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#1 wineitup

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Posted 17 June 2005 - 11:24 AM

Going to Vegas in a few weeks. I already have reservations at Le Bouchon and Mesa Grill. Any place else I shouldn't miss?


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#2 JLK

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Posted 17 June 2005 - 11:26 AM

The breakfast/brunch buffet at Paris. Seriously.

Jennifer


#3 Woodleygrrl

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Posted 17 June 2005 - 12:19 PM

I adored Bradley Ogden's. I know you are planning on Mesa which is also in Caesars, but if you have the money to blow you really should not miss this place.

I second the Paris breakfast buffet. best anywhere.

edited 4 spellling

Edited by Woodleygrrl, 17 June 2005 - 12:20 PM.

Jennifer O- lawyer to the stars

#4 bilrus

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Posted 17 June 2005 - 12:28 PM

This is a post of mine (actaully a combination of two posts) from eG after my Las Vegas trip in November.

I just returned from a four day stay and had a few good and a few very good meals.

Sunday night we (my wife and I) went to Burger Bar in Mandalay Place. I really liked the concept (pick you meat and your toppings) although It wasn't as easy as you'd think picking out things that all worked together. That said, My wife had the Kobe beef burger with oyster mushrooms and carmelized onions and I had a lamb burger with feta, cucumbers, tomatoes and onions. Both were cooked a perfect (to our taste) medium. The sides of skinny fries and onion rings were hot and crispy as they should be.

Monday was Bradley Ogden. I was a little disappointed that the tasting menu was not a more formalized thing - the waiter needs to ask if it is available and then you aren't told in advance what to expect. So we opted for alacarte ordering. I had their signature blue cheese souffles and a pork tasting. The souffles were rich and airy and creamy with a subtle (as opposed to overpowering) blue chese taste. The pork tasting consisted of a pork filled pierogie over a sweet and sour cabbage, a pork stuffed cabbage roll and a large portion of seard pork tenderloin served over brussels sprouts. All very good and a very unusual combination. But this was one of the two or three best pork dishes I have had anywhere. My wife had a salad (it was ok, but a little boring) and a gnocchi dish (I don't remember the other indgredients). These were good, but a little heavier than the best gnocchi I've had. Desserts were standouts. My wife had an over the top dessert with a white truffle panna cotta, a cold chocolate soup and something else, while I had miniature cinammon coffe cakes with cinammon ice cream. This turned out to be a very good meal despite my disappointment about the tasting menu.

Tuesday was Lotus of Siam. In an atmosphere not much different from any other strip-maill Thai place, the food was a step up in terms of quality, although I didn't feel that it was so head and shoulders above some of the better places I have been to warrant consideration as the "Best Thai restaurant in America". That said, the sour sausage appetizer was phenomenal and the price was a welcome change from the strip. Our whole meal was $50 compared with $300 at Bradley Ogden.

Wednesday we went to Venetian to have a liesurely lunch at Bouchon, but we were disappointed to learn that they are only open for breakfast and dinner during the week. So we went to Pinot Brasserie and had a fine, but not particularly memorable lunch there.

Our final dinner was at Jasmine at the Bellagio. Lovely room with a nice view of the fountains. The food was mostly very good and the service was excellent. I ordered an entree that I understood to be a soft noodle dish, but it came out with a crisp tangle of noodles served over the top of a brothy soup. As soon as I mentioned my surprise to our waiter he offered to have the kitchen make me something different and returned with my dish re-worked into the best lo-mein style dish I have ever had. Desserts were very good - I had four mini-cremes brulee and my wife had something with bananas (which I can't stand, so I had no taste of this one)

All in all, we ate very well this week but came away a little disappointed. Maybe we picked the wrong places or maybe, like the rest of Las Vegas, the food looks better from a distance and doesn't quite live up to the expectations.  It wasn't that anything was terrible.  In fact, everything was very good but none of the meals were in my "Best Ever" category although Bradley Ogden was pretty close.

Plus, there are plenty of other things in Las Vegas to hold your interest.


Edited by bilrus, 17 June 2005 - 12:31 PM.

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#5 brian

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Posted 17 June 2005 - 12:42 PM

The best meal I had there last year was at craftsteak in the MGM Grand. There's no featured tasting menu, but when I inquired they whipped one up for $80/pp and it was superb, though I think we ended up with enough to feed six. I can't say I expected the best scallops I've ever had to be in Nevada.

#6 brian

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Posted 17 June 2005 - 12:45 PM

As a loose rule, expect most of the high end restaurants you find there to be comparable in food quality, larger in size, and priced about 25% higher than their east coast equivalents.

#7 MelGold

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Posted 17 June 2005 - 01:16 PM

My friends and I enjoyed FIX at the Bellagio...quite affordable and service was excellent.

I did the breakfast/lunch buffet at Bellagio and Paris - I'd go with Bellagio.

If you don't want to waist calories, skip cocktail food if you're having drinks at the Eiffle Tower restaurant. Didn't stay for dinner, but the small plates we got with cocktails that last night in town were not up to par with spectacular reviews I'd heard. The view was great though!

#8 zoramargolis

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Posted 17 June 2005 - 02:21 PM

I used to go to Vegas when I was a kid, in the late 50's and early 60's. The only food we ever ate was at $1 all-you-can-eat buffets, called Chuckwagons. I don't think there was much else there in those days, even if you were willing to pay a few dollars more.

