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Posts Tagged ‘desserts’

Truly, Madly, Cheaply — A Valentine’s Day Celebration for Less

Wednesday, February 11th, 2009
Better than a box of chocolates -- a stop at Payard Patisserie at Caesars Palace on Valentine's Day.

Better than a box of chocolates? A stop at Payard Patisserie at Caesars Palace on Valentine's Day.

In honor of Valentine’s Day, we were going to run a list of our favorite romantic (read expensive) restaurants in Las Vegas.  However, with all the talk about how Las Vegas has become such a great “frugal” destination for travelers (it is!) plus considering the state of the economy — not to mention our wallets — we’ve decided that in lieu of that list, we’ve come up with this list: Seven inexpensive yet fun and romantic things you and your sweetie can do this coming weekend.  (Lots of these ideas can be used in places other than Las Vegas so take a look even if you won’t be traveling for V-Day.)

1.  One of our favorite stores is Bijoux Terner, otherwise known as the “$10 boutique.”  Everything (and we really mean everything) from purses to watches to bold and brassy necklaces and earrings is just $10.  Why not treat your sweetie to a week’s worth of colorful watches or five new handbags in spring’s brightest shades.  No, not “designer” pieces but who wants to spend a ton on a bright orange watch or a psychedelic pink purse anyways?

2.  Try a “celebrity chef” for less.  Case in point; Tom Colicchio, famous head judge on Bravo TV’s smash-hit “Top Chef” is the brains (and toque) behind ‘wichcraft at MGM Grand.  His fabulous meatloaf sandwich is just $10 and almost as good as the beefy entrees at his high-priced Craftsteak restaurant just down the corridor.  Oh, and make sure you save room for the decadent “Whoopie Pie” — chocolate cake layers filled with vanilla pudding. (more…)

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Payard Pâtisserie at Caesars Palace Showcases Chef’s Artistry

Monday, December 15th, 2008
The alluring pastry case at Payard Patisserie at Caesars Palace.

The alluring pastry case at Payard Patisserie at Caesars Palace.

Making a visit to Payard’s exquisite bakery at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas takes on Holy Grail-like overtones because this place is NOT easy to find.  My advice — save yourself a lot of time and shoe leather and just ask any hotel employee to point you in the right direction.  (It’s at the back of the resort near the Café Lago buffet.  Look for the caramel-toned lighting and chocolate-colored curlicues facing the walkway.)

Once you do find it, you’ll be presented with two options for dining – either the casual counter-service-only café or the adjacent tiny jewel box of a restaurant.  The timing may decide for you since the café is open from 6:30 a.m. until 3 p.m. while the bakery counter serves from 6:30 a.m. until 11 p.m.  Either way, you can rest assured that the fabulous pastries and desserts are on both menus.

And fabulous is not an overstatement when it comes to Monsieur Payard’s artistic pastries and sweets.  Winner of numerous “Best Pastry Chef” awards, Francois Payard proves his culinary mettle in every buttery croissant, velvety mousse and perfectly-constructed tart and gâteau on the menu.   Our favorites include the lush Maple Cheesecake with Blueberry Compote, the classic multi-layered Raspberry Napoleon and the sophisticated Vienne with its masterful blending of dark chocolate, orange and caramel. 

Dessert flavors extend to the decor at Payard with its caramel-toned lighting.

Dessert flavors extend to the decor at Payard with its caramel-toned lighting.

Since man cannot live by dessert alone (well, you could but probably shouldn’t) Payard Patisserie offers breakfast fare including omelets and quiches plus a lunch/light dinner menu of sandwiches and salads including a Tuna Nicoise salad that will remind you why this is one of France’s most beloved dishes.  For a heartier appetite, the Roast Beef Panini on authentic ciabatta with caramelized onions is robustly flavored while the accompanying house-made spicy potato chips are addictive. 

In addition to the café and bakery, there is a retail store stocked with boxes of luxurious handmade truffles and candies as well as Payard’s signature gift baskets to take home.

WhereCaesars Palace

Hours:  Breakfast: 6:30am to 11:30am
              Lunch: 11:30am to 3pm
Pastry Counter: 6:30am to 11:00pm
Retail Store: Tue-Fri 6:30am to 11:00pm
Retail Store: Sat-Mon 6:00am to 11:00pm

Reservations: Tel.  877-346-4642

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15 Reasons to Go to Las Vegas in December

Sunday, November 23rd, 2008
Stunning glassware from Wynn LVNV makes a great holiday gift for someone on your list.

Stunning glassware from Wynn LVNV makes a great holiday gift for someone on your list.

I can’t think of any reasons not to go to Las Vegas this December but I sure can think of a lot of reasons why I should go.  You should go, too.

1.  Christmas decorations at all the casinos.  Just like everything else in Vegas, the lights are brighter, the trees are taller, the decor more over-the-top.

2.  The Bellagio’s Conservatory and Botanical Gardens.  The designers seem to outdo themselves year-after-year with animated characters, fields of red and white poinsettias, sparkling trees and more.  I can’t wait to see this year’s display and then check out the holiday goodies at Jean-Philippe Patisserie.

3.  Holiday shopping made easy in just a couple of blocks.  The Forum Shops at Caesars, Miracle Mile stores at Planet Hollywood, the Fashion Show Mall and my fav store for beautiful glassware and gifts that will win raves — Wynn LVNV at the hotel’s Esplanade.  (Pictured above.) (more…)

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