Dinner Menu from Fleur de Lys, Las Vegas

During our trip to Las Vegas in November, 2009, Wendy & I split off from the group (Ron, Dave, Ted, Tracy, Julie, and Terry) to dine at Hubert Keller’s Fleur de Lys in the Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino.


We decided to indulge in the 6-course tasting menu prepared by Chef Wolf. The courses, along with the paired wines, are below.

The dining room is a very small stone room that still manages to be intimate and inviting. (Our table was the left-most against the wall, under the pink wall art, in the photo above). The wall art was actually an elongated frame that contained thousands of fresh-cut roses. At the end of the meal, the bread server (with whom we’d been joking most of the evening) reached up and plucked a rose which he presented to Wendy.

Dungeness Crab, Avocado, Watermelon Gazpacho
Gruet Rose, New Mexico, NV

Ahi Tuna Tartare, Shaved Fennel Slaw, Ginger Ponzu
Gruner Veltliner, Hirsch, “Hillengenstien”, Kamptal, Austria 2007

Truffled Onion Soup, Braised Duck Crepe, Red Onion Puree, Black Truffle
Chardonnay, Au Bon Climat, Santa Barbara, California 2007

Veal and Yukon Gold Potato Ravioli, Garden Peas, Sunchoke
Syrah Rose, Cuilleron, St. Joseph, “Lybel”, France 2007

Olive Oil Braised Hamachi, Pickled Shitake Mushrooms, Ginger Aromatic Sauce, Tempura Scallions
Riesling, Dr. Thanisch, Moel-Saar-Ruwer, Germany 2007

Stout Braised Beef Short Ribs, Root Vegetable Puree, Whole Grain Mustard, Cornichons
Malbec, Ben Marco, Mendoza, Argentina 2008

Coconut Tapioca Soup, Passion Fruit, Plantain, Strawberry, Kiwi
Moscato d’Asti, Dante Rivetti, “Riveto”, Piedmont, Italy 2007

Sauternes Poached Pear, Walnut Sable, Toasted Cinnamon Ice Cream
Moscato d’Asti, Dante Rivetti, “Riveto”, Piedmont, Italy 2007

Assortment of Petits Fours and Warm Madeleines with Warm Chocolate Sauce

We were certainly satisfied and impressed with the meal. Standout courses included the Truffled Onion Soup which was a very light onion soup (poured tableside over the delicate garnishes in the bowl), and the Olive Oil Braised Hamachi (which didn’t seem braised at all, but rather poached). Still, the flavor of the Hamachi was outstanding – subtle and gentle – and the texture sublime. Wendy & I didn’t agree on the flavor contribution of the pickled mushrooms (she felt they overpowered the gentle fish; I thought it was a nice counterpoint), but we both enjoyed the dish very much.

The Stout Braised Beef Short Ribs were well-prepared and the mustard/cornichons on top added a nice flavor, but the stout braise did not contribute appreciable flavor to the dish.

It was a pleasant evening, and a good start to our short visit to Las Vegas.

Dinner Menu from Spago, Las Vegas

During our trip to Las Vegas in November, 2009, Wendy & I split off from the group (Ron, Dave, Ted, Tracy, Julie, and Terry) to dine at Wolfgang Puck’s Spago in The Forum Shops at Caesar’s Palace Hotel & Casino.

Everyone had decided to see a Vegas show, but we all wanted to see different shows, so we did! Tracy & Ted saw Human Nature, Julie, Terry, Ron, and Dave saw Penn & Teller, and Wendy & I saw Mystere. Before the show, Wendy & I dined at Spago, where we did the 6-course tasting menu (we decided to forego the wine pairings because we wanted to stay awake for the show!).


(Our table was between the chandelier and it’s reflection in the mirrors in the photo above.)

The menu was as follows…

Margarita Flambe, Burratta Cheese, Cherry Tomato, Basil Pistou

Duo of Sashimi, Yellowfin Tuna, Albacore Tuna, Crispy Rice Cake, Chili Ponzu Sauce

Soup and Salad, Mushroom Bisque with Pear and Prosciutto Salad

Ricotta Gnochi, Black Truffle Butter

Lup de Mare, French Sea Bass, Eggplant Salsa Verde, Peppers, and Black Olives

Short Ribs, Mashed Potato, Autumn Vegetables

Apple Babka (stuffed French Toast), Citrus Cheesecake, Graham Cracker Crust, Figs, Blood Orange Sorbet

Despite not having the wine pairings, this was one of our favorite meals this trip. The scope of the tasting menu was outstanding, the preparations were precise and highlighted the specific flavors of each ingredient, and the presentations were delightful. Plus our server was very nice – personable and not at all like the droids that you usually find in Vegas.

11/18/2009 Wine Dinner at Midwest Culinary Institute

Welcoming Wine Trends, Inc.
Featuring Mary Horn and Ian Pascoe

Hosted by the students of the Midwest Culinary Institute under the direction of Donna Schmitt

Smoked Trout, Horseradish, Grapefruit, and Beets
Zardetto Prosecco, NV

Clams, Cucumber, Celery, and Mango
Kris Pinto Grigio, 2008

Poached Salmon, Coconut, Basmati Rice, Orange, and Broccoli
Vitiano Bianco, 2008

Roasted Pheasant Breast, Cranberry, Fennel, and Steel Cut Oats
Vitiano Rosso, 2007

Slow Cooked Ribeye of Beef, Polenta, Proscuitto, Rapini & Porcini Mushrooms
Allegrini Palazzo Della Torre, 2005 & Vietti Barbera d’Asti Tre Vigne, 2005

Quince Drumstick
Vietti Moscato d’Asti Cascinetta, 2008

HAPPY MOUTH – November 2009

In November, 2009, the Happy Mouth Supper Club met at Bootsy’s for dinner. It was Ron’s month to select. It was great to be with everyone, but honestly, Bootsy’s fell flat in the service area.

Food, from the newly-changed menu, was good (not great). Portion sizes were appropriate, plates were hot & clean.

The server did not do a good job of managing our large table, and we had made reservations in advance (so they knew we were coming). There was much confusion when the bills arrived (we communicated in advance that we preferred separate checks) – several people at the table had to send their check back multiple times before it was correct. It took more than 45 minutes from the time the checks first dropped until they were correct.

The company was fun, but the meal and restaurant were not.