#9 johnb

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Posted 17 June 2005 - 03:41 PM

Going to Vegas in a few weeks.  I already have reservations at Le Bouchon and Mesa Grill.  Any place else I shouldn't miss?


There is so much good food in LV it is hard to know where to begin. A few random thoughts:
Off the strip--Lotus of Siam, Rosemary's (both are must go to's)
Burgers--In-n-Out, Fatburger, Burger bar at (Mandalay I think)
Steaks--N9NE in the Palms, Craftsteak
Fine dining on the strip--Picasso, Renoir, Cirque, Bradley Ogden, il Mulino, lots of others, including new places at Wynn
Famous name places--Emeril's places, Commanders Palace, Carniege Deli, (BTW Mesa has been getting mixed reviews), many others
Buffet--Alladin, Bellagio, new place at Treasure Island
Places with great food AND great views--Mix at The Hotel, Alize at Palms
Luv-it custard

This is only a sample. I would suggest you go to Chowhounds Southwest Board and spend an hour--you will find much good information and varying takes on everything. Dave Feldman is an active poster there and his opinion is very reliable; also torta basilica.

Edited by johnb, 17 June 2005 - 06:30 PM.


#10 tanabutler

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Posted 17 June 2005 - 04:12 PM

As posted from my pre-"Legacy Participant" days:

In the May 11, 2005 San Francisco Chronicle, Michael Bauer writes about Las Vegas restaurants: "Going for Broke: Las Vegas has lured some of S.F.'s top restaurateurs, but is the gamble paying off for diners?" (that is a static link that should remain intact until the end of time). On Bradley Ogden:

"...at Bradley Ogden, the only thing you get without asking is the check. If attitude was an Olympic sport, this staff would win. Not only are they arrogant, they also don't know the menu. They never bother to describe a dish when they place it on the table; if you insist, they restate the obvious and leave quickly...


Pretty damning: that would pretty much keep me away permanently, as the worst thing to endure in a restaurant is stuffy or ungracious service.

Bauer didn't hit all the biggest/most expensive places, but these:

Fleur de Lys, Mandalay Bay Hotel
Nobhill, MGM Grand
Bradley Ogden, Caesars Palace
Burger Bar, Mandalay Place
Postrio, Venetian
Crustacean, Desert Passage in the Aladdin Hotel
Seablue, MGM Grand
Michael Mina, Bellagio
Bouchon, Venetian

---------

Also: another pre-Legacy report (with a few photos) of Lotus of Siam, where we eat every single time we go to Las Vegas, period.

Rosemary's

I love Canaletto at the Venetian, too. It's mid-priced: dinner for two with a couple of glasses of wine might be $75. Vito there is our favorite waiter ever. 100% Italian, 100% pro, and great fun. (For us, that is. YMMV.)

Also in the upper mid-price range is Ortanique in Paris: there is a steak with a gorgonzola-stout reduction that is jaw-droppingly good. Dinner for two with a couple of glasses of wine: $125. pre-tip. Adam is an excellent waiter there, if he happens to be working. His grandmother danced with Elvis!

We had a great lunch at Emeril's Fish House in the MGM Grand: the oyster po boys are fabulous. They are definitely huge enough to share one, if you're of a mind. Get an app and split the sandwich, or roll out the door.

We did Bouchon for breakfast, and the housemade preserves were as good as anything I've ever put in my mouth. It was lovely.

Have fun. Good luck!

Edited by tanabutler, 17 June 2005 - 04:41 PM.


#11 bilrus

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Posted 17 June 2005 - 04:37 PM

On Bradley Ogden:

"...at Bradley Ogden, the only thing you get without asking is the check. If attitude was an Olympic sport, this staff would win. Not only are they arrogant, they also don't know the menu. They never bother to describe a dish when they place it on the table; if you insist, they restate the obvious and leave quickly...


<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


I didn't find that when I was at Bradley Ogden. In fact one of the captains (I believe) had previously worked at Neyla and was very accomidating and friendly once he knew we were from DC. The rest of the staff was fine too.

That said, Tom Sietsema doesn't miss an opportunity to whack BO whenever he gets the chance in his discussions.
Bill Russell

#12 Woodleygrrl

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Posted 17 June 2005 - 04:42 PM

I didn't find that when I was at Bradley Ogden.  In fact one of the captains (I believe) had previously worked at Neyla and was very accomidating and friendly once he knew we were from DC.  The rest of the staff was fine too.

That said, Tom Sietsema doesn't miss an opportunity to whack BO whenever he gets the chance in his discussions.

Ditto. We pretty much had the back room to ourselves on a Wednesday night and the staff was completely accomodating and gracious.

I had a second thought about a place that I go to every time I am there (which is about 3 times a year): I adore the sushi place that is at Bellagio facing the fountains. I just wish that I could remember the damned name of the joint....

Also, I love the bar at Gallaghers at NY NY. They make the best Long Island Ice Tea that I have ever had in my life.
Jennifer O- lawyer to the stars

#13 Gary Tanigawa

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Posted 17 June 2005 - 06:06 PM

I've had good lunches at Delmonico (Venetian), Emeril's (MGM Grand), and Il Mulino (Caesar's Palace). Lots of places are not open for lunch so check. I will not return to Commander's Palace (Aladdin) because brunch was bad (food and service).

