Walking around looking at everything pretty much consumed our whole first full day (okay, all of our days) in Vegas. Although I had literally made a list of dozens of things to do and places to eat, it was still difficult to make a decision. At around 2pm one thing was for sure, we needed food so we strolled over to Caesar's Palace and made our way into Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill. Mesa Grill was definitely on my list of restaurants to try. I was actually surprised by the reviews I had read. Most first time Mesa Grill-ians went in skeptically and came out pleasantly satisfied. Maybe people are weary of a chef who becomes a T.V. personality or a household name. Once they become 'famous', will they forget how to cook? Forget what good food tastes like? Forget how to run a restaurant? I suppose it is possible, but I wasn't too worried.
The restaurant fun and casual without overdoing it. I liked how open everything felt, and the room was still broken up into sections at different levels and half walls, so it didn't feel too large or crowded. I also enjoyed the color scheme and a view of the grill area. Our waitress was pleasant, and helped get us started on drinks and appetizers.
I wish I could remember what kind of margarita this was because I think it may be the best I've ever had. I could be wrong but I think it had some sort of cactus juice, and was served straight up. I should really just call them and ask. I'll let you know if I do.
As an appetizer we ordered spicy beef tenderloin tartare with a green onion potato salad. Superb!!! I'm getting hungry just thinking about this. The tartare was delicious with a combination of capers and jalapenos (or other spicy pepper) and an aioli based sauce, served with crostini and a unique potato salad. The potato was sliced and grilled, and had a lovely texture. This was so good I might find it hard to order a different appetizer next time.
Along with our order, we were served a complimentary basket of baked goods. This included a selection of small muffins like corn bread, wheat bread, and fruit breads. I'm not sure how well it actually paired with our meals, but they sure were tasty and we had no problem eating them.
Our entrees were ordered based on our servers recommendations of featured dishes. The first was a spicy chicken and sweet potato hash with poached eggs and a green chile hollandaise sauce served with a side of grits. I only tasted a bite of this, but there was so much flavor in that bite. It was such a unique combination that I have never had before. I love poached eggs with hollandaise sauce if done correctly, and this totally passed the test.
I ordered an off-the-menu suggestion of smoked shrimp tacos with a cabbage slaw. Sounds simple and looks simple, but this dish also packed in tons of flavor. I couldn't figure out what was in the cabbage slaw, but it had a unique flavor that I couldn't get enough of. Finally I asked our waitress what was in it, she wasn't sure so she went to the kitchen and came back with a list of ingredients. I'm hoping I'll be able to replicate it, or at least come close.
The smoked shrimp tacos were served with a trio of sauces: tomatillo (yum!), guacamole (yum!), and habenero sauce (yum!). I only had two tortillas, so I ended up piling on all three on top of my tacos.Mesa Grill was a very enjoyable experience. Everything was cooked, seasoned, and presented beautifully. As I look online at the menu now, there are so many things that I would love to try next time. If not MESA Grill, I would like to try out one of Flay's other restaurants in Jersey or New York.
MESA Grill - Caesar's Palace, Las Vegas, Nevada
Spicy beef tenderloin tartare with a green onion potato salad
Spicy chicken and sweet potato hash with poached eggs and a green chile hollandaise sauce
Smoked shrimp tacos with a cabbage slaw