Tuesday, January 08, 2008

And now you know...

On Sturday we tried to leave at Noon, so we left at 3. Dinner reservations were for 8 pm and we had to move them to 10 pm. Then we could stop at the outlet mall in Barstow.

Arrived at 7:30, checked in, luggage brought up, unpacked, showered. Oh shit, gotta hurry.

Dinner at Mix a resturant by Alain Ducasse. I’ve got us on a celebrity chef tour all week!

I started with the Lobster Bisque with chestnut and savoy cabbage. I know the cabbage sounded odd to me as well, but it was sort of like pickled cabbage and with the super rich lobster bisque it was well balanced. The bowl arrived with a chestnut cream surrounding an island of savoy cabbage atop which rested a roasted chestnut. Upon arrival, the bisque was poured from a porcelain pitcher into the bowl. Very nice presentation.

I followed up with the Beef tenderloin in a velvet sauce which I was told was a very thick balsamic and beef reduction sauce. Lyle had the Lobster au curry, a lobster completely shelled then placed over a saffron and coconut basmati rice then lightly doused with a mild curry sauce. We declared Lyle’s rice a winner, the curry sauce a tad strong and overpowering of the lobster. Delightful to have the lobster out of the shell however. We also declared my beef the winner of the evening. It was amazing. So tender you could have cut it with your fork but I swear I did not.

We chose to forgo dessert as we were mighty full and needed to go to sleep when we got back to our hotel. Then the offered us (well anyone who had eaten dinner, really) two vanilla bean Madeleines each with a pot au Nutella. Lyle had three, I had one.

Mix is located in the top of “The Hotel” at Mandaly Bay. And when I say top, I mean on the 64th floor staring out at “The Hotel” sign in glorious neon on lights. That's "Mix the Nightclub" right under the sign in the dark box windows, and the restaurant is just there on the right with an open air patio along the end. Way to breezy and cold the night we were there for that.

Mix in Las Vegas

The decor seemed to us to be very Phillipe Stark. When we asked, we were told it was the protégé of M. Stark as Phillipe was too expensive. But is was a room of soft white, mirror, and clear glass. The banquets were white leather. The interior booths were space age white bubbles sitting on clear legs. The only color in the whole restaurant décor were the dark red water glasses. This is how we decided it was Phillipe Stark as it reminded up greatly of the Faena hotel in Buenos Aries.
Faena in Buenos Aries

After dinner, we cam straight home to bed.

On Sunday we went to Bouchon for Breakfast. It is done by Thomas Keller of the French Laundry restaurant in Napa Valley. A Crouque Madame for Lyle that came with a side of fried bigger than his head. It was the Bread Pudding French Toast for me which came stacked in a circle surrounded by syrup. We also had to try the Cinnamon Doughnuts with “homemade” Peach jam (or in this case, restaurant made and not in some impersonal factory). All of it delicious.

Lunch was purchased at the Bouchon Bakery and we carried it in and ate it at the show booth. (Ham & cheese croissant for me, Ham and cheese baguette for Lyle, marscapone oreo cookies for dessert.

After work I went to the gym and did a nominal amount of exercise. Lyle had a hot bath in the room. Showered and clean we headed downstairs to see the Phantom of the Opera in the Venetian theater. The show was great. They cut most shows in Las Vegas down to 90 minutes to get you back to the gambling floor. I call it the TIVO version of any great Broadway show. A lot less exposition, a lot less walking on and off the stage. Sing the hits then get to the next hit. Get out.

The theater itself is one of the stars of the show. They’ve recreated the Paris opera house, and I can say it’s done quite well since I’ve seen the original.
There was a strict no photo’s policy inside the theater, so I only got two. They’ll go here as soon as I get that blasted cable.

