What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas…right? Well not a 100% of the time, especially when it comes to dining! My next few blog posts will follow the theme of “Stephanie Eats Las Vegas”. Recently I planned a trip to Sin City and I got in touch with several PR contacts at a few famous Las Vegas dining locations. I’ll give you a summary of some great gourmet options as well as a variety of places where you can find tasty happy hour deals and more affordable options.
While at the opening of Paris Club last Winter I had the chance to meet the talented Executive Chef Joho. Chef Joho is the Executive Chef at Everest and Paris Club in Chicago, as well as Brasserie Jo in Boston and of course, The Eiffel Tower Restaurant in the Paris Hotel in Las Vegas. After the Vegas trip had been booked I thought who better to reach out to in Vegas for a great dining experience other than Chef Joho. Chef Joho arranged a complimentary tasting of some of their best menu items and a wine pairing by the restaurant’s sommelier, Brian. The service, food and wine were all fantastic and I couldn’t have asked for a better evening with views of the Bellagio Fountains out the window.
Upon entering the restaurant we were greeted by Laurent Ertle, the manager of the Eiffel Tower restaurant. Next we were shown to our table, in my opinion the best one in the house, with a table facing the Bellagio Fountains and excellent views of the restaurant and people watching. Our waiter Tony knew we were from Chicago and was extremely helpful when it came to recommending appetizers, main courses and their famous soufflés for dessert.
Before our appetizers even arrived we were presented with a few small bites that were absolutely delicious. First a sweet corn soup arrived that was perfectly blended, sweet, creamy, but not too heavy. Scallions adorned the surface and I couldn’t help but admire the chef’s use of cream without making the soup too filling, quite an accomplishment in my opinion. A long rectangular plate was presented next with three small bite-sized appetizers. First was a crispy salad over wild greens. Next was a wild mushroom strudel that was flavored so well that it changed my mind about mushrooms completely. A crispy potato pancake with salmon on top was probably my favorite. A braised beef in a puff pastry finished up the tasting. It was easy to tell that everything was made with great care and true artist’s flair. The sommelier, Brian, paired this course with a rosé wine that was a great palate cleanser for all the different flavors.
We each ordered an appetizer and exchanged halfway through. The appetizer with both lobster and bacon caught my eye on the menu, while blue cheese caught Andrew’s. My appetizer was the “Warm Maine Lobster, Michigan Creamy Corn, with Smoked Bacon” and Andrew’s was the “Blue Cheese Soufflé Pudding, Walnut, Pecan, Petite Salade”. Both of these literally melted in your mouth and we both had a hard time giving ours up to exchange halfway through. Both were paired by a Peju Sauvignon wine recommended by the sommelier Brian. All of the staff was so attentive and engaging, we felt as we might have been celebrities.
I forgot to mention that upon beginning the meal Tony recommended that if we’d like to try one of Eiffel Tower’s famous soufflé desserts we should put our order in right away, as each one is made to order and takes quite a long time to cook. I always feel bad when ordering dessert with anyone because most people enjoy chocolate, where I’m not such a big fan. It always seems to work out okay though, as most of my friends are not that picky when it comes to sweets. We decided upon the caramel soufflé. Into the oven it went and we awaited its arrival like the last, most exciting present on Christmas.
The entrées soon arrived and our feast continued. I ordered the “Aged New York Steak, Bone Marrow, Cabernet Reduction”. I’ve had bone marrow before at a few different restaurants in Chicago and knew that I would definitely like this dish. For those of you who haven’t tried it yet, I’d recommend stepping out of your comfort zone and giving it a try. I ordered the steak medium rare, and it came cooked so perfectly I had a hard time sharing even one bite. The Cabernet reduction sauce lent itself well to both the bone marrow and the steak, enhancing but not overpowering the flavor. Andrew chose the “Muscovy Duck Breast, Camargue Rice, Sauce Foie Gras”. The duck was sliced into thin disks or medallions and topped with the foie gras sauce. I was a little surprised by Andrew’s choice at first as usually he is a meat and potatoes kind of guy, but then I remembered his time spent abroad in France and realized that it was a great choice. I’ve never really experienced perfectly cooked duck before, as I’m not a fan of many gamey meats, but this dish was absolutely delightful and the foie gras sauce was the perfect fatty accompaniment to the duck.
Then the moment we had been waiting for, the soufflé arrived and we had a hard time waiting long enough to admire its puffiness before we punctured it with a fork and dug in. We tasted the perfect combination of sugar, cream and butter while the soufflé kept its puffiness. It was a true masterpiece. All and all, the service was truly first class and I highly suggest the Eiffel Tower restaurant in the Paris Hotel, be prepared to be swept off your feet.