A Vice of One's Own

Volume 7, Issue 209; 13 Dec 2004; last modified 08 Oct 2010

Pick a vice, any vice.

In Las Vegas, you can spend extravagantly on anything you like: gambling, sex, booze, food. We chose food.

Our first stop was Michael Mina (formerly Aqua) in the Bellagio. A tasting menu is a wonderful thing. Hamachi Carpaccio with toro tartare, shaved radishes, and Tobiko caviar accompanied by J. L. Wolf Reisling, Pechstein, Pfalz, 2002. Langoustine and Lobster Ravioli with a bouillabaisse sauce and braised fennel accompanied by Torres “Viña Esmerelda”, Penedes, Spain 2003. Miso-Glazed Chilean Sea Bass (twinge of guilt there) with mushroom consommé and shrimp ravioli accompanied by Ramey Chardonnay, Russian River Valley, 2001. Medallion of Ahi Tuna (Rare) with seared Hudson Valley foie gras and a Pinot Noir sauce accompanied by Siduri Pinot Noir, Santa Lucia Highlands, 2002. The desert was a small sampler of sweet, tasty nibbles accompanied by Weltevrede Muscat de Hambourg, Robertson, South Africa, 1999.

Next, Delmonico Steakhouse in the Venetian. This is Emeril Lagasse's latest Vegas venture. Good. Very good. The finest steak I've had set in front of me in ages. I'd have been a lot happier though, if they'd avoided that most common of American restaurant errors: absurd portion sizes. I'm sorry, I'm not really capable of eating a steak that's bigger than my head. But they had a proper souffle on the menu, so all is forgiven.

Finally, Lutece also in the Venetian. Also with a proper souffle. Three words: black truffle risotto. And a fabulous looking tasting menu, but not on the third night. In a row, anyway. But wonderful.