I’m in Vegas. Normally, there isn’t much really romantic about Vegas. Crazy, drunken, secret, shameful, proud, nekkid, loud, crowded, seedy, shenanigananted…those are all Vegas-y things. But not necessarily romance. However, I’ve had some of the best days ever this week, and it’s only Wednesday!
First of all, I’m here with some of my favorite friends, including other Romance on the Rockers, Lori Ann Bailey and MK Meredith, and my fantabulous cover designer, Theresa Blaner. Well, and 2,000 other romance readers and authors for the RT Booklovers Convention. But MK, Lori and I all arrived a couple days early to play in Sin City before really buckling down to “work” this convention.
On Monday, we walked approximately 75,996 miles up and down the Strip. So I’m loving the fact that I’m getting LOTS of exercise.
Theresa and I headed over to the Bellagio to watch the fountain show and then walk through the casino, since that’s one property I had never visited before.
You guys! The indoor garden at the Bellagio is gorgeous. I took some not-great video of it, but if you can find some photos, check them out. I could spend hours in there just being (or reading) if it wasn’t constantly filled with loud tourists. Beautiful flowers, intricate glass work, pretty aviaries…it was just lovely.
Beyond the garden, T and I found the Jean-Phillipe Patisserie. And we basically wanted to purchase the entire dessert case. I had a credit card with me. We could have done it! But instead we reined ourselves in and only bought four works of edible art to split between us. The lemon tart was delightful. The chocolate hazelnut Napoleon was sensuously silky. The panna cotta was perfectly creamy and filled with vanilla beans.
But the strawberry tart. The strawberry tart changed both of our lives. The sponge on the bottom was heavenly and dense and chewy, and Theresa said that if she could put pants on that tart, she would marry it. I hope she’s okay with polyamory because I am not being left out of that relationship.
So, yeah. Next time you’re at the Bellagio (or there’s a store at the Aria as well), stand in line for 20 minutes to get a dessert. It’s worth it. I promise.
My only complaint so far about Vegas food, is that it seems no one can properly spell macaron. I’ve seen lots of little sandwich cookies advertised as macaroons without a single shred of coconut to be found! (Read: Taylor is a snob)
But wait, that’s not all! Call in the next five minutes and I’ll let you in on the secret menu at Gordon Ramsay Steak! First, meet Dennis:
Dennis has been one of our favorite people on this trip. He was super nice and knowledgeable and funny and generally adorable.
But also…Dennis had a trolley of steak. Dennis also introduced me to the secret menu that allowed me to get Kobe beef for $35/ounce. I made him explain the cut, the price, the lineage of the cow, the weight and the price one more time before I squealed in excitement.
Squealed. People in other sections of a not-quiet restaurant distinctly heard me.
If I haven’t mentioned it before, 2016 is my year of ridiculous food. I don’t really do New Year’s resolutions, which is why I made the decision to eat ridiculously last fall. But it’s kind of nice to have a goal when I travel and find crazy/delicious/expensive/rare/just-freakin’-weird food to try. Kobe beef was definitely on that list, and for almost two weeks I had been debating one of the other restaurants in town that had 4oz of Kobe running anywhere from $140-$220. That didn’t include sides. Or anything else. Just a tiny cut of meat.
Dennis explained that the Kobe isn’t always available, but when it is, they sell it at the same price as the other cuts. And I could get as little as 3oz instead of 4oz.
Truthfully, I’ve never really believed that there could be such an enormous difference between Kobe and any other yummy steak I’ve ever had.
I was wrong. I was so wrong. I now understand how beef can be buttery and silky, and how you just want it to stay in your mouth forever. I don’t care how disgusting it sounds. It’s true!
I’m still dreaming about that beef.
And then for dessert, we ordered the sticky toffee pudding. Another thing about me, if you don’t already know, is that I’m a little bit obsessed with caramel and all its incarnations, like butterscotch and toffee. This little pitcher was supposed to be poured on my pudding (cake, not American-style pudding), but it was too delicious. T and I drank ours directly from the pitchers.
I’m basically telling you that Vegas is amazing and you should come here immediately and eat all the food with me!