Monday, March 15, 2010

Sunset and Vines

On Saturday Ian and I spent a beautiful afternoon sitting on the outdoor patio of Sunset and Vines at Lake Las Vegas. It's quite a haul to get out there, but Ian had never been before so we decided to combine the trip with a Henderson delivery. We didn't have a restaurant destination in mind but settled on Sunset and Vines after reading the menus of the various eateries scattered around Montelago Village, the commercial and social hub of Lake Las Vegas. The restaurant is one of the few original tenants of the village and sits right on the water, so we knew we would at least have a pleasant view and to pretend we weren't in Vegas for a minute (minus the desert in the distance).

To start we shared a Caesar salad ($7.95) made very un-Caesar like with the addition of bleu cheese. I personally don't think you need to mess with a Caesar salad and thought the cheese was a distraction from the great dressing, but it was good salad nonetheless made with fresh, crisp hearts of romaine and baby garlic croutons. We then tried two of the sandwiches that make up the bulk of the lunch menu. The one pictured above, and definitely the better of the two, was the Bacon Apple Stack ($7.95). It consisted of sliced crunchy apples, meaty applewood-smoked bacon, Cheddar cheese, and a spicy red pepper aoli spread on a chewy ciabatta roll. All the ingredients came together beautifully and it was the kind of sandwich that grew more delicious with every bite. Unfortunately, the Smoked Salmon BLT ($10.95) was a bit disappointing. The smoked salmon itself was of decent quality, but a little bland and had a texture too similar to the adjacent layer of avocado slices. The turkey bacon wasn't nearly as good as the real bacon on the Bacon Apple Stack and, unfortunately, the bottom layer of bread came out soggy. It was just kind of a sad sandwich. Both of us ordered the fries as a side, which was upsetting because they weren't very good. When I ate the first one I swore that whoever prepared the fries mistook the salt for sugar because they came out sweet and not salty. We told the waiter we thought someone messed up and he casually said "No, that's the chef's new thing. It takes some getting used to." So needless to say, the fries weren't a highlight, even when you added salt.

It was great to get some fresh air and sit by a body of water, enjoying the sunshine while eating our lunch, so the experience was memorable. Even though it's far away I think I'll go out to Lake Las Vegas more often and explore the charming village more. There are lots of different shops and cafes, and they hold some popular community events. There happened to be a little "Beer Fest" going on while we were there where different Vegas breweries were peddling their libations. Ian saw a shirt he really wanted that said, "#*&% Milk, Drink Beer" but unfortunately they weren't selling it, so we headed back to the car for the somewhat long drive home.

Today's Food Rating: 7
Ambiance: 8


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