Thursday, August 25, 2011

Las Vegas

The food scene in Las Vegas is one place where you do not have to gamble. With options ranging from cheap street food, to a fancy meal in celebrity chef's restaurant to the unbelievably ridiculous over the top buffets, you can keep hitting without busting.
I decided to go all-in and choose from the extraordinary list of celebrity chefs who run their restaurants (brands) in Vegas. These restaurants are run by extremely skilled executive-chefs, sous-chefs and their back-burner staff. I did not have too much time at my disposal and had to narrow two restaurants from a distinguished list. Finally it boiled down to Wolfgang Puck’s Spago and Emiril Lagasse’s New Orleans Fish House. B&B Ristorante and Mesa Grill lost purely because of the time factor.
The six-course meal at Spago was the pinnacle – Iron chef worthy food. It was the only way to eat have to get a taste of the entire gamut. You knew instantly your dining experience went up by a couple of notches when the food started after the other, seven different times.

 First course: Margarita flatbread topped with house-made cheese..right on top of the 'best thing i've ever had' list.

Second Course: Yellowfin Sashimi layered with avacado, daikon radish and yuzu-wasabi topped with lychee pearls and ceviche ginger vinaigrette.

Third Course: Tomato,shaved red-onions with wild arugula, handcrafted burrata cheese, extra-virgin olive oil paired with cream of corn soup.

Fourth Course: Seven hand-rolled ricotta gnocchi in black truffle butter sauce with corn and butter foam. This is not on the menu; one of Chef Klein's signature dishes. One simple bite....too many pleasures.

Fifth Course: Alaskan Halibut, caramelized white asparagus, baby carrots, haricort verts soaked in broth au pistou.

Sixth Course: Roasted half free range chicken with goat cheese dressing served with cippolini onions, baby spinach and natural jus

The only way to end the evening meal - Chocolate crepe with wild berry sauce and a Chocolate Beignet with burnt creme

Second stop on the celebrity chef dining tour was another Iron Chef - Emeril Lagasse's Emeril' New Orleans Fish House.

Pomegranate Martini - Mix equal parts of Pomegranate Liqueur and Vodka (preferably Russian) in cocktail shaker with ice. Strain and serve...simply awesome. 

Emeril's signature Barbequed shrimp

Pan-seared mahi-mahi and shrimp

A huge wine list with options to choose from bottles as little as $50 all the way to $12,000

Chef de cuisine Heath Cicerelli runs the show here while Emeril is the Executive Chef.

Friday, July 22, 2011

36 Hours in Seattle

Where to eat in under 36 hours in Seattle? Check out these local joints that define the mood and culture of the beautiful city.

B&O Espresso
A local favorite - this landmark restaurant serves its coffee and dessert with a dash of history. Lemon chiffon, devil's food and chocolate raspberry torte are worth the calories

Chapel Bar
Bar, lounge and club wrapped into one - this downtown destination sitting atop a mortuary offers a good selection of martinis.

Martini among other things at the Chapel

Pike Place Fish Market
This fish market offers its customers an almost 'Deadliest Catch' experience! Dungeness crab and smoked salmon are few of their specialties.

Daily Dozen Donut Co.
First stop at Pike Place. Piping hot and fresh off the fryer these donuts are worth the wait.

Kiss those Krispy Kremes good bye when you taste these. Get the plain or cinnamon sugar as they come out hot and golden!

Fruit stand, Pike Place Market
Grab a box of blueberries to snack while walking down Pike Place.

Piroshky Piroshky
Russian bakery selling stuffed pies called Piroshkies in the middle of Pike Place Market

Potato, onion and cheese Piroshky - a couple of these with some pike roast should be a stomach-full.

Streamline Diner
A quick ferry ride to Bainbridge island takes you to this beautiful restaurant featuring a seasonal menu. A local brunch favorite.

Half and Half - Whistling Veggie Chili Topped with Jack Cheese & Sour Cream served with a sandwich. Down it all with a pint of Peroni and you got yourself a nice breakfast!

Roma Omelette - Roasted Garlic Tomato sauce, Mushrooms, Fresh Basil & Mozzarella, topped w/Pesto Sour Cream

Taco Gringos
Located at Capital Hill, this late night taco stall has a daily menu featuring only 3 different kinds of tacos.  Minimal filling in two soft shell tacos exemplify a perfect Mexican street food fare. Perfect for a midnight snack.

Doing it the traditional way - keeping a street food the way it should be...simple, delicious and cheap.

Spicy chicken and corn w/pineapple pico de gallo and wrapped in a hot corn tortilla.served with a wedge of lime

Home sweet home
A drink with a view after a long cant buy you this.


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Houston - Ruggles Green

A perfect sunday brunch at Houston's Ruggles Green.

Houston's First Certified Green Restaurant...what does that mean? Well for starters, the ingredients are all organic, local and with no added hormones! Surprisingly there are super tasty and delicious.

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