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Dining in Las Vegas: Part 1


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On Sunday morning we tried to go to Craftwich for a breakfast sandwich but were unable to eat there as they don’t open until 10:00 and we had a plane to catch. You’d think they’d at least open by 9:00 if they are serving breakfast sandwiches.

What/where is Craftwich? Is this related to Craft/Craftsteak? Last time I was in LV I had the best piece of meat of my life, a Kobe beef skirt steak from Craftsteak. I'd be interested to try their sandwich!

Oops, my bad on not calling it wichCraft! I must have still had too much alcohol in my system when I posted.

Brian Hoffmeyer

"It's like, how much more black could this be? And the answer is none. None more black."

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I had dinner last night at Mesa. My pricey rabbit was burnt. I don't ask for much, but I do ask that my meats are cooked properly. Bobby Flay was there. In fact, he was giving an interview to somebody. I wonder if that rabbit would have made it out of the kitchen if he had been inside lording over the grill. The service was OK. It took forever for somebody to clear our plates. And the meal was $$$. For the kind of money I dropped at Mesa, I could have dined next door at Bradley Ogden.

Now, I want to comment on Thai food in Las Vegas. I've eaten at Lotus many, many times. It's excellent. No doubt about it. But I prefer Archi's Thai Kitchen. A local food critic wrote about the place recently and revealed a real gem to his readers. I visited Archi's for the first time last week and found the service a bit lacking. The critic didn't lie: the food was out of this world. Unfortunately, Archi's doesn't serve beer. Alas, you can't wash down that spicey food with a good Thai beer.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just spent a long weekend in Vegas. Stayed at the Bellagio and Paris, and boy is there a big difference in these two places.

Drove-thru In-n-Out Burger, hamburgers and cheeseburgers really hit the spot, while the fries did not, but have to say I think the Shake Shack's burgers are a little better - then again, they're not open until May or something, so...

Lotus of Siam - only had lunch here (non-buffet) with my spouse, but it was great as it always is. Oh, do I love the jerky!

Memphis Championship BBQ for take out on the way back to the airport-also as good as last time, and pretty much makes NYC BBQ take a back seat. The pulled pork sandwich platter is $5.99, includes a large sandwich + 2 sides - now that's good price/value folks.

Bouchon - exactly what it should be (it's a bistro, no?), just what it was when we ate there last February, and damn good food...I think the service needs a bit of polish however. If one more wait person reaches across my face to pour wine or water, I think I'm gonna scream! I sure know TK wouldn't approve. But a splendid roast chicken, delish pate and classic frisee aux lardons, great scallops, good leg of lamb, etc.

Valentino - also in the Venetian - what a letdown. My most expensive meal of the trip, and the most disappointing as well. Overcooked pasta, overcooked lobster and other assorted overcooked shellfish, overcooked pork (asked for medium rare, implored even), you get the idea. Shitty bread with some decent spreads. But tremendous portions - who eats this much food?! They were making sure nothing was sent back for more fire, that's for sure.

Oh yeah, our best waitperson was our waitress for breakfast in the coffee shop at the Orleans - and she got the biggest tip, too!

And the most fun bar - easy - sit at the bar at Casino Royale and have a hoot...watching everyone come up for their $1 Margaritas and Michelobs. One lady was trying to pay with change, and the bartender told her they didn't take anything smaller than $ .25...that was great.

Looking forward to our next trip - at this point as much for the gaming as the food.

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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  • 1 month later...

I'm heading to Las Vegas for my first trip to Sin City with 14 women to celebrate our friend's 40th. Some of us have vowed never to leave the craps tables while the few of us realists are focusing on making sure we won't waste a meal on mediocre food. I've perused the threads to no end and have finally settled on Fix for the big celebration dinner on Friday night (think it might have a lot to do with the scrumptious picts from nightscotsman). That leaves about 7 more meals to fill slots for...

We're definitely hitting a couple buffets (probably Cravings and the Bellagio), Burger Bar and hopefully Lotus of Siam. Any other suggestions for relatively moderate to cheap eats? Feasting at the bar is always an option as well.

If we hit big, Nobu and Eiffle Tower are on the wish list. :smile:

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Oh, wait - don't go to Cravings. Since my initial report that it was an above average buffet, they've downgraded both the preparation and ingredient quality. It really was good the first time, but I guess they had budget cuts. Bellagio is still very good, and if you're looking for a second, you might try the Aladdin (though the desserts suck).

You absolutely MUST have drinks in the lounge at Mix, the new Alain Ducasse place in The Hotel in Mandalay bay. It's on the 64th floor with outdoor seating, so the view is breathtaking, and the room is drop-dead gorgeous. The food in the restaurant is very good too, but extremely expensive.

I've also heard good things about Mesa Grill in Caesar's from my chef, though he thought the desserts were a let down.

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Oh, wait - don't go to Cravings....I've also heard good things about Mesa Grill in Caesar's from my chef, though he thought the desserts were a let down.

