É by José Andréas is a restaurant within a restaurant (kinda like the movie Inception). It’s an eight seat restaurant inside José Andréas’ tapas restaurant Jaleo in the Cosmopolitan Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. That Inception reference is not far from the reality of É. The decor of É is designed to resemble the mind of chef José Andréas. The walls are old school library card catalogue drawers. Some are pulled out to make shelves that display all manner of bric-a-brac that form the thoughts and memories of the famous chef. It’s a surreal space that serves as the stage for out of this world food theatre.
How did I get here? Well… I was on a business trip. A week long conference to be specific. I swore that I would never go to Las Vegas of my own volition. It’s not my kinda town. Julianne would love to go to Las Vegas with me and it killed her to miss an opportunity of a trip to Las Vegas together. What’s a guy to do with a solo week in Las Vegas? I’ve heard about É and how exclusive it was. The restaurant opens up reservations three months in advance and they fill up quickly. The only way to make a reservation is by e-mail. I figured that there would be no chance of getting in on a couple weeks notice but I would send and e-mail anyway. You get nothing if you don’t ask, right? Since I had an entire week to play with I was able to get in on a Wednesday night because a group cancelled their reservation.
The details of this evening are a little sketchy in my mind. There was a lot of food and a lot of wine. The food came fast and did I mention that there was a lot of booze? I’ll try my best to explain what I ate but things are a little fuzzy. The menu is set and the only changes they make are for food allergies. You could eat at É if you’re a vegetarian but not if you’re vegan. I managed to take a lot of good pictures. The dishes were expertly made and presented so the food porn is strong in this post…
Édible Sangria 2014
Cotton Candy 2.0 with Daisy
The first of two dishes of the night that featured cotton candy. They made an empanada using the cotton candy in place of the regular dough. The filling was foie gras mousse and hazelnuts. The daisy looked like it would be sweet but it was savoury.
Coca De Recapte
Oyster & Oyster
Pescado En “Adobo”
Many dishes at É were created using the El Bulli “liquid olive” technique. this one tasted like a sangria made with cava (Spanish sparkling wine).
To create this they take a flavourful liquid that has calcium in it and drop it into agar agar to form a gelatine like skin around it. That’s kinda how it was explained to me… I’m sure there is a lot more to the technique than that. The sphere bursts in your mouth when you eat it and you’re hit with a mouthful of intense flavour.
“Fabes” Con Jamon
“Kokotxas” Al Pil-Pil
Mar y Montana
Mushrooms En Papillote
Torta Pascualete With Cotton Candy
Another dish with cotton candy. You can see the pressed cotton candy and edible flowers here…
Underneath was a savoury cream sauce. You used the spoons to push the cotton candy into the cream to get it to break down so you could eat it.
Crema Catalana Egg
After Eight Timbal
É by José Andréas created a wonderful tasting menu. There were twenty plus dishes served and I didn’t end up feeling WAY too full. I enjoyed tasting things that I never would have imagined eating (cod jowels and sea cucumber). The wines paired very well with the dishes. The playful decor and expert cooking and serving staff make this a top notch dining adventure. The one thing that was missing from this evening for me was Julianne. I would have enjoyed this much more if I could have shared the experience with her.