Eating at Bradley Ogden (bar by myself and at a table with family) showed some ambitious cooking (although not QPR). I liked the service but, as others have mentioned, there are a number of negative reports out there.

Shibuya (MGM Grand) was better than Nobu (Hard Rock) for Japanese fusion.

I also liked Valentino and Pinot Brasserie (both Venetian).

Wine lists at many LV places show a high markup, but Delmonico and Emeril's had interesting choices and modest markups.

Edited to add: Shintaro is probably the place in the Bellagio that Woodleygrrl mentioned. Have not been to Sensi but I've heard good things. Don't miss Jean-Philippe Patisserie which is also there.

Edited by Gary Tanigawa, 17 June 2005 - 06:11 PM.


#14 Twinklerin

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Posted 20 June 2005 - 02:44 PM

If you're willing to venture a bit off the strip, I would highly recommend Quinta Belina on Flamingo. It's tucked into a strip mall and not much in the ambiance department, but the food is delicious Mexican. My favorite dishes were the squash blossom quesadilla (amazing), the spicy appetizer meatballs and the churros.

If you stay on the strip, I am a huge fan of Prime in the Bellagio and of Bouchon in the Venetian for breakfast. Enjoy your trip!

#15 Pete

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Posted 22 June 2005 - 08:46 AM

I would definitely recommend Burger Bar over in Mandalay Place. When I was in Vegas back in April, we went there twice in 3 days. Both the lamb burger and the Kobe beef burger were fantastic! They also make good milkshakes. A few doors down from Burger Bar is 55 Degrees Wine Bar, which is a wine store and wine bar. Most of the wines are way overpriced, but the bar is a pretty cool place to grab a glass of wine.

If you like sushi, I would recommend Sushi Roku over in Caesar's Palace. We stumbled upon it on our last night in Vegas and had a wonderful meal there.

We had a disappointing meal at Piccasso over in the Bellagio. While the wine service was terrific, the food was over-salted and the portions were very small. Not worth the $$ if you ask me.

Lisa: Do we have any food that wasn't brutally slaughtered?
Homer: Well, I think the veal died of loneliness.


#16 Joe H

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Posted 19 August 2005 - 09:49 PM

According to Zagat the highest food rating of any restaurant in Las Vegas is In 'n Out Burger with28 points. Here is the link for proof of this remarkable statement:

http://www.zagat.com...167399)|0&VID=8

Nobu also has a 28 food rating with Bradley Ogden, Le Cirque, Lotus of Siam (a local legend; ambience at In 'n Out is rated HIGHER!), Malibu Chan's, Michael Mina's, Picasso, Prime, Rosemary's and the N9ne Steakhouse all tied with 27 points.

This is the 2004 Best of Las Vegas from the Las Vegas Review Journal:

http://www.reviewjou.../bestoflv/2004/

Yes, they list In 'n Out as the best hamburger in Vegas. Most of their choices are local, by the way.

This is an essay that I wrote about In 'n Out which attracted a lot of attention on Chowhound, "The 5,000 Mile Hamburger:"

http://www.chowhound...ages/64210.html

If you go (the closest is one block off of the strip and is the highest grossing of any location in their 175+ unit chain) order a "double double with grilled onions animal style." Or a 4 X 4 animal style if you're really hungry. And a Neopolitan shake.

#17 liam

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Posted 20 August 2005 - 12:13 AM

We did Bouchon for breakfast, and the housemade preserves were as good as anything I've ever put in my mouth. It was lovely.

I had dinner in the bistro section at Bouchon back in late April. The price are much more reasonable than the restaurant itself. I highly recommend the bowl of mussels. They provide plenty of bread with which to sop up every last bit of broth!

#18 StephenB

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Posted 20 August 2005 - 08:01 AM

The best price-quality ratio I've found in 15-20 LV trips is at the Circus Circus Steakhouse. The problem is getting through the madness of that hotel's lobby.
--What say you to a piece of beef and mustard?
--Why then the beef, and let the mustard rest.
--Nay, then I will not; you shall have the mustard,
Or else you get no beef of Grumio.
--Why then the mustard without the beef.
_________________Taming of the Shrew

Conscience freed from every clog,
Mahometans eat up the hog.
________________ William Cowper, 1779

#19 johnb

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Posted 20 August 2005 - 08:13 AM

The best price-quality ratio I've found in 15-20 LV trips is at the Circus Circus Steakhouse.  The problem is getting through the madness of that hotel's lobby.


Stephen
I'm surprised a man of your breeding and culture would be caught dead at Circus Circus, good value or no (I have a hard time seeing CC as a CH-style hole-in-the-wall and therefore an acceptible eatery, but maybe that's my hangup).

As for Joe's comments on In-N-Out, I would add that one should order fries well-done!

Alex at the Wynn is getting buzz now to the effect it may have usurped Picasso's place as the #1 fine dining spot in town. Of course Zagat wouldn't show that yet in any event. And whether it's rating will rise to the In-N-Out level, we shall see--perhaps that's too much to hope for. I plan to dine there in November and will report. Of course, anybody's comments about it would be appreciated.

Edited by johnb, 20 August 2005 - 08:20 AM.


