Eiffel Tower Restaurant
Paris Hotel & Casino
Las Vegas, NV

Crispy Michigan Farmstead Artisanal Camembert, Almond Apricot Petite Salad
Le Camembert Fermier Croustillant du Michigan, Petite Salade
Venison Loin, Wild Huckleberries, Spaghetti Squash, Braised Chestnuts, Brussels Sprouts
Cote de Chevreuil, Potiron et Choux de Bruxelle aux Marrons
Supreme of Canadian White Pheasant, Wild Berry Risotto, Green Peas and Asparagus
Poitrine de Faisan du Canada, Risotto aux Graines, Petit Pois et Asperges

If you are in Las Vegas, and you have a special occasion, please, please make a reservation at this uber-lovely (though pricey) restaurant. Ride a private elevator up to the restaurant. Have a drink at the marble-topped bar. Watch the fountains at the Bellagio dance silently below. In fact, everything is silent — no noise from the Strip below you (the whole place seems very well insulated against noise). The lighting is dim and soft and romantic, which I suppose is conducive to the atmosphere, and there is just enough lighting to read the menu by.

We passed over the offer of the chef’s six-course prix fixe menu, as it was actually cheaper for us to order our own appetizer and entrees of choice, rather than let the chef decide it for us. DH wasn’t about to pass up the chance for well-prepared venison, anyway, and I liked the look of the pheasant. But let us begin at the beginning.

The crispy Camembert is like a grilled cheese died and went to heaven and took a bath in apricot sauce along the way. The petite salad did not amuse me nearly so much, I found it rather too salty. DH did not like the crispy cheese part as much as I’d thought, so I got to have the lion’s share of the little delight.

DH ordered the venison medium, but Tom, our excellent head waiter, recommended that with the venison being so lean a cut, he would recommend that it not be cooked any more than medium rare. And Tom was right, even cooked medium rare, the venison was cooked as much as it had to be. DH described it as “melt in your mouth,” and even liked the Brussels sprouts (“If you could figure out how to cook Brussels sprouts like this, I would eat them.” — they were just sauteed in some butter). All in all I think it was a nice change from steak.

The pheasant came sitting in plenty of jus from the pan, and sad to say, it definitely was necessary. Not having well-prepared pheasant before, I am not entirely sure if the bird is meant to be so dry, but it was tasty — it didn’t taste like chicken, if that’s what you’re thinking — and the risotto was perfection. Even the vegetables were good, best in concert with a forkful of risotto.

We even skipped dessert, in favour of the creperie I knew was down on the casino floor.

Though a pricey, four-star restaurant, our final bill was not nearly as high as I know it could have been — a more expensive appetizer, desserts, a few glasses of wine (I felt so bad sending the sommelier away, but ah well) could have ballooned the bill very, very quickly. Three drinks from the bar and what we ordered, very reasonable considering the quality and the atmosphere. Service was professional and gracious, but I am going to make the same complaint about the patrons that I made earlier at Blue Bayou — please dress to fit the atmosphere of the restaurant. Though the restaurant states that shorts and sandals are not welcomed, and attire is dressy, I noticed someone at the next table wearing a t-shirt. Really? Really? Please — I took the effort to dress at such a level as to respect the work of the restaurant staff, please consider doing the same. You might be comfortable, and the restaurant may not turn you away (they want your business, so as long as you aren’t offensive…), but you are part of the atmosphere and I have to look at you while I am enjoying my dinner and the ambiance of the room. So if I made myself nice-looking, please do the same.