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Real, raw, & relatable me. Enthusiastic food & lifestyle blogger living in Vancouver, BC!

Category: Nevada State

Bellagio, Las Vegas

My girl friend and I visited Vegas recently, and based on another friend’s suggestion, made “The Bellagio” our destination. It ss known for its whimsical water fountain that shoots streams of water in tune to music. It’s a free show that has made it on to the list of many sightseers.

Inside, the hotel is associated with its glass blown lobby centre piece. A field of bloomed flowers with light shining through their glass petal. It covered the entire skylight that loomed over a floral samurai on horse back that was themed to match their conservatory and indoor garden space.

In time for the spring and the Japanese Sakura festival this space was themed with Japanese culture. You enter by walking under two pink gates adored with cherry blossoms, with giant sparrows suspended over head.

On the right, two giant automated cranes that flapped their wings and chirped in a garden with running. Next to it was a wooden bird cage with real song birds calling it home. On the left, giant urns wrapped in flower petals stood tall and poured out water into a pound of koi fish.

At the centre of this scene a Japanese castle lit in neon at night. Surrounding it a garden of spring blooms like tulips and pansies.

For our accommodations saved $50 per night by opting for a suite without a view. And a good thing too, as we really didn’t stay in our hotel room all that much.

For our last meal in Vegas we brunched at the “Sadelle’s”. A pastel blue restaurant with blue chairs and pink booths. Most memorable were the pink dessert carts that functioned both as decor and a visual menu for point and ordering.

We had their take on traditional breakfast cocktails to start. I had their “Green Mary”, their twist on the Bloody Mary made with green tomatillo juice. They also offered the “Ghost of Mary”, a Bloody Mary made with infused horseradish vodka, with no tomato juice this was a clear drink, hence the name. I ordered the green option for novelty sake. It was a pretty drink, but lacked flavour: watery with cucumber undertones. There was no spice and nothing but the garnish reminded me of the traditional cocktail. My guest had the “Blood orange mimosa”, a mix of sparking wine and tangy blood orange juice.

For food I had their Belgian waffle. A light and fluffy round that was pressed with their signature “S” logo in cursive. It comes plain with sides of creamed butter, maple syrup, and whipped cream for self dressing. I also added some mixed berries for colour and freshness for extra.

My guest had the “Eggs Benedict”. Poached egg and hollandaise over a toasted and crispy English muffin. For $2 more she swapped the ham for smoked salmon. This was one of the better, if not best egg Bennys that I have had. Everything was fresh. Buttery smooth, messy, and oh so good with the sauce.

But my favourite dish and our most frivolous order from “Sadelle” was their specialty, a “grapefruit cocktail” for $12. Not a drink, but half a large grapefruit with the fruit peeled from
the rind and the pith carefully removed. The grapefruit flesh was sprinkled over with sugar and torched to caramelization. Sour, sweet, and zesty with the mint. A great start to the day, and a better end to a long night of drinking.

Overall, a lovely stay at a lovely hotel. Plenty of great restaurants to dine at, even more to see on the casino floor, and central to the strip with easy walking distance to plenty. If there weren’t so many great hotels to visit and stay at, I would definitely return for my next over night stay.

For more on our stay at the Bellagio, and all that we got into in Vegas, check out my latest vlog, now up on my YouTube channel: MaggiMei.

 

BELLIGIO
3600 S Las Vegas Blvd
Las Vegas, NV 89109
702-693-7111
bellagio.mgmresorts.com

Wynn Hotel, Vegas

Sinatra Restaurant, Parasol Down~

My girl friend is a big fan of Frank Sinatra; the American singer, actor, and producer who was one of the most popular and influential musical artists of the 20th century. He made a mark
in Vegas as a member of the “Rat Pack”. So when visiting Vegas with her, we made sure to visit his name sake restaurant at the “Encore at the Wynn”.

The “Wynn” was one of the nicer hotels we visited. It is actually two hotels in one, connected to one another by meandering pathways. I enjoyed exploring the space. And my girl friend enjoyed its classic decor with its butterfly motif. Colourful wings on tiled floors, embroidered carpet, and fluttering across curtains and wall art.

At the threshold of our dinner destination was a collection of Sinatra memorabilia on loan from the family. Historic photos of Sinatra and Audrey Hepburn, Sinatra winning awards and the prized records he won them from. Inside they kept up the motive with large photos of the celebrity on the walls, his music playing over head, and movies from his time period broadcasting over the bar.

