Monday, May 28, 2012

Aureole - Las Vegas

A few weeks ago (and maybe it's a more than a few now) Erica and I were in Las Vegas for a weekend together before she had a week long conference. I'm a big fan of Vegas and have been for awhile. I even credit Vegas on my 25th birthday as an unofficial start to my foodie ways (birthday dinner at Mix, on top of THE Hotel - same property as Aureole). For no particular reason we wanted to have a nice/fancy dinner during the time I was there and decided to try Aureole since it had been on my list for a long time and was also just next door to where we were staying. It's most recognizable feature is the two story wine tower that is the feature of the entrance way. If you're lucky you'll see one of the servers gliding up and down fetching wines ordered for tables down below (pretty sure out bottle was not one of them). The space is nice and elegant and even smaller than I expected. We were seated at a nice semi circle table with very high backs as to give the sense you're in your own space. I really liked the format of the menu - everything was prix fixe with lots of choices. We each selected a starter, a main course and two sides to share, as well as two desserts. It's a lot of food, well priced and amble choice. The service was top notch and we even selected our bottle of wine from an old school looking tablet (probably one of the first places to use?). At the end of the day we had a very nice meal but my biggest gripe is that the flavors over all were not outstanding or unique. There were a few bites here and there that were great, but if you took away everything else that made it "vegas", it would be a pretty ordinary food experience. I would recommend it for a safe bet for a good time with reliable food everyone can enjoy, the special vegas experience, and all at a good value and service. I would not go for an exquisite foodie experience or something extraordinarily different. A nice option to have the quiver.












 Lots of pictures and lots of food. They started us with an amuse bouche of three little bites: grilled cheese thing, egg roll and small piece of meat on a stick (I really don't remember the details). Our first course consisted of a yellow fin tuna poke composition and burrata and copa salad. The tuna was nice but hard to compare to the Poke we ate in Hawaii. I liked Erica's burrata salad more than she did because it had a nice kick with the bloody mary granite sauce. We both went with steaks for dinner - mine a NY strip loin with Peruvian smashed potatoes and chimichurri sauce, and Erica had the blue cheese crusted filet. The steaks were cooked well and nicely seasoned, particularly my strip with the exotic flavors of south america. I preferred Erica's more traditional filet preparation and certainly did not need my entire portion. Our sides were garlic mashed potatoes and creamed spinach. The potatoes were very creamy, garlicy and tasty but I wished more of those characteristics were found in the spinach. Finally for dessert we each ordered a sampler option with many little tasty treats. Aureole is a fun Vegas dinner that doesn't make or break any rules. Standard food with a great experience at a good value - can't go wrong for a special night out.

Aureole (Mandalay Bay) on Urbanspoon

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