“In Todd we trust!”

Cross your “t’s”, dot your “i’s”, and most definitely ensure to check off your foodie bucket list.  For me, this equates to tasting as many celebrity chef-inspired dishes allowed in a lifetime.  And, talking about right place and time, Las Vegas strip is home to a handful of restaurants by well-known culinary greats.  TEpub1 arr

“Table for two?” ─ yes, please!  Going where I have yet to dine ─ even ‘sans’ reservation ─ I know lady luck must be chiming nearby as my impromptu dinner is already made exceptional with speedy service, and booth side seating at none other than Todd English P.U.B.  Not your ordinary after-hours retreat, this casually upscale pub bustles with more than lively patrons who are eager to strike up conversation.  Truly giving guests something to talk about, this resto is justly named after the celebrated chef, himself ─ the Todd English ─ who is both a restaurateur and multi-winner of the James Beard Award.  In spirited terms, this urban food and bar house is bound to ring in cheer, good times and deliciously made traditional British fare ─ all under the influence of Todd, of course!TEpub2 arr

Options ranging from carved meats, classic fish and chips as well as fresh “raw bar” oysters, don’t let mouth-watering selects leave you stuck in a pickle of a decision ─ order it, instead!  Evading confusion, then, let’s start with the obvious for appetizers ─ “Crispy Beer Battered Pickles,” anyone?  Having just that, I’d compare P.U.B.’s fried slices of house made pickles to be a supremely elevated variation of dill potato chips.  Far from ordinary, T.E.’s take on this condiment snack remains unmatched as the pickles retain a crunchy texture and are mildly sweet in flavour.  Even better is the batter!  Using beer-infused tempura, these ‘freshly’ fried bite-size pickle chips are first coated prior to getting their hot oil treatment, and come served with a trio of barbeque, ranch, and blue cheese savoury dips.  Surprisingly irresistible, this lump-free alternative to the all-time bagged favourite is genuinely that good.

TEpub3 arrFirst round in, this foodie ‘listed’ wish would not be complete with ─ at minimum ─ the inclusion of a highlighted pick among “Todd’s Favorite’s.”  And there it is, “Lobster Cobb.”  Menu scanned and choice made, my decision indicates this:  great appetites think alike ─ they’re ‘mindful’ of layered tastes.  In plain ‘English,’ this meal is made of the king of crustaceans ─ a.k.a. meaty lobster ─ and, it is appropriately dressed with delectable fixings:  creamy avocado, smoked bacon, blue cheese, roasted corn, plus more edible goodness.  More than just baby greens, this dinner salad is substantially rich and generous in servings of under the sea.  So when opportunity strikes, asking for additions ─ skirt steak, salmon, turkey, chicken or shrimp ─ is all the more reason to dive into temptation and make this dish a personal well-encompassed surf ‘n’ turf favourite.  Clearly not going overboard, I must request additions.  After all, how much is really too much?  If anything, my eager-to-order eyes have taught me that when dealing with countless appetizing options, more is always more.  Dinner lightweight, heavyweight or unsure, no worries here!  Happy hour at Todd English P.U.B. means you can wind down, enjoy the atmosphere, and delight in a satisfying meal.  All in all, this establishment does a fine job in making guests feel right at home.  Being one to attest to a contently fulfilling experience at P.U.B., it’s no wonder, “in Todd we trust!”

© DISHFUL, 2015.  All Rights Reserved.

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This Is How We Do Vegas

BBP4 arr“Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada!”  Landing in “Entertainment Capital,” this inviting foodie haven is bound to appease every sense.  Fortunately, the need to feed can be accomplished northbound or heading south of Las Vegas Boulevard.  Hungering over Vegas sights, who knew walking along “the strip” quickly leaves one simply hungry.  Sleepless in 702, and with an insatiable appetite for sinfully delicious calories, BBP is a worthy pit stop to replenish and re-energize.

BBP2 arrCourtesy of Bobby Flay’s very own burger palace, this fast-food joint flame-broils three selects ─ Angus beef, chicken or ground turkey ─ and with endless savoury ‘stately’-inspired toppings.  Debating not over the east or west, burger-lovers can go coastal with picks such as the “Miami,” the “Dallas” and even the “Bobby Blue.”  What’s more?  Choose your preferred meat patty, and get it “Crunchified.”  That’s right, even if you’re not keen on the “Crunchburger” ─ double cheeseburger with chips ─ this burger house will generously tower any desired protein plate with golden crisps.  So there you have it:  the addition of complimentary potato chips fit for preferential treatment ─ burger of choice ─ and, ultimately a high stakes noshing session of tasty bites of Americana.

BBP1 arrDo we ever learn from jokes?  I do like my coffee ‘hot,’ my chips ‘crisp’ and while in a restaurant, I’ll definitely ─ especially, when given the choice ─ take my burger “Topless.”  Inside-joke ─ perhaps ─ but, when you’re at BBP in Vegas, this is the way to order.  On the menu, and soon to be my very own, I opt for a “Topless” ─ hold the buns, carb-free ─ “L.A.” style Angus beef burger salad with a serving of chicken.  Clearly, ‘someone’ hearts protein and veg.  Even better, my plateful is promptly delivered tableside and ─ utensils in-hand ─ ready for consumption.  All in all, the combination of succulent ─ doubled ─ meat with sweet baby greens, creamy avocado relish, refreshing tomato, watercress, and balsamic dressing is without a doubt one delectable gamble for a meal gone right.

