As your traveling gourmet, I’ve spent a lot of time enjoying both what’s on my plate and the backdrop for it. Somehow, for me, a good meal is enhanced when there’s a beautiful panorama behind it, which means I’m going to take you on a culinary and scenic excursion. We’re going to see mountains, oceans, rivers, cities, and even a fjord thrown in for good measure. We’re going to eat very well, because the one thing that these restaurants have in common, beside the amazing views, is great food. I mean, really: I wouldn’t take you somewhere with bad food, no matter what you saw through the windows. I do have my standards! So let’s see just what it’s like when fabulous meals are accompanied by perfect views.
After all this nature, let’s head to the heart of the city and Eiffel Tower (Paris Resort, 3655 Las Vegas Blvd. S. Tel: 702-948-6937. www.eiffeltowerrestaurant.com). Leaving the elevator, you enter along a sweep of carpet, with windows revealing the glistening Las Vegas Strip. Like this crazy city itself, the view never stays the same: neon lights blink and flash, video images flicker across gigantic screens, words scroll, and across the way, the fountains at the Bellagio send their waters skyward in very Las Vegas splendor. Watch the cascading springs as you enjoy a velvety squash soup with a hint of chewiness from little pieces of duck confit made crispy with toasted bits of bread, or a lobster salad that explodes with the zest of Jerusalem artichokes and chanterelles. Cod in a light curry sauce melts in your mouth, livened by thin strips of zucchini and a dense quinoa bed, while steaks come with a choice of sauces from lemon parsley butter to Bordelaise. Be sure to leave room for dessert, whether it’s their signature soufflés, an Alsace-style apple strudel or many-layered raspberry Napoleon. Hint: reservations at 4:30 (the beginning of dinner service) have a guarantee of a window seat, which is otherwise first come, first served. While the cuisine here is itself worth a trip, wouldn’t you like a front-row seat for the action?