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Las Vegas - Strip/Downtown Recs

Las Vegas - Strip/Downtown Recs
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  • Post #31 - January 18th, 2011, 11:00 am
    Post #31 - January 18th, 2011, 11:00 am Post #31 - January 18th, 2011, 11:00 am
    jesteinf wrote:I ate at Mix once and wasn't terribly impressed. Is Ducasse still involved/attached (I thought I had heard he wasn't)?


    You may be correct although the Mandalay Bay website, where the restaurant is located, still makes much of him/his connection.
    Gypsy Boy

    "I am not a glutton--I am an explorer of food." (Erma Bombeck)
  • Post #32 - January 18th, 2011, 11:05 am
    Post #32 - January 18th, 2011, 11:05 am Post #32 - January 18th, 2011, 11:05 am
    Gypsy Boy wrote:
    jesteinf wrote:I ate at Mix once and wasn't terribly impressed. Is Ducasse still involved/attached (I thought I had heard he wasn't)?


    You may be correct although the Mandalay Bay website, where the restaurant is located, still makes much of him/his connection.


    That's probably correct, not sure where I'm remembering my information from.

    In any event, the Ducasse involvement wasn't readily apparent to me based on the quality of the food. Nice view though.
    -Josh

    I've started blogging about the Stuff I Eat
  • Post #33 - January 18th, 2011, 6:18 pm
    Post #33 - January 18th, 2011, 6:18 pm Post #33 - January 18th, 2011, 6:18 pm
    I'd be much more inclined to go to Mix for drinks and then head somewhere else for dinner. Maybe Fleur de Lys if you want to stay in the Mandalay complex?

    edit: oh, you don't want advice. And in any case, Fleur de Lys is now Fleur, a "high-energy small plates restaurant".
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

    RIP LTH.
  • Post #34 - June 19th, 2011, 6:57 pm
    Post #34 - June 19th, 2011, 6:57 pm Post #34 - June 19th, 2011, 6:57 pm
    (For those reading the entire thread, you'll notice that our original plan to have dinner at Mix fell through. We did still eat at RM Seafood, as planned. And managed to add in a superb brunch, as you will see:...)

    Two-and-a-half days, three meals:
    brunch at PAYARD PATISSERIE (Caesar's Palace)
    dinner at BAR MASA (Aria Resort and Hotel)
    dinner at RM SEAFOOD (Mandalay Bay)

    First up: the best croissant I've had in a long, long, long time, possibly ever: Payard Patisserie in Caesar's Palace. François Payard is a third generation pastry chef whose first job was at La Tour d'Argent. Job #2? At Lucas Carton. This isn't enough, of course, so he moves to NYC where his first two jobs are Le Bernardin and Restaurant Daniel. Talk about overachievers! That croissant was just about perfect. Flaky without being dry in the least, delicate but not crumbly. So buttery you could hardly believe it. Nearly worth the plane fare just to have this croissant. I say "just about perfect" because, although I cannot find a single flaw in it, I am reluctant to pronounce anything "perfect." Were I not so scrupulous, I wouldn't hesitate. This was about as perfect as I ever expect a croissant to be.

    We were alerted to this place by a review from S. Irene Virbila, the difficult-to-please chief critic at the LA Times. (Yes, the one whose picture a pissed-off restaurateur/fool in LA published.) She rhapsodized about brunch in this tiny little spot, all of ten tables or so. The room is round, the buffet (which is a little skimpy) sits in the middle, but you can also order individual dishes. We had some of both--buffet, buffet, and eggs Benedict on a croissant. Plus a croissant or, ahem, several, from the buffet. The buffet, though rather distinctly un-extensive (non-extensive?) (no eggs of any sort, for example) compensated with very high quality items: excellent (thick-cut) lox, bagels (okay, this IS Vegas, they weren't New York bagels), beautiful fruit.... All in all, the offerings, whether entrees (a substantial number) or buffet, were more than sufficient to please almost any palate. And those croissants.... Get thee hence!

    We also had very good dinner at Bar Masa in the Aria Resort and Hotel. Masa Takayama owns a little place in NYC that received three Michelin stars. Hmmm. We were just able to have a smallish celebratory dinner for my mother-in-law's birthday before running over to the MGM Grand for Cirque du Soleil. To begin, we split an order of vegetable tempura.

