Las Vegas, NV
I love Vegas. I love the food. I love the shows. I love the slot machines. I love the tiny dresses. I love the 3 ft grain alcohol/orange juice slushies. I love the people watching. Pete does not enjoy Vegas. He doesn’t like clubs. He doesn’t like bottle service. He doesn’t like strippers. He physically gags at the thought of foam pool parties. It was clear, convincing Pete to give this city a stay wasn’t going to happen. So, I had my parents do it for me as Vegas was the only city on our tentative year long itinerary that they agreed to visit. My parents AND Vegas! Thanks, babe!
We arrived in Vegas early Saturday afternoon, unhitched 7 miles east of the strip at Sam’s Town KOA, and immediately turned around and picked up my folks from McCarran International. We spent the next few days experiencing Vegas the parents’ way. We celebrated an early Mother’s Day at Joe’s Stone Crab. We walked the strip in search of the perfect Asian themed penny slot machine - mom loves those Asian themed penny slot machines. We watched a Cirque show. We went hunting for the best gluten-free-non-dairy-normal-dressing Cobb salad. We were always in bed by 9pm. And then, as quickly as they came, off they went on their next adventure. I miss them. I loved having them visit.
And then it was just the two of us. And then it wasn’t. My cousin flew in from LA shortly after my folks left for one reason and one reason only. Joël Robuchon. She, like the two of us, is incredibly fond of really, really good food. Joël, Vegas’s only 3-star Michelin restaurant with one of the most talked about tasting menus in the nation, had been on all of our bucket lists for quite some time. And it was fantastic. Enter Pete:
Probably the best opening course we’ve had--a crustacean gelee surrounding a soft bed of king crab, topped with caviar and surrounded by dollops of cauliflower puree. Never ending bread and assorted pastries throughout the meal. Seventeen more, next level, beautifully plated dishes that were followed with all you can eat petit fours. And lastly, as a going away present, we each received our own pound cake that we were told Joël baked himself. Despite the black cod that was just ever so slightly over-peppered, it's hard to imagine a better dining experience.
I dream of the foie, two ways, and Pete won’t shut up about the wagyu rib-cap.
To get it out there, yes, food is our thing. And we by no means ever mean to be obnoxious about it (mostly). It is genuinely one of the pillars of our relationship. Our early dating months were long distance and some of my favorite memories were those first meals together. While in LA, I would try to impress Pete with food he’d never experienced before - typically something New American or the occasional Taiwanese dish. In Seattle, Pete would throw me into Ballard Market, ask me what I was craving, and woo with his excellent cooking chops (I believe the first visit/meal was ground beef tacos and Yellow Tail wine. Way to woo, Collins. Way. To. Woo.). When Pete finally moved down to LA we continued the trend and expanded to Sunday Night Suppers, where I'd hunt down a challenging recipe and we'd tackle it in the kitchen together. Those date nights were filled with hours of conversations - silly, mundane chitchat to more thoughtful, serious discourse. Pete taught me how to chiffonade, I taught Pete how to fold wontons. Pete taught me how to reheat pasta in a pan, I taught Pete that he’s only allowed one bite of my dessert. It's nothing unique, but it's special to us. I still think Animal’s pig ear, egg, red chili, and lime dish is what convinced Pete to finally ask me out.
Jumping back to Vegas, Joël was the perfect end to our time in Vegas. Until Pete uttered five small words, "Can we extend our stay?" YES, I WIN. And extend our stay, we did. Sorry, Kanab, we'll catch you in the fall. We gambled, we Top Golfed, we bingoed, we buffeted, we all-you-can-eated sushi (thrice), we snuck in another show, we went house hunting, we ventured east to the stunning Valley of Fire State Park, and even took a little jaunt downtown to check out The Neon Museum. It was swell and we got our fill. Vegas may not be on our "forever" list, but it sure is a city we'll come back to.
Things we miss:
Sam misses easy to clean floors and Dog's non-shedding season.
Pete misses the Pacific Ocean.
Dog misses 80 degree weather.
Things we love:
Sam loves all you can eat unagi, cucumber hand rolls.
Pete loves $5 Blackjack tables.
Dog loves natural cut, manufactured in America, beef femur bones.