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Cook456

Dining in Las Vegas: Part 1

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On Strip or Off Strip?  Are you looking for something really nice, or is a very casual ethnic place OK?

I'm open to anything, from swanky to dive, where you think I'll find a great meal. Off the strip a little is fine if it's a reasonable taxi ride and not a scary neighborhood for a young woman by herself.


"Nothing you could cook will ever be as good as the $2.99 all-you-can-eat pizza buffet." - my EX (wonder why he's an ex?)

My eGfoodblog: My corner of the Midwest

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Looking at  the available options, we had the fast food court (pass), buffet (no thanks), the 'coffee shop' (ehh...) and a burger joint. Burgers are a hot trend in Las Vegas now, so we decided to see what Red Rock had to offer at LBS: A Burger Joint.  What they offered up was quite good.  Thick, juicy beef patty. Nicely cooked with plenty of pink in it.  Topped with cheese and grilled onions, lettuce, pickles, and a house made ketchup.  It was excellent. I had a side of onion rings with them. These were nice as well. A chocolate malt (which I really didn't need) rounded out the meal.  This place competes well with the best burger joints on the strip (BLT Burger, Burger Bar,etc.). If you are a local and live in the area, check it out if you have not already. If you are from out of town and have a car and want to get well away from the strip and visit a very nice locals casino and like burgers, go.  You won't be dissapointed.

IMG_2241.jpg

I've gone a few times now and every time I've had an excellent experience with the food. Happy Hour is served 3 to 6 monday-friday, all food is 50% off and draft beer as well. I love the snacks they serve like the Soft Pretzel Bites with Cheese Fondue and Spicy Mustard. The Cheesecurds are addicting served with a tomato jam and I've never had a crispier fried pickles in my life. Oh and I always get the mini corn dogs too. They even have root beer on tap too, which is great for the float. I tend to find myself overeating at LBS but at half the price, I really enjoy being a fat kid.

Although... I do think BLT at the Mirage has the best shakes ever... try the pbj one if you ever have a chance. Speaking of frozen treats... just went to Yogurt Land for the 4th time and they now have a Nutter Butter flavor... that with cookie dough topping is my not so secret indulgence.


Edited by JWest (log)

"cuisine is the greatest form of art to touch a human's instinct" - chairman kaga

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I'm traveling to Las Vegas in a couple of months, and am beginning to obsess about ridiculously unimportant things. Having said that...

My current favorite steak house is CUT. I tried their Japanese Wagyu and thought it was excellent. At the time, their supplier was from Kagoshima Prefecture. I saw on another board that CUT now gets its beef from Saga Prefecture. I know, I know: ridiculously unimportant. Nonetheless, has anyone tried both?

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Wouldn't you know it, as soon as I posted the above, I got information on a related item? I had emailed Charlie Trotter's, asking about the quality of the Omi beef at Bar Charlie in Las Vegas. Due to problems with the email address provided on their web site, the message had to go through the Chicago location. The response was also from the Chicago location:

...We are currently offering a very special piece of rib eye. A5-12 fat.

This particular cut is from SAGA which I am sure you are aware of it's rarity and quality...

A5-12! I thought marbling scores above 10 were virtually nonexistent outside of Japan. It's hard to tell if this email refers to Las Vegas or Chicago, but it's worth checking out if you're in town.


Edited by lgott (log)

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lgott, that is interesting, indeed. The Miyazaki-gyu beef I had at Bar Charlie a couple of months ago was A5-10. It was alright. I didn't care for the triple sear technique they employed. The A5-11 wagyu I had at Alex a few nights before, by comparison, was extraordinary. That might have been the best piece of beef I've had in years.

re: A5-12. If I'm not mistaken, that's a piece of beef at least seven years in the making, as the last cow to have received that rating was in 2002.


Edited by ulterior epicure (log)

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

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Alright, this thread hasn't moved in a couple of months.  I'm giving it a bump since it looks likely that I'll be headed out there soon.  Three, possibly four, nights.  Where should I spend them?

I'm thinking Alex and The Mansion are at the top of my list.

