Las Vegas is the adult playground, but instead of piñatas and swings, we get slot machines, blackjack, night clubs, dj’s and pool parties. Now adults aren’t coming to Vegas to eat pizza and chicken fingers so instead Chef Hubert Keller came up with Fleur in Mandalay Bay that puts a little playfulness into your menu.
Chef Keller took the menu of Fleur and turned fine dining into what will surely be a memorable event. The visual experience and the unique flavors are going to give you an experience unlike any other restaurant on the Vegas strip. Mac and cheese, tacos, popcorn, hamburgers and “pb&j,” all kid favorites that take on a very adult flavor at Fleur.
I could almost begin and end with the burger named for the restaurant itself the “Fleur Burger.” Made with Wagyu beef, you could get the burger served up as just a burger and leave happy, but if you want an experience, you have to take it to the next level. Chef Keller took this tender and juicy burger and gives you the option to top it with foie gras and black truffle. There really shouldn’t be an option because to get this burger without the foie gras and black truffle would be criminal. One bite in and your taste buds go into shock, the flavor is overwhelming and you have to put the burger down and take a moment of pause. There is no question that you will not find a better burger in existence. Well you just might but it will be the “Fleur Burger 5000.” You might have to be a little lucky at the craps table for this one as it is the “Fleur Burger” as described and then they give you a bottle of 1995 Chateau Petrus to wash it down with. The 5000 in the description is the price tag of this one if you haven’t guessed.
Working your way up the “Fleur Burger” is fun itself, as the appetizer menu has some great starters. In the world of taking mac and cheese to the excess Fleur is up there with the best of them with its “in the shower” mac & cheese. The assortment of cheeses provides a rich flavor and makes a home in each piece of macaroni, but the kicker in this dish is the lobster. While other restaurants have variations of lobster mac and cheese, I have yet to come across one that has such large pieces of lobster so you really get a true mix of the two tatsty flavors. With so many rich flavors on the menu a nice way to start your evening is with the crab and avacado sphere. Chef Keller made this dish almost too eye-catching to eat, but it combined with the watermelon gazpacho, this is nice light and refreshing way to kick things off.
If you want to enjoy a more typical fine dining experience, no need to worry, Chef Keller has plenty of mouthwatering options to choose from. If you are looking to impress your friends with you eating prowess give the 40-ounce prime tomahawk rib eye a whirl. A perfectly seared piece of meat that should not be eating above medium rare is complimented to perfection by the shallot jus and wild mushroom ragout. Chef Keller takes full advantage of the mushrooms in his kitchen and you find him using them again as he pairs the black trumpet mushroom with the pan seared chicken breast. If you are looking for something a little lighter this is a nice choice, the searing gives it a nice slightly crisp exterior while allowing all of the flavor and juice of the chicken to remain locked inside of that barrier created from the searing. Finally if you enjoy fish the slow roasted Alaskan halibut is a selection you will love. You can taste the care that is given to this halibut as the slow roasting creates a piece of fish that with one touch of the fork falls apart.
Fleur has a large and enticing wine collection, but it is the mixed drinks that are the real treats. The staff at Fleur not only takes care of your every need, but they also have the ability to keep you entertained with a little magic. Almost, if not magic, it is certainly a pretty cool trick to watch. Your waiter brings out a table and bowl to create you alcohol concoction. Mixing liquor and liquid nitrogen that is whisked as if beating an egg, the bowl soon starts to overflow with smoke and what comes out is a silky smooth frozen drink. They have a number of variations, but the Baily’s drink goes down perfect with dessert.
The restaurant itself is located in the heart of Mandalay Bay which allows you to take in all of the hustle and bustle that a busy casino can offer. The patio setting provides a very casual setting and gives you a sense of almost being outside and you really are able to absord the entire Las Vegas atmosphere. Amazingly Fleur offers a happy hour, the patio is a great place to come and take advantage of some of the best deals on the strip for fine food. Once you make your way inside of the restaurant you enter an entirely different upscale world. High ceilings and a stunning wine collection to catch your eye, the earthy colors are the perfect compliment to the dim lights to provide a perfect romantic evening. Just make sure to put your order in early for the chocolate souffle. As good as you will find anywhere it is made even more scrumtious by being paired with a coffee ice cream. A great way to end the evening, well at least end dinner, this is Las Vegas.
Las Vegas is meant to be fun, your chance to get away from reality for a few days. Don't miss the chance to not only sample the flavors of world famous Chef Hubert Keller, but enjoy them in a way that will leave you with vivid memories and tales of food of Fleur that you can regale your friends with once you make your way home.
For more information on Fleur, visit: http://mandalaybay.com/dining/signature-restaurants/fleur.aspx