#20 Joe H

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Posted 20 August 2005 - 10:59 AM

John, we go in early October for a trade show. We will go to Alex along with Lotus of Siam (called "The best Thai restaurant in America" by Gourmet magazine; Dave Feldman who came down from New York for our Maestro dinner was taken there by some West Coast people; "Vital Information" from the Chicago board also raved about it ((I believe he is on Chicago's new board now))-but I trust both of their opinions. There's a lot of stuff on the internet that you can link to for this place.), Rosemary's (called the "best gourmet restaurant in Las Vegas" by readers of the Las Vegas Review-Sun (of course this is really a popularity contest, still....; but go to the original which is 15 minutes off of the strip NOT the new location at the Rio. There's a lot on this place that you'll find including lengthy reviews from Frommer's and an interesting website for it) and a fourth restaurant which I haven't decided yet.

I am prioritizing restaurants which have RESIDENT CHEFS. The fact that Steve Wynn opened Wynn's and promotes/advertises this speaks volumes for me. Especially in combination with a number of restaurants there that I have been to. Emeril's, Aqua, Valentino and a bunch of others were not as good as their originals; good, but not AS good. The people that I went with enjoyed them but none had been to the original's. I have and, for me, they were a step down. I should note that at Aqua the chef had moved from San Francisco but I liked it more there. It's possible the food was as good but I just preferred it more in SF. I do not believe any of the Emeril's anywhere now are as good as he was in the mid 90's in NOLA. We had three dinners there in a row with him in the kitchen and it was fantastic. A return visit two years ago showed that it was still excellent but there was just something missing. I think it was him. I think this would be like going to the Lab and the food being as good but Roberto not being there.

#21 johnb

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Posted 20 August 2005 - 12:10 PM

John, we go in early October for a trade show.  We will go to Alex along with Lotus of Siam (called "The best Thai restaurant in America" by Gourmet magazine; Dave Feldman who came down from New York for our Maestro dinner was taken there by some West Coast people; "Vital Information" from the Chicago board also raved about it ((I believe he is on Chicago's new board now))-but I trust both of their opinions.  There's a lot of stuff on the internet that you can link to for this place.), Rosemary's (called the "best gourmet restaurant in Las Vegas" by readers of the Las Vegas Review-Sun (of course this is really a popularity contest, still....; but go to the original which is 15 minutes off of the strip NOT the new location at the Rio.  There's a lot on this place that you'll find including lengthy reviews from Frommer's and an interesting website for it) and a fourth restaurant which I haven't decided yet. 

I am prioritizing restaurants which have RESIDENT CHEFS.  The fact that Steve Wynn opened Wynn's and promotes/advertises this speaks volumes for me.  Especially in combination with a number of restaurants there that I have been to.  Emeril's, Aqua, Valentino and a bunch of others were not as good as their originals; good, but not AS good.  The people that I went with enjoyed them but none had been to the original's.  I have and, for me, they were a step down.  I should note that at Aqua the chef had moved from San Francisco but I liked it more there.  It's possible the food was as good but I just preferred it more in SF. I do not believe any of the Emeril's anywhere now are as good as he was in the mid 90's in NOLA.  We had three dinners there in a row with him in the kitchen and it was fantastic.  A return visit two years ago showed that it was still excellent but there was just something missing.  I think it was him.  I think this would be like going to the Lab and the food being as good but Roberto not being there.


I'll be very interested to hear your impressions. I have been to LOS (as everyone calls it for shorthand) and it is great. I can tell you Dave Feldman is its biggest booster on the SW board of CH---he's probably brought more business into LOS than you've brought to Maestro and Lab combined, well, maybe not that much but a lot. Be sure to add Luv-it Custard to your to do list.

In addition to LOS, I'm also planning on Rosemary's and of course Alex. Do you plan to go to Il Mulino?

Speaking of New Orleans, if we could only get Tony Uglesich to open a place in LV, or better yet DC....... Actually, I spoke to him at length when he was in town and tried to convince him to buy a piece of retirement property near mine in NC, and he seemed interested Wouldn't that be a coup!

#22 Joe H

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Posted 20 August 2005 - 12:58 PM

I had some friends who were in the Highlands, NC a few weeks ago and they loved it. I think you chose well!!!

I don't think Il Mulino would be the same in Vegas as it is in New York. Definitely go to Luv-it. TAlso good to hear that you like LOS also. Thanks.

#23 StephenB

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Posted 20 August 2005 - 03:18 PM

<<I'm surprised a man of your breeding and culture would be caught dead at Circus Circus, good value or no>>

I haven't been caught dead there, or anywhere else, so far, thank you. But your comment goes to the root of what I consider the Las Vegas game. As one who has been a regular there (for computer and electronics shows) since 1982, I caught on some time ago that the idea is to let the gamblers pay, in significant part, for your stay. The "gaming" is why there are so many bargains in food and hostelry. Sure, there are lots of restaurants set up for people who have just won or lost half a million bucks and to whom another grand is trivial. But if you go along with that plan, you're as thick as the high-rollers are. For breakfast, I go to one of the buffets that Zora talked about. For lunch, I graciously accept the hospitality of one of the exhibitors. There are generally show-sponsored receptions in the evening with serious sushi and shrimp, and of course an open bar For dinner, I seek out steak, Brazilian, seafood -- places, often off the Strip, that don't depend entirely on frantic, inebriated tourists. The Circus Circus Steakhouse fits that category. It is an oasis of class in a sea of crass.

