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Dining in Las Vegas: Part 1


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Oh ... group decisions. Most of the time, this solo diner gets to choose for a certain group, namely Me, Myself & I. That's the only group decision I have to worry about. Trying to get a sense of the group dynamic can be very interesting, ehh?

If I come up with some more ideas, I'll let you know.

Russell J. Wong aka "rjwong"

Food and I, we go way back ...

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The idea of supporting a specific chef is cool.  I know lots of "celeb" chefs are there, but the idea of supporting a true local las vegas chef is a nice idea. like Alex Stratta.  While his signature place may be out, I have suggested Stratta.  I think the gang I am out there with would like that type of Italian place.

You mentioned Italian. Here's a couple of local Las Vegas places, off the Strip, for you and your group to consider:

Settebello is a pizzeria napoletana. They just moved to Green Valley Ranch. I've only been to their original location. The place is sanctioned by the Italian government* with the organization Verace Pizza Napoletana (VPN). Very casual, family-oriented place. The owner, Brad Otton, used to be a USC Trojan quarterback, but this UCLA Bruin doesn't hold it against him. The pizza is that good. IMO, Settebello has the slight edge over Pizzeria Mozza in Los Angeles.

Nora's Cuisine is a local favorite, located on Flamingo, in the NE quadrant of Flamingo & Jones. It was featured on the Las Vegas episode of Hungry Detective with Chris Cognac on FN.

While it's not Italian, but it is off the Strip, Rosemary's Restaurant is another local favorite on Sahara, about seven miles west of the Strip, between Buffalo & Durango. For out-of-town type guests, they do have transportation options that's apparently better than a taxi cab ride.

Those are some of my favorite off-the-Strip restaurants in local Las Vegas. Enjoy!

*Se non e vero, e ben travato (Whether it's true or not, it makes a great story).

Russell J. Wong aka "rjwong"

Food and I, we go way back ...

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I'll be there in two weeks.  My friends usually like going to a "steak place".  There is SW Steakhouse there, but what about the Country Club?  I recall hearing some decent things about it as an alternative to SW.  Did I hear right, or did I hear wrong?  One of the places we were considering to fill that role was Morel's across the street in Plazzo.

Jeff, I think that I'm a little late in answering your question. IMO, the Country Club is a well kept secret (OK, not any more). I was told that they have the same steak that SW has. The availability for seating is usually wide open too. When I'm in town, I'm usually there for lunch. There's always room at the bar, and you'll never know who you'll run into (I've met Paul Mitchell & an ex-producer of the Cirque show at Wynn). Morel's is also a great place, but I've only been there for lunch too. When I've gone for lunch, the bar was completely empty. The bartendar was kind enough to feed us samples of wine that he needed to get rid of (I didn't argue!). They do have cheese experts on hand, who will guide you through your choices.

Think before you drink.......I think I'll have another!
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  • 1 month later...

I know there are posts here about Vegas dining and I hope you will help out another Vegas traveler.

I am traveling to Las Vegas the end of March on business. This will be my first trip to Vegas. I will be going with a coworker who's been to Vegas before.

We will be staying at the Rio and we won't have a car. I am a foodie so I am looking at this trip from the "where should I eat" perspective but we can't go crazy with spending. We use the goverment's per diem recommendation, which for Vegas is $64 a day.

Keeping in mind the fact that we won't have a car and we can't go crazy with spending, where would you recommend we eat? I can skip one meal a day so I will have more $$ for dinner.

Thanks for your help.

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I know there are posts here about Vegas dining and I hope you will help out another Vegas traveler.

I am traveling to Las Vegas the end of March on business. This will be my first trip to Vegas. I will be going with a coworker who's been to Vegas before.

We will be staying at the Rio and we won't have a car. I am a foodie so I am looking at this trip from the "where should I eat" perspective but we can't go crazy with spending. We use the goverment's per diem recommendation, which for Vegas is $64 a day.

Keeping in mind the fact that we won't have a car and we can't go crazy with spending, where would you recommend we eat? I can skip one meal a day so I will have more $$ for dinner.

Thanks for your help.