Thanks! The expectations for dessert on Friday night at Fix are high, but I have a feeling they will be far exceeded... :biggrin: Can't wait.

Thanks for the suggestion at Mix - we'll have to drop by for happy hour one of the evenings we're there...and I appreciate the flag about Cravings. Tom Sietsema of The Washington Post included it in his review of Vegas eats about a month ago and liked it, so that would have been sad. Not a huge fan of Bobby Flay restaurants. :unsure:

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  • 7 months later...

Just got back from 5 days in Vegas (my first trip) and thought I would share the dining highlights.

Dinner the first night was at Picasso. Gorgeous room, spectacular food. I had the four course (plus dessert) tasting menu. The first course was a lobster salad with a champagne vinagrettem which was a light and tasty way to start things off. Next came the most perfectly cooked scallop I've ever had served with asparagus and a bit of hollandaise. Foie gras with pistachios and figs was the third course. Foie is normally a lay up in my opinion if cooked properly, but the pound cake that this foie was served on top of really distinguised it. The last course was a lamb roti served with black truffle mashed potatoes and a bit of truffle oil drizzled on top. Yeah, this was pretty good. Desset was a peach marmalade filled buttermilk cake, which was just delicious.

The next night we went to see O, so we had an early dinner at Olives. Say what you will about Todd English, but Olives was actually a very good meal. Normally I don't order tuna tartare since it's everywhere and usually nothing special, but I decided to order it that night. I'm glad I did because this was one of the better tuna tartares I've had. Served with roe on top and wrapped in cucumber, there was also some shrimp mixed with the tuna and the whole dish had just the right amount of heat. Everything else was good, probably not great, but perfect for pre-show.

Night 3 was Aureole, which while enjoyable was probably the most dissapointing meal of the trip. Appetizers were very good, but the main courses were the issue. I had the duck breast which was served with a duck confit spring roll. First of all, there was simply too much duck on the plate. The breast was sliced and the small pieces almost entirely circled the plate. The duck itself was a bit overcooked and underseasoned. The spring roll was so salty it had me dehydrated the rest of the night.

The final night was Michael Mina. For an appetizer I shared the hamachi parfait. The hamachi tasted extremely fresh and was layered with wasabi tobiko and a rice cake. The whole dish was a great exercise in contrasts (both flavors and textures). Main course was the lobster pot pie, which is a hearty dish that I'd like to eat on a cold Chicago night. For dessert I had the root beer float. The float was great, but the stars of the dish were the 2 hot chocolate chip pecan cookies that were served with the float.

All in all a great trip with great food. Can't wait to go back and try even more.

-Josh

Now blogging at http://jesteinf.wordpress.com/

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The shop at the Bellagio looks great. Besides your place, is there anywher else I should go for pastries?

I found out yesterday that construction on the new Bellagio pastry shop is behind schedule and won't make the Dec 21 opening date of the rest of the new tower. Now it will most likely be "after January 1st". Sorry to those of you who will miss it. :sad:

Edited by terrarich (log)

Terrarich

Crashed and Burned Cook

Current Wannabe

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  • 3 weeks later...

nightscotsman, I owe you a belated thank you for your great review and pictures. Due to your summary, I visited Jean-Philippe Pâtisserie in April. In fact, I made a complete pig of myself. I remember being pleasantly surprised by the unlikely Chocobana, and proceeded to eat my way through a number of others (Opera, Pecan Tart, even the cheesecake in white chocolate). I've since gone back a couple of times, and have never been disappointed. Definitely my favorite pâtisserie in Las Vegas.

terrarich, if you don't mind a newbie chiming in, Lenôtre is anothing excellent place. Located in The Paris Hotel and Casino, its pastries are nearly as pretty, and nearly as tasty, as those at Jean-Philippe. The first time, I had a pastry with dark chocolate mousse, pistachio cream, and chocolate ganache. The next time, a Framboisine: dark chocolate mousse with a layer of raspberry preserves, all covered with dark chocolate ganache, topped with three fresh raspberries.

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  • 2 months later...

I just noticed that I never got around to posting about my long weekend trip to LV in November. Better late than never - but here goes:

Day 1 - Dinner at Nobu - many mixed reviews about this place. People either loved it or hated it. Put me in the loved it category. I guess you need to know what to order here (i.e. specialty items and not sushi). I did my research and ordered the following: lobster salad - amazing with perfect lemon dressing, rock shrimp tempura - yum, miso black cod - good but the least favorite dish, Toro Toban Yaki - excellent, a can't miss dish, and a dessert item (some type of fried sweet roll) - good but not great.

Day 2 - Breakfast at Bouchon - Sat outside thinking it was a warm morning. My saving grace were the heat lamps. I had a Breakfast Américaine with raspberry filled beingets, fresh squeezed OJ and perfect pomme frites. Everything was excellent. A can't miss LV experience.