If anyone is open to further ruminations along these lines, I can provide an article I wrote for Publishers Weekly when the booksellers convened in Las Vegas. Taxi drivers told me that the book people were almost as cheap as the computer people, but not quite. My guys, both.
--What say you to a piece of beef and mustard?
--Why then the beef, and let the mustard rest.
--Nay, then I will not; you shall have the mustard,
Or else you get no beef of Grumio.
--Why then the mustard without the beef.
_________________Taming of the Shrew

Conscience freed from every clog,
Mahometans eat up the hog.
________________ William Cowper, 1779

#24 johnb

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Posted 20 August 2005 - 09:58 PM

<<I'm surprised a man of your breeding and culture would be caught dead at Circus Circus, good value or no>>

It is an oasis of class in a sea of crass. 

If anyone is open to further ruminations along these lines, I can provide an article I wrote for Publishers Weekly when the booksellers convened in Las Vegas.  Taxi drivers told me that the book people were almost as cheap as the computer people, but not quite.  My guys, both.

You're such a poet and I didn't know it!

By all means, provide us your article. And here I thought the best lowbrow steak deal was that never-ending special at Binion's! Talk about gambler subsidized! But isn't your strategy a bit dated, in the sense that LV has morphed quite a bit and now the really fine restaurants are profit centers? I know there are still deals around at a "certain" level, but, assuming you want them, that won't get you meals at the level of Picasso, Alex, N9ne, etc. etc. (unless of course you're a whale, which Janet's slot playing is definitely not going to qualify us for).

Of course there's always LOS, Rosemary's, In-N-Out, and others who don't fit in to the strange economics out there.

#25 StephenB

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Posted 21 August 2005 - 09:57 AM

By all means, provide us your article.  And here I thought the best lowbrow steak deal was that never-ending special at Binion's!  Talk about gambler subsidized!  But isn't your strategy a bit dated, in the sense that LV has morphed quite a bit and now the really fine restaurants are profit centers?

John,

I'm afraid I don't have the article computerized. I can bring a hard copy when I see you later this week. Or I can fax it. Binion's is a good deal, but the quality of the beef doesn't match Circus Circus, believe it or not. The CC Steakhouse is a dress-up place in several senses. Finally, I have to admit that your point about outdated strategy is correct, or at least moving in that direction. My philosophy was formed during a different LV era. It's still workable, but barely.
--What say you to a piece of beef and mustard?
--Why then the beef, and let the mustard rest.
--Nay, then I will not; you shall have the mustard,
Or else you get no beef of Grumio.
--Why then the mustard without the beef.
_________________Taming of the Shrew

Conscience freed from every clog,
Mahometans eat up the hog.
________________ William Cowper, 1779

#26 johnb

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Posted 21 August 2005 - 05:25 PM

John,

I'm afraid I don't have the article computerized.  I can bring a hard copy when I see you later this week.  Or I can fax it.  Binion's is a good deal, but the quality of the beef doesn't match Circus Circus, believe it or not.  The CC Steakhouse is a dress-up place in several senses.  Finally, I have to admit that your point about outdated strategy is correct, or at least moving in that direction.  My philosophy was formed during a different LV era.  It's still workable, but barely.


Well I'm still workable but barely, so I understand (LOL)

Bring a photocopy if its convenient. That would be great.

#27 zzrhino

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Posted 26 August 2005 - 01:58 PM

mmmm Vegas....

Living near there, I've had a chance to try lots of places, unfortunately my budget is usually closer to the In 'n Out than the Bellagio. However I have to admit only one visit to the burger chain, preferring typically to grab a couple papusas at a little spot over on Valley View and Desert Inn.

But having listened to other hardened foodies chat, I will offer a couple second hand recommendations, independents not on the Strip, so a car is needed.

Andre Rouchet [sp] is one of the top local chefs. Although he has opened two branches in Strip hotels, many feel his original restaurant downtown has the most consistency in cooking and comfortable ambience. Another place that attracts local chefs on their days off is the Tillerman. Old school steak lovers trek out to North Las Vegas for a steak at Bob Taylor's Ranch House. Italian afficianados tend toward the Bootlegger Bistro at LV Blvd/Highway 160, or Chicago Joe's downtown.

#28 liam

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Posted 31 August 2005 - 09:02 PM

I had dinner in the bistro section at Bouchon back in late April. The price are much more reasonable than the restaurant itself. I highly recommend the bowl of mussels. They provide plenty of bread with which to sop up every last bit of broth!

The September edition of Bob Appetit includes Bouchon's mussels recipe. It also includes a heart-renching feature on New Orleans restaurants. God, I hope those places survive. :lol:

The September articles are not online yet, but here's a link to that issue's table of contents--Bon Appetit: http://www.epicuriou...appetit/toc/toc

#29 cjsadler

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Posted 01 September 2005 - 10:06 AM

I'll be out there for a bachelor party in Oct. Anyone been to Simon Kitchen (in the Hard Rock, which makes me leery)? After I saw Kerry Simon with M. Bittman on his PBS show, I'm curious about this place.