Thanks for reading all of our posts on dining in Las Vegas. They will give you lots of information.

You are actually going to Las Vegas at a time where restaurant prices are down about 20% from this time last year. A number of the fine dining rooms are offering multi-course or tasting menus right now for under $100 per person. So if you have $64 and can pad that a bit you will be able to have some choices. Just keep doing your research and look at online menus and prices.

There is a free shuttle van that runs regularly from the Rio to other Harrah's properties right on the Strip. That would drop you within a short walk of some great restaurants. If you choose to take a cab, it will cost you about $15 including tip to get from the Rio to the middle of the Strip.

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No car is not a problem. You can easily get from The Rio to the Strip and back via taxicab. Rio really isn't all that far off strip, anyway.

Since you are going for work, are you just looking for dinner suggestions?

Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"

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Oh, great timing for this post! :biggrin:

I'll be in Vegas (on business) early next month, and I want to do some research ahead of my visit to find the best places to go. I've only got three evenings, so I want to make the best of it.

...

So if you have $64 and can pad that a bit you will be able to have some choices.  Just keep doing your research and look at online menus and prices. 

I learned a long time ago that I can use my expense account as a subsidy for fine dining (without abusing it). I expense the allowable amount and pay the rest out of pocket. My office manager has grown accustomed to seeing dinner charges with the note "not charging the full amount". If I don't say that the expense account gets bounced. She's a stickler for matching up the receipts to the charges. :raz:

So I dine at Sea Saw in Phoenix, L2O in Chicago, WD~50 in New York. I'm prepared to pay well more than half of the bill. I'm just happy for the opportunity to dine at great restaurants.

One place I intend to go is Lotus of Siam. I'll probably go there the evening I fly in, since I won't have to make reservations in advance (Can't count on the flight arriving on schedule :wink: ). That leaves two more dinners. I'm thinking that CarneVino might be a candidate. When I'm in New York I rarely have enough advance warning to get a reservation at a Batali / Bastianich place. If anyone thinks that this is a bad choice, feel free to say so!

Last time I was (briefly) in Vegas, I dined at RM Seafood. I quite enjoyed it, but I'm going to seek out something new this time around. I might splurge and go for a really high-end thing (Robuchon?) - I can pack decent clothes and make myself presentable. :raz:

If anyone has any suggestions for must-not-miss dining experiences, I'm all ears!

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I guess you will be attending the restaurant, hotel, nightclub and bar convention at the beginning of the month? maybe not.

Anyways you can always jump on the deuce bus for a dollar seventy five and from there you can take the monorail up and down the strip for five bucks.

Simon is a pretty decent place down at the palms, practically walking distance from the Rio. I wouldn't dine at the Rio though.

other places of interest for your medium wallet balance

Spago - Forum Shops

Stratta - Wynn

Fleur de Lys - Mandalay Bay

B&B Ristorante - Venetian

Lavo - Palazzo

Prime Steakhouse - Bellagio

Picasso - Bellagio

Soceity Cafe - Encore

Red Eight - Wynn

Down the street from the convention center on paradise is a really nice tapas place called fireflies.

Those restaurants are medium in expense to slightly expensive. I could reccomend dozens more restaurants if price and place wasn't a decision factor.

Dean Anthony Anderson

"If all you have to eat is an egg, you had better know how to cook it properly" ~ Herve This

Pastry Chef: One If By Land Two If By Sea

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Beth E. & edsel, what David Ross & jsmeeker said, as well as everybody else over at the Dining in Las Vegas thread.

There is public transportation available in the Las Vegas area on this website. The "Deuce Bus" goes up and down the Strip 24/7, and a 24-hour day pass is $7 for the entire system, not just the Strip. And a 3-day pass for about $15.

Pardon the (Las) Vegan Inquisition, but ...

What kind of food do you want to eat? Do you want all the places to be on and/or near the Strip? Do you mind eating at a Las Vegas buffet? Perhaps local restaurants off the Strip? What kind of decor do you like, if any? Are you interested in ethnic cuisine? How fancy and high-end do you want to go? What's your dollar limit per person? $50? $100? $250? $500? If for some reason you hit it big, all bets are off, right?

