Special Feature: Products Sally Recommends
aria las vegas
If “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” you can’t do any better than the ARIA Resort & Casino. Located not too far off the Strip, the ARIA offers lively casinos and deluxe rooms, a spa, swimming pools, nightlife and shopping. Their theatre presentation is Zarkana, a Cirque du Soleil show featuring an international cast of 70 world-class jugglers, acrobats, high wire and trapeze artists, and aerialists, where an extraordinary circus comes to life. And the dining at the ARIA is “top notch.” There are over 15 choices in both the casual dining and signature dining categories. And if you are a Dale Chihuly fan, walk across the valet parking area to see the Gallery At City Center, a 4,350 square-foot space that features a diverse representation of Chihuly's dynamic colorful glass sculptures, drawings and prints.
The ARIA is one large hotel with over 4000 rooms. The 520 square foot deluxe bedrooms offer luxury at your fingertips. The lighting, the window shade, and the music—everything is high-tech and tailored to your needs. When you swipe your key to enter your room the drapes automatically open and the lights turn on. Ask for a room on a high floor to enjoy the panoramic lights of the city. The elevators are set up to speed you to your particular floor; with 5 floors per elevator you won’t have long to wait.
Chocolates on the nightstand and a friendly staff complete the picture.
I began my days with a special treat…a warmed chocolate croissant and latte from Jean Philippe Patisserie located on the Casino level of the hotel. No better way to start your day. The patisserie makes close to 15,000 pastries and French influenced foods, all under the direction of Award-Winning Chef Jean-Philippe Maury. The buffet display is a showstopper and they are open most hours of the day and night.
I am very impressed with the selection of restaurants inside the ARIA including Japanese, Spanish, Chinese, French, Thai, Italian, Mexican, American, a Steakhouse and The Buffet, serving breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner.
These are three of my favorites:
James Beard Award-Winning Chef Michael Mina’s BARDOT Brasserie is new and it is all the rage. Think Paris brasseries with a champagne cart, classic French bread served in paper sleeves, escargots, foie gras, croque madame, steak frites and tarte tatin, to name only a few of the menu items. Mina's brasserie offers a polished central bar, upscale fare, a patio & a 1920s vibe. The atmosphere is lively and the mixologists at the bar gladly offer Parisian cocktails. Go and enjoy, but don’t plan to have an intimate conversation, as this place gets noisy when full. Located on the Promenade Level, dinner is served daily as well as weekend brunch.
Julian Serrano Tapas offers Spanish food including Paella, Tapas, Beef and Seafood. Serrano’s food is an interpretation of his native Spanish fare and he accomplishes his goals. Be sure and arrive hungry, as the menu is quite large with lots of quality choices. Let’s start with the tapas. There are bread tapas, egg tapas, poultry tapas, hot shellfish tapas, vegetarian tapas, vegan tapas and more. You get the idea. I picked from various portions of the menu and enjoyed the prawns or gambas a la plancha (cooked on a griddle) with a garlic oil lemon dressing; lobster gazpacho (served chilled); stuffed medjool dates with goat cheese, pancetta and tomato marmalade; and seared scallops with a romesco sauce. In addition to the tapas, there are six paella offerings, from paellas with vegetables, ribs, seafood, or mixed foods to the traditional Valenciani. There are larger dishes for families to share, either beef, roasted suckling pig, Colorado lamb, or Chilean sea bass. Desserts add a whole other dimension to your meal. With 10 offerings you will had to make some serious decisions. The arroz con leche or traditional Spanish rice pudding was my favorite. Lunch and dinner is served daily on the Casino Level. Go with a big appetite!
FIVE50 Pizza Bar is a lively pizza spot by James Beard Award- Winning Chef and Restaurateur Shawn McClain. The name relates to the temperature of the wood-fired stone ovens and pizza is the name of the game here although there are other offerings such as small plates, salads, Italian sandwiches, a mozzarella bar, craft beer, floats, and shakes. I suggest beginning your meal with the FIVE50 chopped salad made with soppressata, provolone and garlic oregano vinaigrette. Other appetizers include garlic knots (rolls) with cheddar and garlic butter and mushroom arancini, risotto balls with a roasted tomato sauce. Both are quite tasty. All this is a prelude to the signature pizzas, which are hand crafted with east coast flavors such as sausages, cheeses, and seafood, with a variety of sauces. I decided to try something different. The farmstead pizza has country olives, crème fraiche, and prosciutto with a farm egg on top. Very novel and tasty. If you are into meats, try the Gotham pizza with pepperoni, sausage, salami, mozzarella and grana padano. You can also build your own pizza. Or order 1 pizza with 2 choices. Shakes and floats round out the menu, from classic milkshakes to an Elvis shake with bananas and peanut butter to a s’mores shake with chocolate ice cream, graham crackers and marshmallows. I could go on and on. Lunch and dinner is served daily on the Casino Level and the slice counter is open late, 1 a.m. during the week and 3 a.m. on weekends.
ARIA Resort and Casino
3730 S. Las Vegas Blvd.
Las Vegas, NV 89158