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#30 bilrus

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Posted 01 September 2005 - 10:22 AM

I'll be out there for a bachelor party in Oct.  Anyone been to Simon Kitchen (in the Hard Rock, which makes me leery)?  After I saw Kerry Simon with M. Bittman on his PBS show, I'm curious about this place.

I wondered the same thing after seeing him on Iron Chef.

I wouldn't be too leery about the Hard Rock. I actually like the casino (although I've not eaten there). It has a different vibe and the average age of the clinetele is about 20 years younger than most of the other casinos. And on the whole it isn't as cheesy as many other hotels there or the Hard Rock Cafes for that matter.
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#31 zzrhino

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Posted 01 September 2005 - 10:30 AM

Hard Rock-
Never eaten at Simon's place there, but Lucky's Diner has a reputation of being one of the best classis diner's in that part of vegas. Two items in particular draw praise, the milkshakes and the chicken noodle soup. Oh, and the waitresses. :lol:

#32 Joe H

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Posted 09 October 2005 - 08:37 PM

When Steve Wynn opened his $3 billion dollar hotel resort and chose a chef who was relatively unknown for his signature restaurant, for me, this made a huge statement about Vegas restaurants. Essentially many of the world's great chefs have cashed in by lending their names to Vegas eateries who flog their names but, in truth, not their food. Or cuisine. Robuchon, Ducasse, Keller, Commander's Palace, Lutece, Aqua, Valentino, Il Mulino: they are all there. In name.

This past week my wife joined me on an eating binge in Vegas that coincided with a trade show that I exhibited at. The highlight of the week, area 51 and Cat houses aside, was dinner on Wednesday evening at Alex considered by many to be Vegas' best restaurant. It does not have a chef whose name anyone would recognize. It does have for this hotel which aspires to be one of the world's best (and prices itself appropriately) service to match the best I have experienced anywhere.

This includes a stool for a woman's purse.

Alex is a luxuriously masculine restaurant with a dramatic staircase entrance to its ninety seats, flanking either side of a banquette which bisects the subtly opulent room. Teams of servants (NOT service, NOT waitstaff but "servants") do everything in their power to assure that diners who pony up to the $145 prix fixe six course dinner will leave with a smile. The wine list is worthy of most of D. C.'s best with inconsistent markups allowing a few genuine bargains (i.e. Marquis Phillips 9 for $70) as well as genuine investment ('98 Dal Forno Amarone $898).

The food does not live up to the room or the ambience or the service. I could not help but feel that it begged comparisons to both Citronelle and Maestro here and a dozen or more restaurants which I've been to over the years in Europe. Simply, Citronelle, Maestro, Laboratorio and The Inn at Little Washington are better for what is presented on the plate. Maestro, the Lab and Citronelle, the Inn at its best, are MUCH better for the taste and texture of that. In fact at both the Lab and Maestro we thought we had eaten at least twice as much as we did at Alex, almost all of which we preferred.

I did not take notes on this dinner. Unlike three hour + experiences at Maestro, Lab and Citronelle this was not one of them. The dining room was about two thirds filled and we were in 'n out in less than two hours. Six courses + an amuse + chocolates for our room. Five hundred dollars later, in the room, I wondered if this had been worth it. I decided, yes, that after ten or more years of searching for a decent meal in Vegas-relative to price-I had now experienced what was considered by most to be the city's best.

And it was a distant second to here.

Opulent indulgence (stay at the Venetian-parts of Wynn are genuinely tacky although La Reve ((their show)) is phenominal), hovering servants who provide everything to diners and do everything in their power to make those at their table feel powerful still do not compensate for what is a very good meal. But not a great meal.

I would also note that the In 'n Out 'n Burger across the Interstate is not as good as others, even those in nearby Henderson which provided the best meal of our trip. A double double with extra spread and pickles and grilled onion along with "well done" fries and a Neopolitan shake was confirmed on two visits as the best caloric investment of our trip. We agreed that on our next visit to Vegas we would have one less meal on the Strip and one more dinner at In 'n Out-away from the Strip.

http://www.chowhound...ages/64210.html for a description of an In 'n Out experience.

Edited by Joe H, 09 October 2005 - 08:42 PM.


#33 cjsadler

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Posted 10 October 2005 - 12:33 PM

Talked my non-food interested fellow bachelors into eating at Simon Kitchen. The menu seems dull (steaks, pizzas, meatloaf, a chicken dish, a salmon dish, etc), but most things I had a taste of were very well prepared. The beef carpaccio pizza was excellent-- good quality beef, crisp crust, and topped with a bit of argula and truffle oil (which really worked here). My tandoori salmon, which seems to be one of his signature dishes, lacked flavor, though-- it just tasted like a plain piece of salmon. I think we all agreed that the best thing was a large side order of tempura vegetables that was perfectly fried. The place was so damn dark, though, that I often had a hard time getting a good look at what I was eating. Kerry Simon was there at the pass, alternately working and talking with customers. So I guess there's at least one 'name' chef who still works at his Vegas place.

The Burger Bar at Mandalay Bay is definitely worth a stop, especially if you've lost a ton of money at blackjack. The Kobe/Waygu beef wasn't worth it, though. I thought the Hereford burger was better at half the price. Really interesting selection of toppings, including beet pickles, half a lobster, shrimp, etc...

