January 7, 2015

Date Night: Nobu & Absinthe

Before 2014 was in the books, Frank and I were treated to a fantastic date night. Our evening began with dinner at Nobu inside Caesars Palace, and after, we saw Absinthe. What a duo!?! I highly recommend both.

I've been wanting to see Absinthe for ages, but they never offered a local's special to entice me. I'm glad it has had great success, though; I'd hate to think I could have missed it. It's really well done! I love the intimate theater. I don't love the uncomfortable seating, but the off color jokes and superb entertainment more than make up for it. We saw Absinthe shortly after Penny Pibbets left to perform her own show at the Arts Square Theater. Joy Jenkins now fills the role of the Gazillionaire's assistant, she was awkward and hysterical. I hear the show isn't as quick paced, but I didn't notice. Her and Gaz played off each other well. The audience participation is a load of laughs. The acts felt more spectacular than, dare I say it? Cirque du Soleil. Don't get me wrong the talent that goes into Cirque shows is mesmerizing, and visually, those shows are stunning. Absinthe, however, is raw, sexy, funny and in your face. You can look the performers in the eye, see their muscles flex and veins bulge when demonstrating their amazing strength. The roller skating bit had me so tense and nervous for the female performer - I was in awe. The connection is incredible. If you haven't see it yet. Don't hesitate, go check it out.

Before the show, we had a feast at Nobu. We never even peeked at the menu, since this was our first time Omakase ($125) was the best way to experience the varied menu. We told our server that we are adventurous diners, we love spicy and we preferred not to have uni since Frank isn't a fan - we left the rest to him. I had a fantastic sauvignon blanc with dinner and Frank really enjoyed the Sake selection. He sampled two excellent chilled varieties: black label and aged.

Our tasting included many of Nobu's signature dishes. We started with Yellowtail with Jalapeno. This is a favorite of ours, it's a must whenever we go for sushi. This certainly did not disappoint.

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The next dish was Tasmanian Ocean Trout, it was rich and creamy. Very different from the delicate and refreshing yellowtail.

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The next course was Live Scallop with rocoto paste. It was beautifully presented and it tasted even better than it looked. The scallops melted like butter and the heat from the rocoto pepper awakened our taste buds. We enjoyed the chili so much, we were ready to book a trip to Peru.

Next, we sampled some hot dishes, beginning with the Black Cod Miso. This was delicious. The fish was buttery and the miso gave it the ideal amount of sweetness. I understand why it is one of their most popular dishes.

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Rock Shrimp with jalapeno followed. Now these were tasty morsels. Shrimp is so often overcooked, but not these. Perfection. And highly addictive.

For the next course, the focus was on land rather than sea with the Tenderloin of Beef Toban Yaki. The scent of this dish was intoxicating. The beef was prepared very well and it was tasty. However, it was our least favorite.

We wrapped up dinner with a sample of Tuna and Salmon Sushi. Both rolls were simplistic, but incredibly yummy. The rice was beautifully seasoned, key for great sushi.

Finally, we finished with a vanilla dessert and a variety of mochi. A lovely end to an exceptional meal.

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If you can swing it, the Omakase is an awesome experience. Keeping it simple by choosing a few small plates will be totally worthwhile, too.

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