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    It was everything that tempura should be: light, crisp batter with not a speck of oil. A nice selection of items as well: sweet potato, shrimp, shiitake, green beans, and even a small white fish (we couldn't agree on what it was and forgot to ask). Our entrees involved two orders of sushi: a miso tofu roll and a California roll with Alaskan king crab.

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    I ordered the "Sizzling Spicy [grilled] Octopus," and we split an order of chicken yakitori, another advertised house specialty.

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    A couple observations. We found the preparations to be pretty much straightforward, even traditional; this is not his reputation so we were a little surprised. Also, we fully realize that these few dishes are insufficient to take the measure of the place; unfortunately, we had stringent time constraints that dictated what we would order. Still, we think that the courses are representative in the sense that an inability to do these things well means we'd have serious reservations about trusting the kitchen with other things. All that said: my mother-in-law pronounced herself quite happy with her tofu roll and, indeed, urged me to try it. I'll confess that I was fairly reluctant to taste a sushi roll that featured a tofu and a slice of avocado. But etiquette overcame reluctance and I am happy to say that I have never in my life had a creamier, more unctuous piece of tofu. If people had access to this quality of tofu regularly, they would run to embrace it. Hell, I'd eat it for breakfast; I don't think I'll ever have it better in this lifetime . As with so much, this is the difference between hand/home-made and store-bought and there is literally no comparison.

    On the other hand (ominous chords sound in the background), I was less than pleased with the octopus. I expected grilled octopus to be, well, grilled. It was hot, it was fresh, it was well-prepared but it was essentially raw. It had been heated--maybe even on a grill--but it was not grilled. And that disappointed me. Quite a bit actually. The shreds of jalapeno worked and didn't overmatch the octopus but raw is raw and that's frankly one reason I ordered it grilled. The yakitori, too, was excellent. Given the price ($30), the portion was adequate, but the preparation was really top-notch. This wasn't bottled teriyaki sauce splashed on some supermarket chicken. The flavor had depth and nuance and the chicken was grilled just right--it came out juicy and delicious, chicken accented by sliced scallion. Were it not for the price, I'd heartily recommend it. So too with LDC's California roll. It's hard to go too far wrong when the roll features Alaskan king crab and so it was here: LDC was quite happy.

    I decided to have some sake with my dinner and they had a fairly impressive list. After floundering a bit on my own, I called on the sommelier who clearly knew his stuff. I told him what on his list I'd had and liked and explained the direction I wanted to go. He made a couple recommendations and I ended up selecting the Manabito Kimoto Junmai Ginjo (Akita-ken). It turned out, in the event, to be a touch sweeter than I had expected (or hoped) but was otherwise impressive: rich and full-bodied, yet with enough acidity to stand up, I think, to heavier dishes. I had wanted something a bit drier but was well pleased with the bottle nonetheless.

    Desserts: a sweet miso crème brulee and soba ice cream.

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    As the server noted, the crème brulee didn't taste of miso, per se. The distinctiveness of the miso was lost in the entire dish, but it was wonderful: creamy, not overly sweet, with a perfectly crisp, caramelized crust on top. The soba ice cream was just odd. To me, it tasted of nothing so much as mugi cha, a roasted barley tea--an everyday Japanese tea that I don't care for. Why flavor ice cream with buckwheat? Who knows? Although neither the Lovely Dining Companion nor her mother cared for the ice cream either, I am pleased to say that LDC, after a moment's thought, agreed with my mugi cha reference.

    Finally, it's worth noting (especially since he's charging $450/person in NYC) that dinner, including $38 for the sake, was $200 including everything but tip. No, it wasn't a large selection of dishes, but it did include a couple pricey house specialties. (As another example of pricing, I was very pleasantly surprised at the four listed price points for an omakase dinner: the cheapest was a mere $68 and the highest, $175--a remarkably restrained range in Las Vegas, although I have no idea what $68 (or $175 for that matter) got you. And I have to believe that higher priced options could be arranged.) All in all, we thought we did well on price as well as quality. We'd be particularly interested to return when time was not an issue and we could order more and a more varied selection.

