I don’t know if I have the energy to do a play by play of our Vegas trip. I mean, at some level it will be just like any other trip to Vegas: We dedicated a huge amount of time and energy and money towards having quality eating experiences. In fact, at 12 hours in, we’d spent $0.00 on gambling and $400+ on food. We gambled, we slept, we shopped and we partied. We didn’t win anything but spent plenty of money. I always call Vegas the City of Excess and it definitely did not disappoint this go round. Done and done. It’s important to remember that this weekend was both Valentine’s Day and Rhonda’s birthday and I made sure to recognize both with champagne, special gifts and just generally being my loving husband self. We had a good time. We need more time together, just the two of us. Keeps us healthy.
I guess one thing to add is that we stayed at a new place this time – the Wynn. It came with a lot of hype so I was super curious to see whether or not it was worth it. Rhonda and I had drinks there last year and definitely enjoyed ourselves at a little on-the-water place called Parasol Down. We went back this time too…had two drinks for the bargain price of $31. Yikes. Overall, the Wynn is nice and it had features that nice places should have…tv’s in the bathrooms, push button activated drapes, etc. But it’s expensive too, so if you’re not a person who likes to spend money on the place where you shower and sleep when you’re in Vegas, you’re better off someplace else. We liked it but will still let economics drive our future decisions. A lot of places are nice in Vegas. I’ll be back there in two weeks…again at the Wynn. I’ll be like the resident expert.
Also worth adding is that the weekend inadvertently turned into a couples date…at least Saturday did. Travis and Stephanie and Jeffie and Jaime all came up from LA so we could capitalize on 24 hours of the Nunnery’s being within a 4 hour drive of them. Good times, too. I used to always think that when I was older married couples trips would be fun…more fun than guys trips. Totally true. You don’t have to babysit anyone. Everyone is on the same page and not trying to hookup. Marriage itself offers a litany of conversation. You have more money as grown ups and don’t mind spending it on quality versus quantity. In fact, Travis and I were recounting how many times we’ve been to Vegas with virtually no money at all; in college we’d throw together whatever cash we each had, stick it in an envelope and hit the pavement for the City of Sin. So fun. Good times and I would do it again. Miss those guys. And wouldn’t you know? We didn’t get one fucking group picture. Idiots.
I’ll at least do a quick review of a couple restaurants since I have found that lately I go back through my journal to see where I ate in certain cities and whether or not I had a good experience. Though we ate at a handful of other places, I’m only going to do the big meals where we were actually hoping for excellence:
Dal Toro is an Italian place in the Palazzo. We don’t usually do Italian when we go out, mostly because I’m an Italian food snob we don’t usually eat pasta except at home. Too heavy. But we were hungry and this place was close. For a Friday night Dal Toro was noticeably vacant. Other than us, we saw four tables the entire time we were there. We had beef Carpaccio and Tuna Tartar for appetizers. For dinner Rhonda had a whole red snapper and I had the sea bass. Overall I would say that Dal Toro was just ok given that it’s supposed to be so high end (see: Lamborghini dealership in the restaurant). Also, the place was empty so I give it a solid C- for ambiance, which you never want in Vegas. I think our tab was around $200 with a bottle of wine. Good to do once. Probably won’t go back.
The second night we went to Khotan, a pan-Asian place in Treasure Island. Seemed like a good call considering it was Chinese New Years. The best part of eating at Khotan was the company. Travis and Stephanie, Jeff and Jamie and Rhonda and me are all fans of food and we have no problem going Russian roulette style; after taking a brief skim of the menu, we instructed the waiter to just start bringing us food…whatever he liked…whatever the chef liked…just don’t give us a bad experience. It was a good payoff, too, among the parade that followed was a boatload of sushi, a whole fried catfish, grilled shishito peppers, short ribs, a few bottles of sake and a slew of other things. We had a good time – that’s important. This restaurant sits right above the water at Treasure Island so you really get a front row seat to all the action going on in the pirate’s cove or whatever it’s called. It’s got great ambiance inside, good crowd. I think our tab was somewhere in the $500-$600 range which wasn’t bad for six people.
I’m a big fan of Emeril’s and when I heard he had a new restaurant in Vegas called ‘Table 10’ I was all about giving it a whirl. It’s hard to explain the theme of the food at Table 10. I was under the impression that it was Cajun flare, but after eating there I would say it’s more New Orleans inspired American food (which is about what they say on the web site – duh. Maybe I’ll read it next time.) Four of us went and ordered some combination of Truffle Mac & Cheese, Grilled Jalapeño Hush Puppies, Gumbo, Calamari & Pickled Peppers, various salads, Pasta Jambalaya, Lamb Shank and a whole fish that we ordered off the menu…can’t remember what kind it was. Everything was tasty, the ambiance was good and we left packed to the gills. Still, I wasn’t blown away. With so many good options in Vegas I am fairly certain that Table 10 was a one-time visit for us. I can’t remember what the tab was, but it was up there.
It was a good, long weekend. Grandma came out to watch the kids while we were away and we talked to them several times a day while they were making cookies, drawing valentines, playing in the snow. I knew my mom would be exhausted when we got back but I also know that she’ll take any chance she can to spend time with the girls. I like when she watches them. She’s the only babysitter I trust implicitly and so I worry less when Ava & Lily are under her care. Good thing too because due to a blizzard our trip was extended by a day. As we were flying home to Columbus our pilot alerted us that we’d be grounded in St. Louis for awhile due to the snow back home in Ohio. ‘Awhile’ ended up being overnight which meant we got to spend another evening having dinner at the Doubletree and falling asleep watching trash TV. Not getting home was bad luck…but not that bad.