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VegasEats: e by Jose Andres at Cosmopolitan

By Misnomer on Friday, 13th April 2012 7:14pm
  » filed under Las Vegas  comments: 14

   

"Congratulations, you've made it!" exclaimed the last in a long succession of emails between me and the mysterious, unnamed presence penning the correspondence for "reserve@ebyjoseandres.com". The email was confirmation that my wife and I had successfully completed the rather arduous reservation process required by e by Jose Andres, the open-secret, eight seat restaurant hidden within Andres' Jaleo at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.

The process had included a 2:01 a.m. CDT email (the restaurant accepts reservations exclusively by email), which I had sent in an effort to ensure that my reservation request would be among the first to arrive precisely 30 days prior to they date we were hoping to dine at e. After that there was a form to sign and fax back to the restaurant, requesting, among other things, credit card information, and admonishing that failure to arrive at the designated seating would result in the full price of the meal being charged. Then, the aforementioned congratulatory email, and finally, a snail mail envelope arrived containing two "Golden Tickets" that permitted our entry into e.

A great deal of pomp, certainly, but I had intentionally sought out a "special occasion" restaurant to celebrate the day my youth would die, taking everything that was good and joyful with it, extinguishing the spark within me, and leave me a dried, reading-glassed, husk of despair, biding my time with the banal, sudoku'ed pacifiers of the aged until the cold hand of death mercifully ended my suffering: My 40th birthday.

Where was I? I'm forgetful now, child. Ah, yes, e. So, now we had a reservation, but neither my wife nor I truly knew what to expect. Fortunately, I had recorded the "elBulli episode" of Anthony Bourdain's "No Reservations". In it, Bourdain travels to Spain for one of the last seatings of elBulli, which was considered by some to have been the greatest restaurant in the world (it has since closed). Alongside Bourdain in the episode is Chef Jose Andres, who once worked at elBulli under Chef Ferran Andria. The restaurant was known for its avant garde cooking, and was one of the originators of molecular gastronomy. I thought that this program might serve as a guide as to what we might expect from e.

Several minutes into the No Reservations episode, I started to become concerned. The mononymous Ferran was seated at a table at elBulli with Bourdain and Chef Andres. Dinner was being served, in the form of several small courses, brought out individually. The dishes were fanciful - a hallow globe of cheese, dishes prepared with liquid nitrogen, an assortment of Japanese delicacies made to look like Italian tiramisu. With each course, Ferran and Andres would stare at Bourdain, gauging his reaction. A pattern developed. Bourdain would take a bite of food, fake an orgasm, and then nod knowingly. Again and again. Consume food, fake orgasm, nod knowingly.

"It's cheese!" Andres shouted after breaking the cheese globe, and then on cue, Bourdain ate cheese, rolled his eyes back in his head, feigned tremors of sweet release, and then nodded knowingly. Ferran and Andres were pleased.

My concern was that the pattern established by Bourdain might be the proper way to enjoy this type of food, and as such, that I would be called upon to behave similarly when I dined at e. Now, anyone who's seen me knows that I have no problem eating. And, having witnessed countless fake orgasms, I was certain that I could approximate same.

But step three - the part where you nod knowingly - I was fearful this would escape me. "These flavors, I know them!" Bourdain had gushed. "They're old friends!" If I were to assign flavors to my old friends, I would probably have to go with Slim Jims. Corn Nuts, perhaps. So it was with more than a little bit of trepidation that my wife and I arrived at e for dinner. Would it be intimidating? Would we feel uncomfortable? Out of place?

We needn't have worried, because e was nothing but fun. Good fun. Happy, giggle-inducing fun.

We were seated around a small counter with two other couples (a fourth couple failed to show). A chef and his assistant were immediately in front of us. While my wife and I had chosen red sangria to enjoy with dinner, one couple had opted for the wine pairing. This was fortuitous, because it allowed the chef to demonstrate the proper way to consume their first pairing, Cava, which as it turns out, involved pouring the wine from a spouted vessel directly into one's mouth. The chef had clearly done this before, as he poured an incredible, unbroken stream of wine into his mouth while holding the pitcher at a arm's length. It was among the greatest party tricks I'd ever seen.