    Our last meal in Las Vegas was an absolutely top-notch dinner at RM Seafood (that's RM as in Rick Moonen) in the Mandalay Bay. (Sorry, we took no pics here.) The downstairs (main floor) has a somewhat less expensive, distinctly larger menu. It's also a little more, uh, quotidian. Our table felt like that because it was right next to large (and open) glass doors looking out on what was, in essence, an indoor mall portion of the hotel. If we had been seated in the interior of the restaurant, I suspect we would have felt much less like we were on display but the location did not say "high-end restaurant" to any of us. That said, we knew we were in good hands the moment the bread basket arrived: tiny biscuits and cornbread muffins. Maybe not the best I've ever had, but certainly in the competition.

    But except for the dessert (of which more, anon), the food was truly superb. We split a jumbo (blue) crab cake served with a side of jicama dressed with a chipotle aioli. I thought the aioli better than I expected but my feeling when ordering--and while eating--was that this was a little too trendy to be a good idea. It worked, but not well enough that I'd look for it. The crabcake, though, was unqualifiedly top-notch, filled with crab. Held together with just enough binder and lightly seasoned: a superb rendition.

    Then, off in three distinct directions: halibut, shrimp, and branzino. Not only were the seafood stars on each plate really amazing, but the garnishes and veggie accompaniments were noteworthy as well. LDC's roasted shrimp came with wild arugula (the difference with tame arugula being...?), blood orange, green garlic, and fennel. Seemed like a somewhat an odd combination to me but then I never tasted it because LDC cleaned her plate, so what do I know. A generous (at least for her) portion, grilled just right, and delicious. Apparently the acid in the orange and the bitter in the arugula worked well with the shrimp and I guess, upon reflection, I can see the green garlic and fennel working more as a "salad"-type accompaniment or garnish.

    The halibut came with escarole, white beans, and chorizo. Although I found the pairing unusual, Rick Moonen nearly walked off a winner on Top Chef and I'm, well, me. In the event, my mother-in-law pronounced herself quite pleased with the fish and that's really all one can ask. She eats a lot of fish in a lot of places and has pretty high standards. If she's happy.... My own dish, the branzino, was plated next to a spring vegetable ragout that could not have been better done--the flavors, the textures, the done-ness of each bite, impossible to imagine being better. The accompanying romesco sauce sounded better than it was. While there was nothing wrong with this version, it just didn't seem to work with the fish. But the fish was cooked perfectly, skin on. Exactly right. It's not a fish you see often enough (in my humble estimation) so I relished the opportunity to order it. The flesh is firm, the flavor restrained or, as some might say, delicate.

    Finally, there is a small selection of sides, all of which are served "family style." We all enjoy spinach and often have it as a side. This, however, was spinach of the gods. I have absolutely no idea what Moonen's kitchen does but I've never had better spinach anywhere, ever. Tender, flavorful, this is the Platonic ideal of spinach. There was garlic, but far less than most places. It was an accent, not overwhelming. If you didn't pay attention, you might even miss it. But the spinach was truly extraordinary. I know it sounds a little odd to go on and on about steamed spinach, but that's how good it was.

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    dessert

    Sadly, I went with my gut for dessert. Literally and, shall we say, figuratively. The "Fat Elvis"--hey, we were in Vegas--is four "spring rolls" filled with warm chocolate, banana slices, and bacon, the whole disgusting thing then deep-fried and rolled in sugar. Upon mature reflection, I'd say that it is about like it sounds: a mistake. In fairness, it worked better than I had any right to expect but nothing I can think about again or recommend. One question: why a spring roll? As a concept, it worked. At least in terms of taste. But we're talking about a dessert named the "Fat Elvis." Spring rolls? I can appreciate not wanting to do this as a sandwich, but a spring roll? The filling was Elvis, of course. Or do I mistake innovation for inappropriateness?

    All in all, a wonderful two-and-a-half day interlude. We stayed at the Bellagio, which was a real treat and visited probably some dozen or two different casinos, some for walk-throughs, others for lengthier stays. Since I was last in Vegas in 1976, things have...um...changed. Largely, though not entirely, for the better. Still, it was a real eye-opener and it's one time I'm sorry I'm no longer in the private sector; I'd love to manage to have a client take me out there!
    Gypsy Boy

    "I am not a glutton--I am an explorer of food." (Erma Bombeck)
  • Post #35 - June 20th, 2011, 8:41 pm
    Post #35 - June 20th, 2011, 8:41 pm Post #35 - June 20th, 2011, 8:41 pm
    I spent a few nights in Vegas recently. We tried the Cosmopolitan's Wicked Spoon buffet for brunch (my Vegas tip: go to any buffet around 10:30 and enjoy breakfast until they switch over to lunch around 11). The Cosmopolitan buffet was quite good, although I still prefer the buffets at Bellagio and Wynn. A big deal is made of Cosmopolitan serving some items in individual crocks, but I really didn't think that this added anything to the experience.

