While we were playing in the event at the Rio Hotel and Casino, my wife and daughter and her two children (grandchildren), Mia and Nicholas, enjoyed the pool at the Bellagio Hotel. We all had a terrific time, especially Mia and Nicholas. The food was quite good, although the wine lists at most of the restaurants at the Bellagio left a bit to be desired.
|Chilean Sea Bass|
Michael Mina – Bellagio Hotel
On Tuesday evening (WSOP day off) after we all went to the Cirque Du Soleil show “Zarkana” at the Aria Hotel, Carol and I took our son-in-law Andy for a birthday dinner at Michael Mina, where we had a very enjoyable meal. The restaurant also had the best wine list of the restaurants we ate at during our stay at the Bellagio. I began with a glass of 2013 Cantina Terlano Pinot Grigio, DOC. Terlano, a wine cooperative in Alto Adige, Italy makes some of the most amazing white wines I have ever tasted. This wine, like all of their wines, is produced from a manual harvest and selection of the grapes; gentle whole cluster pressing and clarification of the must by natural sedimentation; slow fermentation at a controlled temperature in stainless steel tanks, and aged on the lees in steel tanks for 5-7 months. It was crisp, clean with a bracing acidity and a terrific finish. A great value at under $20 a bottle. Wine Searcher.
With dinner we enjoyed a terrific bottle of 2009 Domaine Des Comtes Lafon Volnay. Made from young vines in Santenots, the fruit was glorious and danced on the palate before finishing with length and elegance. $86. Wine Searcher. Our dinner choices included, Hamachi Sashimi, Ponzu Glaze, Yuzu Vinaigrette, Micro Shiso; Phyllo Crusted DoverSole, Crab Brandade; Colorado Rack of Lamb, Glazed Ricotta Gnudi, Tagine Vegetables, Lamb Jus and New York Strip Steak with Mashed Potatoes. Each dish was prepared and presented with exceptional culinary skill.
|Phyllo Crusted Dover Sole|
My son-in-law Nick and I were still alive on Wednesday, day two of the WSOP, which meant we would have a 90 minute dinner break at the Rio Hotel. We decided to test the claim made by Steve Martorano, owner/chef of Martorano’s Restaurant, regarding his old-school Italian food and “the best meatball in town. I must say I was impressed with my Spaghetti and Meatballs. The meatball (enormous in size) was moist, tender and very tasty. It had the right balance of wet bread to meat making it very good indeed. The spaghetti was cooked al dente and the tomato sauce was the real deal. Nick opted for Eggplant Parmesan, every morsel of which he finished. Since we were still playing poker, I opted for a single glass of a 2010 Dr. Loosen Riesling that I enjoyed very much. It had a very good balance of alcohol and residual sugar. On the palate it was clean and focused. An outstanding value at around $12 a bottle. Wine Searcher.
On Thursday evening we all went to the Cirque Du Soleil show “O” at the Bellagio. A very enjoyable show, although I enjoyed the Cirque Du Soleil show “Zarkana” a bit more. After the show we all went to Fix next door for a light late night dinner. The restaurant focuses on American classics such as Buffalo wings and Angus Beef Sliders, both of which went great with ice-cold beer.
Jasmine – Bellagio Hotel
Friday, our last evening in Vegas, found us at Jasmine where we had the highlight meal of the week. This upscale Cantonese, Szechwan and Hunan restaurant offers a spectacular view to the famous Fountains Water Show at the Bellagio as well as some of the most authentic and delicious Chinese food I have ever tasted. In combination with terrific wine and food service, we all enjoyed ourselves very much.
Hot and Sour Soup. I believe it was Craig Claiborne who said the indication of a great Chinese restaurant is if they know how to make Hot and Sour Soup. My experience over the years is consistent with Mr. Claiborne’s claim. I am a fanatic for this spicy soup and the preparation at Jasmine was equal to any I have had before, a perfect balance of spices and heat. I knew after just one spoonful that we were in store for a great meal.
My family loves Vegetable Spring Rolls. Those served at Jasmine, (no photo) were greaseless, crunchy and exuding flavor. They were served with a Sweet Hawthorn Berry Sauce. A double order was quickly gone.
Mia and Nicholas thoroughly enjoyed their favorite Chinese dish, Chicken with Broccoli in a brown sauce. While this was not a menu item, the restaurant quickly accommodated their wish for the dish. Their dad happily dug into Wok Fried Prime Beef Filet with Black Pepper Sauce and Bok Choy. A meat and potatoes guy, he did not leave a morsel on his plate. Sorry no photos of either dish.
Additional main courses we enjoyed included scrumptious Crispy Walnut Prawns. The giant prawns were prepared with a delicious and crispy coating and topped with Honey-Glazed Walnuts. The dish was a combination of amazing flavors and textures.
A perfectly cooked Chilian Sea Bass with Shiitake mushrooms in a Ginger Soy and Far Dew Wine sauce. An order of Vegetable LoMein complemented both dishes to perfection.
|Viva Las Vegas!!!|