USA Day 24: Las Vegas Pool Day

Last night, at Mon Ami Gabi, our server proudly told us they do a great breakfast.  So, in the interest of research I had to check it out.  A quick check of Urbanspoon revealed that a number of punters thought Mon Ami Gabi was a good brekkie spot, so it was armed with much confidence and my Kindle (great for solo dining) – that I headed out into the gorgeous, fresh morning.

Mon Ami Gabi

Paris Hotel & Casino
3655 Las Vegas Boulevard South
Las Vegas  NV  89109
(702) 944 4224
Open: Sun – Fri  11am – 11pm;  Sat  11am – Midnight

This time – I got a seat on the patio!

Cinammon crepes

I ordered the cinnamon crepes – they were huge!!  You have to look at the cup of my coffee to get some perspective!  Alas – while they looked spectacular – they had a very strange texture. It seemed to me as though they had placed them under a griller – so they were all dry and tough on the top, and rubbery underneath.  Overall, not a great dining experience – I should have stuck with the lemon ricotta pancakes from room service.  Even the coffee was not as good as from Palio – the café / bakery in the Bellagio.

Andrew was sleeping in, so I just pottered around for a little while and did some more shopping in the Million Mile Mall next door.  By the time I got home, it was time for him to get up, especially as I had bought him a shirt and needed to see if it fit!  Thank goodness – it did.

It made sense to go to lunch before heading out to the pool.  We decided to try “Olives” – an Italian trattoria in the Bellagio. On the Bellagio TV Channel  – I’d seen the chef, Todd English – preparing his signature carpaccio – I had to have some of that!!

Olives by Todd English

Bellagio Casino & Hotel
3600 Las Vegas Boulevard
Las Vegas  NV  89109
(888) 987 6667
Open:  Lunch  11am – 2:45pm;  Dinner  5 – 10:30pm
Bar open 3 – 5pm

Tuna Carpaccio (oops – wrong order)

Hmmm… this isn’t what I ordered.  That’s alright – it was whisked away and replaced very quickly.

Andrew had the sausage and ricotta flat bread.

 Beef Carpaccio

Finally, the right carpaccio came out – trouble was, the beef was frozen.  Probably because they put it together so quickly – to replace the other one.  What’s supposed to be amazing about this carpaccio is that underneath, there’s a salad, and a beautifully crisp gorgonzola polenta cake – so there should be a juxtaposition of gorgeous raw meat, with a lovely “crispy on the outside, creamy on the inside” polenta cake.

Alas – it did not live up to expectations.  The polenta cake was dry and stiff – and it was almost cold, and there was no hint of gorgonzola, or creaminess.  So, it didn’t really add that much to the dish, in fact, I would go so far as to say it detracted from it.  However, the dressings on the carpaccio itself – the balsamic reduction, scallion cream and garlic aioli – were amazing, as were the cipollini onions!!  So, not a total loss.  But it could have been so much more….  So much unfulfilled potential…

Olives (Bellagio) on Urbanspoon

As the title of this post suggests, we had decided that our final full day on our holiday should be spent relaxing – and we felt the best way to achieve this was to get out by the pool.   The weather was warm, but not too warm – in fact, I had to reposition my deck chair so that I could face the sun and warm up.  Andrew went for a run and then for a little swim to cool off.

Apparently in the left photo, just below and to the left of the first pointy tree – I’m lying there reading my kindle.  Andrew took this shot from our room.

The pool closes at 4pm, and it was getting quite chilly by then – so we wandered back upstairs to get ready for our final night in Vegas. Dinner at Spago, and our last Cirque du Soleil show – Ká.

Spago Las Vegas

The Forum Shops at Caesars
3500 Las Vegas Blvd. South, Suite G-1
Las Vegas   NV   89109
Café & Bar Open: Sun – Thu  11:30am – 11pm;  Fri – Sat  11:30am – Midnight
Dining Room Open: 5:30 – 10pm daily

As with all the restaurants, we had to make our way through Caesar’s Palace to get to the restaurant.

The Forum Shops at Caesar’s Palace

 This shot of the Spago sign looks like it’s an outside restaurant – right????
Pretty cool.

Spago’s is actually inside the Forum Shops – so it was a bit felt a bit like eating in a food court rather than a restaurant – which probably wasn’t helped by the fact that – with a 5pm sitting, we were put in the café section rather than the restaurant.  The restaurant section is out the back, behind the bar, and is a lofty, open space with some great lighting. It would have been much more ambient, but wasn’t open yet.

Imagine my disappointment also – when they said we had to order from the café menu rather than the restaurant menu – because it was so early!

I was a very sad little cookie – because the café menu didn’t have the items that I had set my heart on.  I understood though – I have a lot of sympathy for busy kitchens, getting their mise en place prepared – they may not have been ready to start cooking from the restaurant menu.  However, as much as I tried to accept the compromise in my head – my heart just couldn’t.  I asked if we could have the restaurant menu – that we would be prepared to wait until 5:30pm, but would they be able to be really quick to serve us so that we could be out by 6:20pm….???? Pretty please?

They were so lovely – Sure we could.  We could have anything we wanted.  And you know what, even though I fully expected the service to be delayed – they took our orders and got our food out pronto!!  This restaurant had the best service and ambience by far of any other restaurant in Vegas – and the food was amazing as well.

Slow Roasted Hampshire Pork Belly

Andrew had the natural homestead slow roasted hampshire pork belly with fuji  apples, watercress, frisée, pomegranate pearls, orange vinaigrette, chinese five spice.  Yummo!!!

Farmers’ Market White Corn Soup

I had the farmers’ market white corn soup with trumpet royale mushrooms, caramelized cipollini onions, fava beans, cherry tomatoes, arugula and basil oil.  A-MAZING! It was so good, I made Andrew have a taste – and he doesn’t even like corn!  But I had to share the intense corn flavour!

Red Wine Braised Beef Short Ribs

Andrew then had the red wine braised beef short ribs with caramelized shallots, leeks, tomatoes, hand made ricotta gnocchi, fresh horseradish and braising jus.  Apparently, the gnocchi were as good as mine!!!  And the meat just fell apart!

Pan Seared Duck Breast

For my main dish, I had the pan seared duck breast with savoy cabbage purée, chanterelle, cipollini, carrots, spinach, honey glazed turnips, farmers’ market huckleberries and sauce à l’orange.  Pretty good – but I think Andrew’s was better so I had a bit of plate envy!!

Even though we saw a pretty spectacular looking chocolate soufflé go out to the next table, and we probably had enough time (because they served us so quickly and well) – we decided that we couldn’t fit in dessert (both time and stomach wise).

Hands down though – I have to say that this was the best meal we had in Vegas – thanks to Iona for recommending it.  It was amazing!!

Spago (Caesars Palace) on Urbanspoon

We decided to splurge on a taxi up to the other end of the Strip – the MGM was about 3km away. Rather than drop us at the strip – he took us all the way around to the hotel foyer – which was at the back.  The MGM had a rather spectacular foyer!

We trotted through the casino – and found the theatre.  Ká was absolutely amazing.  Second only to Le Rêve.  It uses this gravity defying, tiltable stage.  At one point, the stage floor rotates up and is totally vertical – and the performers are doing this amazing fight scene, where they’re running up and down this vertical stage.  For us, it was like we were above them in the sky, looking down at the fight scene – very surreal, and they had all these special lighting effects which made ripples every time they moved.

It was also one of the only Cirque du Soleil shows where there was a pretty clear cut plot – which made it seem a little bit more like an adventure, rather than a series of performances.  I would definitely recommend this show over “O” – well worth the trip up to the end of the Strip!!