I never watched an entire episode of Parts Unknown with Anthony Bourdain. Its not that I had any dislike or aversion to the TV show, I just never had time to fit it into my schedule.
When he passed away though, I saw clips of his final season, which included a trip to Las Vegas to eat at The Bootlegger Bistro. Old School Italian food complete with dark lighting, lounge singers, and atmosphere in spades. It sounded like my kind of place.
Las Vegas is only a five hour drive from where I live, so mid morning on a Saturday I hop in the truck and road trip my way to Sin City.
The ability to temporarily become whomever you want to be is the greatest allure of Las Vegas. I pony up to a bar to watch College Football while sipping on Old Fashioned cocktails and jicama-jalapeno-truffle infused scalloped sushi.
Suit jacket on, I enter the taxi to whisk me away to the Bootlegger. A table for one is all set up in a dark corner of the room. The crooning music of Frank Sinatra wafts in over the smoke. I order a glass of cabernet, swirl it around the glass slowly before raising it to my face and breathing in the intoxicating aroma.
I can be whomever I want to be…..
Succulent portabella mushrooms to begin with please, followed by a spinach fettuccini, covered in pine nuts and garlic. It was divine. I stumble out of the restaurant and into my Uber, completely satisfied.
I sleep early, which some may classify as an outrageous thing to do in Las Vegas. Of course, it may also be seen as crazy to drive five hours for dinner, only to rise up early and return home.
Yet that is exactly what happened, and I would not change a thing.