Tuesday, December 21, 2010

2010 WPBT: Good Food Good God 

Philly 'burbs
December 2010

It's not uncommon for me to wake up on my hotel room floor in Vegas. First nights and last nights get me on a regular basis plus a few times during the WSOP I would go off the rails on occasion. Day 2 starting off that way seemed normal.

Even so I didn't feel too bad when I finally opened my eyes. It was just a matter of climbing onto the bed, make sure all my pieces were where they should be, and naturally check Twitter to see if I made a fool of myself. Twitter is a blessing and a curse. What I did find on Twitter was something from Joanada, it seems someone died that night out by the jacuzzi.

Could it be possible we finally killed someone on these trips?

I chanced the blazing Vegas sun to peak out of window and sure enough there was police tape help up by various plastic lawn furniture and traffic cones. Luckily our entire crew was accounted but some poor dude's last moments on this earth were tragically spent at the Imperial Palace. If I go out that way can someone please drag my corpse somewhere like the Rhino or Aria?

It was a wasted "non-hangover" day since there was nothing on my agenda except the Geisha bar and friends. Whatever booze left in my system was washed out by bottles of water and blessed pound cake (professional pre-stocked hotel room) and I was ready to hit the Venetian/Palazzo for football and setting up Lagasse's. That portion of my day consisted of walking over with CK and Snuffy, running into the G-Vegas degens, getting lost in the Palazzo, and calling bullshit on the packed sportsbook.

Back to my comfort zone, Geisha bar.

I would just butcher so many names or leave them out if I went for the list, but there were a shit ton of bloggers getting looped around the bar. The rest were equally dispersed between the craps and pai gow tables. The Blogfather was holding court, Falstaff once again drinking from his private beer pitcher (no cup required), I was knocking back shots and everyone was complaining about the technological black hole that is the IP.

It was the Garthmeister who came to the rescue with a good reason to stay sober-ish. There was a spot to join a crew for dinner at Picasso's in the Bellagio. I snap called.

I am a life nit. I will find the cheapest flights, hotel rooms, deals, specials, anything. Except for booze and food. For those two I will mortgage the house without blinking. Naturally I was up for a fantastic meal with friends. Luckily this is Vegas and they won't care my entire wardrobe consists of jeans and t-shirts, cash plays.

Garth, Saunter, Gracie, SSPablo, OhCaptain, Katitude, and Drizzle were a witness to the crimes committed in the name of fine dining. Five course Chef Degustation is basically a meal consisting of whatever the hell they decide to send your way and you kick back and enjoy.

Potato and Leek Soup

Maine Lobster Salad with Apple-Champagne Vinaigrette

Pan Seared Boat Scallops with Potato Mousseline and Jus de Veau

Sautéed Steak of Foie Gras

Roasted Lamb Chops with Zucchini Farci and Bordelaise Mustard Sauce

Warm Chocolate Fondant with Almond Mocha Ice Cream, Amaretto Caramel
Every dish was one more step along the path until we sat back with those silly "fat and happy" grins. The most intense was the "Steak" of Foie Gras. I love me some sauteed fatty goose liver but god damn, this was a STEAK. Biggest piece anyone has put in front of me and I'm just a little ashamed I did not finish it.

Ending Day 2 with great friends and great food was a fine way to go out. I tried to drink after dinner but was just too damned full to have any effect. I chose my "one big meal" over booze and it was an easy decision.


Funny moment of dinner was running into Antonio Esfandiari in Picasso's celebrating his victory the night before in the WPT Five Diamond event. His table was loud and packed, our table was loud and packed, but in the end we won the night as the last table standing.

Also, below you can see the view we had from the restaurant (taken with crappy iPhone). It was a little distracting with water cannons exploding every 30 minutes but we put up with it just fine. We know how to sacrifice with the rest of them.