Monday, February 1, 2010

Sage, Las Vegas

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Sage, Las Vegas

My second dinner in Vegas was at Sage in the Aria City Center hotel. Owned by critically acclaimed Chef Shawn McClain, Sage is a chic upscale restaurant serving contemporary American cuisine.

Chef and Restaurateur Shawn McClain is also the owner of well known Chicago restaurants Spring, Green Zebra, and Custom House. McClain has built a name for himself nationally, and has won numerous awards over the recent years including "Rising Star Chef of the Year" at the Jean Banchet Awards in 2002, and "Best Chef Midwest" from the James Beard Foundation in 2006.

Reservations are recommended if you want to dine here. I called about an hour ahead but the staff informed me that there were no tables available for the evening. However, if I could make it down in 5 minutes, they could give me a table. JL and I had already made plans with a friend to dine at Sage, so we ran down to hold the fort until our friend M was ready to join us.

Our meal started with an artichoke amuse bouche. The artichoke was served with bacon, fennel, and grape foam. I had hoped that the bacon would add a salty element to this dish, but it was more on the sweet side.

Artichoke with Grape Foam
Artichoke, Bacon, Fennel, and Grape Foam

I couldn't decide between two starters, so I ordered them both.

The first was the charred baby octopus salad served in a creamy mild sauce with pine nuts, eggplant caponata, Sylvetta arugula, and golden raisins. I didn't care much for the sauce but the octopus was cooked very nicely and tickled my fancy.

Grilled Octopus
Charred Baby Octopus Salad

By the time my second starter arrived, M finally joined us, so I shared my Hawaiian hearts of palm salad with him. This was a light and refreshing salad served with heirloom apples, crispy potato roesti, horseradish cream, and red onion jam. The potato roesti and red onion jam were delicious, especially so when eaten together.

Hearts of Palm Salad
Hawaiian Hearts of Palm Salad

JL ordered the grilled wild mushroom salad. This was a nice salad consisting of grilled wild mushrooms, baby lettuce, warm Robiola cheese, toasted Marcona almonds, and aged sherry vinaigrette. JL could not stop raving about this salad.

Mushroom Salad
Grilled Wild Mushroom Salad

After the three of us placed our order for mains, the bread came out. They do not serve ordinary white or brown rolls here, the only choice is their bacon baguette. It was a nice change, and the bacon added a hint of saltiness to the bread that was not overpowering. The bread was served with Australian sea salt and house-whipped butter.

Bacon Bread
Bacon Baguette

My main was the melt in your mouth, super tender braised veal cheeks. The braised cheeks were served on top of a creamy polenta with confit peppers. It was topped with a light Picholine olive and shaved fennel salad. Everything about this dish was right, and I loved the polenta and veal cheek pairing.

Veal Cheek
Braised Veal Cheeks

M ordered the roasted day boat scallops. The scallops were giant and cooked perfectly. I did have slight food envy when I took a bite, but quickly forgot about it when I bit into my veal cheek. The scallops were served with wild mushrooms, broccolini, and a very nice salted caramel reduction.

Scallops
Roasted Day Boat Scallops

JL ordered the Belgian ale-braised short rib. This was served with winter greens, preserved orange, and fondant potatoes. Like the veal cheek, this was melt in your mouth. Of the two, the veal cheek was a tad more tender.

Braised Short Rib
Belgian Ale-Braised Short Rib

We were all stuffed by the end of our meal, and was just not able to stomach a proper dessert. Luckily, the chef brought us each a complimentary shot of vanilla spiced chocolate soup, which hit the spot.

Vanilla Hot Chocolate
Vanilla Spiced Chocolate Soup

Sage was a great choice. Of the 6 restaurants we tried in Aria hotel, Sage was definitely my favorite.

Casino Level of Aria Hotel
3730 Las Vegas Blvd
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Telephone: 702-590-7757

Sage (Aria) on Urbanspoon

Enjoy your special day with one of the spectacular Las Vegas wedding packages and come back frequently for fine dining at Vegas restaurants.

3 comments

La Table De Nana said...

Again the presentations are so special..as well as the resto..Yikes you get around! I am finding that baguette bacon bread verrry interesting!

The Asian Pear said...

BACON BREAD!

Brilliant! Like I always say... bacon goes well with everything. :D

hungry hippo said...

wow you tried 6 different restos in Aria already? I hope we get to see pictures from all of them. :)