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Posts posted by hemingway

  1. Bryan,

    It took till my mid 20's to get on the three star road so it is exciting to see you are on your journey earlier. And since you have been to such places like Pierre Gagnaire and L'Astranie I am sure you want to see if there as places that can equal or surpass those experiences.

    And realizing your budget factor here are my thoughts. Get to both Savoy and Robuchon. If you can get your tab paid at L'Atelier, by all means do that because you still can try those 10 Joel dishes and it is a more fun place than a formal one. I have been to the formal restaurant next door and the experience was great but not worth three times the L'Atelier price.

    Then get to Savoy for what you can afford, either the TGV or the bigger menu. I say forget a couple of blackjack hands and try the big menu there. Savoy is as about cutting edge as you can find now.

    Your research about Alex is good. He is almost there as an enjoyable experience but the tasting menu with wine is $325.I have had the tasting menu there once but would rather go to Savoy and Robuchon if it was my first time in Vegas.

    A very big bargin is the Picasso meal and wine parings. I have dined there a half dozen times with excellent results

  2. I thought I would weigh in on some of my local favorites and answer some of the questions presented in this thread.

    Aurora--Chef Avner Samuel plays to the money crowd and does pay close attention to his regular diners. But all I can say is every meal I have had there has been outstanding. What he is really good at is copying exactly dishes from three star restaurants in Europe. He gets it exactly right and even though his restaurant is in a strip mall, you will think you are in Paris. If you want a special tasting menu of such dishes, just call the restaurant a couple of says inadvance and it can happen to you. Well worth the effort. The regular menu is well thought out as well.

    Mansion--Well I can look out my office window and see the Mansion and have been there many times. And I always loved Dean Fearings cusine until he left last year. I am anxious to try his near restaurant at the Ritz when it opens later this year.

    However I am very happy with the new chef, John Tesar. I like the menu changes he has made and have had great meals since he arrived. On June 4 of this year the restaurant and bar area is getting major changes. A $20 million face lift is in the works that will be done by early fall. The dining room meals have been moved to the middle area that is between the hotel and restaurant in the meantime. I am excited about the changes and will report on things when completed.

    62 Main Street--My favorite restaurant in the area, 10 minutes west of DFWairport in Colleyville. The chef/owner is David McMillian, who was at the reins when Nana was at its peak and left to open his own non corporate place. His restaurant is more a Napa Valley casual elegant place right here in DFW. I call it our own French Laundry. McMillian is from Northern California and and early job of his was at Chez Panisse. I don't go here for little tasting portions but regular, well thought out apps and main courses. His bar next door is a perfect place to begin and end an evening as well.

    French Room--The food is top notch and always exact there. You always know what to expect and it is five star quality. Dont expect any David Burke dishes to make the menu. It is a very formal elegant room and you feel you are eating in some Eastern Europeean orante Palace. But there is a time and place for all that and the French room is in my rotation even though I prefer the casual upscale feeling of 62 Main.

    I thought Mr. Miller's comments were right on for Lola and York Street but I will add a few thoughts.

    York Street--It is not a stretch to say you go there for the cooking and not the surroundings or interior. And that is fine by me. I will eat a meal there any day and love Sharon's concept. It is a small room, the tables are close together, the menu changes often and there are not dozen of choices--but the choices you do have are well thought out and I wish I could try them all. I could eat here every week

    Lola--I can't add much to Miller'scomments. He is got it right and I can see why it is his favoirte place. The food, wine and setting is hard to beat.

    Bijoux-Chef Scott Gottlich used to be in charge at Lola and many of the concepts threre are transfered to his new place. He is right in the middle of the Highland Park money crowd and I think the room there is trying to be more formal than Lola without beeing too fussy.He also was at Le Bernardin in New York which I love and his menu reflects many thought out ideas. My two tasting meals there have been very good. But to tell you the truth, I am not as comfortable there as in other places. I think he is trying to give the "money crowd" what he thinks they want in a top of the line place. But the place is new and maybe they are just figuring it out. This is not a knock on his food but probably reflects my own personal taste.

    Mia's/Mannys--Two establishments run by different people from the same family.

    Great Mexican and the tacos mentioned earlier are great. It is a place I frequent often for lunch.

  3. I would really like to do Guy Savoy but am feeling apprehensive about the cost (we are not just spending money on food... there are show tickets, gambling, drinking, and spa treatments to be paid for). I know there's a cheaper TGV menu, but how much are the other tasting menus?

    I viewed the menus and prices at a few other places while I was in Las Vegas in May. I remember the tasting menu at Alex at the Wynn was about $175 without wines, the tasting menu at Michael Mina (seafood) at Bellagio was in the same range as was the tasting menu at Picasso at Bellagio. Of course if you add in the wines that are paired with each course it raises the ante by up to $75 or so.

    You might want to try Bradley Ogden at Caesar's. I think you could have an appetizer, entree, dessert and a few glasses of wine for around $125.

    One drawback to Las Vegas is that the fine dining restaurants have all gotten very expensive.

    I should clarify my question -- how much are the tasting menus at Guy Savoy? Thanks David!