Chris Sadler


#34 MissCindy

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Posted 12 October 2005 - 04:34 PM

I don't think Il Mulino would be the same in Vegas as it is in New York.

Have to agree with that. My husband and I once had dinner at Il Mulino and became totally transfixed by the table next to us. Two big, middle aged guys with slicked back hair and super thick gold chains with their two bleached blonde puffy hair, middle aged dates. One of the guys, in the thickest, nastiest New York accent you can imagine, at full volume, attempted to impress his date by insisting that he had recently had surgery without anesthesia. "I don't need no fucking anesthesia, doc." Highly entertaining.

#35 lackadaisi

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Posted 16 October 2005 - 01:04 PM

I am finally going to Vegas for the first time for four nights over New Years. We are staying at Paris, so we intend to do the buffet breakfast there. We also have reservations at Mix. What else should we not miss? The big problem is what to do on New Year's Eve itself. Should we just do In-and-Out burger and avoid all the overpriced crappy food served on such holidays? Or is there a good option? We are celebrating both my birthday (New Year's Eve) and our anniversary (actually the day before Christmas, but we will be spending that with the in-laws and celbrating later), so we want to try to have a great, celebratory time. But, we don't want to return completely broke - I know, Mix is not a great start to that goal, but hey, why not?

Does anyone have any recommendation? For food or non-food actually. Thank you.

"Well, it's business drunk. It's like rich drunk, either way it's legal to drive."-Jack Donaghy


#36 bilrus

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Posted 16 October 2005 - 02:14 PM

My favorite "not-so-cheap" suggestion from my trip last year in Burger Bar at Mandalay Place as cjsadler mentioned a few posts up.
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#37 tastedc

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Posted 17 October 2005 - 07:17 AM

There is not a single restaurant in Las Vegas that is as good as
the restaurant that its celebrity chef gained his/her reputation at.

According to a wine importer I met at the Aspen F&W Fest in 2004, the
average turn of a Vegas dinner table is something like 90 minutes or less
at fine dining establishments vs. 2 hours or more in other cities...the importer
said it was related to why people are in Vegas, they primarily go to be
entertained elsewhere especially gambling at the casinos.

Also a friend in the catering business recently left to take a $150K/year
Maitre D' job at a Vegas restaurant, and he left after 3 months - he felt
that the pressure to give VIP treatment to High-Rollers and other
"dignitaries" far outweighed the importance of quality food!

#38 johnb

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Posted 17 October 2005 - 08:33 PM

Also a friend in the catering business recently left to take a $150K/year
Maitre D' job at a Vegas restaurant, and he left after 3 months - he felt
that the pressure to give VIP treatment to High-Rollers and other
"dignitaries" far outweighed the importance of quality food!

Where, specifically, did he work, and was his opinion based on that experience alone or is it something he feels is more general around town?

I have eaten several great meals in upper-end places in LV and never felt "high-roller pressure" was creating any problem for my experience--and I'm not only a low roller, I'm a non-roller.

#39 JLK

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Posted 26 October 2005 - 12:53 PM

Vegas' High Stakes Tables (NY Times)

Jennifer


#40 Joe H

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Posted 26 October 2005 - 10:47 PM

Apple has a great deal of credibility. This is personally especially frustrating since I ate at Robuchon in the mid '90's as well as his L'Atalier only a week after it opened. Two weeks ago my wife and I were in Vegas.....and went to Alex thinking that Robuchon at Caesar's would be a North American version of L'Atalier.
Still, I would like to console myself with Apple's curiously restrictive comment about "this continent."

John? Are you going to Robuchon in a month?

I cannot tell you how jealous I am!!!

#41 jjshyne

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Posted 27 October 2005 - 10:33 AM

For Buffets I love to go to Mandalay Bay or Bellagio-Champagne Brunch.
Never been to the Paris breakfast buffet, but their regular lunch/dinner buffet wasn't very impressive to me.

Picasso at the Bellagio is really nice. The food was really good and the chef was very personable. I would say the type of cuisine is modern French. It's a beautiful place because it is right in front of the fountain show and their are some original Picasso pieces in the Restaurant. Expect to pay at least $100 per person.

There's an In'n Out towards the direction of Palms!
--jen

#42 johnb

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Posted 27 October 2005 - 10:53 AM

Apple has a great deal of credibility.  This is personally especially frustrating since I ate at Robuchon in the mid '90's as well as his L'Atalier only a week after it opened.  Two weeks ago my wife and I were in Vegas.....and went to Alex thinking that Robuchon at Caesar's would be a North American version of L'Atalier.
Still, I would like to console myself with Apple's curiously restrictive comment about "this continent." 

John?  Are you going to Robuchon in a month?

I cannot tell you how jealous I am!!!

Yes, I was debating L'Atalier vs. the Mansion in my mind for about a week but finally decided to throw caution to the winds and go all the way. We will be dining at Alex Tuesday night and the Robuchon at the Mansion on Wed. night. It will be an interesting comparison. Maybe we'll slip L'Atalier in there somewhere as well! Then we'll have T'giving dinner at Alize on Thursday. My stomach is already groaning at the thought of all that eating, since I'm also hoping for Rosemary's, Burger Bar, at least one buffet (Craving at Mirage??), maybe Seablue, Bouchon, oh Lord!, and now the friends we are going with have told us they are going to get married while we're there, so we'll have to make a side trip to Freed's for some wedding cake....groan. We may all end up in some ditch off Koval wretching our insides out. Can't wait.