The menu was also well stocked with Sinatra references. It won my guest over with their Have it “my way”, Jack Daniel Sinatra select. This was a limited release, 90 proof special barreling of “Jack Daniels Whiskey”. The very brand that Sinatra helped to put on the map, when he declared it “nectar of the gods” in the late 80’s. This was just one of the factual tidbits that our knowledgeable and friendly server offered up to us. The menu described the whisky as having “smooth bold flavours that embody the character of the man himself”. We found the drink strong, needing water to chase. But at $45 a glass I was determined to not let a drop go to waste.

Our dinner began with an amuse bouche. A scoop of “Pea Panna Cotta with a Parmesan crumb”. An easy to eat spoonful that was light and crunchy, with only a faint flavour of vegetable.

It was followed by a basket of bread served with a basil, blossom, and salt butter. Rosemary focaccia, Ciabatta, and Olive baguette. However I didn’t eat much of it given the large entree portions below. They were plentiful, with the price matching the quantity and quality.

My guest ordered the “Lobster risotto” with parsnip purée, fine herbs, fennel sprouts, and parsnip crisp. It was rich in lobster flavour, and buttery throughout. Although my guest did encounter a shard of lobster shell in her mouth.

I too went the seafood route, ordering “Frank’s spaghetti & clams in a tomato garlic broth”. What I expected was a plate of noodles and a handful of clam in shells. In reality there was just as much clams as there were firm noodles. I estimated this at 45 clams. Together they dominated the dish, and began to overwhelm with the one flavour mid way, having me crave a side to break things up with. And in the end I was unable to finish my serving.

We made our reservation mentioning that we were celebrating an occasion and were treated to a welcome card, a celebratory tiramisu dessert, and a keepsake post card each. These extra little touches really made the evening memorable, elevating our visit with plenty of surprise. Similarly, I have never had more attentive service, standing at the ready. Ready to refill your glass. Ready to pass you a new dish for your clam shells. Ready to pick up your napkin when it falls on the floor.

And lastly there was one more surprise to follow. Another platter of desserts to close out our meal on a sweet note. It included a tangy and sweet lemon meringue tart. A Jack Daniels infused coffee dark chocolate, with a rich smokey coffee flavour. A bite of pistachio and amarena cherry cake. And a hazelnut biscuit that was buttery like a sugar cookie.

After dinner we made our way from “Encore” to “Wynn”, stopping to take a photo of metallic Popeye in front of “Wynn Theatre” with red glittery butterflies flying above.

This was then followed by a full photo shoot of their indoor garden. An artificial wooded clearing of green canopies hung with lights and strung with floral bobbles.

There was also a hot air balloon decorated with flowers and its basket filled with luxury goods.

And an ever rotating carousel that was crafted with even more blossoms.

We eventually found ourselves at “Parasol Down”’a bar named after the red, orange, and yellow umbrellas that hung above it. It was as whimsical as all the other curated decor pieces above. Located at the bottom of two escalators it looked like a cabaret stage.

But we choose to have our drink outside on their adjacent patio. This was a heated area overlooking a stone wall in the middle of still water. Using a projector and a sound track, it mimicked a water fall.

And every 30 minutes a visual and musical show would play. We would only stay for two to confirm they were different each time.

Given the local and its name, we ordered the “The Pear-a-sol”. Stolichnaya gluten free vodka, St. George spiced pear, St. Germain elderflower liquors, pear purée, house made vanilla infusing, and fresh lemon juice. And with it, we sat and sip in this quiet and still setting, hidden within the hustle and bustle of an ever waking hotel.

This is the hotel for those who like a classy setting. A more upscale and vintage experience of Vegas. I will definitely make every effort to visit the “Wynn” again on my next Vegas excursion.

For more on all the fun to be had in Vegas, check out my latest vlog as we test out some drinking aids.

 

WYNN LAS VEGAS AND ENCORE HOTEL
3131 Las Vegas Blvd. South
Las Vegas, NV 89109
702-770-7000
wynnlasvegas.com

The Cosmopolitan Hotel, Vegas

Egg Slut, Milk Bar, Pok Pok, and Chandelier Lounge~

When visiting Vegas this April, “Egg Slut” made it on to both my and my travel buddy’s lists. So we made sure to make our way to “The Cosmopolitan Hotel” to check it out.

The name “Egg Slut” alone peaked our curiosity, and the line for breakfast at 10am had us convinced of our decision. This was one of many well known restaurants that have set up shop at this funkier, modern hotel-casino.

We first noticed it by its lengthy line. A yellow stanchion corralled everyone from the cash desk up front, all the way down the side of their compact space. Given the popularity and the speed in which they operated we were inclined to wait. Although they do offer breakfast all day, and after the lunching hour they slow down with no wait time. So if you can hold off your morning cravings, I suggest them for a great happy hour or snack option.