If Alex is open, definitely try it (it's my favorite restauarant in LV). I wasn't particularly thrilled with The Mansion. I dined there the night after Alex, and it couldn't hold a candle to Alex. I did love Le Cirque at the Bellagio (even though I'm not a big fan of the NYC version of Le Cirque).

I too can give Le Cirque a big thumbs-up after having dined there this week. We took the pre-theatre prix fixe menu and had a superb lobster bisque followed by the signature sea bass dish and then a lovely souffle to round things off. I know I will sound patronising but this meal was better than many that I've eaten at 1* restaurants in Belgium and France. We also dined at Daniel Boulud, which whilst not bad, is not in the same league as Le Cirque.

Richard

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I will say "My cup (brain) runneth over" If I missed posts reading-skimming over the 18 pages about Italian restaurants

please scusa.

We will be going next week and have decided on Alex for French, Restaurant Charlie for seafood and am looking for Italian cuisine.

Recommendations for a Italian restaurant per favore......


Edited by Aloha Steve (log)

edited for grammar & spelling. I do it 95% of my posts so I'll state it here. :)

"I have never developed indigestion from eating my words."-- Winston Churchill

Talk doesn't cook rice. ~ Chinese Proverb

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For Italian food in Vegas, I like Bartolotta (Wynn). Based on your other two selections for restaurants, I assume you're looking for a fine-dining restaurant within the genre. Bartalotta is seafood focused and imports much of their seafood directly from around Italy. Very unique for Vegas in that respect, and very good if not a bit pricey. I know you specified Restaurant Charlie as your seafood dinner (good choice BTW) - this is a different type of seafood so I don't think you'll run into any redundancy in that respect. The Moleche (Veneto softshell mini-crabs) and Acquadelle (small silver fish) appetizers are standouts for me. I really enjoy their agnolotti pasta dish (they offer half portions of pasta as an option for primi). Pretty much anything with seafood will be good - I like the various whole snappers they carry which they sell by weight. I would recommend against the tastings as it tends to just be a blitz of plates of food rather than a composed, well thought out progression. It's also a ridiculous amount of food and they'll have to roll you out.

If you'd rather have a less seafood focused Italian restaurant, I'd recommend either Circo (Bellagio) or B & B Ristorante (Venetian). The food is more inland-focused at both. Circo is roughly Tuscan and B & B has a lot of Emilia/Lombardy/Lazio-type dishes. B & B is a Batali property and the menu is very similar to Babbo in NYC, although the end product is not quite as good IMO.

Hope this helps. Best of luck.

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For Italian food in Vegas, I like Bartolotta (Wynn). Based on your other two selections for restaurants, I assume you're looking for a fine-dining restaurant within the genre. Bartalotta is seafood focused and imports much of their seafood directly from around Italy. Very unique for Vegas in that respect, and very good if not a bit pricey. I know you specified Restaurant Charlie as your seafood dinner (good choice BTW) - this is a different type of seafood so I don't think you'll run into any redundancy in that respect. The Moleche (Veneto softshell mini-crabs) and Acquadelle (small silver fish) appetizers are standouts for me. I really enjoy their agnolotti pasta dish (they offer half portions of pasta as an option for primi). Pretty much anything with seafood will be good - I like the various whole snappers they carry which they sell by weight. I would recommend against the tastings as it tends to just be a blitz of plates of food rather than a composed, well thought out progression. It's also a ridiculous amount of food and they'll have to roll you out.

If you'd rather have a less seafood focused Italian restaurant, I'd recommend either Circo (Bellagio) or B & B Ristorante (Venetian). The food is more inland-focused at both. Circo is roughly Tuscan and B & B has a lot of Emilia/Lombardy/Lazio-type dishes. B & B is a Batali property and the menu is very similar to Babbo in NYC, although the end product is not quite as good IMO.

Hope this helps. Best of luck.

Thanks Hoshe for the recos.

