Viva Las Vegas
Bright light city gonna set my soul, gonna set my soul on fire...
It's been over a decade since I've been to Las Vegas and I am currently wrapping up almost a week here with Ciera, Elizabeth and Ciera's Parents Bob and Carla, who brought us out for a post-harvest Thanksgiving vacation. You two rock, thank you!
Some notable highlights:
Chef Dylan Hallas, a Ledge afficionado and Chef de Cuisine at Wolfgang Puck, MGM Las Vegas, proved to be an amazing host, guiding us to a few hot spots. We had the pleasure of hosting Dylan at the ranch in Paso Robles and I suppose this was his way of showing his appreciation.
First was Thai restaurant Lamaii Las Vegas, from owner/sommelier Bank Atcharawan, who focuses on Riesling, Champagne and Chablis. That said, I spied Saxum Hexe and Broken Stones in the wine cellar. Nice. The food was insane and the wine list was very impressive for any establishment, especially a charming little Thai place tucked off of the strip.
We visited Garagiste wine room and merchant from founders Mario Enriquez and Eric Prato, who are working to advance the presence of wine culture in Las Vegas, especially with regard to small, mostly grower-based producers from all over the world. Little producers not unlike Ledge. These guys have a charming room and a philosophy very much in line with what Ciera and I are doing on the ranch. Great spot.
After Garagiste I was treated to some of the best street tacos I've ever tasted, but I couldn't tell you the name of the truck or where it was parked. I took four of these amazing $1.50 tacos down like they were breaths of air. I'll circle back and edit this post when I get more details.
Finally, Chef Hallas treated Ciera, Elizabeth and me to his culinary sorcery with a dizzying array of flavors at Wolfgang Puck, spoiling us with delights from soup to nuts. Rounds of delicious starters, fresh fish, perfectly cooked steaks, Wolfgang Puck's signature smoked salmon pizza, and our absolute favorite, agnolotti "dal plin", little pasta squares stuffed with veal, cabbage and Parmigiano with nutmeg and - - oooh baby -- shaved Magnatum Pico (white truffles). All of this with delightful deserts and wines and all in the charming company of Dylan's wonderful fiancee Nicole. Ciera and I can't stop talking about it. You guys spoiled us. So. Much. Fun. Thank you Dylan!
We're headed back to Paso Robles with satified bellies, neon stars in our eyes and the satisfaction of striking it rich in Las Vegas. Rich with loving families, talented and generous new friends and a lifestyle that mandates the respect of a variety of cultures and their respective artisinal wares.
Viva Las Vegas.
I hear it's raining back home.
Time to go back and sing in it.