Hitting the Strip
Las Vegas is a town where you travel around the world within minutes. In front of the Hotel Paris there is a duplicate of the Eiffel Tower reaching some four hundred feet up into air. There is a man-made lake in front of the Belagio Hotel whose fountain plays every hour or so in duette with the singing of Frank Sinatra. If you want to swing your golf club you can do that too at the Wynn where they built an 18-hole course with manicured grass and a lake landscape. Don’t forget all this in the heart of a desert.
(Hotel Paris) (water fountains - Hotel Belagio)
Viva Las Vegas
An “Alice in Wonderland” world for the adult where Elvis used to rock, magicians make tigers disappear and acrobats make gravity seem non-existent in the various Cirque de Solei presentations. A daily “fight” against an army of gaming machines is on at all times.
(homage to Elvis – peanut butter pudding with banana mousse and caramaelized honey pop corn)
Besides entertainment for adults other than legal prostitution there are also terrific dining spots or at least great “chef names” thrown around such as Joel Roubouchon, Rick Moonen, Jean Georges, Charley Palmer, Wolfgang Puck, Jean Georges and the list goes on.
(Las Vegas advertisment) (Hotel MGM lion)
All that Glitters isn’t Gold
Can crowds be fed well? I had to come to the conclusion that many culinary experiences were mediocre at best in Las Vegas . I was surprised how chef colleagues are caught up in the number jungle (sales figures, daily guest counts). Where was the spirit of cooking extraordinary food and giving good service? There is this feel of get’m in and out almost like in a cantina maybe because you never seem the same guest twice? It all looks glitzy and nice but the cookie cutter type of assembly line didn’t cut it for me.
Is it a culinary destination? Well I don’t think so. Would I go back? Yes but with different expectations.