    We had a lunch at China Poblano, also in the Cosmopolitan. China Poblano, as the name implies, offers both Chinese and Mexican food items. Overall, it was fine, but nothing particularly inspiring to make me want to return. Pozole and bbq pork steamed buns were really disappointing - particularly the latter as the buns texture suggested they had been steamed too long, and the filling was rather bland. A hearts of palm salad and a scallop ceviche were my favorite dishes, but neither was mind blowing. Chilaquiles and queso fundido were both decent, including the corn tortillas accompanying the queso fundido, but nothing I'd really care to have again.

    Dinner at Lotus of Siam was as good as usual - always a must visit for me (and don't forget to make reservations at least a week in advance - maybe more). The highlight of the meal was the boat noodles with soft shell crab which were just fantastic. I must say that their version of khao soi was really bland and disappointing, however, so be warned . . . as tempting as this menu item may be.

    But the absolute best dinner of this short trip was at Sage, Shawn McClain's newish spot at Aria. Food and service were both excellent. There was an amuse bouche to start things off - can't recall much other than there being bacon and tomato. I then moved on to foie gras creme brulee with rhubarb, toasted cocoa nibs and salted brioche, and it was outstanding.

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    Foie gras creme brulee

    Other excellent starters included an artichoke soup with sunflower seeds, charred onion and thyme blossom and a perfectly creamy slow poached egg served with toasted bread, smoked potato and shaved summer truffles.

    The best main course was a terrific lobster casoncelli with glazed onions, spinach puree and mascarpone - great texture, perfectly cooked lobster, and maybe the best tasting composed lobster dish I have ever tasted. Usually with lobster I believe less is more because I just love its natural flavor, but the accompaniments in this dish improved the flavor of the lobster. Also great were the halibut with chanterelles, white asparagus and peas and a potato crusted arctic char with fava beans, grilled ramps and green garlic puree.

    Desserts were also excellent, but my favorite was the crunchy chocolate-peanut butter tart with a blackberry puree encased in chocolate and a toasted marshmallow sauce. A chocolate and espresso cake was also quite good, but it was the smoked white chocolate ice cream that really intrigued me - quite good too. Also worth noting is their extensive absinthe service, although we did not partake.

    I've paid a lot more in Las Vegas for meals that were not nearly this good. Overall, I'd say Sage is a great addition to the Las Vegas dining scene and I highly recommend a visit.
  • Post #36 - June 23rd, 2011, 2:09 pm
    Post #36 - June 23rd, 2011, 2:09 pm Post #36 - June 23rd, 2011, 2:09 pm
    Thanks for the report BR.

    IMO, for both Chicagoans and Angeleno, LoS is NOT a req'd visit in Vegas. Raku, yes, LoS, no.

    We had a wicked time at Wicked Spoon. Rank it better than Bellagio/Rio, etc. Super service, items beyond just mounds of protein & fat. Lunch is almost affordable.

    Sage is on my (short) to-do list in Vegas. Almost made it, but chose L'ate Rob instead. Vegas is a food desert as far as I'm concerned; Fleur is vastly disappointing, as was Aureole, etc. The rest are just chained outposts. China Poblano's menu made me want to hurl my wok at its front door.
    Last edited by TonyC on October 2nd, 2013, 12:09 pm, edited 2 times in total.
  • Post #37 - June 23rd, 2011, 2:47 pm
    Post #37 - June 23rd, 2011, 2:47 pm Post #37 - June 23rd, 2011, 2:47 pm
    gotta agree re: LoS and Raku. If you're from LA or Chicago and go to Vegas and eat off strip, you should probably go to Raku twice before going to LoS once. Raku is just such a special place.
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

    RIP LTH.
  • Post #38 - June 24th, 2011, 7:27 am
    Post #38 - June 24th, 2011, 7:27 am Post #38 - June 24th, 2011, 7:27 am
    TonyC wrote:Thanks for the report BR.

