Wednesday, May 21, 2008

A Las Vegas Quintet: Part IV


Husband and wife Stefano and Julie, Stefano's dad and his girlfriend, and Debbie and I all went to Las Vegas for a New Year's Eve. On the first night we had dinner at Spanish Steppes in Caesars Palace, one of my two favorite Las Vegas restaurants at that time. Since Caesars would pick it up, I "bought" the dinner. The food and wine were wonderful, and a we had a grand time.

The next night we went to Justin's in the Frontier (yes, you've seen these two restaurants elsewhere on this blog). Stefano insisted on buying this night. The six of us settled in at a table, two facing two and one facing one. I was at one end and Debbie was immediately to my left.

We were all in good spirits before the meal, and things got better. Three of us decided on red wine and three on white. As we  guzzled  sipped our wine (we had ordered four bottles) we pondered the menu. Our waiter, a young man - about as young as I've seen as a waiter in the better restaurants - came to the table and asked if anyone had their hearts set on any particular thing. No, not tonight. "Well, then, why don't you just let me put together some appetizers for you?"

That was going to be easier than choosing and we cheered him on. After a while he returned with a huge tray filled with asparagus hearts, crab stuffed mushrooms, crackers and pâté, and who knows what else. For perhaps a half hour we munched, sipped, and laughed. I don't know that I've ever had a meal that was more fun.

Our waiter returned and asked, "Anyone ready for dinner?" Six hands shot up.

"Why don't you just let me put something together for you?" Well. How good does it get? We agreed immediately, (and ordered four more bottles of wine) and perhaps forty-five minutes or an hour later he and a helper returned with two of those huge trays, filled with vegetables, a couple of different potato dishes, lobster stuffed crab legs, beef strips, sauces, and again, who knows what.

As we gawked at the dinner, he commented that our wine was disappearing and we ordered four more bottles. The current four were dry when the new ones arrived.

Over the next hour and a half or so, we demolished the dinner and downed more wine. By now Debbie's shoes were off and her feet were in my lap, all under the table of course. I doubt that we were any more relaxed than anyone else at the table, however.

Our waiter arrived and asked about dessert. Everyone groaned at the thought. "Let me bring you some of our coffee, which is excellent, and you can think about it." Done deal.

The coffee was in fact excellent (one of my criteria for a first class restaurant). After a while more coffee arrived and our waiter said, "Suppose I just bring you a few desserts? You can pick and choose when they get here."

We consented happily, he did, and we were soon surrounded with trays bearing chocolate mousse, biscotti, strawberry tortes, and more. We agreed that we were probably going to Hell for this, but tucked into the desserts.

When they were all - literally all - gone, Stefano asked if we should get some more desserts. I expressed the opinion that "If I eat any more dessert they'll have to worm me." Our waiter was approaching from behind me and said, "That would be extra, sir."

Stefano paid and tipped handsomely, and we hit the bricks, heavier by twelve bottles of wine, appetizers, entrées, coffee, and desserts. We were unanimous in the opinion that we should walk back to Caesars and we did, but the hope was in vain that it would make a difference regarding our bodies' bloated feelings caused by the obscene amount of food we had eaten. No one ate breakfast the next day, and it was only in the middle of the afternoon that we began to think about lunch.

The company was as good as the food and the service. Some nights are special.



Tom said...

Thoroughly enjoying the Las Vegas Quintet; sounds like you know how to have a good time. I've kept up with the blog on and off and love the writing as well as the stories. Keep 'em coming Donnie!

Tom G.

BrokenDownProgrammer said...

Thank you, Tom. Good to hear from you.

This is a lot of fun for me too.