Category Archives: Dining Out

Vegas! Lagasse’s Stadium and Cirque du Soleil

When it came to visiting Vegas, I was most looking forward to the dining and entertainment. I started thinking about restaurant options and shows to see way back in November. It was a big decision.

I’m a sucker for a celebrity chef, so my desire to eat at a celebrity chef’s restaurant helped to narrow down the options. From there, it was finding a place that Jason would like. You see, my husband, whom I love very much, is a…particular eater. Meat and potatoes, that’s what he’s all about. So after looking over a bunch of restaurant menus online, I suggested Lagasse’s Stadium.

Lagasse’s Stadium is obviously one of Emeril Lagasse’s restaurants. It’s a sports bar and sports book located in the Palazzo. Originally, we made reservations for the dining room. But when we arrived early and found out that there was availability in the stadium seating area, we lucked out.

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After a day of walking, we enjoyed a comfortable couch and stools to put our feet up on. Seriously, it was the best thing ever.

We started out with a giant pretzel and beer cheese sauce. The sauce had a little kick thanks to jalapenos. For entrees, I enjoyed buffalo wings and Jason had fried chicken. We both agreed that the food was great. We also fell in love with the atmosphere. It would be an awesome place to dine during March Madness, college football season, or any other big sporting event.

Buffalo Wings – Yum!

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After dinner, we headed back to the Bellagio for a very special treat – We had tickets Cirque du Soleil’s “O”. Honestly, this was an even bigger decision than where to eat. Jason looked into tickets as a surprise for me way back in November. Then he broke to me how much the tickets cost. It seemed like too much of a splurge. We started to contemplate other options.

A week or so before our trip, we had some friends over. They had just gotten back from Vegas (and have been to Vegas many times), and they really recommended seeing a Cirque du Soleil show. Honestly, we didn’t even make a decision until we got out there. We made it an anniversary gift to ourselves and went for it. It’s all I really wanted to see.

It. Was. Awesome! Worth every single penny.

Our final night in Vegas was perfect. A great meal and an incredible show. That is my Vegas!

Supper Clubbing

Jason and I have been going old school lately, hitting up the supper club scene.

In case you aren’t familiar, supper clubs are a Wisconsin tradition. These old-fashioned, fine-dining restaurants are often family-owned. The food is focused on comfort, with steak and fish the stars of the show. They are the common backdrop for my beloved Friday fish fry.

Growing up in Wisconsin, I frequented local supper clubs with my parents. I have fond memories of dinners at the Black Stallion, a hometown supper club that closed probably 20 years ago. I sipped my kiddie cocktail while my parents enjoyed their drinks of choice – a brandy old-fashioned for mom, a brandy manhattan for dad. Then there was the beer sign along the back wall of the bar area, a lit-up rotating northwoods scene (like a Hamm’s Scene-o-Rama). The whole thing is pure Wisconsin nostalgia.

Lately, Jason and I have been enjoying the Buckhorn Supper Club. We ate there for our February date night, and we invited our friends Lisa and Patrick to meet up with us there last weekend.

Buckhorn Supper Club

Being creatures of habit, both Jason and I had the same meals each time. Jason is all about their prime rib. And thanks to my dinner during our visit to Shenandoah National Park, I have been on a trout kick. On our first visit to the Buckhorn, I had the trout stuffed with a crab cake. The second time, I went with the simple broiled trout.

There are so many supper clubs we would like to visit. Maybe we’ll make this a summer of supper clubs  🙂

Shenandoah National Park: Dinner at Skyland

After our Dark Hollow hike, we returned to Skyland and got settled into our room. We spent about an hour relaxing out on our balcony and enjoying the incredible view of the Shenandoah Valley. It was perfect!

Room with a View

As the sun set, we headed off to dinner. We debated having dinner in the Mountain Taproom at Skyland, but opted to eat in their Pollock Dining Room instead. We were seated along the the huge bank of windows overlooking the Valley. In addition to the view, the dining room boasts a fireplace. There wasn’t any fire burning, but it would have been incredibly cozy if one had been going.

Stony Man Camp Cooler

I started dinner with one of Skyland’s specialty drinks, the Stony Man Camp Cooler – rose wine combined with cranberry juice and topped with Sprite. On first glance, it totally looked like a tall kiddie cocktail.

Which reminds me, I’ve been meaning to order one some Friday when we go out for fish. I used to get them all the time when I was younger. Mmm, kiddie cocktails  🙂

I decided to order the House Salad, and enjoyed it with their house dressing, a blackberry vinaigrette. The dressing was SO good! Jason went with their soup of the day, a beef chili. He really liked it, and he’s picky about his soups.

House Salad

For my entree, I had the Rapidan Camp Trout – pan seared farm raised trout served with rice pilaf, fresh vegetables, and lemon-chive butter. I regretted not ordering the trout any of the nights we stayed at Tuolumne Meadows Lodge this summer. So when I saw trout on the menu here, my decision was easy. Trout as well as a “Shenandoah Tradition?” Sold!

Rapidan Camp Trout

In a moment of weakness, we ordered dessert. Their Blackberry Ice Cream Pie is the signature dessert at Skyland, but Jason isn’t much into blackberries. We went with the cheesecake topped with strawberries. We devoured it before I even thought about snapping a picture.

We had dinner early, as in 5:30pm early. Hey, what can I say? We’re old  😉   However, it was a Monday night, the Packers were playing Monday Night Football, and the only TV we could watch it on was in the Mountain Taproom, Skyland’s bar. We didn’t stay to watch the actual game, but we hung out for a while watching the pre-game coverage and enjoying some Prohibition Punch. The punch was made with orange-flavored liquor, orange and lemon juice, mixed with moonshine, rum, and Grenadine. It definitely packed a punch, but a tasty one.

We also chatted with the bartender who happened to be a huge Oregon fan. We talked about this college football season in addition to the Packers. Fingers crossed that my Badgers get the best of our bartender’s Ducks in the Rose Bowl.

Overall, the dining at Skyland was fabulous! Consistent with our experience out West, it is a little pricey. But here, it was well worth it. I couldn’t have asked for a more relaxing evening.

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