Thursday, July 17, 2014

Day 2 in Las Vegas

So, the 10th of July was our first real day this year in Las Vegas and our real anniversary.  Ten years ago from that day, we were married at 2pm on a hot summer day.  The wedding was at St. Raymond's, downtown in St. Louis, but then our photos with the wedding party, were at the Botanical Garden, in the heat and sun.  I think it got to 100 degrees or so that day and while my wife was in multiple layers with her dress, myself and my groomsmen were also in multiple layers of shirts, vests and jackets.  Now, just like 10 years ago, we are spending the time in Las Vegas, also in 100 degree plus weather.

For the day, we went over to the Planet Hollywood Casino and mall.  We had to drop off a refill inventory or my jewelry to be sold at Club Tattoo in the Miracle Mile shops and while in there, we stopped for lunch at a place called the Earl of Sandwich.  I've never eaten there, but the food seemed very familiar.

My sandwich was a toasted BLT with avocado.  It was nice, silky, fatty and salty.  It was warm and crunchy and herby.  It had all of the good parts of the pieces like the crispy and saltiness of the bacon, the fatty and creamy-ness of the avocado and the juiciness.  I'd give the place and their sandwich a 3 out of 5 stars.  It was good, almost very good, but not awesome good.

For our night out to celebrate, we happened upon the best kept secret in Las Vegas.  Hidden inside of the Cosmopolitan is an experience called Rose.Rabbit.Lie.  RRL, is a complete experience.  Upon entry, you are brought past the host station to a room with 4 doors.  The room is void of design or interest and these 4 large doors look imposing.  The host picks a door and opens it and you enter a themed room.  We sat in The Music Room, and it was a room with a large piano, bar and few booths lining the wall.  The walls are made of frosted glass windows and helped divide the room and keep it separate but when there is a small show, in each of these four rooms, the windows retract all of the way down into a half wall and allow the patrons in each room to see through and access the others.

So, we sat down at a booth/table and were greeted by our server, Patrick.  We had no complaints with our server at all.  Patrick was nice, just the right amount of talkative (not too much and not too little).  He was very knowledgeable about everything on the menu, everything about the venue and even the drinks.  It was like getting a dining room manager as a server.  Everything that had to deal with Patrick and our service there was perfect.  He is why I would give him a 5 out of 5 stars for his service and friendly demeanor just made us so happy.

So, with Patrick's help and recommendations we ordered our dishes and it started with the first one: "Heavenly Eggs".  This was a single egg dish, so we ordered two.  This had an egg custard in the bottom and then the truffles and sauce on top.  A single scoop of this dish, was filled with this warm feeling of the truffles, with a creaminess of the smoothest ice cream and the sweetness of the best dessert, while still being savory.  Each bite felt like a warm hug with a loved one.  They were awesome and they made me want to make a whole night of eating these and only these.  I'd give a 5 out of 5 on these.

So, our next dish was a Curry spiced carrot dish.  These perfectly cooked carrots and tomatoes were just perfectly spiced, like a curry or Middle eastern flavored spiced sauce, with perfectly cooked vegetables.  The sauce was the real star and this was an easy 4 out of 5 stars.

This was the "Orange Fennel salad".  This salad, resembled a cole slaw recipe, or at least reminded me of one.  It was shown with shaved fennel and had orange slices on top. My wife loved this and I'd give it a 3 out of 5 stars.  It was just the right amount of strong and subtle flavors to work well with each other.

Next we had ordered these "Herb Brioche rolls", which as you can see, came heavily herbed with rosemary and thyme and a sweet butter.  These were hot, almost flaky and moist at the same time and very delicious.  As a "carbs" person, these were a great addition to our meal.  I'd give them a 3 and 1/2 out of 5 stars.

Next came the pork dish, which was perfectly rich and fat on fat pork.  The dish had a simple sauce, and some vegetables around it and was not a really salty dish, yet I felt that there was too much fat and needed some acid to break it up.  I'd still give it a 3 and 1/2 out of 5 stars.

Rabbit is a funny thing because as a chef, you don't want to lose the game flavor and you don't want to elevate it to make it inedible.  This rabbit dish called "Rabbit Fricassee", had just the right amount of everything.  It was a perfect balance.  You knew you were eating rabbit, but it didn't taste to strong like rabbit.  It was very mild and tender.  There were rose petals, greens, carrots and it reminded me of a dish I had seen elsewhere.  It looks like the thing to do with animals, when cooked and prepared and plated, is to present them with things that they belong with.  Not suggesting a natural environment or surroundings, but in the case of the rabbit here, presenting and cooking it with rose petals or carrots, which it could have eaten when alive, seems like a good idea.  This was very good and I give it a 4 out of 5 stars.   

Now for desert, we did something different.  By the end of all of these dishes, I was getting full and didn't really want to get a dessert at all.  But, when you are in Vegas, celebrating your anniversary and you are there to do it right and do it big, then go big.  We picked the largest item on the desert menu, something so large that it normally would be ideal for many people to share, but the idea was so interesting that we couldn't back down.  It was the "chocolate Terrarium".  

This is what our server Patrick brought to our table.  This was huge, with this glass dome probably standing at least 18 inches high.  The plate or dish was at least 14 inches in diameter.  As you can see from the picture, there was some branches of  lavender, a single edible rose and some smaller plant fronds.  A single candle sat inside the dome as well.  Now, when the dome was lifted, this is how we had it in front of us:

So, where do I begin?  We removed the plant material and took a closer look at the 'dirt'.  Those solid looking parts were giant pieces of chocolate cookie.  There was large chunks of chocolate brownie underneath a crumbled chocolate cake, as dirt.  The white parts were actually ice cream and marshmallow creme.  It was just crazy, the amount of chocolate and hidden things we found as we dug deeper in this dish.  This is the ultimate desert experience and I recommend this to everyone.  This received a 5 out of 5 stars as well.

Now, over the course of eating, there are small shows that take place in each room, as I had mentioned.  We sat a juggler doing a balance act as well, an aerialist, a singer and many other acts, in the dining area.  When we had finished, we watched a show in the 4th room, which has a larger stage and then after the show, it turns into a nightclub with perhaps the best MC I have seen and heard anywhere and a great DJ.

It is called Rose.Rabbit.Lie. and if you are looking for something romantic or to impress or just have an awesome time in Las Vegas, check them out. 


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