23 Dec 2008

Good News in a Bad Economy

My son takes issue with my blogs as I continue to say such nice things about the restaurants that I visit. There is a very good reason for that. Over the last couple months, I have been in cities that I know, and eat at great restaurants that I know and like.

Tonight we picked up Allyn’s daughter Jessica, who is home for the holidays. She had a yearning for Italian. We didn’t want too fancy, but did want a great meal at a quiet place where we could speak.

Remembering the great experience we had just a week ago at Ferraro’s, we decided to visit there again. This time I had salmon. Probably you can tell just by looking at the picture how yummy it was.

What does any of this have to do with the economy? Well, all of us are feeling the economic pinch in one way or another. That probably includes Ferraro’s. They have been giving their patrons coupons good for 40% off on all food and beverage good until January 31.

The truth is that I don’t know for sure if that was the reason I returned so quickly. If the meal sucked, I would have tossed it. But it didn’t. Four of us saved almost $300 tonight. That is strong.

On the other hand the restaurant picked up an incremental $400 to say nothing of the gratuity. That’s pretty good too. People who have money to spend in this economy will find some real good deals out there.

22 Dec 2008

Saturday Night in Las Vegas

Looking through my last several blogs it seems like all I do is eat dinner. That’s not true. There are other meals too.
Today was worked quite well without any restaurant. Allyn and I spent some time at the mall doing some Hanukkah shopping and picking out a birthday present for Dominik’s 35 birthday tonight.
We thought we found the perfect gift – Kabbalah for Dummies. That might sound weird to most people, but Dom spends significant time trying to unlock the mysteries of the universe, and is particularly interested in mysticism and Kabbalah.
The party was at Dominik and McKenzie’s new home in Summerlin. It is a beauty. On the way there I wondered how people ever found places before GPS.

Dom had a cookbook about cooking with toast, which created the opportunity to build the food around (you guessed it) items on toast. My favorite was the toast with gorgonzola cheese, covered with pear fried in some fancy French butter and then a pecan. Another beauty was the toast with chicken, avocado and lemon.
Trey and I are in a football handicapping contest, and were in first place until we went zero for five last week. We were excited that we won Saturday's game which was one of our picks this week.
It’s fun to see the guys outside of the office. I promised Allyn that I wouldn’t talk business all night. I think I did a pretty good job.

18 Dec 2008

Il Mulino Restaurant, Las Vegas

Many consider Il Mulino the finest Italian restaurant in New York. As such, it is no wonder then that they followed the trend and opened up another in Las Vegas.
What is unusual is that I feel the Las Vegas branch is better than the original. The reason is that here there is elbow room and reservations are honored. In New York, the food is great and you eat there in spite of their tardiness and close seating proximity.
All the food is great. The portions are large and the “free” appetizers they bring in at the beginning are enough for an entire meal.

For the Sea Bass crowd, this is the best in town (tied with Bartolatta at Wynn Las Vegas). Pictured above, Poker celebrity JJ Liu is being presented with a beautiful salt-encrusted whole sea bass.

If you like rich pasta, you’ll love the Ravioli filled with Porcini Mushrooms, in a black truffle sauce, covered with their delectable cream sauce. The Osso Bucco works well for the meat fans and is a perennial favorite.

You get the point. It is a big bold meal that you’ll remember, and want to repeat once in a while. 

Check them out online at

17 Dec 2008

Koi Restaurant, Las Vegas

Koi is one of the great new spots in Las Vegas. Already a very hot spot in both  LA and New York, it fits right in at The Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino. A celebrity favorite, Koi is known for both its Japanese-inspired cuisine with California accents, as well as its great service, décor and attitude. This is a fun evening with great food.

Although we shared many delightful items that are familiar to folks who dine at these type restaurants, I strongly recommend the Crispy Rice with Spicy Tuna.

JetSetWay tip - Besides a lovely dining room, there is a second more intimate room with glass windows overlooking Bellagio Hotel.  It is called The Fountain Room. I highly recommend sitting in there if possible. The room seats 75 on comfortable couches and can be reserved for private parties where one can leisurely enjoy the exquisite meal while watching the Bellagio fountains or the busy street below.

The two kids in the silly picture with me are Allyn’s lovely daughter Jessica and her friend George.

Visit Koi online at


16 Dec 2008

Joel Robuchon, Las Vegas (Part 2)

I still am on a high from my meal at Joel Robuchon. I must write a second blog even though I cannot possible write nearly as well as they can serve a meal.
I mean, who gives a private menu on a meal for seven?
Just check out the pictures to see the perfection of how each course is served let alone prepared.

Their breads were so outstanding that after a couple times around they come by apologizing for its greatness and offer to bring however much we wanted, but cautioned us about filling up.

Although we have seen this before, it is always the height of luxury for Allyn to have a proper bench upon which to put her purse.


Finally at the end of the evening they gave each woman a gift to take home – a wonderful pound cake.