BBP3 arrFully satisfied at BBP, a ‘good’ food experience is like winning the jackpot.  Luckily, Bobby’s Burger Palace offers plenty of highly mentionable items to leave many with ‘won-over’ appetites, post-indulging.  Tender yet crisp, the sea salted sweet potato fries are quite good and a possible accompaniment as are other sides.  Leaving enticing malts and milkshakes for a future visit, here’s my overall first impression of Mr. Iron Chef’s burger restaurant:  it does reign in supreme flavour and service.  On that note, “Allez cuisine!” ─ and, make a trip to BBP.

© DISHFUL, 2015.  All Rights Reserved.

R.S.V.P.

Ever wanted to dine like an “A-lister”? Here’s your chance. The fabulous city of Las Vegas is the mecca of upscale restaurants. ‘Dish city’ – ‘gone wild-ly gourmet – offers fans of celebrity chefs, like Todd English or Emeril, a multitude of haute cuisine venues along the strip.

Spago Table arrAdmiring several masters of the trade, a few names came to mind. In the heart of Caesar’s Palace, however, I read two tempting syllables: spa-go. In recognition of Wolfgang Puck, an internationally-acclaimed restaurateur, I could only anticipate a first class meal from his famed restaurant – Spago.

“First impressions count!” Courteously greeted by the hostess, advance booking ensured a seemingly non-existent wait time. Similarly well-executed – of ‘grande échelon’ – had been the prompt and efficient transition into the dimly lit restaurant, where modern elegance notably reigned supreme. Soon after being escorted to my table and receiving formal introduction, the astute waiter took notice of my attire – a black evening dress. Without cue, and much to my elation, he graciously offered to replace my white napkin in exchange for a dark one. Napkin colour matters? When it comes to avoiding possible lint remittances, yes they do! Fortunately, I hit the jackpot with a proactive and client-oriented gentleman who cared to go the extra mile. Already receiving star treatment, dinner service was off to a great start – Ramsay would be proud!Spago Starter arr

As a member of ‘The Wolf Pack,’ your presence is acknowledged and needs met – you’re never forgotten nor ignored. Immediately offered teasers of pleasantry, in a teacup, the complimentary chilled creamed soup matched the top-rate service. Obvious in taste and presentation, this amuse-bouche heeded the streamlined American-fusion menu. Equally appetizing, the hearty meal I had requested – red wine braised beef short-ribs. Bountiful in description, this ‘fancy beast’ was generous in portion as well. Beef Ribs arrHow much is too much? Towering a bed of ricotta-filled raviolini, the succulently rich and tender meat was plated with a vegetable medley of grilled eggplant, leeks, tomatoes and squash. Agreeably luxurious in flavour, this banquet feast – intended for single consumption – beckons a gluttonous appetite. Comfortably full, midway, I still left satisfied.

Never settling for less than the best is what separates the elite from the mediocre. Spago, clearly, maintains the same line of thought. Organization at its prime, culinary excellence and optimum hospitality is apparent in both the preparation of elevated cuisine, and delivery of impeccable service; a truly irreplaceable pairing. Living to expectation, my fine dining experience was memorable from beginning to end thanks to the initiative taken on behalf of many persons – frontline and kitchen staff – to make every moment count. All in all, my occasion was made special by star plating and stellar service. An autograph worth signing – on the cheque!

Copyright © DISHFUL, 2013.

“Melts in your Mouth…”

LV Welcome Sign arr“What happens in Vegas…” Well, I’ll tell you all about it! Las Vegas has something for everyone. There are no limits when it comes to the selection of live entertainment, clubs, and reputable casinos. The “city that never sleeps” virtually keeps you awake by catering to your every need.

Given the range of choices, what’s a girl to do? Watch a live performance by Sean Kingston? Check! Sunbathe pool-side and watch a fountain spectacle at the Bellagio? I stayed there, and clearly done that too!

M&M Shop arrIn addition to shopping and a Grand Canyon tour, food finds made my excursion as memorable as these leisurely activities. Chocophile that I am, I practically died and went to choco-coma as a bouquet of cocoa engulfed the air, guiding my senses into the M&M Candy Store. Surrounded by chocolate, I was in my happy zone. Just picture the following: colourful rows of bulk M&M candies, M&M ice-cream bars, individually-wrapped chocolate, and even candy-inspired memorabilia present in surplus volume. Being in a chocolate shop was fun, as it reminded me of that Simpsons episode where Homer dreams of life in chocolate.

These candy-coated morsels are undeniably pleasing. Since childhood, however, I’ve developed an affinity for dark chocolate and, in due consideration, chose to forgo these confections and continued walking along the strip. Venetian Outside arr

Patience, as they say, “is a virtue.” I found validity in these words upon exploring the lobby grounds of the Venetian. As much as I was mesmerized by this hotel resort’s interpretation of the Grand Canal, with gondolas afloat, I noticed a quaint dessert hideaway. Host to an assortment of fine Italian pastries, Tintoretto Bakery also displayed one specific item that caught my attention. Tintoretto ChocoMousse arrBehind the vibrant fruit tarts, there it was – chocolate mousse. Generous in serving size, this treat lived up to a standard of equal proportion. I saw, I ordered and I pampered my taste buds with a highly refined, luxurious, decadent chocolate creation worth the find, and wait!

Copyright © DISHFUL, 2013.