Scott Conant makes my tummy swoon: Scarpetta in Vegas

It was a lazy day of pool and grubbing.. and yes, more drinking… but we finally decided to get our deal together and realized that it’s hard to find a good place to eat on a Friday night.. trying to book a table when it’s already 7pm… in Vegas…OOPS.  After a few failed attempts with the concierge at Caesars…

…[we got ready anyways] and ended up deciding on Scarpetta

[Oh Scott Conant you so dreamy <3 swoon]

…with an old coworker of mine, who also happened to be in town.. we headed over to Cosmopolitan – GORGEOUS hotel.  Had a few drinks at the bar and then finally sat down before 10.

Bread and yummy stuff to dip it in… MMM BREAD!!!

George & I

Appetizers Round

Roasted Sea Scallops
truffled white asparagus, pink grapefruit & uni aoili

Super tender scallops… delicious white asparagus… MMMMMM….. To me, if someone can cook a scallop to perfection, they can cook. It’s hard to get it just right, especially since it’s so easily overcooked and turns rubbery like whoa.  These melted at the touch of my tongue. Light, decadent. Amazing. But hello. Two scallops and two asparagus for three people? Awkward!

Special: Steak Tartare

This was okay.  Probably shouldn’t have ordered it, wasn’t bad, wasn’t great.  Wish there was a bigger portion….

And the best dish of the night — and possibly of the whole time in Vegas:

Creamy Polenta
fricassee of truffled mushrooms

Here is the guy pouring the sauce with truffled wild mushrooms all over the creamy polenta…


SO good we got it twice – YES twice!!! We started smothering ALL of our food with this stuff.  Words can NOT describe how amazing it is… and as soon as we licked the bowl clean, we ordered another one.  I’ve never had creamier, buttery polenta in my life.  It was like melted ice cream of savory truffled goodness.  Delicious tender mushrooms.. OMFG.  Last dinner sort of food. I can die happy in a hot tub of this.


We all ordered our own dish but shared everything – not allowed to order the same thing hahaha….

Duck & Foie Ravioli
marsala reduction

This  was obviously mine.  It was the least tasty of the three, methinks, not that it wasn’t tasty.. the filling was good but a bit dry/mealy.  The texture was a little weird for me, but the flavors were spot on – and the pasta was a good al dente.

George picked the Special: Bone-In Prime Rib with a side of Potatoes

It was delicious. If you fuck up beef, than you can’t cook at all.  It was HUGE, Fred Flintstone style. I love a good piece of meat with a nice bone in it.

Kelly got the Special: Chicken & Sweet Corn Agnolotti

This was actually  in my running to be one of my choices.. it was really good and the only thing we all finished!!!! YUM – the corn was amazing and added such a great texture and sweetness to it. YUM

We opted out of dessert but our awesome server gave us some deliciousness anyways…

Butterscotch pots <3 YUM

We headed to XS afterwards…. but ended up waiting a million hours in line.  I ended up cutting a ton of people to get thru, get stamped, just to wait LONGER.  Got to see B for a brief moment and say hi at least…. at least tummy was happy – cuz feet were NOT.

La Provence, ……… in Concord MA

So I was lucky enough to have doctor appointments galore this week…. and today?!… Gyno & Oral Surgeon.. more on that after this…. so inbetween I had a little over a hour and a half to eat lunch. SOOOO.. off to La Provence.  My mom and her girlfriends have lunch dates here ALL THE TIME – so why not?!.. quick, cheap, delicious, fresh!.. FAST!  Best of most of all worlds…..

LUNCH!

You order at the counter, pay, sit down at one  of the cute tables in two different rooms [front and back] and they bring it to you — gets busy during super lunch times.. good thing I got there a little before the rush.

NOM NOM NOM.. mmm TEA

Vegetable Frittata

Great marinara… lovely… thick and fresh.. but the frittata was a bit dry and overloaded with JUST noodles.. just a tinnnny bit of egg to hold it together and…. SERIOUS lack of veggies *pout*

Chicken Curry… with Potato Gratin and Cheesy White Asparagus

Side of Wild Rice

3 Salad Plate…. Pickled Beets&Onions; Hearts of Palm, Fennel, Tomato, Olives; Artichokes & Peppers

LOOOOOOOOOVE the hearts of palm salad the most.  And all of this was like.. what.. 6 bucks?!.. At WHOLE FOODS it would’ve been like 20 hahahaha… :] YUM  I adore fennel! We need more raw fennel in foods and salads!! NOM NOM NOM!..

SOOOO GOOD, I got another plate!!!

I had all of this.. and a few cups of hot hot tea :] Even met an ABC/Taiwanese Boy there from Cali. Noooo worries, he’s still in school and I’m not a cougar.. all the time ;]  But he was nice.

