07 Feb Las Vegas Food & Wine Pairings!
Las Vegas Food & Wine Escapades!
Aaron’s Wine Chronicles arrived on Sunday around noon, February 2nd for some Las Vegas Food & Wine Pairings! As we checked into the JW Marriott Resort & Spa, the desk attendant was having issues checking us in. It was her first day on the job. Actually, it was her first hour of working the desk. So we waited patiently, and we felt for this young lady as she struggled and then asked for help more than different 5 times from her co-worker. Finally, after over 20 minutes at the desk, we received our room keys.
We quickly left our bags in the room and headed out to have some lunch. When we returned, we had a nice surprise awaiting us back in our room. It included a note from the desk attendant with an apology for the check-in issues. We were very impressed to say the least! The tray included a really tasty charcuterie plate with various meats, cheeses, fruit, fig jam and crackers. In addition, the wine was a Napa Valley Merlot from William Hill. A perfect way to relax before our week in Vegas.
Wolfgang Puck’s – Lupo at Mandalay Bay
Walking through the maze of malls and casinos, we found Wolfgang Puck’s Lupo at Mandalay Bay. Lupo specializes in Italian cuisine. Since we had two hours before seeing the Blue Man Group perform, we enjoyed a hearty Italian meal. The house made artisan bread board was amazing. It included ciabatta and onion focaccia with olive tapenade and sweet butter. The wine we chose was a 2018 Daou Cabernet Sauvignon from Paso Robles, CA. It was a nice California Cabernet Sauvignon, with ripe fruit and some layering as it washed across my palate. The finish was enjoyable but it was young and needs a few years to bottle age. It paired nicely with our main entrées.
The Food Experience!
For dinner, I enjoyed the Bucatini Carbonara with crisp guanciale, cracked black pepper, a farm fresh egg, and fior di sardo. My wife had her standard spaghetti with hand-made veal meatballs. For dessert, I had to order the Tiramisu, and it was fantastic. Coffee soaked ladyfingers with mascarpone crème. My wife had the Vanilla Zeppole. Italian doughnuts with raspberry coulis. This was really decadent. What a great dinner!
Sinatra’s at the Encore – Wynn Las Vegas
Our next dinner was shared with friends. They had visited this restaurant many times in the past and were sure we would love it. And love it we did! This place is filled with Sinatra memorabilia and photographs, and the air is filled with Frank’s music. If you’re a Sinatra or Rat Pack fan, you’ll really enjoy the ambiance at this restaurant. The menu was filled with classic Italian dishes. This would be a true measure of sampling some of the best Las Vegas Food and Wine! But our first order of business was to pick a wine. The Sommelier allowed us some tastings of a Barolo but it just didn’t impress us. We instead chose a Washington wine that we knew would be perfect. It was the DeLille Cellars 2016 D2 Columbia Valley Red Wine. It paired nicely with our entrées!
The Food Experience!
After enjoying the warm bread and olive oil with balsamic vinegar, we shared a delicious appetizer. The Carpaccio di Manzo was thinly sliced beef tenderloin, salsa verde, shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano, baby arugula, and a lemon vinaigrette. For our dinners, I enjoyed the Tortelloni di Zucca. It consisted of butternut squash tortelloni, brown butter, sage, Parmigiano-Reggiano, and amaretto sauce. My wife loved the Ravioli di Anatra. This dish comprised braised duck filled ravioli and a foie gras emulsion. Both entrées were absolutely delicious!
The night would not be complete without dessert and an after dinner libation. So I ordered the Tiramisu (two nights in a row baby)! It was really nice. My wife ordered the Frutti di Bosco. This came with seasonal berries, mango-agave syrup, and passion fruit sorbetto. As we finished our desserts, my friend Joel and I decided to have a glass of Port. We chose the 40-year aged Sandeman’s Old Tawny Porto! It was exactly what we needed to finish off this fantastic feast. We are truly indebted to Mr. Joel Harrison for arranging this fine dinner!
Gordon Ramsay Steak – The Paris
Our last gourmet dinner from “Heaven” was at Gordon Ramsay Steak at the Paris. It was time for the ultimate Las Vegas food & wine pairings! We had been looking forward to this experience for a very long time. My last time here was on a business trip 4 years ago, and I loved everything about this place. As we were seated, we noticed the place was rather empty. This meant we’d get more attention from the server and the Sommelier! I took full advantage. My wine discussion with the Sommelier was educational and inspiring. My choice for our dinner was the Caymus-Suisun 2017 Grand Durif. We requested it be decanted, and I’m sure this helped open up the wine. This was a young but really amazing California Petite Sirah. We both loved this wine! The pairing with our entrées was simply unbelievable.
The Food Experience!
The house bread was fantastic. We almost could have eaten 3 servings of bread with our wine and been satisfied! But wait. There’s more! I ordered the 8 oz. American Wagyu Ribeye Cap. It had amazing marbling and exquisite tenderness. It was topped with succulent Alaskan King Crab and served over asparagus spears. I ordered some Béarnaise sauce as well. My wife ordered the 8 oz. American Wagyu Filet. So tender you didn’t need a knife. For a side dish, we had the baked Mac & Cheese. It included gruyere, white cheddar, parmesan, emmental, gouda, and ham & pea gratin.
As if this wasn’t sufficient for our ultra petite bodies, we forged on with dessert! I ordered the Apple Tart. It consisted of roasted granny smith apples, frangipane, brown butter cream, cinnamon, and vanilla ice cream. It was orgasmic, plain and simple. My wife ordered the Sticky Toffee Pudding. This dessert included sweet pudding cake, brown sugar toffee, and brown butter ice cream. As we wrapped up our sinful pleasures, the Sommelier had a surprise for us. He gave us a complimentary glass of an Italian dessert wine that was not on the menu! This non-vintage Italian Imported dessert wine was from Pio Cesare. The Barolo Chinato was a Nebbiolo-based dessert wine that was the perfect ending to a perfect meal!
Casa Fuente Cigar Lounge – Caesar’s Palace
After so much food, it became obvious we needed to get some steps in to counter our caloric intake! What better place than the Vegas Strip to get some steps? So we headed out to Caesar’s Palace. Our destination was Casa Fuente Cigar Lounge. We enjoyed our evening stroll on the strip. As luck would have it, we found Hell’s Kitchen, another iconic Gordon Ramsay restaurant.
Once inside Caesar’s we headed for Casa Fuente. This was a nice cigar lounge offering primarily Arturo Fuente cigars. I ended up having an Arturo Fuente Double Chateau while my wife had a smaller, more mild Ashton cigar. Her libation was a Cadillac Margarita with Silver Patron and Cointreau. Mine was a Glenmorangie 18-year extremely rare, single malt scotch over rocks. This truly is the Good Life!