Las Vegas: Culinary Destination

Better eating and more active makes more better Penny update: the eating part is going well, but so far the only difference I’ve noticed is a slightly smaller circumference measured by my black leather western-style belt. By a notch. Not much to sing about, but at least it’s something. It’s been hard motivating myself to go down to the gym, but I’m trying to keep with it.

Onto more exciting things:

Who on the good Lord’s green Earth would have ever thought chefs all over the country, notable and accomplished chefs, would be adding Las Vegas to their list of locations without losing any credibility? Even Bourdain embarked on that investigation with a substantial amount of cynicism loaded into his pen.

My wonderful boyfriend surprised me with a plane ticket for Las Vegas on Valentine’s Day, because he’s being sent there for work on the 17th of this month and requests my company. He’s never seen Vegas before, and it broke my heart that he’d be seeing it alone for the first time – which I mentioned, luckily he thinks like I do.

The 70 degree sunshine is certainly encouraging, as is the year-round heated pool and rooftop bar. So much is attractive about hitting up the desert during Chicago’s brutal month of February – but none so much as getting to eat in a future (and living) legend’s restaurant: Thomas Keller’s Bouchon. Some people would be starstruck seeing Brad Pitt walking around the Strip or Tom Cruise yelling at people in line at the pharmacy. Me? Chefs. Actually, not really chefs as people, but their creations.

I’ve never been through a fine-dining experience. I’ve had great service, I’ve imagined what it must be like to be taken care of in such ways as I’ve heard about when it comes to proper fine dining, but I myself have never had the pleasure. I won’t lie to you though, I worry about being hungry afterwards. Teeny tiny food, even if it is 25 pieces of it, all but guarantees a stop at the buffet on my way up to the room. I was considering Joel Robouchon’s L’Atelier, but the more photos I see and the more reviews I read about it, the more I’m convinced I’d rather eat something heartier than a single fig wrapped in basil, kissed with essence of lotus blossom. Ok, that’s not a real item from the menu but you get my drift.

I’m a girl that likes to eat. I can put away a big fat burger cooked medium rare with fries and a few beers (hence the ‘new way of living’) without thinking twice. In fact, I’m heading to a bacon-based three-course prix fixe on Thursday. No shame. However, if I or someone I love is going to spend so much money on my dinner I want to leave satisfied and very happy. Then again, when I’m somewhere with someone that I love, whether they’re paying or not, or we go to Jimmy John’s or French Laundry – I’m satisfied and happy.

I will report back on my experience, of course.

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