BTW, edsel, you can have dinner at Robuchon's "casual" restaurant, L'Atelier. The menu decouverte cost around $139/person. I don't know what's the price now. Mind you, it's a bargain for fine dining. There are plenty of posts with photos about L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon.

And since this will be your first time to Las Vegas, Beth E., do you want to paint the town red, burn it down, leave ashes?

Keep doing your research and have a wonderful time in Las Vegas.

Good luck!

Russell J. Wong aka "rjwong"

Food and I, we go way back ...

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Thanks for pointing out the tasting menu at L'Atelier. It looks pretty good.

Les Légumes

méditerranéens en mille-feuille à la mozzarella

Mediterranean vegetables layered with buffalo mozzarella

La Langoustine

dans une papillote croustillante au basilic

Crispy langoustine fritter with basil pesto

La Morue

fraîche et sa pipérade de poivrons épicée

dans un bouillon façon "basquaise"

Fresh cod filet in a pepper and tomato broth

or

L’Onglet

de boeuf à l’échalote

French-style hanger steak with fried shallots

Les Fromages

de France sélectionnés par nos soins

Selection of imported cheese

Les Tartes

de tradition

Traditional tarts

or

Glaces et Sorbet

Ice cream and sorbet

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Hi all! Thanks for the info.

Jsmeeker -- I am looking for any and all info on Vegas -- mostly dining, but things to do/see would be appreciated as well.

RJWong -- I like all kinds of food. My price point is probably around $50 -- I'm not sure about suplementing it with my own $$. I will speak to my coworker and get her feeling on that because we will probably get dinners together. We could catch a cab to go to a restaurant, but again -- we can't go crazy on spending. I'm new to the business travel thing and I don't want folks to go crazy when they see my expence report. I'm willing to hit a buffet to see what a Vegas buffet has to offer.

I feel like I've been obsessing about dining for this trip. I'm looking at all the resort websites to check menus and compare things. I'm googling stuff all the time.

What to you guys think of Mon Ami Gabi?

How is Table 8?

By the way -- a whole bunch of the MGM grand restaurants are doing prix fix winter menus that range in price from $29 to $80ish.

Thanks for all your help! I can't wait to hear more.

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Don't feel bad about obsessing about dining when going to Las Vegas. I do. It's pretty much the only thing I really give a lot of thought to. :)

By Table 8, do you mean a place by Govind Armstrong from Los Angeles or did you mean Table 10, an Emeril Lagasse place? (I didn't know there was a Table 8 in Las Vegas).

If you want to hit a buffet, I'll suggest the buffet at Wynn. I'm not really into buffets anymore, but it was pretty decent. Best one I have been to in Las Vegas (though I have only been to a few and haven't been to the one at Bellagio)

Is $50 your TOTAL "out the door" price? Do you drink?

Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"

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I meant Table 10 -- sorry about that!

And yes I do like to drink which I know cuts into the price. I might do without alcohol so I can have food. perhaps I'll get a drink after and pay for it myself. Our per diem per day is supposed to be around $64 per person. I suspect we can go slightly above that because on my first trip I went to Orlando and the per diem was lower ($49) but we were sort of stuck because the resort we were in was expensive foodwise and we did not have a car.

I keep looking at menus and saying -- $28-$35 for an entree than no appetizer for me.

And I love dessert!

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Edsel, given that you'll have a car, and if you can get away for lunch, go to Settebello, also in Henderson (see rjwong's post).

Beth, at Batali's Enoteca San Marco, in The Venetian, you and your co-worker could easily dine very well (app + pasta + dessert + glass of wine), for ~$50 each.

Based on your post I assume it's just the two of you who'll be eating together. If you had a couple of other dining companions, it could be worth your while to split the cost of a car rental (try Hotwire or, even better, Priceline), which would expand your dining options tremendously. Most hotels, including the Rio, have free parking. You also would be able to explore all the Asian dining options.