And it announced that the next three hours would be just that - a party. Not a raucous party, but certainly the greatest polite-company dinner party I'd ever been to. Complete with twenty four courses of playful food. Fun. No fakery necessary. Come as you are.

A few highlights:

Cosmopolitan e Jose Andres Review - Brazo

The Apple "Brazo De Gitano". Filled with bleu cheese espuma, we were warned that it was extremely delicate, and that we should use the utmost care when picking it up. I immediately smashed mine. Everyone laughed. I nodded knowingly. Delicious, and fun.

Cosmopolitan e Jose Andres Review - Chicken Oyster

Crispy Chicken Skin in Escabeche. A delectable chicken oyster atop a piece of crispy chicken skin. And foam. To this point in my life, it was the best foam I had ever eaten.

Cosmopolitan e Jose Andres Review - Lobster

Lobster with Citrus and Jasmine. Perfectly cooked lobster. And jasmine foam that put that other foam to shame. That other foam should try harder.

Cosmopolitan e Jose Andres Review

It was amazing to watch the chefs prepare our meal with such care, often employing forceps and pipettes to make the presentation "just so".

Cosmopolitan e Jose Andres Review

Chickpea Stew with Iberico Ham. Served with two spoons, we were encouraged to gently coax the "chickpeas" onto one spoon with the other. Actually, they were not really chickpeas at all, but rather very delicate spheres of chickpea puree encapsulated in agar agar. Wonderful. Also, fun.

Cosmopolitan e Jose Andres Review

Secreto of Iberico Pork with Squid. Green foam! It's the only foam I'll eat now. I'm a bit of a foam snob.

Cosmopolitan e Jose Andres Review

Flan. Little discs of custard, orange slices, and orange-essence ice. Refreshing, and dare I say - fun!

The bill, which included all 24 courses in addition to a carafe of sangria and two espressos, came to $472.00 for the two of us. A word of warning - the bill does include an 18 percent gratuity, a fact that is not immediately evident, which resulted in our inadvertent double tipping.

Expensive, yes, but considering that what you get for that sum is really both a wonderful meal and a very entertaining three hour show, the price is altogether reasonable.



Tagged: misnomer   vegas eats   jose andres   e   dining   cosmopolitan   





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Comments & Discussion:

Nice! Can't wait to try it out myself!

Sudoku'ed? I thought you were worried about DVR'ed.

Seriously, though. Yum. Thanks for the post.

The Cava also sounds like one of the experiences Bourdain had on one of his shows. The Flan does look fun.

Excellent review! Thanks for sharing Misnomer.

1. 60 is the new 40. You won't have to fake any O's for some time yet and wisdom and experience will enhance your skill of nodding knowingly.
2. I have seen the best foam on keg beers.
3. Why have all the Vegas shows gone from the Travel Channel? I am so tired of watching guys eat 5 lb. burritos or catapillars in Thailand or pig stomachs from the backroads of Turkey. Even repeats of the Vegas stuff from several years ago would be nice.
4. Sorry for no. 3. Did I digress? Great review!!

I just got home from eating this meal myself, it was AMAZING, I didn't write anything about it yet, but the pics have been uploaded.

http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.3136259603757.132887.1182865765&type=3

Mr. Nomer, has hit the nail on the head, amazing food, a great experience, and a ton of foam, I asked if they had large vats of foams in the back.

Great post!

Terrific! You had me foaming with laughter. Sorry about your husk of despair old age.

A few of the courses have changed, but everything else remains the same. Had a fantastic meal there last night. One warning, the gratuity has changed from 18% to 20%, as the hostess informed me "18% for us, 2% for the Cosmopolitan." Not quite sure about that one.

I saw the same episode of No Reservations and am glad to hear there is something like that in Vegas. Great review, can't wait to try it myself.

What no snark? What the hell is this, what kind of trick is VT playing on me, first they tell me to look for Misnoper's byline to read sarcasm, then I get this well written, enjoyable review of 'e'.

All kidding aside, a very nice review, well done and you have me seriously considering something like this for the death of my youth next year.

Geez, based on Misnomer's and Jinx73's age comments, maybe Cosmopolitan should change its marketing to "Just the Right Amount of Old Age."

I never cared to eat a 500 dollar meal now I feel like I must do it a will do in the next year.....great review
G

So what you're saying is that it's Minibar at the Cosmo? Very cool.



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