Las vegas

Top 5 Things I Ate in Las Vegas

OK, this wasn’t exactly an eating Tour de Force New Orleans style but some fairly delicious bites nonetheless…

Oxtail Benedict at Comme Ça  – Oxtail meet Gut.  Tender, delicious slow braised Oxtail, poached eggs, spinach, pepper gougère topped with a nice truffle Hollandaise oooozing with flavor.  Very original and very delicious!

Comme Ca - Oxtail Benedict

Bread at Bouchon – If only I had a Bouchon Bakery near where I lived.  Did not love the meal but greatly enjoyed this bread with butter

Octopus at Milos – If you don’t add the $10 supp to the $20 lunch here you should be sentenced to a lunch buffet.   Some of the best Octopus I’ve had in the USA.  Meaty, tender, perfectly grilled, perfectly seasoned with a hint of oregano, absolutely delicious Octopus

Milos - Octopus

Huevos Estrellados at Julian Serrano – The most memorable tapa was probably the Stuffed Dates, but when I look back and think about which dish gave me the most pleasure, it is the Huevos Estrellados.  Egg, Chorizo, fries! whats not to like

Julain Serrano - Huevos Estrellados

Pastrami at Todd English P.U.B.  What a surprise off the bat.  Nicely carved, delicious homemade Pastrami served with your choice of bread and sauces (try the mustard trio and truffle mayo

Todd English P.U.B

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Las Vegas Eats – Comme Ça

Our comme ci comme ça trip ended with good one at comme ça. What?  No, you did not enter the Michael Jackson fan club by accident.  Since this is a food blog I feel obligated to inject some French into it.  Comme ci comme ça means so-so.  Comme ça means Delicious!!

Comme Ca - Charcuterie

Charcuterie was a beautiful pork fest.  Every single item had pork in it including the delicious chicken liver pate.  Not a very kosher dish.  An excellent start.  Endive and Pear Salad, with a bit of hazelnut and just enough bleu cheese was satisfying as well.

My Croque Madame was enjoyable.  Perhaps the first Croque Madame I’ve had in the states, not sure.  But my wife’s Oxtail Benedict was the bomb.  Tender, delicious slow braised Oxtail, and with the poached eggs, spinach, pepper gougère topped with a nice truffle Hollandaise oozing with flavor.  Very original and very delicious.   The Crème Brûlée was simple yet perfectly executed.  A fine meal overall.

Comme Ca - Oxtail Benedict

Comme Ça, like Milos, is in the Cosmopolitan hotel which on paper at least, has the most impressive list of restaurant collection on the planet.  The list includes Jaleo, Scarpetta (One of my faves in NYC), e by Jose Andres and more.  Comme Ça le Magnifique

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Las Vegas Eats – Bouchon

The most anticipated meal of the trip was the biggest miss of the trip.  We are far from Minetta Tavern!

Bouchon Bistro is a Thomas Keller restaurant in the Venezia Tower of the Venetian, offering classic French bistro fare.  One of the most popular dining options in Vegas for both brunch (famous for its chicken and waffles) and dinner (famous for its… bread?).  My mission as the foodie and food blogger of the 12 person group traveling with us was to choose a place to celebrate a friend’s birthday and after much consideration and keeping costs in mind I chose Bouchon for this special event.

Bouchon - Short Rib

It started off quite nicely.  Beautiful private room, nice ambiance and everybody happy.  The bread arrived after a while and WOW.. some of the best bread I’ve had this side of Villefranche Sur Mer.  I love good bread and butter and this is as good as it gets.  An app of mussels arrived chilled was very good, and a nice Frisée with poached egg salad as well.  Not a bad start, but a premature finish.

Steak FritesThe steak frites of choice was a $45 grilled 14 oz of dry and flavorless NY Strip.  It tasted more like a filet mignon.  Very unfortunate and the other person who ordered it agreed.  Mrs Ziggy’s beef short rib was a little better but uninspiring nonetheless except perhaps for some nice veggies and a ‘hint’ of handmade pasta surrounding it.

A few months ago in New Orleans we tried 8 different bread puddings in 5 days.  Bouchon’s would have been dead last in that race.

An hour into the meal, since our main courses weren’t taken yet, you could tell that this would be a 3 hour marathon.  And it was!  Surely I didnt mind spending the time with my friends but it is important to note in case you planning to bring your in-laws here.

Overall, Bouchon is another expensive reminder that the big name restaurants on the strip at times are just that, Big Names!

