One of the best cities to retire to is Las Vegas. This week (Feb. 27- March 3) Las Vegas is putting on an event they call Restaurant Week 2012.
To participate, dining establishments have agreed to provide meals that cost $20.12, $30.12 and/or $50.12 with a portion of the cost going to benefit a charity called THREE SQUARE FOOD BANK, Southern Nevada’s only food bank.
Today Glen and I enjoyed a fabulous lunch at the MOzen Bistro inside The Mandarin Oriental Hotel at City Center.
Our $30.12 lunch included the following selections served Bento Box style (a divided tray with compartments that hold tapas-style portions):
- Spicy tempura roll, salmon and tuna sashimi
- Crispy shrimp tossed in wasabi aioli, mango-chili relish & tobiko (Japanese word for flying fish roe)
- Shrimp, lemongrass and kafir lime in a rich broth, flavored with chili and cilantro (Tom Yum Goong)
- Stir-fried marinated beef tips with kim chee & jasmine rice (Bulgogi)
- Tandoori roasted marinated chicken in creamy Indian curry (Murgh Makhani)
- Grilled prime strip loin, tossed with cucumbers, mint, shallots and Thai sweet basil with bird’s eye chili-lime vinaigrette (Yam Neua)
- Dessert: Black sesame panna cotta, pistachio crouton, cherry sphere, cherry sorbet.
After lunch we took our server’s advice and went to the 23rd floor of the hotel. The view was fantastic! On this floor, you can enjoy High Tea in the Lounge or dine at the restaurant, TWIST, run by Michelin 3 star chef, Pierre Gagnaire.
We have 6 more days to enjoy the offerings of any of 70 restaurants in Las Vegas. It is a tough job, but we are ready to try a few more places!
I’ll keep you posted on our progress!
More more information on how you can participate, go to:
Today we selected Payard Patisserie & Bistro at Caesar’s Palace for our 2012 Las Vegas Restaurant Week Dining experience.
Three lunch courses were offered with two choices for the first and second course. “Perfect!, we both said. We can try all the dishes!”
Payard Artichoke Dip. Gratinee of Creamy Artichoke & Parmesan served with Crispy Pita Chips. (The flavors were fresh and
distinct and the chips were tasty. Lots of butter but the seasoning was bland to my taste.)
Shrimp Panzanella. Shrimp Scampi, Romaine Lettuce, Tomato, Croutons with Oregano Dressing. (Straightforward salad with three large shrimp. The dressing was very nice.)
Sturgeon Pan Seared with Lentils Vinaigrette. (The sturgeon was not as clean tasting as we would have liked. The lentils were served cold and went better with the sausage in the cassoulet.)
Classic Cassoulet. Duck Confit, Toulouse Sausage, Roasted Pork, Cannellini Beans. (The flavors of this dish were bland. The duck confit, sausage and roasted pork were tough. In cassoulets I have had in the past, the best part is the melt-in-your-mouth qualities of the meats. I know that the Toulouse sausage is made from coarsely diced pork, but ours had generous amounts of gristle…not a pleasant experience. I found myself adding seasonings to wake up the flavors of this dish.)
Dessert was the third course and we were allowed to choose one of the Payard Signature Desserts. There were about 14 choices! Glen selected the Banana Tart. I chose the Pear Napoleon. (These desserts were flawless!)
In our opinion, this Bistro is very pricey. We were glad to participate in the Four Square Charity fundraiser but are not planning to return to this dining spot.
If you decide to try this place, stick with the desserts, you won’t be disappointed.
As a footnote/rant: Once you enter Caesar’s Palace, find a security person and request an escort to your destination. The security guard we found readily agreed that the signage in this property leaves A LOT to be desired. He was so nice and even provided us with an “easy escape strategy” to get to our car when we were ready to leave. But I guess that is what a Caesar’s wants to do to all who enter–hold them captive! O.K. I get this. But a few more well-placed signs would decrease frustration levels.
At NINE FINE IRISHMEN THE PUB at New York, New York Hotel and Casino, the emphasis is on great food, great service, and great ambiance. They scored an “A” on all of these! We dined upstairs and had a wonderful lady named Kelly as our server.
The luncheon cost $20.12 per person and consisted of three courses. We again selected different dishes so we could sample them all.
A basket of Irish Soda Bread with raisins arrived first. The butter was drizzled with basil infused olive oil. (Very nice!)
Choice of Mixed Green Salad. Cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions and balsamic vinaigrette.
Tomato Gin Soup. Creamy tomato soup with a touch of gin.
(The salad was fresh and pretty standard. The soup was superb! Ingredients included tomato, garlic, onion, gin, thyme and cream drizzled with creme fraiche. Assistant Chef Joseph Bernardo offered the recipe to us and we will attempt to recreate it soon in our own kitchen.)
Choice of Grilled Cheddar Burger. Irish cheddar, Irish bacon, tomato chutney and garlic mayo on a sesame seed bun.
Irish Banger. Traditional Irish sausage on mustard mashed potatoes with mushroom jus.
(The burger toppings made this sandwich special. They did not scrimp on the toppings either. YUM! The Irish Banger was flavorful and smooth textured. It melted in our mouths. The mashed potatoes were topped with cooked curly leaf cabbage and laced with whole grain mustard. The mushroom sauce completed this dish. We licked the plate clean…)
Choice of Bread and Butter Pudding. Buttery baked brioche with golden raisins, topped with whiskey cream and caramel sauces.
Funnel Sticks. Funnel cake batter in stick form, coated in powdered sugar and served with vanilla caramel, chocolate Guinness and strawberry puree dipping sauces.
(We both waved our white napkins above our heads and surrendered when the dessert plates arrived. The portions were huge and now, so were we. We politely sampled each. Kelly could see our situation and adeptly packaged it up in to go containers so we could enjoy them at home later. From our small sampling, I can tell you that the Bread and Butter Pudding was superb!! The Funnel Sticks were so cute and yummy too.)
As a footnote, we LOVE living in town so we can take food home if we aren’t able to finish it at the restaurant. It is so frustrating to be staying in a hotel and not have the appliances to store and re-heat leftovers to enjoy later. We are taking a day off to aid in our digestion. More later!