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restaurants: aureole las vegas

there’s a certain good/bad that happens with fine dinning.
the good, obviously is the amazing food.
the bad, for me, is that its so inappropriate to take photos of your food in a fine dinning restaurant.  i want to… but the idea makes me shudder.
so for this post, there are really no good photos, but i’m sure you’ll make do.

this is another restaurant that i have long wanted to dine at.
charlie palmer’s career is one that i’ve followed with interest and awe.
if you’re not familiar, here’s a little blurb for you on the man.

Charlie Palmer’s renowned New York Aureole enjoys a reputation as one of the finest restaurants in the United States. Palmer, honored as the “Best Chef” in New York by the James Beard Foundation, opened Aureole at Mandalay Bay in 1999, earning the prestigious Four Diamond Award each year since.
In both 2008 and 2009, Aureole was awarded a Michelin Star, and also received a Four Star Recipient in the 2009 Mobil Travel Guide.

foodie confession: i have never eaten at a michelin star restaurant.
so this was huge for me.
also, this is one of the best restaurants in north america.  so… yes.  excitement.

to make the most of it, we decided on the parallel tasting menu.
4 courses with 2 dishes on each, highlighting the same ingredient done in a totally different way.
frigging brilliant.

naturally we also opted for the wine pairing.
because if you’re going to do something, do it right dammit.

course one:  beets.
plate 1 – roasted baby beets, fine herb cheese & bourbon maple syrup
pate 2 – golden beet panna cotta, cured scottish salmon & tangerine lace

as the plate hit the table, it was immediately clear that we were in for something special.

the first side of the plate with the roasted beets was a delicate little salad that really highlighted the natural flavour of red and golden beets.  the bourbon maple syrup added an extra sweetness and the fine herb cheese was like if someone made boursin from scratch.

the second side was all fine dinning.  the panna cotta was earthy and smooth as silk and the cured salmon on top provided a salty punch to cut the richness.

course one = success.

course two: asparagus
plate 1 – white asparagus, crispy serrano ham & black peppercorn gastrique
pate 2 – diver scallop & asparagus terrine, wild mushrooms, yuzu foam and trout roe

this one i did take a crappy iphone in candlelight picture of.  because it was beautifully presented.  but of course, this doesn’t really do it any favours.

i believe this was my favourite course.

the scallop terrine was unlike anything i’ve ever eaten before.
that side of the plate was all about technique and it’s tough to describe the flavours and textures on this plate.

the other side was relatively simple in comparison, with the asparagus roasted and the serrano ham somehow made to be like a cracker and the star was the gastrique, which frankly i have absolutely no clue how they made that.
course 3: pork
plate 1- roasted niman ranch pork tenderloin, wrinkle potatoes, roasted baby leeks & romesco sauce
plate 2 – house made pork sausag, rock shrimp, vietnamese steam bun, cucumber salad & nuoc man sauce

ya.  so.  then this happened.
the one side was classic pork.  the tenderloin cooked to medium well, absolutely lovely, with each little slice held up by a baby wrinkle roasted potato… and the roasted leeks and romesco sauce?  come on.
i have a fierce love for romesco sauce.  a well done one is a work of art.  and this my friends, was a freaking picasso.

the second plate was kind of like a riff on a bahn mi sandwich, which while clever, didn’t really wow me like the other plate did.  the sausage was full of garlic and lemongrass and the nuoc man sauce was like a delicate fish broth with obvious careful preparation and refined technique… but i was in love with the more traditional preparation.

somehow… we moved on to dessert although we were so full, it was a bit of a struggle.

course 4: ginger
plate 1 – galangal ginger beignet, poached strawberries & lychee sorbet
plate 2 – coconut ginger vacherin, braised pineapple & vanilla chantilly

for this one, you get a grainy crappy photo too.

and what you see on the right, as described as plate two, was one of the best things i was served all evening..

until this happened…
bonus desert.

this was some sort of chocolate lava cake that was filled with a cayenne chocolate cream from the gods.
and served with an incredible tasting mint sorbet.
it was so mint.  like eating a sprig of fresh mint.  absolutely a wonderful way to finish a meal.

the hard part about consuming a meal this spectacular is doing it any justice when describing it.  there is no combination of words that i possess that can truly describe what was so special about this dinner.

from my experience, true fine dinning is worth the price.
there is a marked difference between having a meal like this and having just another meal.
because this meal falls in the top 5 meals i’ve ever had the pleasure of eating.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. morningaftershow
    May 31, 2012 @ 16:30:03

    wow. your blog have inspired me so much… that day one of my itinarary… after picking up my sexy Kia Rio, checking in and hitting Target and the liquor store… is then playing penny slots and winning $700, then spending all that money on the best food EVAR!

    Reply

  2. morningaftershow
    May 31, 2012 @ 16:30:24

    err… sorry for all the spelling suck in that comment. yeesh.

    Reply

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