Even out in Las Vegas, where I should be the Patriarch of the family, I sometimes get over-ruled on the selection of a restaurant. I am partial to independent establishments as opposed to the national chains that have seemed to homogenize the nation and eliminated local cuisine styles. I also try to choose a restaurant that is not in my own back door, because somehow it just doesn’t seem like I am away. Now I am not really sure, if there is such a thing as Las Vegas comfort food or cuisine, unless one thinks of the early days of all you can eat $1.99 buffets, that I never tried, for the sake of my intestines. Nowadays, Las Vegas is a Mecca for enthusiasts of fine food, as almost every “name” chef has at least one restaurant and it has been usually found on The Strip. That is wonderful unless you are taking out about ten people to dine in which case after a week, even the Brink’s truck would be depleted.
They were all checking out Peng Zu Asian Cuisine that was located in our hotel and was a new addition since we had last been there. I would venture to say that the majority of people like Asian influenced food, I have tended to avoid it, just because I have found that most establishments would rather rely on MSG as a flavor enhancement, instead of actually being interested in creating quality food. A couple of the people, including my Bride inquired about the MSG situation and they were all assured that it was not used, so we were going there to have dinner. I have no idea what half of the dishes were, all I know was that there were plates of food being dropped off at the table, and the plates were being passed around. I felt like a fish out of water, but I was amazed to see that even my grandchildren were eating with abandon and some could even use chopsticks. My Bride is very adept using these utensils, and as for myself, I am still a heathen and use a knife, fork and a spoon. I have to say that I enjoyed the appetizers, and outside of the egg rolls, I could not tell you what else there was. I also thought that I would venture into something safe and order the Roast Crispy Half-Duck, which I found to be very fatty and greasy, so in the future, I will only order it from a bistro setting. The good thing is that the food did not go to waste and everyone was enjoying their meals.
Since I knew that we were going there to eat, I stopped by a day or two preceding our dinner to look at the wine carte, and I was surprised that they did not have a single Gewurztraminer listed, and I think of this as a basic go-to wine for this type of cuisine, and in actuality, the wines that they were offering were just basic red and white wines that the average diner would recognize to go with any popular priced national chain. I asked if there was a corkage fee, if I elected to bring in a wine of my own choosing and they said that there would be a ten-dollar fee, which I could live with. Off I went in pursuit of a wine and I did not want to go crazy, but I wanted something interesting. I found a bottle of Lucien Albrecht Tradition Gewurztraminer 2016 from the Alsace in France. This winery goes back to 1698 and has survived the turmoil that is Alsace, swinging from one kingdom to another and back again. They also pride themselves on hand harvesting the fruit and becoming increasingly better stewards of the land, as the industry has been going. I could not find any technical information about this particular wine, but I will venture to say that it was probably aged in Stainless Steel. It had a very nice soft color, with a soft nose, and it may have been one of the most delicate Gewurztraminer wines that I have ever encountered. While the others were enjoying the food, I enjoyed the wine.