All about the Wine – Sirio

Last night in Vegas and we’re going out in style, with a bang bang bang…

Angel & Devil… or Devil & Angel?!  Who is who?!

I love this girl <3

We headed over to Aria to meet with my college friend Min – and while he gambled we settled at a nearby bar for some drinks.

Drinks  at Julian Serrano Tapas – place smelled good though, got hungryyy fast!!!

Kelly got a nice pretty fruity pear drink

And I got one with ginger bear, cucumber and Absinthe. HORRID. I wanted to die and barely downed a few sips. DISGUSTING. Just say NO to absinthe and bad drinks.

Min met up with us.. also tried my horrible drink and then off to SIRIO to wine and dine!!!!.. Min is a sommelier at Benu in San Fran and knows the sommelier at Sirio so I knew we’d be in for a good wine treat ;D

Another Italian treat..!!!  They also own Circo and Le Cirque … sooooo….. lots to look forward to. But super competition since we had an AMAZING Italian meal already earlier at Scarpetta

Beautiful space!!! And we got to sit next to the windows to watch them make salads and prepare the meats/cheeses, etc…

It took us FOREVER to go thru the menu, it was overwhelmingly HUGE! There was way too many item and sections and made our heads hurt. In addition there was a specials menu AND they offered a Truffle Tasting Menu. ARGH.  Good thing we were greeted with complimentary glasses of a delicious champagne.  Bubbles helped the headache of the large menu.

I was more distracted at looking in the windows.. especially at the guy who just stood there the whole night mixing caesar salads. hahaha..

Bread and EVOO/Balsamic Dip

6 Oysters. 2 of each kind. [4 West Cost, 2 East]

They were super super tiny and the worst shucked EVER.  There was shell and they weren’t even released, we had to do it ourselves. Blah. Not worth it. Severely disappointed.

Yellowtail Tartare…

It was fresh but lacking.  Needed some acid and salt.  It’s amazing what a little salt and pepper can do.  Good little breadsticks tho, I’m a fan.  I found myself wanting to season it myself… and I rarely do that – I like light foods and tend to frown at OVERseasoned things – I think it needed a bit more texture too… frisee worked but there was just like a bite of it to split between us.

Two different Salames, Bresaola, Mortadella and some Parmigiano Reggiano
Salames for the win!!! I loved them.. there was a small one and a big one.  The mortadella was a bit mealy but good, I’m used to “slimier” feeling ones – for lack of better words – which are more bologna like, OK, better explanation, this was a drier mortadella.  It came with walnut raisin bread, grapes, honey.. balsamic?!, breadsticks and flatbread crisps with melted parm.  The parmigiano was delicious.. munch munch munch nibble.

Just the beginning… champagne… red… white :]

And then came our pastas… MMMM carbs… so far so OKAY… nothing amazing.  So we were totally counting on the pastas – it IS an Italian place so it all depends on the pasta!

Min looking good… and ready to get his eat on… 

Can you believe it? One of our last pics together was our sophomore year.. yikes!!! We’re all getting old.. but getting better looking with age ;]  When he was angrier and I was wayyyy nicer… hahaha

“We’re assholes, that’s why we get along so well”

“I don’t remember you being an asshole, you were nice, you were really really nice…”

The last time Min saw me was in AC for my 20th Bday… way back when… and I looked like this… and was blooonndeeeeee – freaking 8 years ago!!!

 And what do you know.. at another Caesars hahahah

Ok back to the delicious food..

We got two pasta specials

Left: Pappardelle with a Prosciutto Sauce and Peas…
Right: Risotto – you could also chose tagliatelle – with Black Truffle

Pappardelle was perfectly cooked and so good. The sauce wasn’t very prosciutto-y but it was really really good. Loved it.  The risotto was AMAZING, creamy, but a bit underdone.  But FUCK YEAH truffles galore… INHALED BOTH! We cleaned the two plates CLEANNNNN

Partway thru I dropped my napkin…

And the waiters walked over it, avoided it and didn’t give me a new one.  I even went to the bathroom only to come back to it STILL on the floor

Excuse me do I have something on my lip?

