Friday, February 24, 2012

First day, Late evening and first bites in Vegas

Arrived late evening and decide to surf couple of place for apps. First place, I was trying to get was Jose Andreas , Jaleo for tapas, no luck packed , no room even at the bar. Ok Second choose, was Jose and read other new restaurant China Poblano. Was thinking, kind of weird concept, but if you know Jose Andreas, u have to realize that man does everything well thought and most of the time takes very unpredicktible path . China and mexico ..C' mon ...but let me tell it works ..only complain I have from this place is maybe prices ( like all the food prices in Vegas was cosmic ) and small portions..but the food itself was perfeckt ..hand rolled shumai skins...tortillas made to order... Shumai dumplings one with pork belly other with shrimp was perfect and succulent good , U can never get anything like that in a most chines restaurants in US . Mojito shrimp with black garlic was little grease ...well very greasy ..but caviche ..oh my..loved the twist for added crunch with amaranth seeds and toasted pecans, had very nice clean , lime flavor, perfect balance . Oh and his margharita ( sorry no pix , was too thirsty ) with salty " air " or cloud was a nice twist . Even my siad she likes traditional salt on rim better, I do too was a nice twist specially from the man who bought us here from Adria El Bulli lecithin technique much as I'm sick of clouds and airs this man has all the rights to do this , and do this right .
Next stop Jasmin, fancy chines restaurant in Bellagio . Iwanted to try there famous pecan duck and pancakes, and see table side duck carving presentation. Too bad they were packed so we just ordered at the bar all available small plates . Since we did not liked the bartender , and atmosphere was very cold and unpleasant , we pounded small plates in no time and left . Was good, nothing memorable..Scallop, trio ( hot n sour, wonton and egg drop) soups, spring roll ...kobe short rib skewer and miso chilean see bass lettuce wrap was a highlight to me .
Circo is famous Le Circue, more casual place. Most of the time if me and my wife see italian on a menu as a concept we always run away . As much as we love true regional italian food, I can not stand bad american italian . I also seen enough people with home made italian cooking restaurants rolling stacks of frozen lasagnas at a restaurant depot, but thats another topic :) but back to Vegas..but Circo C mon we loved it ...and let me tell you it was simply perfection. There is a reason why this family have been in this business for decades . Simple elegant , clean presentations, perfect balance, cooked just right , calamari with tomato sauce ( ohhh who knows me know about my feelings about bad italian frozen breaded callamaris veal marsalas made with cooking marsala and chicken base, yak) ..this one simply crisp , clean, sweet ..My wifes Beef Carpaccio, classic presentation made just the way it should look and taste. What I loved about it was classic old school presentation and flavors , was just perfect way to finish our evening, folowed with a glass of Chianti and cheese plate finale . Day two to be continued ..

Monday, February 20, 2012

On the mission and have a plan !!!

My name is Vytauras Sasnauskas, Im a cook and love and breathe food. Besides my family, my dog and good glass of wine with friends , I don’t like and love anything else …I like food…eat, cook ,share … I feel theres no other city in the word , where you can find all famous places soooo close together like this …Vegas ..yehh !! But stop !!

I’m on a mission here. I’m stepping out of my kitchen and going on business trip 4 days in Las Vegas, city which has nothing to do with my personality, other than lots of celebrity chefs restaurants and a lots of good food. My mission is to taste best of the best, find unique flavor combinations, discover new techniques and bring home fresh ideas the ones I can adapt to my cooking. Im not going to be looking for seared scallops or lobster tail or even steaks, foods I’m surrounded every day. I need fresh air , which can boost my mind with new unique flavors combinations and give me inspiration for my further culinary adventures in kitchen. I’m very hungry, lets put one man to test to see how much he can eat in four short days. People who know me , they know…boy …I can take some food down !! Here , what I have in my mind , first :

Julian Serrano, Spanish tapas place , dishes to try ( coco mallorquina, chorizo bites, deconstructed fish stew ), also has place in Bellagio Piccaso

Sage , Crsipy sweet breads

Rao’s, Italian could be very boring to me, and lets out it that way , I have never tasted better Italian food the one I cooked in my home kitchen… Pizza and chicken Scarpariello, seafood salad, but this place …is a legend !!

Rm Seafood, as seen on top chef masters Rick Moonen one the best seafood guru’s in U. S., have his book and loving it !! Should be good one! Tried his cat fish sloppy joe, in a past it was fantastic.

Charlie Palmers Aureole, I don’t know we shall see ..!!

Debating between two French Legends Alan Ducasse ( Mix) and Pierre Gagnaire (Twist ) but there is also Guy Savoy !!

L atelier , French master Joel Robuchon, since I have been to Robuchons already , we shall see about this, how much room I will have for this in my stomach .

Craft steak, Tom Collichio, bad reviews all around , hate Craft book , even tried to cook couple of things , like his mostarda, recipe makes no sense . No No for this

Charlie , restaurant , kick ass famous 20 $ plus cocktails ( could be better than VTR in good old Cleveland , were cocktail perfection is already reached , they better not serve frikin chocolatiinis ) and sushi, I do want to find good sushi place in Vegas. Besides Nobu, were else ??? Masa ?? Super expensive!! But famous !! Is that the , first American who beat Original Iron chef in japan ??

Jaleo, Jose Andreas, can not wait for this one. No doubt in my mind best most talented chef in a coutry from Spain. Learned a lot from his book . Can his paella stand out To Jose’s Beachwood paella …best paella I ever tasted ??

China Poblanos, another Jose’s Andreas casual chineese and mexincan fussion place. When it comes to fusion, most of the time it comes out confusion…but I believe never from this man . Jose Andreas in the Man !

Fried chicken at Blue Ribbon, I have seen couple of times on tv that this chicken is very very special fried chicken could be ?? is it worth it all the callories and fat when I can be eating something better ?? 24 $$ for fried chicken ?? People in saying , I don’t care who you are …there is nothing like good fried chicken…well this better be the best one ever …for the money

Milos…some really good upscale Greek food ..worth attention

B&B , Mario Batalis and Joe’s Bastianich place…never had better pasta outside my house…and last time pasta from this place was disappointing …overpriced and very oily …will give another chance is the legend

Valentinos, another famous Italian place, pasta made in house by hand ..rumours that is better than B& B’s …we shall see !!

Have a lot of respect for Daniel Boulud, but somehow never got aroundto try any of his dishes or neither bought any of his books. I need to take a closer look at this !! Country pate is in my mind !

Wish me luck , have a lot to do, lot to food to taste and bring home nice fresh ideas !

Thommas Keller , Man needs no introduction, Bouchon bistro…last time was there twice …I thing have to go one more time ..just to make is still good !!

Wolfgang puck and Emeril has a bunch of places out there as well ..could this just be a trap ?? Or there food is really good ?? thing I know I/m not going back to Todd Englich OLIVES and Bobby Flays Mesa grill ,sorry room for those , at least in my repertoire .

Oh well , at least I have a plan, andI need answers to all these questions !! Love to cook and eat in Vegas , baby !! Is there anything else there to do besides that?? Not for me, at least !