Sunday, July 29, 2012

Sage Restaurant & One of the Best Things I've ever Eaten

After an eight hour drive and a two hour flight on Monday, I found myself in Las Vegas.  I am not a huge fan of Vegas as a vacation spot, but I do enjoy going there for the heat and the food.  And ... there is no way I could turn down a $350 flight/hotel deal for four nights at the lovely Monte Carlo hotel.

When in Vegas, it is crucial to eat at nice restaurants for at least a few meals.  Some of the best food I have ever had has been eaten in this city.  First stop - Sage in the Aria Hotel.

We ordered the Signature Tasting Menu (which has some choice) and chose different options so we could try more dishes.

While we waited for our food we were given buns with soft creamy, herb butter and salt.


Next the waiter brought an amuse bouche.

All the while we were sipping delicious cocktails.

Then came the food ...


The Wagyu beef tartare (above and below) was hands down one of the best things I have ever tasted in my life.  It would rank in my top 5 for sure, if it is not the very best dish I have ever eaten.  


The raw beef, the egg yolk, the crisp chocolate, mmmmm, everything married together so well, and pretty much blew my mind.  I had always been afraid to try beef tartare, and now regret not ordering it at every chance I got (although my experience might not have been this good had I tried it at a lower end restaurant).  My first bite into the crusty toast topped with tartare deliciousness and I thought I had died and gone to foodie heaven.  Next time I go to Vegas it will be solely for this dish.  Seriously.

Next we ate some octopus and scallops.  The octopus was the most tender, non-chewy piece of octopus I have ever tasted.  The scallops sat on a salted caramel reduction.  Ahhh yeah!


The main courses were a pork shoulder dish and a beef belly dish.  Both were quite good, but the pork dish was a little salty, even for my salt-loving self.

Dessert was my least favourite part of the meal, firstly because I am not a huge dessert fan, and secondly because I could only try one of the desserts (the other had pine nuts which I am allergic to).  My dessert was olive oil ice cream with hazelnut crunch and basil jam.


With dessert we tried the Absinthe, which this restaurant is well known for.  We had the Marilyn Manson absinthe, served the traditional way (poured over a sugar cube and then the sugar is lit on fire).  


I am sad to say it was DISGUSTING.  At $25 a drink it was a shame we basically left both of them relatively untouched on the table.  The best way to describe the taste ... like drinking a straight glass of Ouzo.  If you don't know Ouzo, think strong black liquorice.

With the bill the waiter also brought a small cup of a spicy hot chocolate. 

All in all we had a great dining experience.  The Signature tasting menu was a great deal at $79 for 4 courses, which each course having 2-3 choices.  There is also an option to do a beer or wine pairing with each course for $39.  

I will be returning to this restaurant, for the beef tartare clearly, but also to try some other dishes on the menu, or perhaps the larger tasting menu that is also offered.

Have you ever eaten at Sage in Las Vegas?  
Have you ever had beef tartare?
How was your weekend?  What did you do?


Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

Wow - I know if you said it's one of the best things you've eaten, it must have been amazing! I am glad you had a fun getaway. I have never been to Vegas... nor have I had beef tartare (kind of scared of it honestly).

I had a great weekend, though. I went up to my parents' lake home on Saturday afternoon and spent the weekend with family. It was SO much fun. I was so sad to leave last night. :(

Ameena said...

I suddenly feel the need to go to's been a while!

Simply Life said...

wow! you really did get a good deal with the hotel and flight! glad to hear you ate well in Vegas!

Kacy said...

I haven't been to that restaurant, but Vegas is definitely a great place for fancy meals! I've been meaning to order beef tartare, but something else always sounds more fun. I need to try it soon!
Oh, and absinthe is THE WORST. Ick.

Anonymous said...

I've never been to Vegas but it's on my list of places to visit!

Allysia said...

You got a ridiculously awesome deal with the cost of the Vegas trip! I'm kind of thinking I need to go back sometime this year for the same reasons as you - love the food. So much. Too bad about the absinthe!

Anonymous said...

I've always been turned off by the idea of beef tartare, so have never tried it as I'm not the most adventurous of eaters.

The weekend: went to a wedding in Elk Ridge, celebrated my dad's 60th birthday, dropped my kids off with my parents as we're off to London to watch the Olympics! Oh yeah, and I spent a whole bunch of time watching the Games on TV.

Losing in The City said...

the hotel looks amazing. i've never had a beef tartare. looks really good. hope you are enjoying your stay. my week was nice and quiet.

Amanda said...

I love Vegas but mostly because it's only a 4 hour drive and hotels are dirt cheap. Otherwise, there are plenty of other places I'd rather go. That said, I want to try Sage! Looks delicious! I'd even try the beef tartare after reading your review.

Anonymous said...

that looks amazing!! when are we going to meet????