There are a complete lot of good things to eat in Las Vegas. Somehow I can never remember any of them. I’ve visited semi-regularly over the years—like a penny tumbling toward the bottom of a sofa, every American finds themself in Las Vegas a certain number of times in their life—and I know myself and even to write about doing so that I have managed to feed. Nevertheless, when individuals ask me personally for Las vegas suggestions, we draw a blank—all the casino that is shiny imported from New York and California blurring into one long perfectly fine meal I wish I had enjoyed somewhere else. There is one exception: I tell them to go to the Bellagio Hotel and Casino and almond eat an croissant.
I basic tasted this almond croissant in 1998, shortly following the Bellagio started. It was a moment that is big Las Vegas. The city had been distancing itself from the adult pleasures on which it had been founded, marketing itself instead as a family destination, with casinos shaped like cartoon castles, Egyptian pyramids, and bizarro New York skylines topped by rollercoasters—more Mickey Mouse than Rat Pack.
The for the previous decade Bellagio, exposed by casino magnate Steve Wynn, was created to improve all of that. The soon-to-be-iconic acrobatic fountains, and, most strikingly, 17 restaurants—many of them high-end names imported from New York and San Francisco in addition to adopting the appearance of a Lake Como palazzo, it featured an art museum. These days, when every restaurant group in the national nation seemingly have a Vegas outpost, this looks entirely normal. But during the time, whenever thought of eating from the Strip however taken to worry about buffets that are massive signs touting $3.99 PRIME RIB!!!, it seemed improbable, if not faintly ridiculous.
A magazine editor friend of mine had been invited to check out the dining that is new, and so I, in conjunction with another friend, marked along. We slept three to a available room and dined opulently at Le Cirque, Osteria Circo, Jean Georges Vongerichten’s Prime Steakhouse, and several other spots. The meals are remembered by me fondly but dimly. Typically, i recall blearily stumbling to the lobby’s coffee store after a night that is late at the blackjack table, reimbursing the house for our comped meals, with interest. That’s where the almond was found by me croissant.
It was actually my personal Platonic perfect: moistened with a drizzle of rum syrup but nevertheless buttery and crackling, full of a layer of sweet almond cream that lightly oozed away to the pastry’s wonderfully chewy edges that are burnt and topped with a snowfall of powdered sugar and a plate-armor coating of toasted almonds. Of all the absurdities of the which included seeing a van Gogh within hearing distance of slot machines, this seemed the most preposterous: Why was this seemingly throwaway pastry so good weekend? Just what wizard of viennoiserie lurked behind the moments? Exactly who cared anywhere near this much?(*)