After the show we had dinner at Delmonico's Steakhouse to continue our celebrity chef tour. Delmonico’s Steak house is owned By Emril Lagasse. I ordered the Butternut Squash Ravioli with Kobe Beef and rock shrimp and Lyle the Blue cheese crusted Filet mignon. Since we were eating at about 9:30 we skipped starters. We did however, order an incredible wine. And as good as the wine was (and it was!) the show we got was even better. The wine was a 1998. Apparently anything 10 years or older gets the star treatment. And since it was January 7, 2008, this wine qualified. First the sommelier comes out with the wine on a cart so as to not jostle the wine to much by all his hand shaking. The bottle was presented to Lyle to verify the right wine, then returned to the cart to a holder that keeps the bottle at a 45 degree angle. Then a corkscrew is applied. All of this is to keep the wine from begin disturbed and stirring up any sediment. After the cork was presented to Lyle and he approved it (not me, what would I know) the wine was decanted in front of a candle. Why the candle (I had to ask)? The candle illuminates the wine as it goes from the bottle to the decanter and allows the sommelier to see if any sediment is creeping up the bottle.

The glorious part of all the show as is happened directly behind my head, was watching all the other dining patrons watch the show and talk amongst themselves about what the hell they were seeing. I kept thinking, have they never seen wine opened before? Then Lyle started to give me a little more color commentary as to what was transpiring behind me and I started to ask all the questions I’ve now answered for you. Once again, that wine was TASTY.

For dessert I had Double fudge chocolate cake with whipped cream and ice cream and Lyle had a Vanilla bean creme brulee. I don’t care how many miles I walked that day, it wasn’t enough.

In bed before midnight.

On Monday we were up and out of the shoot bright and early to get back to the booth set up. Breakfast Monday was a cup of coffee and a croissant from Bouchon Bakery and haul ass to the booth. We would have bought lunch at the same time (same sandwiches as the day before) but they didn’t have them ready yet. So at lunch I got the delightful joy of walking back in to the hotel to pick up lunch to go. (I counted, 550 steps in, same number probably out. So that’s half a mile just to get from the booth to the bakery which is near the elevators. Does not include any other walking to room, bathroom or show floor. That’s half a mile twice a day. You’d think I could eat more)

Then after work, a quick tour of the gym (muttering to myself about not bothering with cardio as I’d already done two miles on the Venetian carpet treadmill) then we were off to see Spamalot at the Wynn hotel across the street. They’ve installed a new skybridge that cut the walk from our room to the hotel down to 15 minutes. Then just 15 minutes to get inside the hotel to the box office. That must be worth another mile or two on the treadmill.

The show was good fun. I think I am not quite enough of a Monty Python fan to get every single reference, but I do love a good Frenchmen farting in your general direction.

After the show we had reservations at Daniel Boulud’s Brasserie. Wow. Amazing food (yes, I took another photo) and an amazing show on the lake and waterfall outside. Anyone can see the show on the waterfall and lake, I think it happens on the hour and half hour. We saw three shows during dinner and each one was different. Very Disney’s Fantasmic meets Las Vegas. Great fun.

This is a youtube video someone else posted that seems to capture soem of the show.

For dinner I started with a pumpkin soup that featured a huckleberry coulis and a marshmallow cream. Yummy! Lyle started with a ceasar salad. We both were interested in the signature hamburger. And asked our server to suggest another dish that we could each have half of then trade and eat the other. She recommended the short ribs. No bone, slow roasted for over 5 hours, those things pulled apart with just a tug of your fork on the edge. Thought the signature hamburger made of ground sirloin, stuffed with short ribs, fois gras and topped with truffles was good, the clear winner tonight was the short ribs.

After all that, I did have dessert of a chocolate molten lava cake. Which sadly, was all gone before I thought to take a picture of.

In bed Monday night, before midnight... well, Lyle anyway. Me? I’m staying up late trying to get this posted online. Here’s a little tip to the Venetian Hotel, son’t call your internet “High speed”. I’ve had dial up modems that went faster. Put a little less money on the front lawn, a little more where the guests need it, in in-room services.


Lewis said...

What we now know, my friend, is that we've all GAINED EXCESSIVE POUNDS just reading your post. Thansk. Thanks a hell of a lot.

The T-Dude said...

Yummy. I'd eat the leftovers you make it all sound so good.

Rachel said...

Criminy that all sounds delicious!