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Las Vegas Eats – Estiatorio Milos

I’ll make this one short and sweet.  Not because I just had too much to drink this evening, but because I’m a bit under the influence and I’m afraid that the more I write the less sense I’d make. Milos lunch was a winner.   The $20.13 lunch which is set to increase to $20.14 next year due to the corn market pricing speculation is one of the greatest deals in town.  However, to make this truly worthwhile you need to add the $10 supplement for the terrific grilled Octopus app.  Ever since we visited Portugal, the land of the most amazing octopus on the planet we’ve been on the hunt.  This one is it. Meaty, perfectly grilled, perfectly seasoned with a hint of oregano, absolutely delicious octopus.Milos - Octopus Mrs. Ziggy thankfully enjoyed her tomato salad which meant she kept her fork on her plate for the most part.  For main, the winner was the simply grilled Lavraki (bass).  Quite a tasty piece of fish.  The shrimp dish on the other hand was a bit too bland and the walnut pie, soaked in deliciousness was a nice finishMilos - Lavraki The lunched so far are more satisfying than the dinners.   Thumb up to Estiatorio Milos, aka Milos, aka don’t call me Estiatorio since no one can remember the first half of the name.  I had to Google it just now.

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Las Vegas Eats – Todd English P.U.B

The perfect place to go straight from the airport with the luggage.  Especially if you traveling with a bad wheel.  You know, one of your carry-on wheels is crooked and as you walk with it, it wobbles uncontrollably, as if something is hiding in there and people are staring at it waiting for that something to come out any minute.  And you are debating whether to just carry it but then discover if you get it closer to the ground you are more or less good but then have to explain to everyone your bad back.  You know, that one.  Even Martha Stewart who flew with us couldn’t save it but put a delightful tassel around the wheel

Anyway, nice beer, great food, a booth, Todd English food – that’s all you need after a long flight (anything longer than 2 with a terrified wife is long).

Todd English P.U.B

We sampled some surprisingly terrific Pastrami, carved thick and generous (this is half a portion) and served with your choice of spreads.  We got the mustard trio and the truffle mayo (very nice).  Really enjoyed this dish.  And their popular Junk Chips formerly known as Dirty chips since supposedly some people complained about the name?  Say What?  Nice nacho chips with melted blue cheese just enough to give it some tanginess without overwhelming.

Todd English P.U.B - Dirty chips

Combine that with a very impressive beer menu, and I’ll take it over the Vegas buffet any day.  Even with a bad wheel.  We tried to come back (in Aria btw) later during the weekend only to find more than a 30 minute wait.  As far as decent pub food in the area this is perhaps as good as it gets.  Highly recommend especially the Pastrami

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Las Vegas Eats – Julian Serrano

Julain Serrano - Pintxo de Chorizo
A mixed bag all around for this one.  Julian Serrano also of Bellagio’s Picasso is one of many big names in Vegas.  An impressive array of Spanish tapas fills the menu, both classics like the Gambas and Patatas Bravas and “new wave” tapas like those tuna cones we see surface in some places like in New Orleans’ SoBou.
Julian Serrano definitely got the look.  Although its near the main lobby in Aria and sort of a downer once you see the location.  Between the 6 of us we sampled quite a few dishes.  No issues with the service at all.  I asked if they can bring the dishes in the correct order to accommodate the palates and they did.
Julian Serrano - Piquillo PeppersJulain Serrano - Huevos EstrelladosStuffed Piquillo Peppers –  A bit milder than expected but a pleasant start nonetheless.
Huevos Estrellados – Enjoyed this one.  The chorizo along with the egg and fries worked together nicely.
Pintxo de Chorizo – Should have ordered something else.  Although the mashed potatoes was tasty, the chorizo was similar to the previous dish if not slightly chewier.   Pictured on top
White Ceviche – perhaps the weakest link.  I love ceviche but the acid here was just a tad overwhelming.  A good size dish I must add.Julian Serrano - White Ceviche
Julian Serrano - Stuffed DatesStuffed Dates – this is one of my favorite Mediterranean tapa dishes and this one did not disappoint.  Love the combination of those sweet dates with the bacon.  Well done here.
 Croquettes – Ungood!  flavorless, screaming for some sort of sauce.
 Lobster Saffron – Ok, not memorable
 Gambas – Good.  Nice plump and tasty shrimp
 Creamy Risotto – Nice finish.  Arborio cooked to al dente perfection and with the mushroom provided plenty of flavor.   Along with the dates the best dish of the night.
Desserts not memorable
Julian SerranoFunny how things work out sometimes.  I’ve anticipated this to be one of the top meals of the trip from the info I gathered but at the end of the day, the pastrami at the next door P.U.B by Todd English was the most memorable thing I ate on day 1.
Not a bad meal overall but not something I’d do again.  Perhaps I got somewhat spoiled with all the wonderful tapas we have in NYC (Alta, Tia Pol to name a few).  This meal was a fresh reminder after a 6 year hiatus that the big name restaurants on the strip got just that. Big names.
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