Molly’s Blog: Viva Las Vegas
I’m fully aware that this is the “Bizarre Foods Blog” and all of you are a lot more interested in what AZ– not me– is up to, but I just got back from the best trip to Vegas and had to share. I was with a few girlfriends for a bachelorette party. As per usual, we burned the candle at both ends, which means I have lots of places to tell you about.
If you haven’t been since The Cosmopolitan opened in December, all I can say is wowza. I kept referring to it as our own personal cruise ship in the middle of the desert. Seriously, in three days, we left one time! You’ll see why– easily the best room I’ve ever had in Vegas, plus great pools, shopping and food.
We stayed in a terrace one bedroom pseudo-suite, complete with over-sized couch, dressing area (loved the wallpapered closet… I am doing that at my next house!), kitchenette, loads of coffee table books, a gigantic Japanese soaking tub with views of the Strip.
A slick pocket door divides the living room and bedroom if need be. I’m a dum-dum and didn’t get a photo of the room before our suitcases exploded, so here’s a shot from later in the weekend of Kelly, Corinne (who you may recognize from the NBC series The Event), bachelorette Bethany, and I in a “I swear we didn’t know this photo was being taken” pose.
The private terrace was the cherry on top! Have you ever had a balcony in Vegas? How ’bout one that looks over the Belagio fountains? Yeah, I hadn’t either. Here’s the bachelorette taking in the sights (the photo at the top is the view at night).
We spent our first day lounging at the Boulevard Pool– one of the hotel’s three options. Here’s the deal: The Bamboo Pool on the 14th floor is fairly quiet– a great place to relax, or maybe quietly nurse back to health after late night shenanigans. The Boulevard Pool is a little livelier– there’s a low-key DJ, lots of day beds (see ours below… it rocked), a couple hot tubs, and guys and gals in swimsuits looking to have a good time.
The third pool is the Marquis Day Club, aka a night club without the added bonus of a soft, dim glow that makes everyone look extra attractive. Let’s just say if you’re into the GTL lifestyle, you can’t miss this party. If you’re not down with GTL or don’t know what GTL means, go to another pool. It’s this photo x 1 million:
A day at a Vegas pool often lends itself to a serious need for food. Specifically, pizza. The Cosmopolitan has a top secret pizza party on the 3rd floor. No name, no sign, just a long hall wedged between Blue Ribbon Sushi and Jaleo that leads to pizza Shangri-La.
You can get ‘za by the slice, or entire pies to bring back to your room. For eight bucks, I got a slice of sausage/mushroom and a Solo party cup of Coke Zero. That ain’t bad for Vegas.
Incognito pizza joint doesn’t have much for seating, so grab a seat in the game room just outside. There’s a pool table if you’re so inclined.
We had a few other dining experiences– take home points: Skip everything at Holstein’s except the protein shake and maybe an order of steak fries. Kinda sad when a burger joint’s best thing is a berry protein shake, but that’s just my opinion. We ate some poolside ceviche and shrimp cocktail (pretty good… but what we REALLY wanted was chips and guac), breakfast at the Henry (slow service. Wish they had breakfast sandwiches at Va Bene, but alas it’s just coffee and pastries). Our shining culinary experience was definitely Scarpetta on Sunday night. There were only three of us left, and it was the perfect atmosphere for unwinding after a fun-filled weekend.
Cozy, well-designed (loved the exposed bulbs everywhere), with lighting that makes everyone and everything look a little sexier. I don’t remember what the music was specifically, but I know I liked it AND it was at the perfect level–loud enough for it to play an actual role in the restaurant’s personality, but not so loud that you couldn’t carry on a conversation. I loved how the seats near the window faced outside toward the spectacular view of the Bellagio fountain. Bravo to the brains at the Cosmo who managed to turn the Bellagio’s huge selling point into a free focal point throughout their own casino/hotel. Smart.
We kicked off dinner with a bottle of pinot noir that sommelier Mike recommended. It was a mouthful– Jermann Red Angel on the Moonlight, but it freaking awesome. Wine’s not my forte, so I’ll sum it up as more full bodied than what you’d expect from a pinot. We needed oomph. It had oomph.
We ordered the roasted sea scallops and our server Garvin steered us toward the raw yellowtail with oliodize nzero & pickled red onion. I’m glad he did. It was my favorite of the night. The menu neglected to mention it’s inclusion of large grains of salt (unless that’s what “oliodize nzero” means, but I doubt it), which added a burst of flavor and crunch.
Next came pasta, and to be honest, I think we were a little over-sold on the plain spaghetti. Based on our servers explanation, we expected to be wowed, but in fact it was kind of just like noodles. With a light tomato sauce.
We also ate this, which I cannot recall what it was for the life of me. Let’s put it this way– creamy, comfy pasta that makes you want to crawl into bed after eating it. This is exactly what we did after dinner.
We tried the pancetta-wrapped veal loin with sweetbreads and winter vegetable ragu. The veal was perfectly cooked, and the sweetbreads were subtle enough to not freak any of my tablemates out– a rarity.
As if we’d pass up dessert. We all opted for sweet and tart over chocolatey, so this take on strawberry shortcake (with rhubarb and balsamic) won.
Garvin also brought us dessert from Jaleo– Jose Andres Spanish restaurant next door. It was some sort of salty caramel and chocolate pudding paired with English toffee (my favorite!). Very smooth, Garvin. This pretty much ensures Jaleo is on my to do list for the next Sin City trip.
So that’s the Cosmopolitan in a nutshell. Good for food lovers, sunbathers, and late sleeper-inners, which means I’ll definitely be back.