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Thanksgiving week trip report

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  • zook Dec 1, 2013 11:00 AM
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Tuesday evening: Raku followed by Raku Sweets. At Raku we shared several dishes all of which were worthy choices with the standouts being the foie with glazed soy sauce (so good that we ordered a second round of it!), the warm tofu in miso/mushroom broth, the bacon wrapped enoki mushrooms, and the freshest, almost buttery tasting sashimi salad. The multiple other courses we shared were no slouches, either. With some great sake, it was a great dinner to start our short visit.

Raku Sweets was everything I had hoped it would be. You must definitely sit at the counter or else you will lose half the experience of dining here. To watch each dessert painstakingly made, along with watching them make their wonderful sugar creations is a delight. Two tasting menus and one main dessert were ordered by the three of us so as to sample most of the desserts offered. To me, the hazelnut cake was the winner, although my son chose the apple as his favorite (the caramel cream filled sugar apple was awesome), and my husband's fave was the banana cake, thus, a testament to how good each dessert was. The amuse of mango sorbet really packed a mango punch. Lastly, a trip to either both Raku or Sweets should also include a visit to their restroom, which shows another aspect of their attention to detail.

Wednesday: Joel Robuchon grand tasting menu. If you are a fan of truffles and caviar, this menu was made for you. Vegetarian and pescaterian. friendly, this multi course wonder does not disappoint. Yes, you have to starve all day to be able to fully indulge in all the wonders offered, and, yes, you have to be willing to splurge big time on a beautiful setting, fabulous service, and at times, some amazing food that is well executed, but it is well worth it. A stellar meal.

Thursday: cooked thanksgiving dinner for our family.

Friday: the guys indulged at Lagasse stadium watching basketball. This is a fixture of each family trip out here. After eating so much the prior two days, I felt virtuous getting a salad at Canyon Ranch in the Palazzo. In the past I've had some enjoyable light meals here, but with a newly changed lunch menu, was a bit disappointed this time around in that the roasted veg salad was just average in the veggies offered and paltry in size to boot.

Michael Mina: I'm from South Florida where MM has Bourbon Steak, which is a very good restaurant, so when we were looking for somewhere new to try that would appeal to all, we thought this would fit the bill. Unfortunately, it was a bit of a disappointment. The service was adequate, but not more than that, starting with an unwelcoming host (on the phone for a very long time before even acknowledging us) to a waiter who failed to check back with us on the food or to offer drink refills. The atmosphere was better suited to a business dinner and even group dining. The food was fine, nothing rising above the pale nor any failures in execution. With all the fine dining choices in Vegas, this one will not warrant a return visit. Since we were less than thrilled with our dining experience at MM, we decided to cut it short and reward ourselves with a great dessert from the Art of Gelato. As you would expect, their seasonal flavors were in full glory....sweet potato with marshmallow and pumpkin spice hit the holiday sweet spot.

Thanksgiving leftovers rounded out our Saturday afternoon (along with some great football games on tv) before heading home.

Overall, another great dining long weekend.

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  1. Quite a culinary itinerary you had! Thanks for the great report.