Viva Las Vegas!

Whew! Things have been quiet around here!

I’ve been out in Vegas for a long weekend celebrating some milestones and I had a blast! This is my third time out there and it gets better and better.  Some highlights:

  • The Cosmopolitan: What a great hotel!  Everyone on site was pleasant and helpful.  The resort itself is beautiful; contemporary artwork everywhere, a lot of great highly-rated restaurants, some fun bars, and easy access to the Strip.  The focus here is clearly on the nightlife, although there are various gambling floors. We booked through Southwest Vacations and paid the resort fee (~$35 per night) separately when we checked out.  Our room was large with a lovely view of the south end of the strip. All in all, a definite win for me.
  • Beauty & Essex: One of the restaurants located within The Cosmopolitan, this was easily my favorite of the trip. I loved Chris Santos from his stints as a judge on “Chopped.”  The entrance is tucked inside a pawnshop; don’t be fooled, the pawnshop is real in that you can buy pretty much all of the things in the display cases.  The items also tend to be a bit more on the expensive side; I saw a Chanel purse, a few Louis Vuitton bags, diamond jewelry, original comic book memorabilia, vintage toys, and more. Anyway, the pawn shop has a door leading to the restaurant and — wow.  The interior is fairly dim but cozy and elegant. My favorite aspect was a wall of framed necklaces.  This website actually has some beautiful photos of the restaurant! The food is family style and did not disappoint.  Without getting into the details, we enjoyed everything we ate and the dessert is not to be missed; the Cloud 9 S’mores dessert was decadent and worth every calorie.
  • Milk Bar: OB. SESSED. The cereal milk milkshake with cornflake bits was pretty much as expected and tasty.  I wound up grabbing the tote bag package with a dozen cookies and my favorite one is the Cornflake Chocolate Chip Marshmallow cookie.
  • China Poblano: We were fortunate enough to be in Vegas during Restaurant Week and the tasting menu for $30 was absolutely worth it.  My friend and I each got one with different things (except the tacos… neither of us can pass up tacos) and I enjoyed every bite.  The jicama-wrapped avocado was a hit, as was the Naught & Nice asparagus.  I took my husband there the next day; we both wound up ordering off the regular menu and left pretty happy.
  • CarneVino: This was a recommendation from a friend and what an experience! We had a large party and were led to the far back of the restaurant.  The whole place is upscale and a bit more ritzy; there was a door in our area that legit looked like an entrance to the Elven realm. The service was top-notch and I really couldn’t have asked for a better team.  They even went so far as to tuck my evening bag into a restaurant to-go bag so it wouldn’t get stepped on. We did not want for anything and the serving team was friendly and knowledgeable about the menu, leading to some great menu item recommendations.

All in all, it was a fun but hectic vacation and I can’t wait to go back!