Tuesday, November 23, 2004

olives vegas

final day in vegas was spent exclusively at bellagio, which is less like lake como as they tout it to be (snort), and more like a steroidal vision of a (W)WMD (what would martha do/weapons of mass decoration) interior designer run amok. vegas for crafters. not that it's a bad thing.

i've only ever eaten at café gelato, which seriously has the best gelato i've ever had in the west, but other restaurants in the hotel have had good reviews from friends and family. since me mum is still in recovery mode, buffets have been out of the question--too much walking, too much food. we decided to eat at olives, which actually does not have an la outpost, although there are several others around the world. the restaurant is owned by todd english, whom i knew from an appearance on the ill-advised iron chef america. despite that, i went. it's also a good thing i didn't read the website before i went, as his online bio and the site's self-aggrandizing comments makes him seem way too sexy for his toque. bleah. i'm almost annoyed that it was a damn. fine. meal. fantastic, actually.

the restaurant is sort of sexy--dark woods, wrought iron, golden lighting and fabrics in black and olive green (of course). and as we were seated, we were asked (once again) what cocktail we'd like, but settled on water. a basket of breads and crackers was set down, with a dish not containing butter, but green and black olives, and green and black olive tapenade. i am rather sensi to olives, so i didn't try them, but the breads were wonderful. each was just a little cube so you could try different ones without filling up--there was a parmesan cracker, onion loaf, walnut, and olive oil bread.

almost immediately, we were brought our starter, a fig and prosciutto flatbread--rosemary dough "pizza" with fig and balsamic jam, prosciutto, and gorgonzola. a nice balance of salty, sweet, savoury, and earthy flavours. the crust was light and crisp, the figs small and intense, and the prosciutto fresh and flavourful.

we loved every bit of the flatbread and looked forward to our entrees. and looked and looked. it took another 20 minutes before they arrived, with no explanation. good thing we still had the bread. finally, the food.

i don't remember all the elements involved, so bear with me. mmm. seared ahi tuna with a salad of baby greens, tomatoes, and avocadoes, topped with fried sweet potato strings.

mmmm. grilled swordfish sandwich on grilled challah with aioli, served with potato chips flavoured with a gremolata made from lemon, lemon peel, parsley, garlic and olive oil.

mmmmm. seared grouper on a bed of roasted tomato sauce, arancini fried rice cakes made from risotto, and topped with an orange and shaved baby fennel salad.

we ended the meal by sharing a roasted pineapple tart, made from a generous chunk of roasted fresh pineapple on a puff pastry base, topped with a coconut cream sorbet, and garnished with passionfruit caramel and a paper thin slice of dessicated pineapple. aaaaaaaah.

a perfect meal to finish out our stay. what made it slightly more perfect was that as we were walking out, we decided to try our luck at the slots--on a $10 investment and several pulls on the one-armed bandit, we managed to make back all the money spent on lunch and just a little more.

at bellagio
3600 las vegas blvd south
las vegas nv 89109


SiaoChaBoa said...

Ahhh.. i so remember.. Bellagio in Las Vegas.. :) Thank you for bringing back fond memories.. :)
Todd English is very good looking.. and unassuming.. i had the pleasure of meeting him.. many years ago.. in some hotel function.. :)
And for someone who didn't want alot of food.. sure had some good ones.. ;)
And i'm glad yer lunch was paid by the one-arm bandit.. for i must have contributed quite a bit.. when i was last in Vegas.. ;)

Reid said...

Hi Santos,

Looks like you're having a good time in Vegas. How nice that Lady Luck was on your side. =) When I was last in Vegas, all I did was eat at the deli at the Venetian, get some Krispy Kremes and some In-N-Out Burger(s).