#43 Joe H

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Posted 27 October 2005 - 07:34 PM

You should really scrap the Burger Bar in favor of a 4 X 4 Animal Style at In 'n Out.

#44 johnb

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Posted 28 October 2005 - 07:51 AM

You should really scrap the Burger Bar in favor of a 4 X 4 Animal Style at In 'n Out.

I've been mulling that over. But I've already done I-n-O (admittedly at the Industrial Road location not one of the ones in Henderson) but we'll see. I do want to try the fries well done animal style which I've never had. Hmmmm. I also want to try a Fatburger one of these days. May just have to plan another trip next Spring (after all, what's 5,000 miles in search of a good burger!).

My sister is a big big proponent of I-n-O and I had my first ones in LA many years ago, even before I had ever heard of food boards. No doubting it is good. Now I also have to try an Elevation burger. BTW my only exprience at Culver's (southern Indiana) was only so-so, but that location is a long way from Milwaukee. I will definitely say A&W's cheese curds are way better than Culver's in my experience. I recommend A&W cheese curds anytime one can get some.

There's just no end to it is there!

#45 bilrus

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Posted 28 October 2005 - 08:19 AM

I prefer Fatburger to In n' Out (I really don't see what the fascination is with that place). But Burger Bar is a different thing. Ask yourself - are you looking for a Palena burger or Five Guys?

If you want (admittedly pretty good) fast-food burgers go to In n' Out or Fatburger.

If you want a cooked to order burger with unique meats and toppings (I made one with lamb, cucumbers, tomatoes and feta) then go to Burger Bar.

Edited by bilrus, 28 October 2005 - 08:20 AM.

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#46 Joe H

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Posted 28 October 2005 - 10:57 PM

In three visits to Industrial road including several weeks ago I've left In 'n Out disappointed. On the last trip my wife was with me and we just felt that whoever was on one of their three grills just didn't care. The next day we stopped in Henderson and it was so good I wanted to go back in and get another double double for dessert. But again: you must get a double double with grilled onions and extra spread. Animal style is this plus a swab of mustard. There's something about the way that spread, cheese and grilled onions come together with ground chuck that is just ambrosial.

When properly grilled and assembled.

Fat Burger in Redondo Beach was excellent. Excellent! But I've run into some real inconsistency in other outposts.

#47 Giancarlo Buonarotti

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Posted 30 October 2005 - 05:12 PM

I adored Bradley Ogden's.  I know you are planning on Mesa which is also in Caesars, but if you have the money to blow you really should not miss this place.

I second the Paris breakfast buffet.  best anywhere.

edited 4 spellling



try PHO SO 1 on Spring Mountain past the Vegas version of China Town, order the barbeque beef and shrimp at the table. you will not be disappointed and it sure beats the usual Vegas Hype on copies.

#48 Joe H

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Posted 30 October 2005 - 08:54 PM

Perhaps only Las Vegas could have this: a thirty minute television show at midnight from the world's best car salesman. Serious. His name is Chopper and he owns a dealership called Towbin Dodge in Henderson. For anyone who suspects that once again I'm indulging in hyperbole this is the link to watch the actual 30 minute weekly broadcast:

http://www.chopperca...hoppershow.html

I sat up watching this show one night, not believing that I was watching someone sell cars! He's entertaining, really entertaining. And funny. And he gets away with a LOT of stuff that would never work here or most anywhere else. Before you dismiss this give the show five minutes.

#49 Camille-Beau

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Posted 31 October 2005 - 02:46 PM

Perhaps only Las Vegas could have this: a thirty minute television show at midnight from the world's best car salesman....  Before you dismiss this give the show five minutes.

This just reminded me of why I hate buying cars. Can't imaging making such a large purchase from a guy who reminds me of "Crazy Eddie"

Edited by Camille-Beau, 31 October 2005 - 02:47 PM.

"If God did not intend for us to eat animals, then why did he make them out of meat?" -- John Cleese

"And the people did rejoice and did feast upon the lambs and toads and tree-sloths and fruit-bats and orangutans and breakfast cereals ..."

#50 FunnyJohn

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Posted 17 November 2005 - 11:39 AM

Taking advantage of my 36 hours in Las Vegas earlier this week, I booked a reservation at Valentino (inside the Venetian). The best thing about this establishment is it's wine list -- as thick as a phone book with page after page of regional Italian and other wines. Unfortunately, due to my lack of adjustment to the time change and plain old fatigue, I was unable to take full advantage of the dining opportunity. I ordered three courses but could only manage a bite or two of the 2nd and 3rd. Did finish off a bottle of something spicy recommended by the sommelier -- I think it was a lamborghini from Puglia.
Started with a special carrot bisque with a generous clump of crabmeat -- flavored with dill -- quite delicious. Followed by another special, a pasta dish, -- penne with baby shrimp and brocoli, or perhaps brocoli rabe. Wasn't two impressed with this one, came with a light tomato sauce that just didn't complement the other ingredients. Finished with beef barolo, featuring kobe beef :lol: . Why they would use a type of meat that shines when it is served rare in a dish that is braised and where any cheaper cut of meat would have come out the same, beats me. Had to pass on the desserts which looked fabulous.

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