Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Waking Up in Vegas

Shawn and I have both been to Las Vegas separately and have always wanted to go back together – this February we decided to grab a great flight deal and re-discover the city. I have to say, as much fun as Vegas can be, it sure is tiring! I came back exhausted (and really sick), although I can’t help but wonder if all those people with drinks so large they needed a neck strap were worse for the wear!

Our home base for this trip was Paris Las Vegas. It’s an older property and is showing some wear and tear, but we had a nice, comfortable and clean room so we’ve got no complaints. It’s a great location and the staff were all really nice to deal with.

I had hoped to spend the week trying all sorts of California wines, but I was surprised that a lot of the restaurants we tried didn’t have the greatest wine lists. Right now, cocktails seem to be super hot in Vegas and that’s just fine with me. I did have some good glasses of wine during our stay, but I was happy to switch to a margarita when that made more sense.

Hell's Kitchen Burger
We had some great meals in Vegas, but the best was at BurGR. This is Gordon Ramsay’s newest Vegas restaurant and they specialize in burgers, as the name implies. Nothing disappointing here – Shawn swears the Hell’s Kitchen burger was the best he’s ever eaten (and he’s kind of a burger connoisseur), the truffle fries were to die for and I really enjoyed my chicken wings. I opted for one of their fancy whisky drinks (the cocktail menu is super fun) and Shawn went with beer.

We were almost too full for dessert, but I couldn’t resist trying the push pops with peanut butter ice cream and layers of sticky toffee pudding. Quite possibly the best dessert I’ve ever had – not too much, incredible flavours and who doesn’t love a push pop? I wish we could have eaten here every night. 

Truffle Fries

Mr. Ramsay
Chicken Wings

Another great night out was at The Pub in the Monte Carlo. It used to be an actual brewery (production has since moved to another location) and they have a beer menu that would thrill any fan. It’s pages and pages of brews from around the world and they offer a fantastic beer tasting menu. I opted for a margarita and let Shawn pick out interesting beers to his heart’s content. He went with the local sampler and really enjoyed trying all the different Nevada options. Our server was extremely knowledgeable about the beers and was super friendly, which made the experience so much nicer.

Bread Pudding
Shawn raved about his wiener schnitzel, but I didn’t love my entrée. I think I just made a bad selection, as I’ve read the other food reviews and they’re all pretty great. Dessert, however, was fabulous. They definitely know their bread pudding. This is another one we’d go back to again.

Wiener Schnitzel
Shrimp Po'Boy

Hob Nob Pinot

We opted to try Mon Ami Gabi in Paris for our big night out and we were very happy with that selection. The food was fantastic (I had chicken, Shawn had steak, both were delicious) and they have an extensive wine menu. It was super hard to pick, but I went with a Mon Ami Gabi Chardonnay, as I was interested in how the restaurant’s own wine would be, and Shawn had a Hob Knob Pinot Noir, which he really enjoyed. Nothing fancy, but both wines were good food pairing options.

Truffle Mac and Cheese
The best wine I had was at Gordon Ramsay’s Pub & Grill in Caesar’s Palace. I had a Riesling, which I believe was from Washington. For maybe the first time ever, I forgot to put the name of the wine in my phone and now I’m kicking myself because it was definitely the best wine I had on our trip. The Pub doesn’t have their menu online, so I guess I’ll just have to hope I stumble upon this one again. Lesson learned. I had the mac and cheese (incredible) and Shawn had the sliders (very good). I wish we’d brought bigger appetites because the food was stellar and our server was excellent.



Huevos Rancheros at Cabo Wabo
Other food/drink highlights: Breakfast at Cabo Wabo Cantina (although the service was so slow it almost negated the great food), drinks at Margaritaville (what a fun place to waste away a few hours), Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar (great band, great drinks, super slow service) and Carnegie Deli at Mirage (pricy, but the food was really good).

Fun things we did: Kiss Mini-Golf (a great way to spend an hour – staff are fabulous and this was just so fun), Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay (small, but well done), Freemont Street Experience (Shawn was brave enough to go ziplining and declared it a fantastic experience). There are so many other things, but those two stood out as big winners for us.

Vegas was a blast. I’m not sure I need to go back for awhile, but I’m glad we got to take a break from this Toronto winter and indulge in some great food, wine, shopping and fun.

1 comment:

Craig Kuziemsky said...

Great insights Krista. Some friends and I are going to Vegas in late April for the Wine Spectator Grand Tour so we'll definitely use this as a guide.