The construction never stops (the view over my shoulder at the Palazzo pool)
I have been accompanying N to a huge tradeshow for over a decade and I still don’t know entirely what to think. Vegas never would’ve been high on our list of destinations, but I confess we’ve enjoyed most of our visits. Tourist towns are often single faceted, but the tourists in
A slightly colour-enhanced view of the vast desert en route to Vegas
In the meantime, though, the world continues to flood in to Vegas--often not as pure tourists, but as business people attending the myriad tradeshows, not to mention new residents. Las Vegas is one of the fastest growing cities in the US
When we first went to
A perfect macaron--the croissant and beignets didn't last long enough to be recorded
Just 300 miles away, LA food lovers were alarmed this year that a restaurant in
Images from Bouchon: encaustic tile floor, pain perdu, zinc bar, white aproned waiter
N and I have enjoyed many of our meals in Vegas. Our favorite have been in the beautiful room of Thomas Keller’s Bouchon in the Venezia tower at the Venetian—a quiet oasis far from the casino floor filled (by day) with sunlight from the courtyard and pool gardens beyond, a long gleaming zinc bar, gorgeous patterned encaustic tile floor, white-aproned waiters and sparkling glass and silverware. We’ve eaten breakfast and dinner there many times over the past few years. On one memorable evening, owls swooped over the courtyard as we dined on the terrace under the clear desert sky. The food at Bouchon is classic bistro fare—duck confit and steak frites, rustic pate with cornichons, artisanal cheese, and tarte citron. It’s the food we love. Accompany dinner with a bottle of Schramsberg sparkling Blanc de Noir and we are almost as happy as we are in
Views from Daniel Boulud Brasserie at Wynn (left, right) assorted pickles with my pate (centre)
This year we also dined at the Daniel Boulud Brasserie overlooking the spectacular golden waterfall and temperate forest at Wynn (yes, perverse, but very seductive). The food was good, also French bistro fare, but the mood is much more lush and dark and much more about spectacle than at the classic crisp and sparkling Bouchon. We also had a passable dinner at Woo—a pan-Asian concept restaurant in the Palazzo (our luxurious hotel next to the Venetian--every room a suite), which offered far less of a culinary adventure than it purported to. We did enjoy a bottle of unfiltered sake there, though—mild and slightly thick. Though noisier and less romantic, I'd recommend Noodles at the Bellagio over Woo any day.
The Guggenheim-Hermitage and Vegas--a doomed seven year menage a trois
While great food might find a comfortable home in
The Palazzo lobby; the golden falls at Wynn; a view from the outdoor bar at Wynn
Another is the architecture. Yes, much of Vegas is terrible architectural pastiche, but nowhere in the world can you experience the soaring spaces exquisite surfaces and amazing craftsmanship (by imported plasterers, stonemasons, tile setters and other specialized trades) in such abundance—not to mention the constant spectacle of new construction, which is exciting in itself.
Rooftop intrigue out my window: the A-team deploys (right); and what happened here?
If you can abandon any quest for authenticity (usually a doomed pursuit anyway) and look instead for an atmosphere, a fleeting mood, I'm sure you can find a spot to love in Las Vegas. Like everything else in
I haven't even started on the wonders of the surrounding desert, and I won't, at least not this time...