Archive for November, 2009

Sinatra at Encore Las Vegas

November 27, 2009

We had a couple things to celebrate the last time we were in Vegas (other than the fact that we were there), and Sinatra was the perfect place to go. They truly made the evening special.

When we first entered the restaurant, the maitre’d handed us a personalized card, thanking us for choosing to spend our evening with them. They seated us at a table for two overlooking the garden area.

View from Table at Sinatra

Table at Sinatra

When the servers came to the table, they wished me a happy birthday. It was nice and understated– obviously, no Wynncore restaurant is going to have servers standing around your table and singing.

We looked over the selections on the menu, but found that everything we wanted was on the Taste of Wynn menu. The restaurant offered an appetizer, an entree, dessert, and a glass of wine (red, white, or sparkling) for $59 each.

As a beverage appetizer, Tim had the Sinatra Smash, a delicious blackberry cocktail.

Sinatra Smash Drink at Sinatra

The bread basket and the butter were outstanding. The butter was the perfect temperature (not too warm, not too cold) and consistency (not too hard, not melting) and flavor (salty and slightly sweet at the same time). We could not stop eating it, and it gave us a chance to try the several different kinds of bread.

Bread Basket at Encore

As we dined, we heard several songs from Frank Sinatra’s vast catalogue. The music was the perfect accompaniment to the evening.

For the first course, Tim ordered the Crudo (yellowtail, tomato, zucchini, pepperoncino, prosciutto chips, oregano).

Crudo at Sinatra

I had the Biete E Arance (beet salad with citrus, goat cheese, and candied pistachios).

Beet and Goat Cheese Salad at Sinatra

Both salads are among the best we’ve ever had. Each bite had a slightly different flavor, yet all the ingredients played off each other. The beet salad had several kinds of beets, including a mousse, which created an interesting variety in texture. Between the salad and the bread basket, my taste buds were in heaven. The components in each dish were like musical notes, and the combination in each bite was harmonious.

For the main course, Tim had the Ippoglosso (Alaskan halibut with cauliflower, almonds, raisins, and black olive sauce). Like the salad, each bite featured a slightly different twist of flavor.

Alaskan Halibut at Sinatra

I ordered the Chicken Saltimbocca (chicken breast wrapped in prosciutto, asiago cheese, and sage). It was satisfying, rich, and delicious. The portion was huge, and I was unable to finish it due to the size and the richness of the dish. I didn’t let any of the prosciutto go to waste, though.

Chicken Saltimbocca at Sinatra

We each had a glass of prosecco to accompany our meal, and it was light and crispy and fresh.

We chose desserts on the lighter side. Tim selected the gelato and sorbet tasting.

Sorbet at Sinatra

I had sampled some panna cotta at the buffet at the M Resort a day earlier, so I had that on my mind. I was touched when they brought the plate to the table with a glowing candle.

Panna Cotta at Sinatra

The dessert was as delicious as it was beautiful. Like the earlier dishes, the panna cotta (one vanilla and one pistachio) had subtle complexities in flavor. The berries were fresh and juicy, and the sauce hit all the right notes.

I would wholeheartedly recommend visiting Sinatra. The experience far outweighed the cost, and the level of service was amazing.



November 27, 2009

The boys at Bacon Salt have been at it again. They have four new products, just in time for the holiday season. I’ve tried two of them, and I’m intrigued by the other two.

First, the two I’ve tried:

1. Bacon Salt BIGS Sunflower Seeds. I’m not a huge sunflower seed consumer, so that might have affected my view of this product, but I was a little disappointed. The seeds are bacony, but not as bacony as the other products. The shells seem to be a little stale, and they break into several splinters when you bite into them, rather than two neat halves. Then again, it might be my technique.

2. Bacon Ranch Dressing and Dip Mix. We’ve only tried the dressing so far, but oh my god is it delicious. Hands down, this is the best product Bacon Salt has ever created (and as you all know, I have a profound love for many of their products).

Bacon Ranch Dressing

Note that there was a lot more dressing in this bowl to begin with. We’ve gone through two packets in record time, and when I reorder I’m tempted to buy in bulk. The dressing is fantastic on salads, as a dip for vegetables (a holy union is achieved with carrots or tomatoes), or by itself with a spoon. The dressing combines a powerful punch of tangy ranch with the smoky flavor of bacon, and it is rich and balanced and flavorful.

Now for the two products I’m thinking of ordering when I restock our Bacon Ranch supply:

3. Bacon Pop. We’ve been making our own modified bacon popcorn for a while, with the help of several different varieties of Bacon Salt (cheddar works best) and some spray butter. At $3.99 for three bags, I’m tempted to give this a try. It sounds promising.

4. Mmmvelopes. This is a fun idea. Consider it the palate cleanser to all of those yucky-tasting regular envelopes. Sadly, I don’t write a lot of letters (I mean, look at how little I update this space…), so these would probably serve as my office decorations for a long time. But these would be a great gift for bacon-loving friends, or a whimsical way to correspond with them.