I might add that we will have a car and don't mind driving to get a great meal.


edited for grammar & spelling. I do it 95% of my posts so I'll state it here. :)

"I have never developed indigestion from eating my words."-- Winston Churchill

Talk doesn't cook rice. ~ Chinese Proverb

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If you are staying on the strip and looking for a place on the strip, I would say not to bother with driving. I can't really suggest any off-strip Italian places since I don't have any experiences with any. But if you want Asian, I can make some suggestions. :)


Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"
jmeeker@eGullet.org

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If you are staying on the strip and looking for a place on the strip, I would say not to bother with driving. I can't really suggest any off-strip Italian places since I don't have any experiences with any. But if you want Asian, I can make some suggestions. :)

Thanks js, looking for something we cannot get at home. The Asian may not be the same quality here but in Honolulu it feels like there is Asian everywhere but not really good Continental cuisine.


edited for grammar & spelling. I do it 95% of my posts so I'll state it here. :)

"I have never developed indigestion from eating my words."-- Winston Churchill

Talk doesn't cook rice. ~ Chinese Proverb

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I will say "My cup (brain) runneth over" If I missed posts reading-skimming over the 18 pages about Italian restaurants

please scusa.

We will be going next week and have decided on Alex for French, Restaurant Charlie for seafood and am looking for Italian cuisine.

Recommendations for a Italian restaurant per favore......

Okedokie, reservations made at these three for dinner, in order.

Bartolotta

Raku-Grill

Picasso

One morning, if I can get my big butt out of bed we are going to try to go to Bouchon for breakfast.

Thanks for all your help and a special shout-out to Ulterior Epicure.


Edited by Aloha Steve (log)

edited for grammar & spelling. I do it 95% of my posts so I'll state it here. :)

"I have never developed indigestion from eating my words."-- Winston Churchill

Talk doesn't cook rice. ~ Chinese Proverb

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Bartolotta tonight was very good.

The best dish IMHO

Warm parmigano-reggiano custard, wild mushrooms asparagus and sweet peas, an appetizer.

Bor.jpg

sorry for poor quality of pic, taken with phone.

2nd best dish (sorry no pix)

Ligurian style roast chicken, artichokes, asparagus, porcini mushrooms, taggiasca olives, lemon herb stock, an entree.

We also had, seafood risotto very good, lobster lasagna (deconstructed) good, large ravioli in brown butter stuffed with spinach and egg just OK*,

all appetizers.

For dessert almond cake with vanilla bean gelato ok and warm banana chocolate custard with passion fruit pearls and banana gelato

*This was featured on a special menu for dishes to have white truffles as part of the dish. I had it without the truffles (my big error of the evening) and therefore the ravioli was swimming in too much butter.

I'm not sure why I feel this way but we won't be going back. The first 2 dishes above were outstanding, my BH thought her dessert (banana custard) outstanding as well. Service was as good as it should have been. Even the bread was tasty.

But.......as a whole the meal not memorable enough for us for a return visit.


Edited by Aloha Steve (log)

edited for grammar & spelling. I do it 95% of my posts so I'll state it here. :)

"I have never developed indigestion from eating my words."-- Winston Churchill

Talk doesn't cook rice. ~ Chinese Proverb

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We will be heading to Vegas in February. Yes I know that's a little bit far ahead. :laugh: We'll be there for technically 4 nights although our plane gets in late the first night, so likely no big dining. Friday night will be Delmonico's. Sunday will either be brunch or dinner at Bouchon. I am not sure which would be better.

Saturday we have late show tickets at Encore, so I would like to find a good restaurant within the complex for that night. As long as it's not fish, I'm open to suggestions! Japanese? Italian? Something else? What's good at Wynn Encore?


Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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At Wynncore, it would be tough to go wrong with Alex. It's high end and seems to always generate much praise. I've had good meals at Wing Lei and Daniel Boulud. Also, a good meal at Stratta. If you want steak, there are no shortages of places there. Switch and Botero at Encore and SW and the Country Club over on the Wynn side. I'll be in Las Vegas in December. Some friends of mine that are going with me are going to see Garth Brooks, so we'll all have dinner over there that night. Probably Sinatra or Botero. I'll certainly report back.


Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"
jmeeker@eGullet.org

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At Wynncore, it would be tough to go wrong with Alex. It's high end and seems to always generate much praise. I've had good meals at Wing Lei and Daniel Boulud. Also, a good meal at Stratta. If you want steak, there are no shortages of places there. Switch and Botero at Encore and SW and the Country Club over on the Wynn side. I'll be in Las Vegas in December. Some friends of mine that are going with me are going to see Garth Brooks, so we'll all have dinner over there that night. Probably Sinatra or Botero. I'll certainly report back.

We are going to see Garth in February, hence the trip and the need for dinner at Wynncore. We'll be having steak at Delmonico's so I'd be interested in something different. Also any opinions as to whether Bouchon would be better for brunch or dinner? If brunch, that leaves one more dining option open.


Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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I've been to Bouchon to dinner once, and breakfast/brunch 5 or 6 times. I enjoyed my dinner there, but also think Bouchon is a really great spot for breakfast on the Strip. It's FAR removed from the noise and action of the casino. Where are you staying? All of my trips to Bouchon were when I was staying across the street at The Mirage or TI. It's convenient. If I were staying further away, I probably wouldn't go as often.


Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"
jmeeker@eGullet.org

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You can dine at Boulud in Wynn--but only until April. Word on the Strip is that the lease won't be renewed when it expires next April. I'm not sure if Boulud made the decision or if it was Wynn--or they mututally agreed to part ways. Too bad as it was one of the better restaurants not just at Wynn but on the Strip. Any of the charcuterie plates are delicious.

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I've been to Bouchon to dinner once, and breakfast/brunch 5 or 6 times. I enjoyed my dinner there, but also think Bouchon is a really great spot for breakfast on the Strip. It's FAR removed from the noise and action of the casino. Where are you staying? All of my trips to Bouchon were when I was staying across the street at The Mirage or TI. It's convenient. If I were staying further away, I probably wouldn't go as often.

I've had breakfast at Bouchon and really enjoyed it. Haven't tried dinner there yet. We'll be staying at the Wynn, so not quite at convenient, but this would be for a Sunday and we have no plans, so could easily make the trip over to the Venetian.


Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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I would recommend the Brunch over the Dinner at Bouchon. As pointed out earlier, the breakfast experience at Bouchon is top notch and with the brunch you'll have access to a handful of items off the dinner menu including the salmon rillette, moules frite and Tuna Sandwich, three of my favorite items off the dinner menu. You also get the Boudin Blanc w/ eggs rather than the dinner Boudin w/ potatos and prunes, the former being a better dish IMO. It's not that the dinner isn't good - it's typically very good IMHO, it just isn't quite the standout when compared to your other dinner options, whereas the breakfast/brunch is a big standout compared to your other breakfast/brunch options. Normally when I'm in Vegas I hit Bouchon for breakfast at least once but normally only do dinner there if I have an unfilled dinner opening, which seldom happens.

As for the restaurants in the Wynn/Encore, I haven't been overly impressed with the restaurants in the Encore (Society is good - best for Breakfast/Late Night), but the Wynn is loaded (as previously mentioned) with great options. I echo the Alex recommendation wholeheartedly. Have had a couple great meals there in the last year and they're very accommodating with food preferences (you mentioned the fish aversion). I also would strongly recommend Boulud if you're looking to go slightly less formal and the chacuterie plate is pretty awesome. I'd probably pass on the much touted DB Burger if you go - sort of overrated/hyped. Given the positive reviews on this site and other food blogs, I've given Wing Lei three very solid attempts (Duck Tasting, Chef's Full Tasting, and a large assortment of a la carte selections) and just don't really care for it. For what their representing I actually don't find it formal enough and the staff, though very courteous, aren't overly well informed about the food they're serving. For trying to be a Chinese fine dining establishment I find they miss the mark a bit on the tasting menu - more like a parade of dishes rather than a well thought out progression and the portions seem off (actually a bit too big).

I know that response was a little long. Hope it helps.

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Hoshe, that was very helpful. Thank you!


Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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Heading out to LV around Thanksgiving. After hearing so much about Carnevino I think I am gonna try and go there. I checked their website and I didn't see any of their famous aged steaks just on the menu, is it necessary to call ahead to make sure they will have one for you?

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