Every year, sometimes twice a year I head to Vegas for fun. A trip would not be complete without having at least one relaxing dinner at Hugo’s Cellar. My tradition starts an hour or so before dinner playing a few slots and sitting down to enjoy the cheap roulette table minimums found downtown. Going to Hugo’s Cellar means that I know that I will receive excellent service and great food, regardless of what I order.

Since I’m a creature of habit I know that before long I will nibbling on fresh warm bread and crunching on the special cheese-toasted lavosh, to which I add a generous portion of butter that really is just excessive. All the while I’ll be enjoying the bottled water and sipping a glass or two of my favorite white wine. This is the just the beginning of being decadent for the night. Generally I will skip having an appetizer. Not because they are not good, on the contrary, because I know if I do I will eat too much! I’ve had the Lobster Bisque, Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes, as well as the Escargot en Croute and all are top notch. If you eat that and have room to enjoy the generous table side prepared salad before the main course then, go for it! My choice is the simple but tasty Caesar salad with the ingredients I ask for not what a restaurant thinks you might want. This is followed by a mini sorbet to cleanse the pallet. Stop and think for a moment, what restaurants are left in the world that still serve a sorbet? The main course I choose most often is the mouthwatering ten ounce filet with béarnaise sauce served with a melody of fresh vegetables and a man sized portion of perfectly whipped garlic mashed potatoes. It is heaven on a plate! If all that sounds too rich for you then you can always opt for the red potatoes with parsley or wild rice. After you are fully satisfied the final touch is a warm cloth to wipe your hands and a complementary tray of white and dark chocolate dipped strawberries, apricots and baby figs before the bill is presented. Some folks might try to tell you that all this is just too expensive but I would gladly pay double. I only wish I could transport myself back into time to when Vegas was all about this kind of service and excellence everywhere!

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