And then I DESPERATELY needed something chocolately.. so I bought this Bumble Bee BOMB to eat when I got home and started working….. cup of hot hot coffee and this chocolately mousse over a honey soaked butter cake.. OH EM GEE <3 LOVE – Aside from this they have yummy fruit tarts..  which I love to get. but today I really needed chocolate

OK so after lunch with cake in hand.. I went to my oral surgeon to check on this black spot on my tongue.  It suddenly appeared last year when I was still living midtown in NYC and while I was alarmed I never got it checked out.  Earlier this year my dentist wanted me to go see if it was serious but since I was still so back and forth from NYC I didn’t…. so finally. this Monday I talked to my doctor about it and INSISTED me to check on it.  I did – it’s not, thankfully, tongue cancer  – it’s a freaking TONGUE FRECKLE…. *sigh* I’m a dork.

OK, so back to this place.  Quick, easy, fresh, delicious – while the sweets are a bit *sweet* the food is simple and yum!   Methinks they have beer too cuz I saw some old people near me bring it over and drink some Sam Adams :] so THUMBS UP.. sorta.. [I don't think I've ever had a Sams Adams.. maybe a special fall brew or something but that's it]  Great service, super sweet… just don’t go during rush times cuz you have to wait for EVER.. yes it’s that’s popular. :]

On top of my Tapas…..

All bare with no cheeeeeseee….
I lost my poor meatballs…
They went in my belly

Sadly those were the only decent things to eat at La Nacional Tapas Bar…. Before I begin I’d like to say that our food got brought out SO fast and our table was SO small I felt like we were being forced to down everything in a half hour :[ More about that and the meatballs later….

I adore tapas… I crave it all the time, and while I know that Z has been a bit sick of them since he’s been visiting Spain so much, I LOVE THEM, and I couldn’t push down this craving….. we were choosing between a few tapas bars but after reading some decent reviews on this place after googling it and yelping it…. Z insisted we try this place.

First thing’s first, sangria. It was pretty tasty, not gonna lie – AND there’s fruit. I vaguely remember a line from a frat party back in college… something about eating the “fruit to boot”? Dangerous :D So yummy!!

The bread, carefully hidden, but not carefully enough, ghetto butter packets in the back :D The bread wasn’t bad, just sourdough, cold. Sigh, I love warm bread, more places should do it. Peer pressure.

And then they just started PILING on the dishes onto our teeny tiny table… seriously, it was kind of sad…

esparragos

white asparagus with crispy serrano & black olive tapenade

I liked the salty crispy serrano, but come on, only two pieces? The white asparagus were soggy and overcooked but the olive tapenade was pretty good.. nice olivey and salty. A little much though.

sardinas a la plancha

fresh grilled head-on sardines

These things were HUGE… Z said this is how they do in Spain but come on, THREE ginormoua sardines?!…. that’s a lot. I had a whole one, Z ate half.. I feel bad but they were just OKAY… the bones were annoying me… hahhaha I love japanese grilled fishies the most :D

boquerones

white anchovy fillets

Fresh and fishy :D Justs the way I like my anchovies.. there was a nice lemon citrus atop the anchovies which I liked – made it more refreshing.

gambas

grilled garlic shrimp

I’m so not used to seeing tapas on plain white plates.. I like the little clay pots that stay warm and the shrimp comes out sizzling hot.  I usually see chunks of garlic in the hot hot oil, but they were unidentifiable here.  Sad.  But they were pretty good… I mean how do you mess up garlicky shrimp? MMM, garlicky…

patatas bravas

tradicional fried potatos with alioli & spicy red sauce

Ok, guilty, I didn’t have any of these. I’m sorry, I’m not a potato girl remember? The alioli on it was kind of a turn off too… mayo *shivers* [altho I do enjoy a good mayo based sauce with pommes frites]  Z ate the whole plate hahaha – this is his dish he has to get at every tapas place.. just like how the next dish, I always get at every tapas place:

pimientos

fried  shisito peppers

They were tasty!!! Wish they were more hot tho… great salty crunchy peppers, nom nom nom!!!

albondigas morunas

pork & veal meatballs in pork jus

They tasted like Chef Boyardeeeeeee – seriously. Like marshmallow fluffy meatballs…. a bit on the salty side, but totally soft and not much texture to it. I like a meatball that tastes meaty with chew but the flavors were there – just a bit too mushy…

pulpo a la gallega

octopus with olive oil & sweet spanish pimenton

OMG. WHY was there a BOOGER texture on the bottoms of them? I had one piece and was soo turned off – which was sad because the taste was good but texture wise is so wrong. The top parts tasted like regular chewy octopus but the bottom.. gag

tosta choricera

toasted bread, egg & chorizo

This may have been the best dish of the night.  A bit greasy from all the chorizo.. but the yolky egg was amazing. The toast was crisp but which there was more to it than just two pieces of toasted white wonder bread. This made my tummy hurt later from all the grease, but SO worth it!!!

arroz negro

black rice with white fish, shrimp clams and mussels in sofrito, green peas, piquillo peppers & alioli

Didn’t see fish in it but it did have some cute scallops that were pretty tender.  Sadly only the alioli made it.. and I hate mayo… the mussel I had tasted really bad and not fresh at all… and the rice was way undercooked :[ Sadness since we just had squid ink pasta the day before and thoroughly enjoyed squid ink.

I left feeling empty and unsatisfied.

Why are they getting such good reviews? Now I’m sad.. time to put up my squid ink pasta recipe :D

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