Michael Mascha, Las Vegas, October 2022
An all-senses engulfing drama, with a fire pit in the center of the restaurant, seeing, smelling, and sensing the action in the open kitchen sections. This is the millennia-old human experience of fire and meat, and José just added some techniques, impeccable service, and a great wine list. In addition, José is our hero in how he is using food to empower communities across the globe.
The Iberian Peninsula is the home of great chefs, food, and wine, and they all are represented in José Andrés's many restaurants. One of the concept's strengths is terroir, an emotional connection to where the food is coming from. This is why we come to his restaurants because we love Spanish food.
Across from the Sahara Hotel & Resort, where Bazaar Meats is located, is a Walgreens. A pharmacy and convenience store chain where many tourists buy alcohol and water while in Las Vegas. It's the usual supermarket mix of processed waters and big brands. Perrier and Evian are part of the offering at a low price of just a little more than one dollar.
Water available at Bazaar Meats and Walgreens, Las Vegas, 2022
At Bazaar Meat, after inquiring what waters are available to choose from, we were told the choice is still or sparkling with Perrier and Evian. Hundreds of wines on the winelist, and I am getting the choose from the same waters I can get from Walgreens across the street?
In protest, I did not order any water and asked for tap water. Knowing about the extraordinary efforts of Las Vegas to preserve water, I contemplated how often this water was already drunk and expelled before I drank it here. Not a pleasant thought.
Needless to say, we were disappointed and let the staff know, but there was no glimmer of hope that our message of more choice was registered. This was when we decided to create the #FamousYESWaterMenuNO and show the world what a water menu would look like and how we can match fine water with the amazing food.
Here is José Way Tasting menu with Vaca Vieja :
Water Menu for Bazaar Meat:
This Las Vegas and a restaurant like this needs some Prestige Bottles akin to expensive Champaign, Bordeaux, Burgundy, and Rioja to celebrate or show off.
Iceberg water from Norway, a Cuvée in a Champaign bottle, and super high Minerality water from Slovenia.
The Spanisch Collection
The waters in the Spanisch Collection show a wide variety of Minerality from Low to Very High and are available in Still, Sparkling, and Natural Carbonated.
Water Sommelier suggestion for the dishes above:
As a cocktail, I would set the tone of the evening with a bottle of Nevas and enjoy the attention of the popping Champaign cork and enjoy the contrast of the Cotton Candy Foie Gras and the minerality of the Nevas.
The Smoke & Ice Oysters and the Bagels & Lox Cone would benefit from a Low Minerality water, and I would Choose the Pineo Full Moon edition or the Sant Aniol in the sparkling version.
The Cassic Tartare requires a Medium Minerality Water, and 22 Artesian in the Still version would be a great pairing.
Tomatoes are hard to match, but with the balsamic and black olive for the Beefsteak Tomato Tatar, and the Cured Meats, I would suggest Aigua Vilajuïga with the soft natural carbonation.
For the Vaca Vieja Rib Eye, Vichy Catalan is the only choice, and a good one at that.
For Deserts, we still have some of the Pineo left.
Michael Mascha, October 2022