Min finally gave up and asked for a new napkin for the lady. HAHA “the lady” I’m so not a lady.

Grilled Lamb Chops

These were cooked really well, THERE WAS SOOOO MUCH, the portion looks small here but it was actually HUGE…. not gamey at all… barely a lamb taste – I’ve noticed I like lamb when it’s rarer than when cooked – really really good.

Ossobuco on Risotto

Fell off the bone and had delicious marrow.  The risotto was cheesy and the veggies were nice, crisp and fresh!  It wasn’t amazing or mind-blowing but quite tasty.  We were SO full by now that we could barely eat any more.. which probably affects the taste.

But we got dessert anyway :]

Min: I’m gonna make them do all that Birthday stuff…
Me: YAY
Min: HAHA you LIKE that shit!!!
Me: YEPPPP!!!!

Chocolate Souffle

Amazeballs. I LOOOOVED it – I love a good souffle.

The sommelier and our tray of dessert wines/liquors, YES all of that for the three of us.

4 each.. omg there was some bourbon one that almost killed me.  The housemade limoncello was FREAKING amazing tho. SOOOO fresh and tasty… nice and tart and not too sweet :] *swoon

UMMMM… Fuck it…

I die ;D

While the food wasn’t particularly spectacular.. the company and the booze was FUCKING amazing!  Such a great fun night!!!!!

Vegas Birthday Dinner @ Circo

After an already FANTASIMICALLY AWESOME time in less than 24 hours… it was Birthday Dinner time with my girls…. SO the plan was to go to Scarpetta – me and my huge crush on Scott Conant, yes yes, but we shopped and drank for awhile at Caesars after a long day at the pool and we were tired and lazy… halfway thru my large fruity  drink I decided we should just eat in the Bellagio – since there’s a million delicious places to eat there anyways – So Circo it was… we got beautiful with my newly bought dress and went downstairs to dinner with my sexy shoes Katy bought me :D

As soon as we walked in, I asked for my table.. they got my NAME wrong and wrote me down as “Jing” and asked me if I had a table at Le Cirque instead…. I’ve already had the ORIGINAL Le Cirque in NYC why would I come here for it?!  Plus I was in the mood for some nice simple Tuscan/Italian food :] MMMM.. and MONKEYS…!!!

Monkeys monkeys monkeys EVERYWHERE!! designed by Adam Tihany…

Where are we?! Circus Circus?  There were cute monkeys EVERYWHERE in the restaurant OMG.. we got a nice table with a good view of both outside and the kitchen :D

Yep a 18,255$+ bottle of wine… they had a crazy awesome wine selection, apparently over 900 different sorts of bottles.. I talked to the sommelier and found a delicious light fruity Italian wine [red obviously] that would go well with all of our dishes!!!… Katy ended up not liking it too much which meant – MORE FOR MEEEEE hahahha..

My lovies!!!

Delicious bread and EVOO

Antipasto del Circo

Assortment of Traditional Tuscan Appetizers

SOOOO YUM!  A delicious selection of cheeses…. some bruschetta on the most delicious toasty garlic bread.. sOOO super garlicky and the tomatoes were SO fresh and sweet… MMMM, we had super garlic breath :] My favorite was the salami and then, obviously, the prosciutto.. YUM YUM!! OH and then there was the artichokes on the side.. NOM NOM NOM!

Kelly’s Ravioli Di Mama Egi

Mama Egi’s Recipe of Sheep’s Milk Ricotta, Spinach, Swiss Chard, Butter Sage Sauce

She seemed to love them.. wait did I try a bite? They looked so pretty and saucey :D  And smelled absolutely amazing. I LOOOOVE sage and I tend to get vegetarian raviolis more than I get meaty ones… :] Save those for agnolottis… teehee

Katy’s Frantoiana

Tuscan Vegetable & Bean Soup with Fettunta 

This was a huge bowl, and so are Katy’s beautiful boobs,… wait, too crude? I’m a 16 y/o horny teenager [male] seriously, okay back to the food – KATY LOVED IT!!!.. it came with Fettunta.. which is just super indulgent garlic bread :D NOM!!!…. It was FILLED with fresh cooked down super tender veggies and beans!!!!

