15 Dec 2008

Joel Robuchon, Las Vegas (Part 1)


For what will probably be the most memorable dining experience in your life, go to Joel Robuchon in the MGM Grand.
Generally my favorite is not fancy French, as tasting menus tend to make me hungry not full, and four hour meals give me schpilkas. Having said that, this was perhaps the most amazing dining experience that I have ever had. Everybody at the table shared my view.
The restaurant is so gorgeous that upon arriving you just know you have a treat at hand. Sometimes fancy French brings stuffiness along with it (in the U.S., never in Paris), but this was not the case here.

Then, of course, there is the food. It looked so pretty that it was a shame to eat it, but what the heck. Click here to see our personalized Menu.
We had their 16-course meal. They are always fine tuning things. Two of the plates actually had 3 courses on each. That way they could trim down an hour. I guess people start getting a bit antsy after four hours.
We ate in the private room, which made the experience even more superb. True it cost an extra couple hundred dollars, but given the bill was $4,900 for seven of us, it seemed like a bargain.

In tomorrow’s blog I will have more food detail. Until then, visit them on line here.

12 Dec 2008

Ferraro’s Restaurant, Las Vegas

Gino Ferraro’s is a bone fide authentic Italian restaurant serving some of the best food in town. It is always nice to find a place where the locals patronize that is off the strip.

They are well known for their sumptuous Osso Buco. We started with an outstanding salad, Cappuccina con Gorgonzola, which is almost like a butter lettuce wedge with some extra.

We were particularly impressed with an incident over Allyn’s Fettuccini Pomodoro. Although it was prepared exactly as per usual, it was not prepared the way she prefers. The waiter heard the conversation and immediately brought out the chef. The chef professionally and kindly listened to her preference and five minutes later she had a fresh plate with her food cooked exactly as per her preference. They could not have been nicer.

Normally I stay away from dessert, but somehow tonight I shared their Hazelnut and Chocolate Crepe with Marscarpone Cheese served with Vanilla Gelato. It is the BEST.
One reason it is always so good and consistent is that Mimmo is always around. Tell him I sent you. Visit them online at

11 Dec 2008

Gordon Biersch, Las Vegas

Gordon Biersch is one of the few restaurant chains where you can eat every week, and still leave shaking your head in amazement as to how good the food is. I never get tired of this restaurant.

Yesterday for lunch we had both the Chopped Salad and Cobb Salad.  As per usual, both were fresh, crisp, and served with a smile. The salads are quite large, with my two lady guests splitting the Cobb (yet still unable to finish it).

The sandwiches and burgers are also superb, served with thier special garlic fries (the smell of which will win you over right when you walk in). The blackened Ahi tuna sandwich is a must try.

As for me, I generally have the excellent Southwest Chicken Sandwich (Pepper Jack Cheese, Roasted Red Peppers, with Chipotle Mayonnaise on a Baguette). Yesterday was no exception. Interestingly enough, I don’t really care for their beer, even though I am a big beer fan.

Check them out online at


10 Dec 2008

Roy's Restaurant, Las Vegas

You often hear around town that Las Vegas has the largest Hawaiian population outside of the state of Hawaii.  As such, in this desert oasis, there’s no shortage of Hawaiian themed restaurants. A strong candidate for the best has got to be Roy’s.

James Beard award winner Chef Roy Yamaguchi opened his first restaurant in Honolulu in 1988. Today, he has over 37 restaurants around the world, and is the standard bearer for Hawaiian Fusion cuisine. Blending food and the “aloha” spirit in a dynamic way, European techniques and Asian cuisine create a fine dining experience unlike any other. 

And the food? You won’t find better fish in Las Vegas any place. The plates look amazing and taste even better. What more, the service is consistently excellent, with a straight from the heart aloha style which always puts the the guests' needs first.
JetSetWay tip – Often Allyn and I go there just for sushi and invite the chefs to make what they please. They seem to enjoy this and invent rolls that are not on the menu, or any other menu for that matter.

Visit them online at

09 Dec 2008

Chaya Brasserie, San Francisco

San Francisco is loaded with outstanding restaurants. Recently, with our good friends Terye and Jacob Levy, we ate at Chaya Brasserie, located down in the Embarcadero.

This place is great and has one of the most spectacular views in the city.  The industrical-chic decor blends well with the Franco-Japanese cooking Chaya introduced to the Bay Area in 2000 (and Los Angeles 1984). In Japan, the legendary and original Chaya restaurant has been around for 358 years. Wow.

JetSetWay tip – Try to get one of the few window tables up front with the Oakland Bay Bridge view.  The 1989 earthquake helped by collapsing the unsightly freeway out front.
As per usual in this town, we all had a great dining experience. The food, ambiance and service were all up to the high-end San Francisco standards.
As a Seattle native, I am almost embarrassed to say that the Salmon entrée was as good as I have ever had.

However, Allyn, who is a Sea Bass aficionado, did not care for her fish. She was not even sure that it was Sea Bass. Her decision to return the mystery fish was an easy one, as it was dry and overcooked. Our helpful and apologetic waitress was very quick to accommodate.

Don't miss this place on your next trip to San Francisco. Until then, visit them online at