When Adam Goldberg travels, he likes to put up his feet and stay a while. 'For me, I’m not so interested in checking destinations off a list as I am in really trying to understand what a place’s culinary scene is like, and it’s hard to do that if you’re just parachuting into hundreds of cities,' says Goldberg, who has spent four years living in Mexico and three years in Paris. And though the NYC native and founder of food blog A Life Worth Eating, culinary travel magazine Ambrosia and the coffee-focused magazine Drift has visited more than 50 cities in 2016 alone, he knows that nowadays, in a world hungry for food media, his wine-and-dine travels are all in a day’s work.
This fall, his travels took him to Bellagio in Las Vegas, a city Goldberg hadn’t visited in more than a decade. 'I wasn’t sure what to expect, because the last time I was in Vegas was 12 years ago when I turned 21,' he says. 'I was so surprised to find how many restaurants there are in such a small geographical area — you can go to the lobby and walk to esteemed options like Carbone and Le Cirque within minutes.'
Goldberg kicked off his stay at Bellagio with Harvest by Roy Ellamar, where just-picked ingredients are everything and seasonality reigns. 'Vegas is known for having second locations of restaurants that first opened elsewhere, so it was refreshing to visit a spot that you could experience exclusively in this town,' he says. The restaurant’s commitment to hyper-local food was a big win in his book, as well — especially considering the restaurant’s whereabouts. 'The team here is getting ingredients from a farm 120 miles north, and they’re doing local food in Vegas, which is really great to see.'
At Jean Philippe Patisserie, it was what the team was doing onsite that wowed Goldberg most. 'The prep kitchen at Jean Philippe took up a half floor of the hotel, where there was a small, highly efficient team creating pastries and chocolates for the bakery and all of the hotel needs, including ornate chocolate sculptures for the hotel lobby,' he says. 'Despite the volume, the pastries and chocolates they were crafting were exceptional.'
Breakfast was a particularly memorable experience for Goldberg, who ordered room service from the hotel’s kitchen every day during his stay.
If for no other reason, the routine ensured that he’d catch a view of the sun rising over the iconic fountains of Bellagio each morning — a sight that served as his number-one Instagram shot of the weekend, garnering more than 3,000 'likes'. 'It was really special to walk into our room and see the fountain displays right from our window,' he says. 'It’s one thing to be walking into the hotel and seeing it from the ground level, but when you’re back in your own private space overlooking that sight, it’s unparalleled.'