The Donatello is part of the Shell Vacations Hospitality group. August’s parents do the time-share thing, and they offered us a room for the weekend leading up to the Chocolate Salon. We didn’t get to bed early since we were up writing each night, and we had to get up early since we wanted to do breakfast each morning, so we technically didn’t get many hours of sleep… but we slept so well. The bed was luxuriously comfortable. August liked stretching out on the sectional couch to work on the weekend’s posts, and Zach got a kick out of the TV in the bathroom mirror – he got up before August to let her sleep just a little more each day, and he was able to watch some programming while showering without disturbing her. The mini bar with a fridge, a coffee maker, and a microwave was a plus, and the complimentary Le Belge chocolate bars, Wolfgang Puck coffee, popcorn, and water bottles were greatly appreciated. Furthermore, being on the corner of Post and Mason, it was very easy to hail a taxi every time we stepped out since we left our car with the valet.
Room service comes out of the kitchen of Zingari, the in-house Italian restaurant. Last night, right before room service closed at 10:30, we ordered dessert. We were too stuffed at the table at Incanto to consider anything there, so we waited until back in the room and after having digested a bit. We both selected chocolate, and while both plates were garnished the same, the two desserts were polarized.
Zach’s profiteroles were filled with milk chocolate mousse, then coated with whipped cream, and liberally dusted with cocoa powder. They didn’t match the menu description as being filled with the mousse and “white chocolate sauce & milk chocolate curls,” but it was still decent.
The liberal amount of cocoa powder was more appropriate for this darker chocolate dessert. August likes white chocolate, but she prefers more bitterness (just like how she likes her beer). This mousse cake was made with bittersweet chocolate, supported by a moist chocolate wafer crust. If there was only one dessert she could have for the rest of her life, it would be something ganache-y like this.
We had met Peter the concierge Friday evening, who was a wealth of knowledge about the services of the Donatello as well as the ins and outs of the City. The next time we’re in town (and August’s parents can swing us a room), we’re very much looking forward to our stay, further exploring the gastronomy of San Francisco.
This weekend has been a blast, since we got to stay in an amazing room, see some great sights, and eat excellent food. However, because of the food, this was also a work weekend for us. We’re leaving in a couple of hours, but still had to wrap up our NASCAR coverage, so we ordered breakfast to our room at the Tropicana so as to save time while packing and writing.
Zach wanted something hearty to sustain him for the trek home, and this was definitely hearty but didn’t leave him with a heavy feeling. Fresh, natural ingredients always makes a difference. He got his two eggs over medium, which were cooked properly with no slimy white and a still-runny yolk. Cooking the eggs slowly makes it so there is no skin and no toughness. The dish came with breakfast potatoes (the same as what’s served at Beach Cafe), choice of bacon, sausage links, or sausage patties, toast, and butter. He got the bacon, which was thick cut yet lean.
August wanted hearty and sweet, so she got one of her favorite breakfast items. With fluffy, thick, Texas-style French toast, accompanied by fresh berries and high quality syrup, this was a wonderful way to end our Las Vegas eating experiences this weekend.
Tommy brought us our food, and was more than kind. He’s worked at the Tropicana for 38 years, which is a testament not only to himself but to the resort. We are overwhelmingly happy with our stay, from the room to the service, and the food to the fun.
This is the inaugural post in our new category of Hospitality, where we share our tips and recommendations from our traveling experiences. Of course we will try to keep everything food-related since we’re about “enlightening minds, enriching palates.”
This weekend we are in Las Vegas for NASCAR racing, and we’re staying at the redesigned Tropicana. At the moment we are sitting in our beautiful club spa suite. There is a wet bar with a refrigerator and a Keurig machine, a modest sitting lounge, a dining table, and a half-bath in the main area, and behind a large sliding door is the sleeping area with a two-person spa, a combination shower and steam room, and a sauna. Our bathroom back at home would fit inside of the sauna. This is the place to stay if you’re looking for a relaxing, restful sanctuary above the Strip. We’re working on writing posts about breakfast and NASCAR fare, and thought we’d try room service.
Zach liked that the tortillas for this quesadilla plate weren’t average; they were a little thicker like home-made style. They might not have been home-made, but he could tell they definitely weren’t of corporate origin. The rotisserie chicken was flavorful, juicy, and succulent. There was a good amount of cheese, and Zach is “nearly 100% positive that there were green chilies” folded inside, as well. He says this is a “perfect little snack to tide you over for the few hours before dinnertime.”
Since we have a Keurig machine in the room, August wanted something sweet to go with a coffee as she powers through the rest of the day writing and sampling food. With chocolate butter-cream layers in between chocolate cake layers, chocolate ganache on top, and white chocolate crispies pressed into the side, this was a BFD – a big, flavorful delight!
Bobby brought us our table with the food and a couple of sodas. He was jovial, energetic, and very accommodating – could he open our drinks? adjust the table? uncover the food? The Tropicana is lucky to have employees like him, helping to make the guests’ stay above and beyond.