Their menu is posted around the corner and by the register. Sandwiches, sides, beverages, and their speciality. You have plenty of time to make your choice.

Naturally I gravitated towards the “Slut”, for its name. This was a “cage-free coddle egg on top of house made potato purée, cooked and served in a glass jar topped with gray salt and chives”. You enjoy it with slices of baguette like spread on bread. This was a creative way to enjoy eggs, potato, and toast; familiar friends of breakfast. Both the potato whip and the creamy egg melted in your mouth. They were buttery, light, and delicious; but left you wanting more. Something more fulsome to start your day on.

But if you are only getting one thing, I would recommend it be one of their breakfast sandwiches. We had the “Sausage, egg, and cheese sandwich” made with house made turkey sausage, cage free over medium egg, cheddar cheese, and honey mustard aioli; all in a warm brioche bun. It was a decent breakfast sandwich, but sadly over hyped for me. It was great with lean and zesty seasoned sausage, a perfectly runny egg, bread with a croissant-like texture, and a tasty sauce to bind them all together. But nothing truly unique. Nice to help cure a hang over, and tasty in a pinch if you don’t have to wait to long to get your hands on one. But for a burger you take 5 minutes to eat, I would be just as happy with an A&W breakfast sandwich made with their real organic Canadian eggs done sunny side.

There aren’t many seating options with “Egg Slut’s” open space. A bar with high tops, giving you a view of their cooking station. Everything was sat, and this isn’t the type of breakfast you can walk and eat.

So lucky for us the hotel has carved out an additional seating area across from them, themed to “Alice in Wonderland”. Large rabbit statues, playing card wall paper, chairs with rabbit ears, seats shaped like cracked eggs, and a caterpillar with a hookah photo op.

This was a whimsical and fun place to enjoy your “Egg Slut” breakfast, a healthy drink from “The Juice Stand”, ice cream from “Milk Bar”, or wings from “Pok Pok”. All of which we took the time to visit as well.

We powered up with some “Bee Excellent” nut milk from “The Juice Stand”. This was a blue drink that you shook up for a thick grey-green consistency. Made with filtered coconut, coconut water, raw cashew, spirulina (which gives it its blue hue), raw agave, and vanilla bean. For $15 it promises you a wealth off nutrients in this custom nut milk.

From “Milk Bar” I tried their seasonal soft serve flavour, a red velvet twisted with their cereal milk. And given a choice of toppings I choose the “crunchy fruity cereal” for its crispy texture and colourful appearance.

From “Pok Pok” I had to try “Ike’s world famous chicken wings” seasoned in fish sauce. They were so good that I ate all six full wings, from drumlet to wing tip, myself.

As a foodie, all the above made this one of the more memorable hotels. I was delighted by all the trendy food options, and would love to come back to try “Momofuku”, “Lardo”; and “District” for cult favourite doughnuts, sliders, and brews.

We did find our way back to “The Cosmo” later that afternoon for some pre dinner drinks. We couldn’t pass up enjoying their “Chandelier Lounge” that wasn’t fully open at 11am. This was a three storey bar that centred the casino, all draped in strings of crystal bead, and lit in a neon purple light. You drink within this sparkling curtain, claiming one of the many loungers. Each floor has its own menu, with its own operating hours. The bottom bar is on the casino floor and open for service 24/7.

The top floor, “The Chandelier” opens at 5pm. Here we enjoyed the “Champagne socialist” made with St. George spiced pear, Madagascar vanilla liqueur, citrus, coconut chai syrup, and bubbles.

We sipped until “The Chandelier 1.5”, the middle level, opened at 6pm. Here we had their Alice in Wonderland themed cocktail: “We’re all mad here”. A colour changing beverage with some assembly required. Empress indigo gin, St. Germain elderflower, soho lychee, lemon juice, apple rose water, and Chardonnay cardamom ginger syrup. It arrives in three parts. The drinking glass with ice sphere and a dyed dehydrated pineapple slice moulded to look like a mushroom. A “drink me vial in blue”, and a miniature carafe in a murky white hue. Mixing the latter two concoctions together gives you a pinky brew.

This was just a snippet of what you can try, see and do at “The Cosmo”. In the future I would definitely enjoy staying here over night.

 

For more on Vegas and the fun to be had, check out my latest drinking vlog, where we test out anti-hangover aids.

 

THE COSMOPOLITAN OF LAS VEGAS
3708 Las Vegas Boulevard South
Las Vegas, NV 89109
702-698-7000
cosmopolitanlasvegas.com

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