I just spent another week on business in Las Vegas and was fortunate to experience a couple more outstanding dinners. The sheer amount of great restaurants Las Vegas has to offer is overwhelming. This time I stayed at the Palazzo Hotel which is so much nicer than the MGM we stayed in last time. The MGM is kind of “trashy” (hotel as well as people wise) compared to the Palazzo. The nicest hotel I have seen so far though seems to be the Encore,I haven’t stayed there yet and only walked through it, it is very elegant, modern and so quiet compared to all the other hotels. I really enjoyed sitting outside at “La Cave” (Spanish Tappas) in the Wynn (right next to the Encore), especially since it seems to be almost impossible to see daylight or breathe fresh air in Las Vegas as everything happens inside, so its very nice to find restaurants that have nice outside seating.
The Palazzo hosts the very fine dining steakhouse – CUT – a Wolfgang Puck restaurant – usually not my favorite chef but I have to say the steak and accompanying dishes were all of very good quality and taste. The steak tartar was one of the better one I had and my colleagues raved about their Wagyu steaks and lamb chops. Bon Appetit named CUT one of the top three steakhouses in America. I especially like the modern design, most of the steakhouses are so old fashioned and “boy clubbish” where CUT is very open, bright and modern.
Here are a few photos of the Palazzo/Venetian shopping and restaurant area that is built after the San Marco place in Venice including the canal and gondolas.
I also tried out the Italian Lavo restaurant in the Palazzo and was somewhat disappointed in the food. My Kobe Beef Carpaccio was so overloaded with parmesan that it was incredible salty and the Chilean Sea Bass was somewhat uneventful and blend with completely tasteless and undercooked beans. For dessert I ordered Panna Cotta which was liquid and soupy. Lavo is known for their ginormous Meat Balls which the neighbor table ordered and that giant meatball looked pretty good. We also ordered a second dessert – Oreo cookies baked into a Doughnut and that dessert was outstanding!
Now since my Panna Cotta experience was so bad at Lavo, I thought I give it a try and make my own Panna Cotta. Panna Cotta is cooked cream and you can add all kinds of different flavors of your choice (fruit, almond, coffee etc.) and/or substitute some of the cream for “other” dairy such as mascarpone, buttermilk, condensed milk, coconut milk, quark etc. I tried this recipe from “Passionate about baking” and it was sooo much better than the Lavo Panna Cotta.
Ingredients: (makes 4 big or 8 small portions)
- 4 tablespoons lukewarm milk
- 2 tsp gelatin
- 2 cups cream
- 1 tin sweetened condensed milk
- 1/2 vanilla bean, scraped
- 2 mangoes, peeled, diced
- Fresh mint to garnish
- Sprinkle the gelatin over lukewarm milk and leave to stand for 5 minutes to soften.
- Place the condensed milk, cream and scraped vanilla bean in a heavy bottom pan and whisk to blend. Simmer over low heat, stirring constantly, until it comes to a bare boil. Take off heat and whisk the gelatin mixture in well. Strain and allow to cool to room temperature.
- Reserve 3/4 cup diced mangoes for topping. Divide the rest between the serving glasses. Gently pour the cooked cream over.
- Refrigerate overnight until set.
- Top with the reserved diced mango and garnish with fresh mint.
- Serve chilled.