The entrance to Sage is completely dwarfed by the bright and massive entrance to Bar Masa. As you walk towards the restaurants the Bar Masa entrance is in the center, Julian Serrano to the right, and Sage is off to the left. Despite having the least appealing entrance of the three, the food at Sage takes a back seat to no one.

At a glance, the menu has a little something for everyone — steak, seafood, pasta, vegetarian options — and a few dishes that might make middle America say, “huh?” (sweetbreads and foie gras custard). With so many tantalizing options and my limited stomach capacity (sidenote #1: as I get older I’m getting fatter but eating less… my metabolism is shot.) I wasn’t sure what to choose. So, thank god for tasting menus. After hearing which dishes were on the chef’s tasting menu ($120 pp) it was a no-brainer for my wife and I to get it.

//Amuse bouche//
A single Kusshi oyster that went down smoothly then kicked me in the taste buds, thanks to a tobasco sorbet and a tequila-something or other. (sidenote #2: I never take notes while eating and have a terrible memory, therefore most of my reviews aren’t that detailed)

//First course//
Yellowtail Crudo. Delicate slices of yellowtail with mushrooms, truffles, and pine nuts gave this fabulous dish a light, refreshing, and emphatic earthy flavor.

//Second course//
Foie Gras Custard Brulee. I have no idea how this dish is made and I’m not sure i want to. But, it was the most unique dish of the night and one that was so deliciously sweet and savory at the same time. Foie gras with the texture of creme brulee. With bing cherries and salted brioche. Amazing! They give you a fork, spoon and knife to eat it and I used each and every utensil to scrape the foie on the brioche or directly into my salivating mouth. Despite the dish’s awesomeness, it’s so rich that I can’t imagine eating more than the serving provided (and part of my wife’s).

//Third course//
Lobster Gnocchi. I love lobster. I love gnocchi. Put them together and I’m in heaven. So light and delicate! Although the mint and other herbs in the dish gave it a very strong earthy taste.

//Fourth course//
Scallop. I was on a total food high at this point. I really can’t recall many details about the scallop other than it’s served pre-sliced, was laying on a bed of risotto, and was accompanied by a slice of prosciutto. Make no mistake… it was tasty but not as memorable as the other dishes.

//Fifth course//
Ribeye. Several slices of tender beef cooked to a perfect medium rare with some tempura mushrooms (?). It was so incredibly delicious that I think it may have been as good, if not better, than the ribeye I had at CUT.

//Ah… the ol’ palate cleanser//
Raspberry Sorbet. Smooth and sweet. A perfect set up for the final course.

//Sixth course//
Sweet Corn Panna Cotta. After such a delicious meal this dessert was a bit of a let down. Call me old fashioned, but I tend to like traditional desserts with traditional ingredients. The sweet corn taste was good but just a little odd to me. I’m glad I tried it but it’s not something I would crave again.

While the food was exceptional, the service was just the opposite. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t awful, but it was off-key most of the night. Let’s rewind and start from the beginning…

What a fabulous choice [sarcasm] for management to hire a hostess that hates people, doesn’t like to smile, and acts like she’s doing you a huge favor by walking you to your table. After that great start to the night we sat at our table and waited. And waited. It was almost 15 minutes before someone (not our waitress but another employee) acknowledged our presence. Another 10 minutes pass before we get water. When our waitress finally shows up we mention the slow service and she gets defensive. Doesn’t apologize or anything. We order drinks and that doesn’t come out until after the amuse bouche. Then on two separate occasions we see a waitress heading towards our table then veer off to the server’s station when she sees that our place settings are correctly set. We knew it was our food because we saw her standing there as new utensils were set, then she finally walked back to our table to deliver the food. If it happened one time… no biggie. But twice? When we’re dropping four bills to eat dinner I expect service to be top notch. Then of course, there’s the glasses of water. It seems like such a simple concept — if a glass is empty, fill it up. Not here. Maybe each guest is only allowed one refill? We’re in a desert after all, so maybe it’s so scarce that they’re saving it for the waterfall outside of the Aria registration area?

The service did get better towards the end of the meal and our ice princess waitress even cracked a smile and seemed a little friendlier (although in a fake “I really don’t care how you’re doing” sort of way).

The food here is 5 stars in my book, but they’ll have to settle for 4 because of the crappy service.

4 Stars

3730 Las Vegas Blvd S
Las Vegas, NV 89109
(877) 230-2742

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