Helloooo....well, hard to believe tomorrow is July 4th, and I am back from a whirlwind week-and-a-half of travel, work and play! I headed to Vegas to meet my girlfriends from Chicago for a long weekend. It was a much needed getaway, and so fun to see my favorites who I don't get to see all that often. We stayed at the Vdara, which was the perfect hotel for us. We had a large suite facing the Bellagio, and it was the perfect size for all of us - plenty of room, closet space, a kitchenette and an extra-large bathroom. The hotel is right next to the Cosmopolitan, the Aria, and has a bridge to the Bellagio. So it is easy walking to get to tons of places on the strip.
And the pool was perfect for lounging in the 110 degree heat...no complaints from me.
As far as Vegas trips go, we were pretty chill. We hung by the pool, had dinner reservations each night, and saw one show - Beatles Love at the Mirage. We really wanted to see Britney but she was taking the summer off. Sad face. Basically my goal was to eat my way (gluten-free of course) through Vegas. I think I definitely succeeded!
On Thursday night we ate at the Barrymore, which had a cool old-Hollywood vibe, very Frank Sinatra. Despite it's odd and confusing location in a run-down resort (and a cab ride from hell to get there) it was worth seeking out. The dining room was gorgeous - candles, tufted booths and lovely service. I had the BEST caprese salad of my life. Marinated heirloom tomatoes with house-made burrata...amazing! For the main course, I stuck with a broiled salmon, but secretly wishing I could just have had another salad all to myself.
On Friday night, we saw the early Love show at the Mirage. It blew me away, just like every other Cirque du Soleil production I have seen. They are just all so amazing and creative. The performance, the choreography, music, costumes, just ridiculous.
Afterward we headed to Sage in the Aria for a late dinner. It was a truly special treat, as this restaurant is frequently ranked top-ten best in Vegas. The menu is very creative, and definitely worth the splurge. I had seared sea scallops, but probably would have picked one of the steak entrees instead (for next time!).
The chef did modify a crazy amazing dessert to be gluten-free for me...a dark chocolate "candy bar" with orange peel, toasted almonds, and peanut butter mousse...to die for!
Overall, this was my favorite meal of the trip. If you are looking for a completely indulgent meal in Vegas, I would highly recommend Sage.
On our final night, we tried a new (to me) place in the Cosmopolitan called Rose.Rabbit.Lie. Interesting name for a really unique place. The restaurant is not just a restaurant, but features live entertainment throughout your time dining, so there is always something new going on. We saw live singers, a tap-dancer, a break-dancer (who was getting down on the table next to us!), an amazing band and a chef cooking at the table next to us. So much to take in on top of delicious food. The plates are small here, and are meant to be shared. They do have a gluten-free/vegan menu, which is definitely limited, but I was able to find some good options. I tried an endive + grapefruit salad, and the lemon sole papillote which was perfectly prepared and delicious. I also had some sort of whiskey cocktail with muddled berries and mint...the only whiskey drink I have ever really liked!
The food was creative, but this was not my favorite meal of the trip. However, the entertainment factor definitely made it worth it! If it wasn't for all the incredible dancers and singers and musicians at Rose.Rabbit.Lie, I would have left a little disappointed. But it was such a cool and unique experience, I would totally recommend it and try it again myself.
All in all, I would say we had the best time. Perfect mix of fun in the sun, relaxing, great meals, best friends, and even a little gambling (I learned how to play craps, and won!). Thursday to Sunday is plenty of time to be in Vegas, so I was definitely ready to get home to Nick and my sweet girl by the end. I hope we can continue the tradition of the girls trip in the future...it was so fun to reconnect and spend time together with no real agenda.
I hope you are having a fabulous summer so far, and are gearing up the 4th of July tomorrow! We are planning to have a BBQ over here and watch our local fireworks from our deck. I am trying out a new summer dessert for tomorrow, and if it gets the crowd approval, I will share it over here next week...a sort of patriotic paleo lemon and berry cake!
Have an amazing holiday weekend!