There are many ways to spend a long weekend in Las Vegas. The obvious being behind the Roulette wheel at a flashy casino, the not-so obvious, a stroll through the National Atomic Testing Museum. Regardless of your preferred method of cutting loose, this city has something to whet your appetite.
I, for one, spent my time eating and drinking until I was so full I had to surrender to my suite. Maybe not the most debaucherous spin around Sin City, but it was hedonistic in its own right. And absolutely wonderful.
I was invited to spend a long weekend at The Venetian. The hotel and resort exudes luxury, using Venice, Italy as its design inspiration. Hand-painted ceilings and extravagant recreations of historic architectural monuments adorn the 120,000-square-foot casino. It’s stunning.
The first thing I noticed when rolling up to the resort was the wall of chefs; massive photos of the culinary luminaries who work in The Venetian’s many restaurants. It’s an impressive lineup to say the least: Emeril Lagasse, Wolfgang Puck, Mario Batali, Buddy Valastro, Buddy Valastro, and Lorena Garcia.
The resort offers a smorgasbord of dining options, with more than 30 restaurant and bars to choose from. Breakfast at Thomas Keller’s Bouchon was a feast for the senses. The lavished bistro, tucked away in the Venezia tower, offers a menu filled with modern takes on French cuisines. The Croque Madame is a must; toasted ham and cheese on brioche with a fried egg and sauce Mornay served with French fries or chips. As is the smoked salmon with petite baguette.
For a heavier take on brunch, head to Yardbird Southern Table & Bar. The restaurant offers a wide range of Southern staples as well as modern twists on comfort food. Must-try dishes include the fried green tomato BLT with house-smoked pork belly, pimento cheese, smoky tomato jam, and frisée lemon vinaigrette; deviled eggs with dill, chives, and smoked trout roe; and smoked brisket sandwich loaded with Swiss cheese, smoky tomato jam, mayonnaise, and house-pickles.
Executive chef Timon Balloo’s Sugarcane is an ideal happy hour spot. Slurp raw oysters, much on succulent bacon-wrapped dates, and sip the best mojito on the property.
And for an extravagant meal, make your way to B&B Ristorante, chef Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich’s award-winning New York City-based Italian restaurant. The dark and moody dining room, adorned in plush leather banquets, and Italian marble, lends itself to intimate conversations. “Mario’s Classics” pasta tasting menu with the sommelier’s wine pairing is the way to go. Just make sure you’re prepared. It’s a decadent meal, filled with signature dishes, that will leave you full and, if you’re anything like me, sleepy.
Fortunately, there was an Italian marble bathtub and pillow-top king bed waiting for me in my luxury suite upstairs.