:: the dishes ::
• sampler plate that includes: pastelillos de carne, pastelillos de queso, tostones, relleno de papa, etc.
• mofongo with arroz con gandules
• carne guisada

:: the must try dishes ::
[his pick] mofongo
• [her pick] mofongo

To cheer myself up from my moment of losing some money at Luxor, I dragged mr. bunnie to Jean-Philippe's chocolate store in Bellagio to buy some treats. Since the last time I saw the flowing waterfalls of rich dark, milk, and white chocolate... i was in love. It smelled so heavenly in that store. My original thought was to get a crepe to share with mr bunnie – particularly savory crepe.... YUM! By the time I went around the little circular dessert bar, I had already picked up four desserts (hence the picture), then a extremely dense but moist looking fruitcake for my mom, a smoked salmon sandwich and a package of 4 macaroons. Not sure how it happened, but my bill was over $85. $85 in less than 3 mins? This was just as bad as those slot machines or roulette tables. What the hell???? Didn't realize that the package of 4 macaroons cost me like over $12 and so did the salmon sandwich. Granted a smoked salmon sandwich can cost that and then some. But if you saw the size of that sandwich and then saw the price, you'd would wonder if the smoked salmon was encrusted with invisible 24k gold flakes — think tea sandwich size. Anyhoo, did it bring us some happiness? Yes. Was it memorable? Not so much. Next time, I'll be spending my $85 somewhere else... somewhere like Frederic Robert's chocolate place at the Wynn before it closed. That my friend, was worth every penny.

:: the dishes ::
• chocolate raspberry danish - NEW*
• pain au chocolat
• cheese danish
• strawberry almond croissant
• quiche du jour (lorraine) - NEW*
• sourdough waffles with bananas and tahitian vanilla syrup

Surprised to find our usual beloved quiche florentine was not offered that day but replaced by it's equally delicious sister, quiche lorraine, we were, least to say, a little hesitant.

Yet, after our fist bite, all hesitation washed away. Just as flaky and buttery, ms. lorraine, swirled with perfectly salted and cured bacon pieces along with sweet tidbits of pungent onion, melted equally our mouths.

So not to worry, if you go and find your favorite quiche du jour unavailable, don't fret my pet — which ever sister quiche will be just as delicious!

oh my darling... oh my darling... oh my darling pork belly!

this dish was phenomenal! mr.bunnie has made Nobu's version of this dish before with crab and i liked it alot. But his spin on this dish made it even better. i don't think he has ever heard so much squealing from me on how wonderful this dish is and how tasty it was and how the sauce balances out the fattiness of the pork, the slight kick of spicy from the serranos, etc.... you get my drift.

with my current layoff at my extremely-loved bridal mag, i have spent the past few days racking my brain on how to maintain and fulfill our love for good food without breaking and sustaining the bank. Even more so, how will we survive until our wedding? or more so, how to pay for it.

Anyways, back on a happier note – this dish was spurred up by the want of pork belly (lechon) from our favorite filipino restaurant in cerritos. So by conserving gas, money, and time – we went to 99 ranch and got this slab of pork belly for $7 which was easily two meals for two. Out came one of the best dishes mr.bunnie had EVER made. I did help! Don't think all i did was eat — i washed and pick off ALL the cilantro leaves. :) Trust me, I'm not always this spoiled. Heh.

mr.bunnie and i have always had this discussion – beef vs pork, what is better? i've always been a beef fan and him, pork. but i can say with ease that this specific dish has turned me into a pork lover. Convert? Not necessarily but very close. The layers of alternating fat and pork with a deep cripsy outer skin just cries to be eaten. And with each bite of crispy fat topped with a mixture of paper-thin sliced red onions, serrano chilies, and cilantro (that i washed and picked off) was heaven. I can't even begin to talk about the sauce — may you be lucky to be one of our friends that get to try it!

This dish will definitely be on the menu at our future restaurant. Keep an eye out for it! It will keep you coming back for more.

:: the dishes ::
• fresh churned butter & house-made lardo
insalata romana
• fresh black truffle pasta
• potato with swiss chard gratin
mashed potato with egg???
• aged bone in ribeye for two with a bearnaise and zabagilone sauces
• carrot torta
• sorbetto trio

:: the must try dishes ::
[his pick] lardo & black truffle pasta
• [her pick] aged ribeye with bearnaise

[ he says ] Mario Batali's new steak joint at the Palazzo. The restaurant was relativey new and I haven't heard or read many reviews so I wanted to give it a go.

Man, loved how they start you off with a nice toasty foccacia with softened butter and the wonderful, glistening, lardo (basically, cured fatback from the pig, which takes several months to cure)...I honestly was happy with just the lardo. I imagined infinite possibilites with the yummy, white, fatty goodness. Lardo on pizza, on english muffins, with chips, cereal...you get the idea.

Next came the insalata, which was okay. Mrs. Bunnie thought it was salty but I thought the anchovies went pretty well with the salad.

The special of the evening was pasta with table shaved black truffles. This dish was definitely on the heavy side...but man, the pasta was cooked perfect...al dente al dente al dente...had a nice mouth feel. The dish was simply pasta, butter, and black truffle shavings...simple and delicious.