And then, of course, my Il Coniglio

Roasted Napa Valley Rabbit Loin wrapped in San Daniele Prosciutto, Polenta ‘sfogliatina’, Roasted Beets, Green Pea Veloute, Rabbit Jus

As soon as I said I was gonna order this, poor Katy got wide-eyed… and talked about “Harry” the bunny from her backyard. Kelly tried some and liked it but Katy wouldn’t nibble on Harry teeheee… I actually found that I don’t like cooked prosciutto… the closest I like cooked prosciutto is either really really dried out and crunchy, broken and sprinkled on salads or something.. OR…. placed on freshly baked pizzzaaaaaa… [prosciutto and fresh sweet figs on white pizza, OMG… orgasmic] ANYWAYS.. I felt like it tasted really gamey cooked and affected the taste of the rabbit, plus it was a bit too salty. I ended up just eating the bunny part. I LOVED the way the polenta was cooked. I’m ALL about crunch and texture… and while the taste itself was almost bland, the texture was FABULOUS!… and the beets, OH the beets… I LOVE BEETS <3

We were stuffed from eating and drinking all day so that little food actually filled us up a lot… so we got one dessert…  a delicious Molten Lava Chocolate Cake.. it had a classier name but whatever… hahaha

HAPPPPPY BIRTHDAY TO MEEEEEEEE

My signature blowing out candle pic :D TEEHEE

Afterwards, we rushed back to our room for our second outfit change – teeeheeeee.. yes I wore two outfits that night and I also ended up curling my hair… finish up the rest of the trip on this entry.

“Spring” Pesto Gnocchi in the Summatime

Gnocchi… oh so fluffy and delicious when done right [even mind-blowingly amazing] but it’s usually done totally wrong.

The word gnocchi means “lumps”, and may derive from nocchio, a knot in the wood,[1] or from nocca (knuckle).[2] It has been a traditional Italian pasta type of probably Middle Eastern origin since Roman times.[3] It was introduced by the Roman Legions during the enormous expansion of the empire into the countries of the European continent. In the past 2,000 years, each country developed its own specific type of small dumplings, with the ancient gnocchi as their common ancestor. In Roman times, gnocchi were made from a semolina porridge-like dough mixed with eggs, and are still found in similar forms today, particularly Sardinia‘s malloreddus (although they do not contain eggs).

The use of potato is a relatively recent innovation, occurring after the introduction of the potato to Europe in the 16th century.[4]

Source: Wikipedia

I’ve been staying in a lot lately and cooking dinner. In fact other than going out to Boston for the weekend it’s almost two weeks since I’ve dined out :] Last night I made a little something something more jazzed up. I think of it as a “Spring” inspired dish but you could have it any time of the year… Why not make it GNOCCHI NIGHT!!!!! :D I was between a creamy sauce and a regular tomato-based sauce… but since we did that the night before [read on to hear a brief recap of that] I decided that it’d be creamy sauce time…

There’s no set recipe for this since I tend to just cook by taste and how I feel…

The pesto is just a big handful of basil leaves, about a cup of toasted pinenuts, 7-8 cloves of garlic and evoo drizzled in.

I pre-steam some sweet peas and ribbons of carrots for a few minutes.

I cook the gnocchi is salted boiling water until it floats…. I cheated and used freshly made gnocchi that I bought from Russo’s over the weekend back home in Massachusetts… I LOVE their freshly made pasta.. the night before this we had some of their raviolis for dinner :] — sweet pea/riccota, spinach/cheese and butternut squash. YUM.

Continuing on….

While I wait on that I take some pesto in a pan, add some cream and a LOT of freshly greated parm reg and mix it all together. When the gnocchi is done I scoop it into the pan, add in the veggies and toss it together.

Even tho I’ve been going pretty vegetarian for awhile, decided that a little protein is good… so I grilled up a garlicky chicken breast on the side, sliced it up and topped off the bowl of gnocchi with the succulent chicken.

Simple. Quick. Easy. Delicious.

Refreshing, the veggies add a lightness to the creamy pesto just covering the pillowy potato goodnesses :D Yay.

And we have extra pesto to make other yummies/pastas with :]