Wow, 2009 was a really shitty blogging year for me. I'm sorry, y'all. We'll see how I do in 2010.
Lots of really great things happened during the holiday rush... we went to the Sam Adams Utopias dinner, had a fun Thanksgiving with friends, traveled for almost every weekend between Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve, traveled some more for the holidays, and came home to... wisdom teeth extraction.
Yikes. Let's just say my first brush with anesthesia was uneventful. I was having an IV jammed into my hand, grimacing as the nurses tried to distract me by asking about my hobbies. The first thing that came to mind was cooking. I was talking about cooking and baking when I looked straight ahead and ostensibly blinked. Ostensibly. I happened to be looking out a window and closed my eyes... what seemed like a blink later, I opened them and realized the clouds were different. And the IV was gone. And the surgeon and one of the nurses were gone. Just one nurse. And D. Hey D.!
My literal first post-surgery words were, "Holy crap, it's done?!?!"
I was, as D. put it, way too gabby for someone who was just anesthetized. Gabby... and loopy. I stood up way too abruptly, waved way too gaily at the office staff on my way out, and yapped for a good 10 minutes about how surreal it all was. I might have drooled a little, too.
Anyway, that was a week ago and I think I might be one of the lucky few that have had a really uneventful wisdom teeth removal. Worst of the pain on the 3rd day, swelling that dissipated easily, and the ugliest part has been the blasted antibiotics. They're wreaking havoc with my GI tract. I'll leave it at that.
Since I've been eating lots of jello, soup, porridge, and other soft and semi-soft foods, let's look back to more glorious meals.
After Thanksgiving, our friends D.B and D.D. were headed to Vegas to run in the Las Vegas Rock-n-Roll Marathon. Good friends that they are, they invited us along and hooked us up with comped rooms. We were there for roughly 36 hours, but we ate like kings.
D.B. wanted to try the buffet at the M Casino and Resort. Top Chef fans should be pretty familiar with this place. I thought the buffet was pretty awesome. For one thing, it wasn't crowded.
Gorgeous gingerbread village... speaking of, Kim and Brett made an awesome gingerbread house. Check out her slideshow of the process.
The picture's a little blurry, but it's oxtail soup with a 5-spice broth. It's a bold move to include something like this in a buffet, where it may or may not appeal to a lot of palates. It was well-executed, with the oxtail perfectly cooked and the vegetables very tender. The broth was a little heavy with 5-spice, but it was flavorful.
All you can eat gelato... sigh.
Round one of my dessert course. The macarons were insanely perfect. I would have paid just for a buffet of macarons. The buffet will run about $25/person and it's a large and clean buffet with a great selection of food. Booze is also free, which is very nice, but don't expect a wide selection of wine and beer.
That night, while D.B. and D.D. rested up for the marathon, D. and I went back to our usual favorite: Bouchon. What do I order after a filling lunch? Duck confit followed by a gigantic ribeye on the bone. As our server put it, "Now, that's what a lady orders!"
He was teasing, but the duck confit was all business. Rich, moist, cooked in its own fat business. Oh, duck confit... how do I love thee...
Apologies for the grainy picture, but D. and I had just bought iPhones and we went nuts using them the first couple of weeks.
I've always ordered the daily special, which has been pork on my last two visits. This time it was beef and it seemed like it was prepared in a rush. For one thing, the ribeye was a little too rare. I like rare, but this almost mooed at me. The roasted parsnips were bland and the truffle risotto was blasting with butter. Some may argue that there's no such thing as too much truffle, but yes, this was a smidge too much. Additionally, I question the decision to pair a strong truffle risotto with more... fungus. I didn't know the type, but the roasted parsnips were served alongside lightly cooked mushrooms. They were clustered, like enokitakes, but the head looked a little like a straw mushroom. It had a fairly strong taste and, along with the truffle risotto, was a little too much.
It was a great pre-holiday trip. Thanks again to D.B. and D.D. for the invite!
12300 Las Vegas Blvd. South
Henderson, NV 89044
3355 Las Vegas Blvd S
Las Vegas, NV 89109