/ #travel #Las Vegas 

Las Vegas March 2018

If you know anything at all about my husband and I, you know we love discovering great food experiences with our friends. This March a group of eight of us descended on Las Vegas for a weekend of birthday celebrations.

Friday Night

We flew in on Friday evening and hoped into a taxi from the airport to our hotel. Now, we are usually ride share users but in Vegas we have found taxis more convenient and similarly priced, unlike here in the Bay Area where taxis tend to be way more expensive. You also spend 5-10 minutes waiting for your ride meanwhile there is a line of taxis at every hotel ready to hop into.

So, we drop our stuff at the hotel and head over to Beauty & Essex at the Cosmopolitan to meet up with the group for dinner. We walked past the pawn/antique shop front multiple times before we saw a giant door swing open through which a group of drunks exited the restaurant. Our group had been at the restaurant a while apparently waiting on our table to be ready, which coincidentally happened soon after the entire party arrived.

Beauty and Essex

We were invited to order from either the regular menu or we could do family style from a smaller menu intended for larger groups, we got more than enough for one each of everything with a few extras for us to fight over. The service was great, our drinks never ran dry and the food kept on coming, there was no lull in between courses. I really enjoyed it.

Saturday Morning

We had an early wake up call to meet at the hotel lobby to head over to brunch Downtown at Park on Fremont. The only space able to accommodate our large group was outside and it was a little cool but we had heaters and got our booze on, when in Rome, right?! The food was again really good and the drinks great, we had great fun with the Moscow Mule for 6, you’ve never seen a copper cup that big!

Moscow mule at Park on Fremont

They also had a menu of alcoholic coffee drinks and we of course got mimosas, a brunch staple. You want a good hangover meal, garbage fries are it!

During the day we stayed down of Fremont Street. The atmosphere isn’t nearly as electric during the daytime so I highly recommend a trip after dark, the entertainment on the street is great and since Vegas doesn’t have open container laws you can walk up to any number of bars and get giant boozy slushies and massive beers to enjoy as you walk.

Saturday Afternoon

Time to head back to the strip for more food. We had a number of people all about checking out a chicken a waffle spot at the Venetian. Yardbird was great… we walked up and pointed at a large table and commented “that table looks perfect for us” to which the host responded sure but I need the table in an hour. Wow! That never happens! We weren’t planning on hanging around so as long as the kitchen could get the food out we’d be leaving way inside of an hour. I was already so full from a large brunch and lots of beer drinking so I just went with a salad but the taste of someone else’s chicken was phenomenal! If fried chicken and waffles are your thing, then you must check this spot out!

Chicken and Waffles - Yardbird

Saturday Evening

After some casino hopping on the strip another meal rolled around, we enjoyed an Italian meal at Osteria Coasta located The Mirage. I was already still so full that I was not ready for more food, especially not a plateful of pasta. Hubby and I split an appetizer of beef carpaccio and a pizza which was all ok, I would go back here I just think at this point I was so full that I couldn’t fully enjoy the food. The restaurant was brand new, I think only a few weeks old at the time of our trip. The service was great, our server was very tolerant of our loud, drunk group!

Sunday Morning

This place may have been my favorite experience of the weekend, Mon Ami Gabi should be on your list of places to go for a meal. We went for brunch but I’d absolutely go back for dinner and even brunch again. We sat outside on their patio, which even during a cold morning was comfortable, maybe even a little on the too warm side thanks to gas heaters. Here’s the thing, this place is outside, on the strip directly across the street from the Bellagio fountains which are great during the day but this is why I’d go back, to see them at night.

Mon Ami Gabi

So the group ordered a selection of brunch drinks, I elected to share a bottle of champagne which was served with our choice of juice. A lot of the guys got the bloody Mary, which also looked fantastic. Our server was great, well suited for our group but it wasn’t just his service that stood out, it was the entire service team. I have never seen team service executed so perfectly, one lady noticed a member of our party looking around and came to check up on our table, I don’t remember that we even were in need of anything but she came over, filled water glasses, cleared dirty dishes and chatted… for so long that we ended up actually needed something, more drinks — normally this would be where a server would tell you “I’ll get your server for you” nope, not here. She took our drink orders and kept coming back to check on us throughout the rest of our time there.

Sunday Afternoon

So, the rest of the group has left at this point, so Derrick and I have some time to kill. We used to watch Hell’s Kitchen when we first met, in fact one of our earlier dates was the season premier of Hell’s Kitchen — we even made risotto, cuz Chef Ramsay would expect no less. So, given that we had time, we walked on over to Caesar’s Palace to see if we could get a bite at the new Hell’s Kitchen restaurant.

Hell's Kitchen

We were able to snag a spot at the bar, after politely asking a couple if they wouldn’t mind moving down (I HATE being that person but I’m never gonna see these folks again and I really wanted to eat here). We ordered cocktail from the quirky bar tender taking care of us (I actually thought he was super unprofessional and he got under my skin a bit, not the kind of service I was expecting). We got a couple of drinks and appetizers; wagyu meatballs, lobster risotto (of course we did), and pan seared scallops but my favorite thing, the BEST thing I ate all weekend, hands down was the sticky toffee pudding! 🤤 I have to come back here and sit in the dining room, I want that experience.

The weekend had come to an end, after a weekend of too much delicious food, money lost and won and lost again it was time to head to the airport. Turns out our flight was delayed so we figured we’d kill some time at the airport bar, not that I needed more booze.