Wednesday, January 31, 2007

A Day in Vegas

The Tasmanian Ocean Trout at left from Social House in Treasure Island on the Strip in Vegas is to attract your attention enough for further reading about my day and evening here in the "the city that never sleeps."

Driving from Tucson to Vegas was spur of the moment happenstance, predicated by a rainy weather forecast from my original San Diego destination.

I neither gamble nor really understand the rationale of those multitudes who risk substantial capital on ventures in which they know full well the odds are working against them. You might think my reason for coming to Vegas was just to eat, but not really. I was there every bit as much for a lot of healthy walking between as many renowned restaurants as possible just to check out what was happening. All told, I'm certain that I walked over ten miles in a town where walking a mile can be realistic in the course of trying to find the exit of a casino.

The scale is overwhelming. First stop was at MGM Grand outside "chef of the century" Joel Robuchon at the Mansion. It wasn't open yet, so I just stood near the entrance and gawked. Anticipating that the names of menu selections would be available on the Internet, I didn't write anything down, but made a mental note of two tasting menus, one for six courses, another for sixteen courses, at $225 per person and $395 per person respectively. Next to the Mansion was Chef Robuchon's less formal L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon, where a "large seasonal salad" could be had for $28. Other culinary icons with comparable presence here on the Strip include Thomas Keller, Daniel Boulud, Charlie Palmer, Tom Moloney, Guy Savoy, and a lot more.

Here are a few of the great restaurants---excluding steakhouses--- where you should expect to pay over $50 for your entree alone: The Tillerman; Jasmine, Le Cirque; Michael Mina; Picasso; Prime: Nero's; Restaurant Guy Savoy; Aureole; Fleur de Lys; Mix; Restaurant RM; Nobhill; Seablue; Alize; AquaKnox; Zefferino Ristorante; Alex; Bartolotta Ristorante di Maro; Daniel Boulud Brasse