"There is no sincerer love than the love of food."  -George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, Act 1

 

Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

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Enoteca San Marco probably opened around the same time as B&B. ESM is located in that open plaza area, nearby Wolfgang Puck's Postrio.

Beth, check out this foodblog by a local Las Vegas food critic. He tells it like it is, and yes ... He's. A. Lawyer. Mind you, he's an eGullet member, so I don't hold it against him. :wink::wink:

Edited by rjwong (log)

Russell J. Wong aka "rjwong"

Food and I, we go way back ...

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ah... OK.. If it's in the canal shops area, then that explains it. I don't spend much time there. If it's not on "restaurant row" in The Venetian, then I may have never seen it.

Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"

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ah... OK.. If it's in the canal shops area, then that explains it. I don't spend much time there. If it's not on "restaurant row" in The Venetian, then I may have never seen it.

Yes, it's on their Piazza San Marco. We very much enjoyed our dinner there this past December: Bucatini all'Amatriciana; Rigatoni with cauliflower ragu, chili, and rosemary; a bottle of Aglianico; and an assortment of excellent gelati. The accordion, flute, and guitar trio playing multi-ethnic and occasionally faux holiday music in the Piazza (think "Jingle Bells" followed by "Hava Nagila") was a touch of the surreal, but didn't detract from the overall experience.

Edited by Alex (log)

"There is no sincerer love than the love of food."  -George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, Act 1

 

Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

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Thanks for the information. Now I have to get a few minutes with my coworker to get her thoughts.

my list keeps expanding. Right now the possibilities include:

Nob Hill

Enoteca San Marco

Cafe Babareeba

Table 10

Fleur de Lys

B&B Ristorante

Mon Ami Gabi

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Thanks for the information. Now I have to get a few minutes with my coworker to get her thoughts.

my list keeps expanding. Right now the possibilities include:

Nob Hill

Enoteca San Marco

Cafe Babareeba

Table 10

Fleur de Lys

B&B Ristorante

Mon Ami Gabi

I think your list looks pretty good. One exception might be Mon Ami Gabi at Paris. I find the steaks thin and tough. The fake French accents that come out of the waiters borders on the ridiculous. The fresh oysters are good, but if you start with great oysters and simply open the shells it's hard to screw them up.

I think the main attraction of Mon Ami Gabi is the outdoor seating right on the Strip. I'd keep searching a little for another restaurant with a similar menu and comparable prices to Mon Ami Gabi. You may want to take a look at the menus over at Morel's French Steakhouse at The Palazzo. They also have outdoor seating, but the food would be far better than what you might find at Mon Ami Gabi.

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  • 2 weeks later...

My wife and I are in Vegas now, thanks to all for the thoughts

and recommendations.

On one hand, I am loving some of the food and (especially) pastry that I am trying.

But I am really hating the smoking that is Vegas dining. We come from Boston where we are used to smoke free dining (like those in NY, California, Hawaii, or Boston). The restaurants in Vegas are non smoking in theory, but anything near a casino or near a mall (where people routinely ignore smoking rules) is not really a non smoking experience.

For example, we went to Le Cirque and it was a smoking experience until they closed the doors 1/2 way through. We wanted to try Mesa Grill, but it's smack in the middle of the casino and the doors are open to the casino. The doors to L'Atelier are open to the casino. I do not know the strength of their filtration, but for the cost, I didn't want to risk it. The doors to Joel Robuchon are closed as they should be. The express area for Payards Patisserie is smack dab outside the casino and the air is terrible.

The shows are the same way. Cher's show had a powerful AC creating positive room pressure and was smoke free. Jubilee was smoke infested the entire way through (even though it is a non smoking show).

Given that there's so many good restaurants in Vegas, my #1 consideration is almost becoming 'is it near the Casino and casino smoke'?

Edited by ejw50 (log)
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My fiance and I were there last weekend. Many thanks to the LV experts.

Here's what happened at L'Atelier.

http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showto...dpost&p=1647442

We ate at the Bouchon cafe in the Venetian for a couple of breakfasts. The baguette were delicious.

On another note, I do not recommend Blue Man Group. It was 30 minutes of entertainment stretched (with weirdness) to 1:45.

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