Aureole re-emphasizes role of wine with food
Recently, Charlie Palmer’s Aureole at Mandalay Bay, which went through an extensive restaurant remodel last year, got a few more changes—a new chef and new dishes on the menu to boot.
During the first change, the menu went to a Surf, Root and Ranch theme, and that continues. Chef Alexandre Gregoire, who hails from France and has cooked both there and in the U.S. for nearly 15 years, earlier this year stepped into the head role in the kitchen. Since then, he’s created a menu of dishes that easily pair with the huge selection of wines available at Aureole (the enormous wine tower which dominates the restaurant has been there since it opened in 1999).
Palmer, says Gregoire, “tasked me to channel my creativity and show our guests how to pair the best food with the best wines from Las Vegas’ largest wine selection. I was drawn to Aureole because of the combination of flavors in each dish and how the wine plays such an imperative role in the dining experience.”
Indeed, one can see how that would be true. Each of the dishes on the menu has two recommended wines to pair it with, a list tended to by Mandalay Bay wine director Harley Carbery. And much of the inspiration for the food here is derived from the wine, says Gregoire. “When I create a new dish, I draw inspiration from seasonal produce and wines from around the world. I work closely with our sommelier at Aureole to bridge the front- and back-of-house gap and to pair dishes perfectly with various wines.”
What will you find on the new menu? How about Dungeness crab salad, updated with mango and avocado? Beef carpaccio sports fresh horseradish, while filet mignon and ribeye each come with sauce of red wine or Béarnaise.
Foie gras du jour is chef Gregoire’s current favorite on the menu. It’s a decadent dish, combining the unctuousness of foie gras with strawberries and rhubarb. “I love this dish because the acidity of the rhubarb balances perfectly with the richness of foie gras," says Gregoire. Another excellent choice is Colorado lamb loin, served with a lamb shoulder confit, olive tapenade and baby artichoke.
Nosh Aureole 2
In a vegetable lasagna, butternut squash, spinach pasta and mascarpone change up the classic dish. And even vegans can find gourmet fare—the spaghetti squash comes with San Marzano sauce and a vegan truffle cream.
Capitalizing on seasonal produce is the strawberry and pistachio tart. Don’t neglect a pairing with the sweet, however, as it can be one of the most rewarding sips of the meal.
Mandalay Bay, 5:30-10:30 p.m. Mon.-Sat., lounge 5-11 p.m. Mon.-Sat. 702.632.7401