Thursday, May 20, 2010

What Happens in Vegas...

Ends up on my blog!

So Matthew has been on leave, and I've been done with school (though as I write this, we're back to reality, at least on his end). On Friday, May 7th, I graduated. On Saturday, we headed to Vegas. Our trip started out well-- our flight was good, and we were given drink coupons when someone sitting near us found out Matthew would be leaving for Afghanistan in a few weeks. Half way through the flight when Matthew went to the bathroom, the old lady next to me forced a hundred dollar bill in my hand (I tried to resist it too! She was having none of my protestations!) and made me promise to spend it on a great meal with my husband. I got her address, thanked her profusely, and I plan to correspond with her soon. What a wonderful, completely unexpected generosity! We were so delighted by the support we felt from the people on the flight, and throughout the trip when they found out Matthew is a soldier.

We stayed at the Wynn Encore, and MAN, it was gorgeous! It is Steve Wynn's newest place, and it is absolutely GORGEOUS. They have some amazing deals right now too, so if you're looking to stay at an upscale place in Vegas, definitely check it out. My parents loved it (they usually go for the Bellagio), and we did too!

Here is the room we stayed in. This is the most basic, cheapest room...

And by the way, there was a little panel on the bedside table that controlled all the lights and curtains... so you could turn everything off and close the blinds without leaving the bed. GREAT idea! I want one for the house.

We did our share of some penny slots. We go for the more video game-like ones like Jaws, Star Trek, and Wizard of Oz. We had some fun, but of course, didn't win big. I know, we're just as shocked as you are.
We had many toasts-- to Kim and Jay's 20th, to my graduation, to the 1 year anniversary of Frank and Vinnie's departure, to Matthew, and to many other things, of course.

But most of all, we ate. Our first big fancy meal was the tasting menu at Hubert Keller's restaurant Fleur de Lys. I have a deep love for tasting menus, and if I could, that is the way I'd eat every meal (though then I'd be 400 pounds). The following are pictures of our meal at Fleur de Lys. It was fabulous, and fun, and satisfying. The pictures were taken in the dark without flash, so I lightened them here. They may look a little weird, but you'll get the idea.
This was the amuse bouche. Puffed halibut with warm potato salad and cayenne creme fraiche.

Truffled onion soup. Oh, mercy.
(with a braised duck crepe, red wine onion puree, and black truffle)

Ahi Tuna Tartare (with shaved fennel slaw, ginger ponzu, fennel seed tuile). My mom got this option and I tried it- YUM! I'm now a believer in tuna tartare!
Matthew got the chorizo wrapped suzuki sea bass (barley risotto, pipperade, tomato broth).

And I, thank you Jesus (no, really, I am so thankful when I get to taste food like this, that God created taste buds), I got braised veal and yukon gold potato ravioli (with sunchokes and English peas).

My next course was Stout braised beef short ribs 
(with melted leeks, potato puree, house made mustard).
Matthew got prime filet mignon (baby spinach, wild mushrooms, sasify, red wine reduction)
And then came dessert. I got the chocolate souffle. 
Below is my mom's Grand Marnier souffle (like the fleur de lys in the sugar?).
Matthew enjoyed the warm chocolate fondant cake 
with fleur de sel caramel center, and popcorn ice cream.

Spiced carrot and cream cheese ice cream sandwich with pineapple carrot ice cream.

And if we hadn't had enough (we did the wine pairings too...), 
they brought us a dessert from the chef-- lovely.

Um, so all of that was fantastic. And basically, we just kept eating. And eating.
The next night we went to Prime, Jean-Georges Vongerichten's steakhouse at the Bellagio.
I think it is safe to say, for both of us, this ranks as the best steak house experience, and the best steak either of us has eaten. I didn't even document the salad, soup, and sides. I should also say I had the best iceberg wedge salad EVER-- the blue cheese dressing was mind-blowing. 

My filet.
Matthew's bone-in ribeye.
And we had so many other fabulous meals. Our Mother's Day brunch was insane. Just a few things we sampled? A fresh, cold seafood platter, three kinds of ceviche, smoked salmon, a meat and cheese tray, fresh fruit, fresh vegetables, an heirloom tomato caprese salad, tons of desserts, and a complete dessert bar, PLUS we could order as many things off of the menu as we wanted (I ordered french bread pudding and some crazy barbeque eggs benedict). Oh, and there was a grilled meat station which included beef tenderloin, maple glazed pork, chili-rubbed turkey, two kinds of sausage, fire-roasted shrimp, rack of lamb, and prime rib. Needless to say, we were eating our brunch for about 2 hours-- great family time, and we sat next to Steve Wynn, so we felt fancy!

We had a fabulous time, but we were glad to return home and spend a few days hanging out around the house and doing yard work. It was great to get away, but always good to come home! Thanks to the family that was able to come to Vegas and celebrate with us, and thanks to my sweet husband for making the trip SO much fun!


Camille said...

It was so VERY much fun to share this weekend with you! Love you both so much! Your mommy

melissa oholendt said...

That was a bad idea to read your blog before breakfast. HOLY AMAZING. PS...that hotel...holy crap. There are no words!!

jim said...