We made our annual pilgrimage to Las Vegas in December, which means I ate some great and some not so great gluten-free food while in the area. I have to say, the gluten-free knowledge and options continues to improve on every trip, which makes our time there so much more enjoyable.
While we are in town we tend to stay at Aria. It has the usual amenities, but what I like most is its air filtration system. There is smoking in the casino, but you would never know it because the air smells fresh and clean.
Now, onto the food and our first meal at Javier's at Aria. They didn't have a gluten-free menu, so the manager advised me not to order anything that had a sauce, but said that the marinades were safe. Having to stay away from sauces really limited my options, so I ended up ordering the Steak Picado. We also got an order of their incredibly fluffy guacamole and thankfully the chips were safe too. The steak picado was served with crunchy rice, the beans were topped with a cold layer of cheese and the steak was overdone and a little chewy. My dinner was just OK and we would only go back for the guacamole.
Breakfast the next morning was at Cafe Vettro in Aria where I was able to order gluten-free toast and hash browns, which are almost never available gluten free. I enjoyed three eggs over easy on a bed of hash browns with a side of bacon. The gluten-free toast was just OK, but I was very impressed that it was an option.
We enjoyed a lunch with friends in Aria at Julian Serrano's, which offers a wide selection of tapas. Upon arriving I was handed a food allergy chart that indicated when their dishes contained dairy, eggs, nuts, and gluten and what a handy ordering tool it was. There were a good amount of dairy and gluten-free options to choose from, so we ordered a variety for the table. We enjoyed the Lobster Salad, Mussels, and Stuffed Dates, which were all quite tasty, but the highlight of the meal was the Mixed Seafood Paella. The seafood paella is a combination of lobster, mussels, chicken, chorizo, and saffron rice. It was lip smacking good and I would highly recommend ordering one of the paellas if you dine at the restaurant. I was impressed with their allergen knowledge and would recommend this restaurant.
Dinner that night was at Mon Ami Gabi in Paris. This restaurant has a separate gluten-free menu full of options that include gluten-free table bread, toast for the mousse and pate, and more. I had the Chicken Live Mousse complete with Udi's Gluten Free toasted bread for an appetizer while my husband ordered the gluten-free version of the French Onion Soup. My items came to the table separate from my husbands and they arrived with an 'allergy' pick. I ordered seared scallops with brussels sprouts and bacon on top of cauliflower puree for my entree and I almost licked the plate clean. I have to say my husband and I both agree that the serve the best French Onion soup we have ever had. We would go back in a heartbeat and I highly recommend its gluten-free fare.
Breakfast the next morning was at The Maple Tree Cafe. This restaurant boasts a selection of gluten-free pancakes, waffles, and chicken fried steak; however, when we arrived the gluten-free menu we viewed online was not available in the restaurant. When I inquired about the waffles I had seen on the online menu, I was told they could be made gluten free. When I pressed, I learned that they would not be made using a dedicated waffle iron. I should have stuck with my instincts and left without ordering, but I ordered the pigs in a blanket and I have to say they were very bland. Without the maple syrup (server asked me if it was OK) the pancakes were too dry to eat. The turkey sausage 'pigs' were very tasty, but I had an upset stomach the rest of the day. I much preferred the gluten-free breakfast fare at The Cracked Egg, especially their homemade corned beef hash.
Dinner that night was at Olives at Bellagio. The restaurant didn't have a separate gluten-free menu, but it did have a number of options that were mainly seafood. Since I was not in the mood for seafood, I opted for the roasted chicken with mashed potatoes and green beans. I have to say the dish was very underwhelming and it was in desperate need of salt and pepper. I sometimes fear restaurants don't fully understand the gluten-free diet and this causes them to be too cautious and not properly season a dish. I did have a rather lovely coconut creme brulee with caramelized pineapple for dessert. We sat on the balcony and had a perfect view of the fountains and they went off at least three times while we were there, which made the meal tolerable.
Dinner our last night there was at Fleur by Hubert Keller at Mandalay Bay. The menu offers small plates of global inspired cuisine that is organized by country. When I inquired about gluten-free options, our server guided me through the menu and I had options in each country. My husband ordered the Fleur burger with pomme frites and I learned that the frites are made in a separate fryer from gluten-containing products, so I was looking forward to trying them. When they arrived at the table they looked like and tasted like boiled potatoes. I ended up ordering a nicoise salad with tuna (missing its hard boiled egg) and the peking duck. My husband ordered the tuna tacos, which were gluten free and absolutely delicious. I enjoyed a beet salad with goat cheese lollipops, chives, and balsamic vinegar for dessert.
I am sure I gained five pounds from all of the rich gluten-free food I devoured, but I thoroughly enjoyed myself.
Where is your favorite place to enjoy a gluten-free meal in Las Vegas?