Sage - Las Vegas, NV

Dinner - Saturday, July 13, 2013

When we started this journal nearly three years ago, Sage was one of the first meals recorded herein. We have not returned to Sin City in the intervening period, but a recent trip finally allowed us the opportunity to revisit the restaurant.

NB: It seems appropriate that this post should mark the beginning of a new abbreviated post format. As we maintain this journal primarily as a visual archive to jog our memories, I find extensive verbal descriptions superfluous for our needs, and likely pointless to an external reader who has not tasted a dish - words will only get you so far in the sensory spectrum. I will attempt to "trim the fat", so to speak, and focus on pictures and ingredients going forward. Text will only be used where necessary, generally to elaborate on components or techniques.

Pork and veal pâté, pickled cucumbers and grapes
Chilled sweet corn soup
Dungeness crab, marinated cucumber, sweet corn purée
The soup was surprisingly thin, like a milky broth, but its flavour was robust. The marinated cucumber provided the foil to the sweetness of the other ingredients.

Wagyu tartare
Crushed caper aioli, slow-poached egg yolk, pickled mustard seeds, crispy chocolate
The texture of the yolk was key - not runny, but thick and oozy (perfect for clinging to the coarsely-chopped meat).

Slow-poached egg
Smoked potato, shaved black truffles, toasted country bread
Roasted sweetbreads
Glazed bacon, white polenta, trumpet mushrooms
These sweetbreads have set the bar for us ever since we first had them in 2010. This time, one aspect of their brilliance was revealed - they're tossed in dehydrated mushroom flour before roasting. Bursting with flavour, and perfect texture.

Grilled Robada apricots
Toasted pecan purée, shaved pork belly, watercress, crispy guanciale
Sweet corn semifreddo
Sweet polenta, Duvel pearls, freeze-dried corn, churro-spiced chicharrón
Interesting components. A smoky canvas of burnt marshmallow mellowed out the sweetness of the semifreddo and the cinnamon sugar-covered pork rinds. Tapioca pearls swelled in beer felt out of place, but were fairly benign.

It's remarkable how little some menus change over time - it has clearly served them well, as the restaurant was bustling when we visited. Those sweetbreads continue to be a benchmark. Maybe we'll be back in three more years, then?

Aria Resort & Casino
3730 Las Vegas Boulevard South
Las Vegas, NV 89158
Phone: (877) 230-2742