Okay, so I've been home in Melbourne for a little over two weeks now, and I have
still yet to finish my posts on my travels overseas. We've recorded a podcast in
that time but I felt for the purposes of closure (mine moreso than anyone elses)
I had better bring my travelogue to a close. My previous post finished just as I
was about to head to Las Vegas.
The problem with writing about Vegas is where to begin. From the instant you arrive
there's sensory overload, and you're imediately hit by the sheer stupidity of it all.
I don't mean stupidity as a derogatory term either, in the sense of a "dumb" kind of
place, I actually mean that it's simply mind boggling that a place like this exists at
all. By all logic, it just shouldn't exist. There should simply not be anywhere in the
world where you can walk from a replica spynx, to the New York skyline, to the Eiffel
Tour and Arc de Triomphe, to the Venetian Canals, and still have time to visit the lion
enclosure. But there is. And it's Vegas.
I'm not going to go into details about the casinos and gambling, everyone knows about
that, and I'm not much of a gambler (I lost $9 in my four days there). What I didn't
know about Vegas was the size of the fine dining scene. Sure, I knew there were a few
restaurants around by top chefs, but I didn't know just how many! Every hotel seems to
try and outdo each other not only with the biggest and best attractions (roller coasters,
canals, fountains, shows, theatres etc), but also with the highest quality restaurants.
It seems fitting that on our last day in the United States, we had what was probably
our best meal. That's no mean feat given the time we spent at Jean Georges' in New
York. This was the five course degustation at Picasso, a restaurant overlooking
the famous Belagio lake and fountain show. In keeping with the excess associated with
vegas, the name was no misnomer, as the decorations on the walls of the restaurant were
exclusively Picasso's. Originals mind you. I'd never seen anything like it (outside of
The MET I guess). A lot of the plates were also Picasso designed or inspired, and I even thought some of the plating up was reminiscent of some abstracts I'd seen around. It's been a while since actually eating there, so my mind is a little fuzzy, but the crab salad (pictured) was amazing, and the Loin of
Lamb with Fricasee of Vegetables, Mushrooms, Coulis of Curry and Yukon
Potatoes was a standout.
We also decided to go for matched wines this time around, and were served each wine by
a courteous and knowledgeable somelier, who never once sounded condescending but was always
informative. Telling us not only about the wine, but also why it was paired with each
Once again the evening was pure indulgence, with foie gras making yet
another appearance. While we didn't pay the extra $100 for the wagyu course, or do the
$300 white truffle dinner, the meal which ended our trip in the US was up there with some
of the best meals we've ever had.
So I guess that's it. The following day we flew out of Vegas and out of America. We're now
back in Melbourne, and while we had a fantastic time away I wouldn't trade where we live for