Tuesday, April 12, 2011

vegas, part two/margarita?

Okay, I know it's been a while. As I have said before "sometimes life gets in the way". However, on the occasion of polishing off the last of the complimentary, ginger lemongrass soap, cream, and conditioner from The Wynn. I decided it was high time to get back in the saddle and tell you a bit more about our trip to Las Vegas! Good thing I took some notes.

Mr. Bond had his martini, Pappa Hemingway had his daiquiri. As a novice consumer of alcohol more years ago than I care to admit I thought that I to should have a cocktail of my own. After all Grandpa had his scotch, Mom drank Vouvray, Dad went through his own Martini phase. Why shouldn't I be known as the____guy. So after a short bit of experimenting I settled on The Gin and Tonic as my cocktail of choice. It seemed more mature than the sweet cocktails and wine coolers my friends were drinking. Although truth be told I consumed my fair share of those as well. And now at Christmas time Grandma could give me a big bottle of Tanqueray knowing it would make me happier than some sweater or a crappy cookbook with no pictures.

And then one cold December night after I had graduated from cooking school my Dad kinda blew the whole thing. "Is that a Gin and Tonic?...Isn't it a little cold out to be drinking Gin and Tonic?" And that's when I realized that yes, even cocktails have a season. Before there were mixoligists and cheftenders, before the house made bitters and freshly infused syrups even a simple Gin and Tonic had a season.

Well as you probably know, in Vegas, everything is always in season. Whatever you want whenever you want it. So on that first day with a little more than an hours sleep in the last 36, after two glasses of Champagne at brunch. Tracey and I headed out to hit the strip. I admit I found the whole thing a little overwhelming. The people, the lights, the skeezy dudes handing out business cards with photos of naked women.

But it was warm and sunny and we were on an adventure. Just as I was thinking we should be back at the pool Tracey says "ready for a drink?" Coincidentally we happened to be right in front of Jimmy Buffets Margaritaville. As you know I am not much of a chain restaurant person. However they do make a good drink. And there is Margarita in the name. Unfortunately the place is packed. and with so many options it seemed silly to wait for a table. Back out on the street less than half a block down but still part of margaritaville is a tiny 4 seat bar totally empty save for the lonely bartender. And so it is that I find myself sitting on a stool on the Vegas Strip kicking off my shoes and settling into the first of many expensive drinks we were to consume over the next three days and nights.
There was Grunerveltliner at Bar Masa. Some awesome Italian reds at Carne Vino.A Negroni at Sinatra,followed by an attempt to strip mine the wine list for some great values. I think I impressed the sommelier with my selections because he kept bringing us tastes of wine from other bottles. Then there were the fancy cocktails in the Eiffel Tower, dry Rose at Mon Ami Gabi.


More fancy cocktails at that really cool bar in the Cosmoplitan, Vesper Bar. By the way if you get to Vegas this was the best bar in the worst location. We sipped some of the greatest $16 drinks under a staircase in what felt like a suburban shopping mall, and it was worth it!

At B&B Ristorante we were surprised by a gift of one of the best Pinot Noirs I have ever had, from friends of the our restaurant back home. Unfortunately the notes on that stayed in Vegas.

We did also consume many more over priced margaritas by the pool at the Wynn and Parasol Down on the other side of the hotel. I know, it sounds like all we did was drink. We sure didn't sleep much. But, I assure you we did eat some great food. We gambled a little. Tracey and I got to know Rob and his wife Kate a little better. We saw some cool shows. And we made it back alive.

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