Dinner at Alex - The low point of the trip. To say I was disappointed is an understatement. The most expensive meal I have ever eaten and this was without ordering a bottle of wine (though I did have a couple of glasses of wine). Total cost of the meal for two including gratuity was over $450. Beautiful room and excellent service, however the food did not live up to expectations at all. I'm just going to leave it at that.

Day 3 - Lunch at Noodles (Bellagio) - Exceeded my expectations. Needed a quick meal and had an excellent bowl of noodle soup and a side order of dumplings.

Dinner at Delmonicos - One of the best steak dinners I have ever had. Originally had a tough decision choosing between Delmonicos and Prime. I believe I choose the right one. Rib steak was perfectly cooked with a nice crust outside and medium rare on the inside. Service was excellent and attentive. This restaurant compares very well with the top NYC steakhouses I have been to. I will not miss this place on my return to LV.

All in all, I was very happy with my choices. As a side note, if you have a chance to see Celine Dion by all means do it. I went kicking and screaming and left believeing it was one of the best concerts I have ever seen. I know it sounds crazy but it would have been worth double the ticket price and I paid $250 each ticket. Trust me, it pains me to admit it.

Edited by bgut1 (log)
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  • 2 weeks later...

O.K. Booked Fix @ Bellagio on arrival night. We're going at 10 pm as it's open a little later than most places and I'll need a little nap before dining as we're running to the golf course on arrival. After much searching I still have a dilemia for Sat nite. We want to dine between 9-10pm and no steakhouse. We'll be doing Bouchon for breakfast. No more than $250 per person.

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Mybad. I should have mentioned my earlier post. March 23-26, plus 1 day solo when my buds have to go back for the normal Mon-Fri work week. I wouldn't mind a suggestion for a solo dinner on Sunday. I was leaning towards a omakase at Nobu at HRC.

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Get youself a seat at the counter at L'Atelier for Sunday. You won't regret it. :biggrin:

Neil - I just noticed you are now at L'Atelier du Joël Robuchon. What happened to the Bellagio? Better gig?

Edited by bgut1 (log)
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Get youself a seat at the counter at L'Atelier for Sunday. You won't regret it. :biggrin:

Leaning towards the counter at L'Atelier of solo dining on Sun. Just need a spot for Sat dinner on the strip. Thinking of Mina's place ( Ate at Aqua in SF) or maybe Nobhill. Too many places, too little time.

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We're going to see Ka on 3/31, and were thinking about dinner at L'Atelier or Smith & Wollensky - L'Alteler's on line menu at the MGM site is really sketchy - does Robuchon have a web site with the menu so we can take a look to make a decision?

"Leave the gun. Take the cannoli."

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We're going to see Ka on 3/31, and were thinking about dinner at L'Atelier or Smith & Wollensky - L'Alteler's on line menu at the MGM site is really sketchy - does Robuchon have a web site with the menu so we can take a look to make a decision?

The menu changes freqently. I would suggest calling the reservation line and seeing if they will fax you the current menu (assuming you have access to a fax machine, of course). Most of the menu is small, tapas-style dishes, with some more substantial entre items, and a 9 course tasting menu ($105 last time I looked). Be sure to order the "L'ouef" - it's a martini glass with a parsley puree in the bottom, an egg poached in the glass with the yolk still runny, topped with sauteed wild mushrooms and a mushroom foam. Yum.

They get a lot of pre-show business since the restaurant is right next to the theater. The waiters are good about making sure you make your show time.

Neil - I just noticed you are now at L'Atelier du Joël Robuchon. What happened to the Bellagio? Better gig?

Bellagio was great, but after 2 years it was just time to move on and learn new things. My chef at Bellagio actually helped be get the Robuchon job.

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We're going to see Ka on 3/31, and were thinking about dinner at L'Atelier or Smith & Wollensky - L'Alteler's on line menu at the MGM site is really sketchy - does Robuchon have a web site with the menu so we can take a look to make a decision?

The menu changes freqently. I would suggest calling the reservation line and seeing if they will fax you the current menu (assuming you have access to a fax machine, of course). Most of the menu is small, tapas-style dishes, with some more substantial entre items, and a 9 course tasting menu ($105 last time I looked). Be sure to order the "L'ouef" - it's a martini glass with a parsley puree in the bottom, an egg poached in the glass with the yolk still runny, topped with sauteed wild mushrooms and a mushroom foam. Yum.

They get a lot of pre-show business since the restaurant is right next to the theater. The waiters are good about making sure you make your show time.

Neil - I just noticed you are now at L'Atelier du Joël Robuchon. What happened to the Bellagio? Better gig?

Bellagio was great, but after 2 years it was just time to move on and learn new things. My chef at Bellagio actually helped be get the Robuchon job.

Neil - Good luck at Robuchon. I'll miss your pastries next time I'm at Jean Philippe. I guess I will now have to try L'Atelier :smile: (It was already on my list).

Edited by bgut1 (log)
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