One cannot be a self-proclaimed foodie, until a visit to one of the toughest and most-coveted reservations in Las Vegas, é by José Andrés at the Cosmopolitan. It’s a bit of a trick to define the dining experience at é by José Andrés as with most of the culinary gastronomy dining experiences. But expect nothing short of a table side performance put on by the chefs with their 20-plus Tapa style courses. Booking is open for three months in advance and everything is paid upfront for the tasting so most people don’t miss this unique adventure.
The nine-seat chef’s table hidden inside Jaleo has two seating at 5:30 and 8:30 p.m. every night except Monday. The small but not crammed room features a dramatic red glass wall with red velvet curtain and adorn with chef Andres memories and personal thoughts. Almost all of the many dishes came from the prep-area/mini-kitchen in the back and then cooked and prepared right at the table by the chefs, meticulously plated with tweezers, dry ice embellishments and novelty dishware that were custom made in Spain. Everything was choreographed and timed beautifully, the chefs gave details about each dish, there was commentary on the history, and Chef Andrés’ philosophy, intent and thinking and running jokes about the plating.
During our dinner, we received 21 courses which started with “The perfect bite” – Cava Sangria, an edible sphere cocktail filled with white sangria made from Cava, gin and fruit. ext comes a trio of cheese courses, appropriately named: beet rose (beet and manchego rose on a walnut raisin wafer), stones (Idiazabal cheese glazed in jamon iberico fat and rosemary oil), and a Spanish pizza margarita ( San Simon crema, freeze dried tomatoes). Each one is inventive, ingenious, and technically perfect. Next comes perhaps the cutest dish of the night: Wonder Bread (apple meringue, foie gras, persimmon). Decadent foie gras mousse and persimmon sandwiched between two meringue shaped like white bread is a play on PB&J.
After this, the meal becomes a blur. I could go on and on, but I will highlight some of my favorites after the Wonder Bread. This includes:
– Uni and Lardo
– “Esparragos Escabeche” – Holland White Asparagus, Escabeche Air, Sasanian Royal Oseitra Cavia, Frozen Egg Yolks
– “Txangurro a la Donostiarra” – Dungeness Crab with Spanish Sofrita, Crab Broth, Toasted Panko Bread Crumbs
– Foie Royale
– “Fricando” – Australian Wagyu Beef Cheek, Pine Nuts Praline, Morels, Gnocchi
– “Empanada” – Foie Gras and Corn Nuts
The desserts were also mind-blowing:
– “Miel Y Mato” – Ricotta, Honey Gelee, Hazelnut Praline, Brown Butter Croutons, Walnut Cream
– “Intxaursaltsa” – Walnut Cream, Fresh Cherries, Walnut Praline, Strawberries and Cream
– “Flan” – Vanilla Custard, Bitter Caramel, Orange Syrup, Spanish Snow
By the end of our meal, I was left amazed. The menu and everything about the experience was magical. The courses were whimsical as they were technically perfect. I don’t often praise fine dining experience as I’m usually left feeling stuffed but unsatisfied and shocked by the sticker price, but this is one dining experience that was worth every penny. If you are ever in Las Vegas, you must try é by José Andrés.