Since we first started dating, Chris and I regularly visited Las Vegas. Living in Southern California, it’s such an easy getaway (a 45 minute flight or a 3.5 hour drive). There were some years where we made 8+ trips in one year! Recently though, we’d only been once the past year and a half and with my birthday quickly approaching, we decided a Las Vegas trip was in order before my big 3-0. Although we always have our favorite go-to restaurants to visit, we wanted to be a little more adventurous this time and only dined at restaurants we’d never tried there before.
I almost always prefer to fly but we opted to make a little road trip out of it since I wanted to visit a couple places on the way like beautiful Downtown Summerlin and the Primm & Tanger outlets! On our drive in, we checked out the newly opened Gelato Messina in the heart of Downtown Summerlin! The creators are Italian Australian and have made a name for themselves in Australia, setting high standards with impeccable quality. They opened this location just a few months ago and have already blown the city away. They offer 40 flavors all made in house from scratch (including 5 weekly specials) each with their own unique recipes (no basic gelato bases here!). There’s no denying it, their gelatos and sorbets exude excellence! A common gelato flavor that I found really extraordinary was Pistachio. Apparently other gelato makers will substitute them with more common nuts like almonds since pistachios can be expensive, leaving you with just a hint of pistachio. Gelato Messina uses only freshly ground roasted pistachios from Bronte in Italy so the flavor was deep, delicious and absolutely unforgettable! My notable favorites were Coconut & Lychee, Poached Figs in Marsala, Salted Coconut & Mango Salsa and Pandan Coconut, yum!
The following day, we had lunch reservations at Sushi Roku. I’ve had the pleasure of dining at their LA location a while back and was excited to try this one. It’s located in The Forum Shops at Caesars – one of my favorite places to shop! Stepping into Sushi Roku is like being transported to another world, an edgy, moody Japanese oasis; definitely a cool ambiance and nice getaway from the sometimes chaotic shopping scene right outside. Their cocktails were not only beautiful but perfectly mixed with a delightful balance of sweet, savory and sour flavors (my favorite was the Balsamic Strawberry Martini!) Every dish presented was like an edible art piece, almost too beautiful to eat but creatively and delectably crafted with a surprising combination of ingredients. I never thought tuna and beets would be a great combination but they were so refreshing together! We indulged in more than 10 courses but my favorites were Scallops with Foie Gras and White Truffle Oil and the Lobster Uni – both unexpected and exquisite combinations, perfectly balancing the textures and flavors. Re-living this meal, I’m tempted to make reservations here in LA now! At the end of our lunch, they blew me away with the sweetest birthday dessert surprise complete with sparklers!
Our last night in Vegas, we had tickets to watch Le Reve and made reservations at Public House, a gastropub located in the Venetian’s The Grand Canal Shoppes beforehand for dinner. With a long show ahead of us, we decided to keep this meal a little simpler and only giving in to our favorite indulgences. I loved their modern twist on the drink menu utilizing an iPad instead, making for a fun interactive experience. We went for two of their house specialty drinks, their versions of the bloody mary and old fashioned and started off our meal with a caesar salad. Don’t let the sound of a salad fool you 😉 Public House’s version was topped with crispy pig ears, one of my favorite unusual treats! Next up was the shellfish platter where we enjoyed fresh oysters, prawns, lobster, crab and ahi poke. We finished off our light dinner with their Roasted Bone Marrow, served with a satiating bacon marmalade. Recaping all of this, I can’t believe I didn’t fall asleep during the show after. Talk about a recipe for food coma!
Photos by Chris Dyer & yours truly :).