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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Vegas Trip: Sage @ Aria

2nd night in Vegas we went to Sage at the Aria Hotel. Both of us girls wanted to go there and it was definitely a great choice!  :)

Sage @ Aria
3730 Las Vegas Blvd. South,
Las Vegas, Nevada 89109
(702) 590-8690
Price: $$$$+

We arrived on time for our reservation only to find that there was a mix-up and our reservation had been changed to an hour earlier. :/ But they sat us in the bar and said they will see what they could do. We didn't wait very long before they led us to our table.

The decor was very nice. It was dim with rich dark colors, velvet accents, very luxurious feeling but yet modern and hip. It was definitely a younger feeling than Michael Mina. The only complaint is that it's a little too dim cuz it made some of us sleepy. hahaha. That COULD be the lack of sleep too! hehe.

I have to mention our waiter Jason, who was fantastic. I normally don't mention people by name as you all know. He was very friendly and knowledgeable about the menu and preparation of the dishes. The other waiters helping were great as well. Very attentive and aware. When one of my friends went to the restroom, they put a cloche over his food to keep it warm!! Wow. I've never seen that before! And they knew when he was coming back so they could remove the cloche for him. Impressed we are!! haha.

We started off with some bread. I chose the bacon wheat bread which had just a hint of saltiness and the whipped butter was really nice.

Then we were given an amuse bouche. Smoked Pork Pate with Toasted Pistachio.
It was yummy, the pate actually tasted like some sort of Asian sausage I've had in Asia. The flavors were light but well balanced.

So everyone else chose the RW menu and I opted to order off the regular menu since I wasn't very hungry and didn't want 3 courses...

Restaurant Week courses first... All 3 of them ordered the same appetizer and entree.

Charred Baby Octopus (Smoked Potato Puree, Padron Peppers, Preserved Lemon, Sylvetta Arugula).
They LOVED it!! The octopus was cooked perfectly, not at all chewy... We were all very impressed how they were able to get it so tender. All the elements worked together and the flavors were great. They all said it was probably the best octopus they've ever had.

American Wagyu Hanger Steak (Crispy Potato Pave, Honey-Glazed Baby Carrot, Black Truffle).
This dish was amazing! The Wagyu stead was cooked to perfection, super tender it was like butter. It had just the right amount of truffle on top and kicked the flavors into high gear! But that's not even the best part. The best was the crispy potato pave. Such a cool technique where they layer thin layers of potato and then cut it into a thin strip and then sear the edges. The crispy edges were amazing and when the flavors of the meat and truffle on top get absorbed into the potato....YUM. That's the best bite right there!

Blackberry & Chocolate Cremeux (Chocolate Fudge, Blackberry Mousse, Powdered Chocolate).
This was my favorite dessert of the night. The textures of the fudge and mousse were sooo creamy and silky and just a slight difference in the textures to create that layer of complexity to where it's not all mushy. Blackberries and chocolate really are a great flavor combination. And it wasn't too heavy since the mousse was so light. Delish!

Coffee Cream Cake (Caramel & Candied Walnuts).
The presentation was so nice on all the dishes. The coffee cream cake wasn't what I expected since it had a layer of soft caramel on the OUTSIDE of the cake. Really decadent looking. It was a little sweet for me since I'm not a big caramel person but it also had different layers of flavors and textures inside.

I ordered A LA CARTE:
Crispy Rainbow Trout & Green Beans (mustard vinaigrette, farm egg, pickled cauliflower, almond tuile) $15~
I wanted some veggies so I chose a salad to start. It was sooo pretty. I loved the presentation. It was playful and colorful and it was bigger than my entree at Michael Mina!! hahaha. This was an awesome dish. The egg was cooked perfectly on top. The yolk ran out when I cut through it was it wasn't too runny. The green beans were nice and crisp and had good flavor. I find that most times when you have green beans in a salad it's very bland. Not at Sage! The fish was barely cooked thru as you can see in the picture but it was perfect... so tender and I liked the crispy outside they wrapped it with.. my friend thinks it's thin strips of potato. The dressing was just enough and the pickled cauliflower added that touch of acidity which brought out the other flavors. Awesome!

Sweet Corn Tortelloni (lobster mushrooms, pancetta, swiss chard) $25~
This plate was beautiful as well. All the different colors and textures on the plate. Delicious. I loved the chunkiness of all the corn. They also did pancetta two ways. One is cubed and another is thin layers crisped up, both added different textures to the dish. The tortelloni was cooked well and the chard and mushrooms added a bit of earthiness. The only thing is that it was a hint too sweet, with the sweet corn and the sauce which I thought was like butternut squash underneath the pasta or something, not completely certain. All in all, another great dish.

So after the entrees, Jason asked me if I wanted to get a dessert since everyone else was getting one. I said I'd take a look but didn't plan on ordering anything since I was already so full. When he brought the menu he recommended the Peanut Butter Tart. While I was looking over the menu, one of my friends mentioned to Jason that I had a food blog and that led to more chit chat about foods and restaurants and food TV. haha. It was awesome. So I declined ordering a dessert but he brought me one anyways! haha. Now, how did he know he could buy my love with free goodies?!? hahahahaha jk. :p

Crunchy Chocolate and Peanut Butter Tart (Cassis sphere, toasted marshmallow sauce) $12~ 
It was beautifully plated. Very simple and delicate. The chocolate fudge had bits of crunchy nutty pieces in it and was super rich. The peanut butter on top was also very rich and creamy and full of pb goodness. The Cassis sphere was the most interesting. We had forgotten the description on the menu so we were trying to figure out what the fruit flavor was. It was bright red but tasted like passion fruit to me. Other people guessed blackberry and raspberry. When Jason came around, we asked him and he said it was Cassis liqueur and similar to a raspberry. Anyhoo, it was yumm~

They ended our meal with this small Mint Chocolate Drink.
Kind of like an after-dinner digestive or something. It was like rich, warm minty drinking chocolate if you've ever had drinking chocolate it's much richer than hot chocolate. Tasty!!

 It was a fantastic meal. Exceptional food and service. My bf said it was one of the best meals he's ever had in his life and pretty much everyone agreed. This is a must try when you are in Vegas! My friends are already talking about going back for another trip! haha.

Oh.. we were also talking Jason about other good restaurants in Vegas and mentioned we were going to Table 10 at Palazzo the next night. He took our information and said he would call up his buddy there and take good care of us. Sweeet! It's great to meet people that are well connected in the food world. :)

Quality of Food:



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