Winning the Jackpot Without Betting a Dime

I’ve never seen the odds in cards or craps or slots. Too little control, too much to lose.

Too little control when it comes to sucking the marrow out of the Las Vegas experience

Short Rib Ravioli - Marche Bacchus

Short Rib Ravioli – Marche Bacchus

too…but everything to gain.

June and I LOVE Las Vegas. We go to eat and to relax and to bring Lineage and The Premier Cabernet out to like-minded sommeliers at the great restaurants in town. And as transient as the restaurant business is, we have now begun to create some really great relationships with folks that we’ve dined with a number of times.

Las Vegas is the kind of place you want to have your wines. There are more Master Sommeliers here than in New York; the quality of the restaurants attract people who are passionate about food and wine; and the traffic is truly international, so there is that chance that someone at CarneVino or Bouchon or Delmonico’s will taste our wines here and bring back a great memory to their home an ocean away.

On this most recent outing we ate at Jaleo in Cosmopolitan and had amazing Tapas. The Chorizo with olive oil mashed potatoes and Endive with Orange and goat cheese were amazing dishes. We didn’t know until recently that one of our good friends is the sister-in-law of Jaleo’s owner and master Chef Jose Andres. Small world. That’s another great thing about Las Vegas too.

Another first time spot for us was Restaurant Guy Savoy in Caesar’s Palace. Classic French cuisine; classic (and utterly spectacular) service. Chef Mathieu Chartron prepared one of the great foie gras dishes I’ve ever had and the soups were rich and light and perfect.

Year of the Horse: Bellagio Conservatory

Year of the Horse: Bellagio Conservatory

And as great as the food was, the people (true professionals!) who took care of us were every bit its equal: at once, gracious, on point, and warm. It was as if your friends decided to put on the perfect ballet in your family room. Just an amazing experience. Thank you General Manager, Alain Alpe, and your team!

Marche Bacchus off the strip was a great lunch choice. About 20 minutes away from the Bellagio, this restaurant is also a wine shop (and one with an amazing selection of some of the best wines in the world). June and I had a table in the enclosed patio that looks right out onto a lake where black swan, ducks, and turtles meander a few feet from you.

photoWe finished off the weekend, as we always do, with brunch at Bouchon. One of Thomas Keller’s bistros, Bouchon has the best roast chicken to be found, amazing pastries, and a stellar wine program. One of our friends, Paul Peterson, is the sommelier here, and he treated us to a great tasting of Loire Valley and California Cabernet Francs. He was incredibly generous with his time, as well. This is THE perfect spot to finish up a trip to VinCity.

I’m a very lucky man to be able to combine the things I love to do most with the woman I love best; I’m sure there are Las Vegas trips ahead…here’s to hoping they’ll all be as great as the one that just ended.

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