25 Dec 2008

Hanukkah and the Flood

We had a lovely Hanukkah party last night. See the pretty pictures of our wonderful dinner below.

What you don’t see is that ten minutes into it we had a major water hose burst on our third floor. Two minutes later water was pouring into the dining room, two floors down.

We had stress, but we were able to stop it immediately. We would have had an unbelievable catastrophe had we not been home and in the dining room.

I love living in Las Vegas. The landscapes are great (the photos above is the view from our window), the weather is agreeable, the sky is blue, but work product all over is deplorable.
I have lived in houses all over the country, old and new, expensive and cheap. Never have I heard of this type problem even though I used to develop apartments and condos.

How can a hose burst (inside, no freezing issue) in a relatively new home? Only in Las Vegas.

Happy Hanukkah everyone!

24 Dec 2008

Circo, Las Vegas

Historically I have enjoyed eating at Circo in Bellagio. There is something about it that always seems extra scrubbed and immaculate. The setting is lovely, overlooking the Bellagio fountains.
Unfortunately, it has really gone downhill. That isn’t to say the food is terrible; it just is not up to the price tag, or comparable to other great Italian restaurants in Las Vegas.

They used to have a duck pasta to die, but it is no longer on the menu. No problem. But when asked why, the waitress said that it is a heavy dish and they take it off for the summer. I guess she doesn’t know that Christmas is winter. That speaks to her ineptitude though, not the food. The salmon was bad, and the tuna tartar was marginal at best.

The real problem with the dinner was the service. They have lost some fine staff and it really shows. I don’t know the reason, nor it is not my issue. Our server was awful. I guess she thought since she worked in a casino it was OK to bluff.

She did not know the menu well, and was totally unpolished. The service was incredibly slow. I had to ask three times for the check and then she brought the check for the party next to us. Furthermore, they had confirmed a window table for us, but did not honor.

You would think in this economy, and with the restaurant extremely empty, they would at least try to act as if they care. Check them out online here.

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