 1 - Bouchon at the Venetian
Sat at bar, quiet (it was 6:30 pm) but relatively welcoming. Once I saw that they had St. Bernardus Abt 12 on tap, I knew it was going to be a good night. This was supposed to be the more casual of the two dinners I planned, so I kept it simple (and relatively cheap) by simply ordering an entree. I went with their roast chicken (Poulet Roti). It was served with a roast corn and bacon confit, and was superb. Perfectly executed and fantastic with the beer! Simple as it was, I don't recall a better roast chicken anywhere. Looking forward to a more expanded dining experience their in the future.
Night 2 - Sage at the Aria
Again at the bar. Went with the four course tasting menu with beer pairing. Course one was a salad of burrata and shaved fennel/squash. Very nice with exceedingly high-quality ingredients. Things even improved with course two - a wonderful "surf-and-turf" riff with two beautiful scallops surrounded by braised oxtail and mushrooms. Absolutely wonderful! Next was an Iberico pork tenderloin dish that also included some braised pork shoulder, I think. Very good, but not a stand-out. Although I didn't think anything could top the scallops, dessert was a show-stopper. Olive oil ice cream over a hazelnut crunch with drizzle of really, really fine EVO and micro-basil. An unforgettable dish!
I highly recommend both places.
St Bernardus ABT 12 on tap - perfect.
FWIW (and I don't know where you live) Yardhouse - a chain here in CA. - carries it on tap. Never disappoints.
Given the chance to repeat, I'd likely do a wine pairing instead. I believe the price for both is the same - $39. I did get four, rather large glasses for that price, but the selection wasn't the greatest. The salad was matched with Duvel. Course two was Ouvila - a dubbel that is a joint project between Sierra Nevada and a Belgian producer, I think. There was another Brown ale served with the pork, but I do not recall its name. With dessert, they served Young's Chocolate stout. All four beers were good, just rather "standard" and not as special as I would have liked.