Next was the rib-eye for two which was carved table side. Now, table side service is great...but honestly, I would go for a nice sizzling piece of meat rather than a presentation which made the meat warm. The rib-eye had an excellent crispy char on the outside and the inside was a nice velvety cool pink. I was too full off of lardo and pasta to fully enjoy this steak.

The dessert was next...I really couldn't decide what to order...so I ordered a simple carrot cake...I liked Mrs. Bunnie's sorbettos better...it was refreshing and it was a better choice after a heavy meal.

Overall, Carne Vino satisfied my taste buds and I would definitely come here again. But for now, Mastros still is my favorite steak joint.

[ she says ] It says a lot when you feel full-on guilt for not being able to finish the rest of your ribeye. Granted the fresh black truffle pasta was slightly on the heavy side but hardly lacked on the flavor of freshly shaved truffles right onto your hot plate of butter drenched pasta. I wasn't too fond of the side dishes. Not saying that they weren't good... just nothing special. The sauces were perfectly complementary with our ribeye – but I liked the bearnaise just a tad bit more.

The insalata was on the salty side for me so after a few bites, mr. bunnie was the one to finish it off. Another highlight of Carnevino was their house-made lardons – pure pork fat. I was a little turned off by it just knowing what it was. If you think about it, it's pretty much like smearing lard onto rosemary scented focaccia bread. Ehhh...not that into it. I ended up trying it and, well, it was okay. Very rich and very good – just not one of my favs. Mr Bunnie, on the other hand, would probably smear it on everything he ate or possibly even smear it on himself if he could. I shudder at that thought. "Honey... what's that smell?"

The tableside carved ribeye for two was fantastic. Rich and velvety, slightly charred and yet still full of flavor and tender, practically melts in your mouth – Mario Batali's crew sure knows how to make a steak girl happy. A definite good contender for my love of Mastro's bone-in ribeye. Can't say I like one better than the other – they're just different. When meat, like Carnevino, is carved tableside, it rests too much to where it creates even a bigger dip in tempature vs. at Mastro's, which comes on a extremely hot sizzling plate. Hmm... just different. I wouldn't change a thing on either.

Next but not least were the desserts. Since I was so full from the meal, I opted to try their sorbettos – green apple, grapefruit, and cara cara orange. Refreshing and so true to the flavor (except for the apple...I'm not sure what it tasted like.) The grapefruit and cara cara orange sorbetto's were like biting into the actual fresh fruit. It was the perfect finish to a great meal. So, if you find yourself in Vegas and wanting to spend some good money on a great meal, Carnevino gets our thumbs up! But don't say we didn't warn you... not finishing your ribeye will bring tears to your eyes. Happy eating!

:: the dishes ::
• sesame balls with red bean paste
• braised pork belly with roasted chestnuts
• sesame crusted pork and chive pan fried dumplings
• green onion pancake (size of a pillowcase)
• portuguese egg tarts
• nepalese dishes

:: the must try dishes ::
[his pick] nepalese food from Nepali Kitchen
• [her pick] sesame balls with red bean paste at Da Hua Hotel

[ he says ] mmm the balls! I thought I would never say this...but I fully enjoyed stuffing my mouth with juicy succulent balls. The outside was paper thin and crispy the inside was warm azuki beans...besides the balls my fav had to be the Nepali Kitchen. Literally a hole in a wall and by luck we found the place. Once inside, you find yourself transported to a different place. The restaurant was small but intimate and adorned with Nepalese art and furniture. We weren't too sure what to order so we ordered a bit of everything. The most memorable was the lentil soup and the mutton. The soup alone can convert me to a vegetarian...no seriously, it was the freaking good. The juicy, tender pieces of mutton definitely was something I always yearned for (Mrs. Bunnie who hates gamey meats, including lamb, was able to eat and enjoy this dish...so that alone says alot)...forget Shanghainese food I can eat this everyday!

[ she says ] Good cheap food all around in Shanghai but I'm only going to focus on one. I've had many variations of sesame balls growing up in a chinese household that went to dim sum places every weekend. Yet it was only until I was Shanghai a few years ago had I truly experienced how great a sesame ball can be. The skin or outer fried mochi-like layer was practically PAPER THIN. Couldn't wrap my head around how they were made but they absolutely delicious. Generally, most sesame balls are quite chewy and ususally after a few more chews, the stickier they get – leading you to then wash it down with some hot green tea.

These, however, were different. Every bite burst with the perfect amount of aromatic bean paste surrounded by delicately laced sesame seeds in this crispy paper thing shell. Ahh... I could have eaten the whole plate. Really. The WHOLE plate. But unlucky for me, we were with a tour group so the being "lady" that I am, everyone got their own fair share of sesame ball heaven.

I've been a busy baking for my little side hobby. I didn't anticipate how much work it would be but it's turning out better than ever. Once I finish all the elements of that website, I will link it on here too.

Anyway, besides baking for that, I wanted to bake something comforting, something warm.... especially something gooey! My dear friend Pilar had just brought me some HUGE meyer lemons from her parent's place and it's no joke when I say these lemons are the size of grapefruits. Since I just bought a pint of blueberries, I had a momet of inspiration and decided to make a Meyer Lemon Blueberry Crumble. Recipe to come!