Fine dining at the Ark of Las Vegas – Lutece and Tsunami Asian Grill

Written by Kriss Hammond

Fine dining atrepparttar Ark of Las Vegas – Lutece and Tsunami Asian Grill

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In Los Angeles it seems all waiters in fine restaurants are awaiting their big break as actors; in Las Vegas it seems that allrepparttar 140516 waiters and captains have advanced college degrees — and that is what is makingrepparttar 140517 Strip one ofrepparttar 140518 hottest dining areas inrepparttar 140519 world.

It is so refreshing to not only dine in style, but also to carry on philosophical discussions withrepparttar 140520 captain of our table — so isrepparttar 140521 case with our wonderful experience at Lutèce, insiderepparttar 140522 Venetian Resort and Casino,repparttar 140523 only restaurant inrepparttar 140524 hotel facingrepparttar 140525 Strip and overlookingrepparttar 140526 Grand Canal. Our captain, Jason, is a pleasurable and congenial young man, recently married, working on his PhD in Philosophy and Ancient Civilizations, so naturallyrepparttar 140527 gamut ofrepparttar 140528 conversation ranges fromrepparttar 140529 recent Aristotle scroll high tech computer deciphering to wine from ancient Rome.

We startrepparttar 140530 evening with Evian water but Lutèce (loo - tess) offers Pellegrino sparkling water as well, which we follow with a modestly priced bottle of Brouilly Beaujolais Cru, Chateau de la Chaize, ’02 (or at $11 a glass), made from pure Gamay grapes. According to Jason, it is one ofrepparttar 140531 few red grapes that should be slightly chilled, like most white wines.

Lutèce is one of two Ark restaurants inrepparttar 140532 Venetian Resort, and it has one ofrepparttar 140533 best wine selections in Las Vegas, in a town with some ofrepparttar 140534 best cellars inrepparttar 140535 world. The extensive wine menu includes crisp white blends, unusual Syrahs (even a petit Syrahs), extensive champagnes, prestige Cuvees, Meritage/Proprietary varietals, and even rare finds like Saint Estephe and Saint Julien and Saint Emilion and Puiseeguin Saint Emilion. The most expensive bottle in their line-up is probablyrepparttar 140536 Chateau Mouton Rothschild ’82 at $2400 a bottle.

Our celebrity chef ofrepparttar 140537 evening, Andre Becker, recommends, as does Jason,repparttar 140538 five course tasting menu that begins with an appetizer of Scottish Smoked Salmon on Baby Frisee Salad, and Citrus Crème Fraiche Vinaigrette ($16);repparttar 140539 freshest I have had since I leftrepparttar 140540 Celtic isles.

Next up isrepparttar 140541 first course inrepparttar 140542 five course presentation: Aussie Tuna (Ahi Tuna “Mille Feuille”) plated sashimi fashion with 1/8 inch Granny Smith slice separations, with a garnish of Argan Oil ($17). Another choice could have been Fois Gras with Smooth Lentil Cream Sauce, (seared Fois Gras and Green Lentils “Du Puy Puree" — $19).

Sauces for Quick Gourmet Cooking

Written by Alannah Moore

The saying goes that "The French have a hundred sauces to disguise a few foods - andrepparttar Americans have a hundred foods disguised only by white sauce!"

It is true that many great gourmet dishes involve a special sauce, which used to take hours to prepare. Forrepparttar 140215 quick gourmet chef, there's a way around this:

1. Hollandaise and Béarnaise: Both are available in glass jars. You should be able to find them in your local gourmet shop or supermarket.

2. Madeira, Armoricaine, Newburg, Supreme, et al: These, too, are available in jars or frozen, and will transformrepparttar 140216 humble hamburger or leftover into a gourmet's dream.

3. Bottled Meat Sauces: Diable, Robert or Cumberland sauce, Worcestershire, and a wide range of mustards from Devilled to Bahamian to Dijon. Wash your hands thoroughly, use a judicious few tablespoons of whatever you fancy, and rub it thoroughly into chops and steaks. This replacesrepparttar 140217 marinades which used to take hours.

4. Dessert Sauces: Be cautious about these! There are lots of edible varieties - but very few that come up to a gourmet's standard! . . . as you will see in our gourmet dessert section, there are innumerable quick tricks with liqueurs and fresh fruit for presenting gourmet desserts in a minute. ( )

5. Basting Sauces: Here you begin to be a gourmet chef, for a basting sauce is largely invention based on experience as you grow proficient with recipes. Basting sauces are used with fish, meat and poultry. Generally, they are melted butter blended with herbs - or spices - or fruit and fruit peels - with or without a dash of cooking wine. The precise ingredients depend uponrepparttar 140218 final flavor desired: tangy, sultry, or sweetish.

The basting sauce should be made atrepparttar 140219 start ofrepparttar 140220 cooking operation, placed overrepparttar 140221 lowest possible heat, allowed to sit and grow acquainted with itself. A quarter pound of butter makes an adequate basting sauce; half a pound is sometimes better-if you can bring yourself to it!

The basic procedure is to combine butter chunks and desired seasonings or flavorings in a small saucepot (a stainless steel one-cup measure with a handle is satisfactory), and to obtainrepparttar 140222 full savory blend by simmering gently duringrepparttar 140223 first steps of searing meat or poultry, firmingrepparttar 140224 fish flesh, etc. A basting sauce is used to moisten and flavor a dish during its cooking; it is brushed directly onto roasting meat or poultry with a pastry brush at 10 or 15 minute intervals, or poured over fish and broiled dishes every 5 minutes for quick cookery.

For long cooking roasts, whenrepparttar 140225 basting sauce has all been used, a roaster baster will pick up pan juices for moisteningrepparttar 140226 dish.

6. Wine & Wine Sauces: "The betterrepparttar 140227 wine,repparttar 140228 betterrepparttar 140229 dish" isrepparttar 140230 gourmet standard ... although it's not necessary to buy fine vintage drinking wines for use inrepparttar 140231 kitchen. If you have good local wine, do use it for cooking.

Never buy cooking wine or liquor purely on a price basis;repparttar 140232 cheap brands do not have sufficient alcoholic content to create a flambee dish - and will not have enough flavor to remain inrepparttar 140233 sauce. White wines can be used for any recipes, but red wines can only be used for dark meats . . . when they will not discolorrepparttar 140234 dish.

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