Last month, I shared a few details of our Thanksgiving stay in Las Vegas. Today I want to share one of the main reasons James and I love this city: The Food of Las Vegas!
Las Vegas is truly a food lovers dream with a restaurant that caters to everyone’s taste and budget. The Aria Hotel (like most of the other resorts) has over 13 different restaurants. The reality is one would not have to leave their resort but with so many different options, it is worth it to venture out.
It could take multiple posts to share all of my photographs and discuss the food. Thus today, I am providing an overview of our last visit and some of our favorites.
This restaurant is more than just a tapas bar! We began with a pitcher of red sangria, which was simply outstanding. For dinner, it was incredibly hard to narrow down our choices and we each ended up ordering multiple plates. Each plate was somehow better than the last and toward the end of the meal, we had to hold restraint and leave food on our plates.
The creamy risotto was, as it is named, creamy and almost melted in your mouth. I tried to only take small bites and it was hard to share. I wasn’t sure what to expect from the yellowtail tiradito but simply fell in love with it. The fish was light and the mix of horseradish and ponzu cream gave it a kick.
As potatoes have now become my comfort food, I had to try the brava potatoes and it certainly brought me comfort. It was the perfect mixture of spicy and crunchy.
We also had salads along with salmon with truffles and mediterranean chicken skewers. The presentation of the food was beautiful and our service from our waiter Antonio was outstanding. There are so many options of plates at this restaurant that you could go for days with a multitude of choices.
During our previous Las Vegas trips, we had never gone to “Old Vegas” and visited Fremont Street. James wanted to at least visit the area and discovered through Trip Advisor this gem of a restaurant. I will be honest that I wasn’t expecting a luxury meal on Fremont Street but Hugo’s Cellar sets the bar high from the minute you enter the restaurant.
Although the food was incredible, I believe what makes this restaurant stand out is the exceptional service from everyone to the hostess to the assistant waiter. Not only was the sommelier helpful but he was friendly. I mention this as there are times in restaurants when the service may be good but there isn’t a connection. The staff truly attempted to connect with us and wanted our visit to be memorable.
Each entree comes with a Hugo’s table side salad and it was perfect. If only it was as easy to make such a delicious salad at home.
James had the New York Strip which was cooked perfectly. Just like the risotto, the meat almost melted in your mouth. I chose the Chicken Champignon. The mixture of morels, shiitake and portobello mushrooms was a perfect combination. Also included in the menu is a finishing touch of chocolate dipped strawberries, apricots and figs. As I am highly allergic to strawberries, they graciously did not serve them.
It is worth the cab drive to Fremont Street to have dinner at Hugo’s Cellar. Cab ride one way from the strip in November was $20 each way. Prepare for a longer ride and higher fee during peak season.
Attached to the Aria, we ate here at our 2013 visit. This is a fantastic place for pub food that is not your traditional pub food. During my spa day, I took a break and met James for lunch where he had this gorgeous trio of sliders that included lamb, duck and turkey.
He also had this beer flight of local beers from the area.
Even though I did try to avoid gluten, it was hard to not have the fish and chips (sorry, no photo). On another afternoon, James also brought the traditional pickles appetizer back to the room. They were delicious and included kosher dill, half sour and sweet gherkin which made me realize how much I missed pickles (something I just don’t think about eating).
I absolutely love having breakfast here! If possible, always ask to sit outside on the patio as you are directly across from the fountains at the Bellagio. However, you are able to have some form of a view from most of the restaurant.
They do offer gluten free options and I had eggs benedict, along with some fabulous coffee and a mimosa.
While on the topic of the Paris Hotel, I have to recommend the Eiffel Tower Restaurant. We had our anniversary dinner there two years ago and had one of the best dining experiences ever. You are overlooking the fountains and have a fantastic view of the Vegas strip. Certainly worth experiencing once.
Michael Mina is an award winning chef with restaurants mostly on the west coast. I am a huge fan of all of his restaurants I have eaten at. This was our second time of eating at Michael Mina and although the food was good (sorry but the photographs were dark even with editing), we were underwhelmed with our waiter. Although polite, he seemed indifferent to all of his tables. When you are paying this significant amount of money for dinner, you would like a little personality. As our service has always been outstanding before, I am hoping this was a fluke. I do encourage you to find one of his restaurants that shoot your taste (there are restaurants located at the Aria, Mandalay Bay, MGM and the Bellagio).
Finally, what would Las Vegas be without some drinks? As I am the food photographer, James has always made it his mission to share our drinks on social media. Here are a few of our favorites.
The Chandelier Bar is beautiful as you truly feel as if you are sitting inside of a glass chandelier.You are surrounded by thousands of glass beads. It’s truly beautiful and yes, I may have sang a little Sia’s Chandelier while I was there.
Most importantly, the Vodka Martini’s were some of the best we have ever had.
If you like tequila, you really need to try Sammy Hagar’s Cabo Wabo Tequila. True, margaritas are not necessarily the first drink you would think of when thinking of Vegas but these margaritas are not your normal margaritas. We had a few after taking a ride on the High Roller and being 550 feet above Las Vegas (but that’s another post).
We originally had reservations at Giada’s, but after reading lukewarm reviews decided to cancel. After walking in to see the interior, we were sad that we had not kept the reservations. The atmosphere was beautiful and the restaurant smelled amazing. This is certainly a place I feel is worth trying.
If you’ve been to Las Vegas, are there restaurants you would recommend?