    I just found this forum and am excited to participate. As an introduction, I have had meals in 14 3 star establishments starting in 1984 at Girardet when I was still in my 20's. Many of my trips evolve around where I eat. Money and value do matter to me because I have a budget but when I go to Vegas I will spend it at restaurants instead of the tables. I have been to Vegas over 20 times so here are some of my thoughts.

    In the old days you would go to a steak house or when the Forum shops opened Spago was about as good as thing could get. When Bellagio opened Michael Mina/Aqua and Picasso became my favorites along with Renoir at the Mirage. I loved seafood and would do a tasting menu with Mina every time. Picasso also was a good value, especially with the wine parings. Renoir was great as well but now that Alex Strata has his own place at the Wynn it is less formal and the entire experience has moved up a notch.

    Now that there are over 20 super star chefs there are choices to be made and these discussion threads sure help. I especially like the detailed photos some posters use in their reviews. Between the words and photos, we certainly can get an exact idea of what the experience might be like. Here are brief summaries of some places I have been.

    Robuchon--Freddy Girardet and Joel Robuchon in many peoples minds had battled it out for best chef in the world that last 25 years. Since I had been to Girardet, I was anxious to try Robuchon. So last year I made it to the Mansion. My dining partner was not so much a foodie so we tried the smaller tasting menue when it was $165 and 9 courses instead of the six courses they do now with the smaller menu. I thought the setting and decor was elegant and inviting. The food and service was great and we were treated the same as other diners who were having everything including a table of eight food writers nearby. It was formal but not stuffy service, which is the case in many three star places but they were were even helpful in substituiting a dish in the smaller menu we ordered. It was an outstanding meal and I would certainly go there again. The thing I like about here and some of the very best tasting menus is just seeing what they do with ingredieants, flavours, textures and combinations.

    Guy Savoy--He was just getting ready to open two months after I was in Vegas last so I am going Wednesday night. My trip is to Vegas is June 25-30 and I expect Savoy to be the hilight and I am very excited to visit Savoy. I will be going for the full expensive menu but will not go crazy on the wines. I hope to get out of there for around $1,000 includiong wine and tip for two. I had to ask myself if I was willing to spend a grand for a meal. Well that seems to be the price of doing business now in the great restaurants of the world, so I am going for it. I want to see what Savoy can do so I am going for the full experience. But I would not hesitate to order the $190 menu because you would still get a great experience and those dishes are some of his most famous ones. But to justify the extra money I told myself it was really just another hundred a person to do all the way. I will report back with my obeservations after I dine there.

    Alex--I mentioned I loved his food when he was cooking at Renior but it is even better now that he is at the Wynn. I ranked the meal I had there very close to Robuchon. It is a huge room with the "Hello Dolly" staircase going from the bar/reception area down into the dining room. The night I was there, Martha Stewart was there for dinner and also was filming all over the restaurant for her show.

    I loved the tasting menu and the wines that went with it, which now is $325 plus tip so if you gop all the way at Alex it is almost as expensive as Savoy and Robuchon.

    It is worth the moeny but I am only going to do one meal a trip that approaches 1,000 and this time its Savoy,

    The above three restaurants I call break the bank and will retun to all three but still like:

    Picasso--A great value for food and a wonderful location by the fountains at Bellagio. If you are on a budget and wand a five star experience, I suggest this place. You can get the $105 menu, a glass of wine and not break the bank. This is three star food and many considered it the best restaurant until Savoy and Robuchon showd up in Vegas. Go there beforfe they raise the prices in line with the other guys.

    Michael Mina--I love the seafood tasting munus and have dined there over a dozen times. It is a good value and what he does with seafood blows my mind. As a bonus it is right next to the conservatory gardens at the Bellagio.You can not go wrong here.

    L'Atelier--Plan to go there this trip. I am excited about tryingas many Robuchon tastes as possible so will go for the tasting menu. If I had unlimited money I would go to the Robuchon Mansion again but I feel there is value in this tasting menu while still eating cutting edge food.

    Daniel Boulud--Have not been to the Vagas location but had a incredible meal at his more formal restaurant in New York. We had a tasting menu of 10 courses but when I told them I wanted to try as many things as possbile they brought us each nine different things so we got to taste 19 different items. Best tasting meal I have ever had! But the Vegas outpost is the Bistro version which is totally different. I would have no hesitation eating here for the bistro experience except for I am used to Bouchon.

    Bouchon--We stay at the Venetian and there is nothing better than walking a few paces out of your room for breakfast at Bouchon. It is about as perfect as a breakfast can get. I had had oysters in the afternoon and the evening meal once but to me this is an oysters/breakfast place. The decor is out of a movie set for "french bistro" and a very nice place to start the day.

    So where will I eat this week?

    Already booked are Savoy, Picasso and L'Atelier. I may go to Mina again but has anyone been to RM Seafood at Mandalay? How would you compare the two?

    I see David Bruce has opened at the Venetian and he has an very ambitious menu you can see on the Venetian site. Does anybody know much about him?

    Well I have spent hours reading this forum this week and am totally ready to get to Vegas and start eating!!

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