Sage is Chef Shawn McClain’s first entry in the world of Las Vegas dining, and one we’ve been meaning to try for sometime. OK. Admittedly, a party of eight isn’t always the ideal situation when trying a restaurant for the first time, but it is what it is . . . and my wife and I were a) sharing dishes, and b) eating somewhat “light” after a 21-course dinner the night before, and a rather full (and late) lunch.
We started with two appetizers.
The first was a Wagyu Beef Tartare (with crushed caper aioli, a slow-poached egg, pickled mustard seeds, and crispy chocolate). The tartare itself was delicious, but the “slow-poached egg” (sous vide?) was overcooked. The yokk wasn’t hard, but neither was it runny, and thus difficult to incorporate into the tartare.
In contrast, the Slow-Poached Organic Farm Egg (with smoked potato, shaved black truffle, and toasted country bread) was absolutely wonderful! The thin slices of perfectly tender potato and the shaved truffle delightfully complimenting the egg which, in this case, was sheer perfection.
The next round was gazpacho and octopus.
The Chilled Gazpacho (with heirloom tomatoes, heirloom melons, and a bacon cream) was wonderful – creamy, tomato-y, and delicately spiced, with the melon providing a nice textural counterpoint.
The Grilled Spanish Octopus (with Goat Cheese, Castlevetrano Olives, Chili Oil and Prosciutto), sliced on the diagonal, was extremely tender and flavorful, with the goat cheese and prosciutto providing a salty accent to the mild heat of the chili oil. Delicious!
Finally, we had two (deconstructed) salads. The Grilled California Peach salad featured wedges of grilled peach, cubes of blue cheese mousse, glazed crumbles of bacon, and a light pistachio butter that was exquisite; the Heirloom Tomato Salad showcased a variety of beautifully ripened tomatoes, bits of avocado, a beef chicharron, lime, and basil that was summer on a plate!
I passed on dessert, but Lynn had the Domestic Artisinal Chese Plate with four types of cheese, perfectly ripen figs, apricots, toast and more – one of the nicest cheese plates I’ve seen (short of selecting your own from a cheese cart) in a long time. The ODD dessert was the deconstructed walnut torte – it was so heavy with black truffle that those who had it (I did not taste it) found it highly disconcerting and unpleasant.
We liked Sage a lot, but let me be the first to say that this is not a fair evaluation of the restaurant. We plan on returning with a smaller party (two? four?) on a future visit to Las Vegas to try Sage once again.