Spectacular new architecture, re-visiting favorite haunts, and reconnecting with friends I haven’t seen in many years were all great reasons to spend a weekend in Las Vegas in the desert summer heat. For this weekend, our headliners were all starring behind the bars, with not a tuxedo or sequin in sight … it was all about the single malts, camaraderie and catching up.
Eiffel Tower Restaurant at Paris Resort and Casino has one of the most exciting and dynamic views in Las Vegas – overlooking the Fountains of Bellagio. At regular intervals throughout afternoons and evenings, the entrancing displays of water and light mesmerize, even from across the street and out of earshot of the explosive water canons. Nursing single malt Scotches from the bar’s impressive selection is a wonderful way to wait for “show time”, then realize the next show is only 15 or 30 minutes away, and continue nursing. Our favorites on the last visit were Laphroaig 15, The Balvenie 12 DoubleWood, Oban 14, and Macallan 18. An added bonus on this visit was spending time with two of our favorite (and very knowledgeable) bartenders – Carson and Noel … enthusiastic guys who enjoy what they do!
Across The Strip from Paris is The Bellagio. To match the bright summer flora, both real and super-sized fantasy versions rendered in glass and other media in The Conservatory, our party of four chose light, floral single malts, perfect for summer – Glenfiddich 12 and 15, Glenlivet 12, and Dalwhinnie 15. The Bellagio Café looks directly onto the wonders of The Conservatory, so people watching was also a great past-time, as our conversations flowed.
Crown jewels of the newly opened City Center are the Vdara and Aria Hotels. From each venue’s lobby bars we enjoyed viewing and discussing pieces of The Fine Art Collection – grand displays of public art by foremost artists and sculptors. Older whiskies seemed to be the order of the day here, so Highland Park 18, Glenlivet 25, Macallan 18, and The Balvenie 21 were enjoyed as we discussed Big Edge by Nancy Rubins (a colossal collection of about 200 canoes) and Silver River by Maya Lin (an 87-foot long depiction, in reclaimed silver, of the entire Colorado River.)