SERIOUS COCKTAIL CULTURE AT THE SAGE IN LAS VEGAS
Las Vegas,NV(Spiritsman)5/27/14/–Sage Restaurant at the swanky Aria Hotel in Las Vegas is the signature restaurant from Chef Shawn McClain, and his elegant food pairs well with the classy cocktails available. The space itself is spectacular with lighting and décor to match the food and drink offerings, and a recent visit on a Sunday night saw the place about half full.
They have only recently started opening on the day of rest, but all the local guide books indicate that the place is closed that night. McClain himself is not on site, but by all accounts does stop by every three weeks or so to see that everything in the kitchen remains at the high standards a restaurant like this needs to maintain.
Guest dining at the bar will enjoy a complimentary amuse bouche cocktail-Pink Lemonade from the in house mixologists.The liquid is poured into an ice filled Absinthe balancier, and then flows through a see-saw mechanism. A couple of Aperitifs of note include the OPENING ACT, made with Domaine de Canton Ginger liqueur, Campari, mint leaves and fresh lime juice topped off with a spritz of Angostura bitters. Also try the CAT WALK, a exotic mixture of orange flavored rooibos tea, passion fruit puree, Belvedere Lemon Tea, Aperol, St.Germain and Prosecco.
Also of note is the SMOKING BULLEIT which infuses fresh peaches with Bulleit Bourbon and the 20 To LIFE which consists of St.George Bontanivore Gin & Breaking & Entering Bourbon and spiced up with Marie Brizard Apry and Canton Ginger Liqueurs. This is all topped off with a garnish of gin-compressed blueberries with apricots sprinkled with elderflower dust The TVG has Hennessey Black Cognac with pomegranate and blood orange liqueurs, orange juice and sour adorned with a orange zest sugar rim.
Getting more into the recently legalized Absinthe, Sage has gone all the way in making it the place to go for this legendary libation. They have a comprehensive selection from France, Switzerland, Spain and selections from California, Pennsylvania, Colorado and Wisconsin. The most intriguing appears to be La Clandestine Superieure from Switzerland at $30 a shot, although there are several at $35.
Food wise Sage is also exceptional with a Tasting Menu at $150 with a wine pairing for an additional $100. This will include such treats as King Crab & Yellowtail Crudo, Citrus Cured Foie Gras, Poached Honey Mussels and a Bacon Wrapped Rabbit Loin w/ black dates, smoked polenta and a fried quail egg. This is an ingredient driven menu that will impress you no end with several stand out dishes not limited to the Scallops, Foie Gras or the Crème Brulee.
He also has a signature menu at $89 for four courses with wine pairings for an additional $44. Starters include Kushi Oysters, Wagyu Beef Tartare or Heirloom Baby Beets and from there you can move on to Spanish Octopus, Maine Scallops, Iberico Pork Loin or 48 hour beef belly.
Service is very slick, presentation is superb and the ambience is perfect for eithercasual or business dining despite the hip-hop/dance music being played at a very tolerable volume. I noticed that this restaurant is ranked at #105 out of about 3800 Las Vegas restaurants. I think it should be higher.
SAGE at ARIA HOTEL-3730 LAS VEGAS BLVD.