October 18, 2010

Dressing up for Dinner...

Located in the Mandalay Bay is a wonderful "progressive American cuisine" restaurant where JJ and I celebrated our one year anniversary. Aureole - pronounced with the "O" emphasis like "Oreol" - has been a fixture in Las Vegas since New York City's Master Chef Charlie Palmer expanded his culinary roots out West to open this location back in 1999. The restaurant eludes a sense of sleek sophistication the minute you walk through the door and see the four story wine tower housing the nearly 10,000 bottles of wine they offer. As you walk down the stair case surrounding the wine tower, you are welcomed to the dining room where crisp white linens and fancy china adorned the tables which are lit by candle light.

We were greeted by a gentlemen who offered us the choice of the Chef's fixed menu or a wide selection of a la carte menu options for our dining experience. We were also given Aureole's wine list. This was a bit overwhelming actually because their wine list is not presented on the traditional paper menu, there are so many choices offered to patrons that the wine list is stored on an e-tablet type computer. According to their website, they use the world's first electronic wine list to track their extensive collection. Luckily for us, once we narrowed our choice down to an Italian red wine, the restaurant's sommelier came to our table to help make a wonderful selection of a blended wine to compliment our dinner selections.
Watching the servers and house staff glide through the restaurant was like watching a tightly choreographed dance routine. Each table has several dedicated staff members attending to the table, always making sure items are removed as soon as they are used, while not being too over bearing. This finely crafted service allows guests to sit back and enjoy a wonderfully romantic evening.

My entree selection was the grilled New York strip steak served with a Mediterranean ratatouille and rosemary garlic pesto, which only has two words to describe the way this dish tasted - simply delicious. JJ went with the seared sea scallop minestrone prosciutto tortellini, which was beautifully plated and tasted wonderful. In addition to our entrees, we shared the truffle mashed potatoes and the buttered asparagus, both offering a great compliment to our entree selections. We splurged for the dessert sampler too, where we enjoyed small bites of meyer lemon creme brulee, mocha chocolate cake, strawberry shortcake - all amazing. We were also treated to the variety sampler of sorbets, including pineapple, watermelon and orange flavors - again, each one was amazing.

As we enjoyed our evening at this fine restaurant, it was a real treat to watch the wine tower in action. You see this four story tower not only houses the wine bottles, it includes a complex pulley system where "wine angels" glide up and down pulling out bottles of wine as they are selected by guests. For more details on this unique feature check out the wine angels who were featured on Oprah's dream job segment - click here for the video.

If your travel plans ever take you to Las Vegas and you're looking for a place to splurge on a wonderful evening out, do your self a favor by making a reservation at Aureole. It's the perfect place to dress up, sip wonderful wine, indulge in delicious food and enjoy a night out on the town.

1 comment:

Jeremy D said...

Awesome job on this review. Aureole should pay your for advertising. I had so much fun, but was also a little overwhelmed. That was easily the fanciest place I've ever been!