    As think for both Chicagoans (and Angelenos), LoS is NOT a req'd visit in Vegas. Raku, yes, LoS, no.

    As for Raku, I generally agree with you Tony. But I love Thai food (much prefer it to Japanese), I think LoS is generally excellent (but on par with what Chicago and LA offer) . . . . . and to top it all off, I was meeting people in Vegas who live neither in LA or Chicago but love good Thai food, thus making LoS a no-brainer. The one meal I had at Raku almost two years ago was really outstanding though and certainly better than any Japanese food I can get in Chicago.

    All that being said, the boat noodles w/ soft shell crab at LoS are still in my mind . . . best boat noodles I've ever had. I should note that their mee krob/mi krap, though not the sweet, gloppy mess that it is throughout the US, is still not what you'd get in Bangkok . . . dominating bitter orange flavor . . . still searching for that elusive dish which blows your mind in both Bangkok (in a good way), but leaves you scratching your head in the US.
    Last edited by BR on July 2nd, 2011, 9:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #39 - July 2nd, 2011, 9:29 am
    Post #39 - July 2nd, 2011, 9:29 am Post #39 - July 2nd, 2011, 9:29 am
    My wife and I returned via redeye, from Vegas a few days ago, and what we saved in air fare, we surely spent in mind fog. So, now, a few days in of sleep, I can recollect on many fine meals. There will forever, it seems, be debate over the ability to eat well in Las Vegas. To some, once you are a "copy" you are forever devalued and diminished from the original. In addition, to some, Las Vegas eaters are simply Middle Americans loving nothing more than a whiff of a TV chef, but actually wanting to eat the most basic of fare (there is some kernel to this as I will explain below). Me, I reject those and other arguments. I find the eating superlative. Eat well and play cards. I wish I could spend my whole life like this.

    We did a mix of strip and off-strip eating. I will post of the off-strip meals in the SteveZ thread where they will be more at home. Since this thread says, "Strip Recs", I will focus on Strip recs. I would certainly recommend any of the places listed below.

    Steve Wynn and Wolfgang Puck* wrote the recipe book for successful Strip restaurant, and a lot of others printed copies. It is not a secret formula. Rather, it can be applied nearly ad nauseum. Start, foremost with a heavy investment in design and build-out. At every meal I marveled at the rooms and the implied costs involved. Then, add a bounty of pretty good ingredients. Las Vegas may be in the desert, but it is directly connected via Interstate to California and its farmer's markets. Much fare comes from the famed Santa Monica market, especially. Moreover, Las Vegas's airport may be the best fish market outside of Tokyo. Those good ingredients go into dishes, if not banal, not necessarily robust in their creativity. Yet, I find the time-tested-ness of the menu a virtue. You get dishes known to work; known to taste delicious. Of course, you get dishes easily well executed by armies of culinary school grads. If there is a few too many safe choices, for instance a grilled lamb chop with mashed potatoes when something more interesting could have gone there, it does not mean you have to pick that choice. I find menu creativity and originality over-rated. I just like to eat well.

    Well we did. Our first Strip meal: Payard's in Ceasar's Palace. My wife stood pissed for over a year (since our last visit together) over the fact that we passed on Payard's brunch last time. How could I, married to a woman with a then nascent pastry career, pass on this Master's output? Truth, I balked last time at the price. It is like paying for breakfast in a New York hotel. Yet, having agreed to come to Las Vegas with me, I could not deny my wife this initial breakfast. She thanked me by blessing the cheese danish the best she ever tried, and as someone who has worked for some of Chicago's best baker's, I think she has some credibility. Truth, I found it not as good as either C. Adams in Milwaukee or what they used to do at Marion Street Cheese. Truth, I would say that of all the meals, this one provided the worst value equation. $22 for the buffet does not quite match the food provided. On the other hand, I will admit that I ate more than $22 worth of French breakfast pastries. If you have the stomach for that kind of thing, like me, you will enjoy Payards. Good coffee too.

    Second, Spanish. Everyone worth their foodie chops knows that the epicenter of eating these days comes from the Iberian Peninsula. I feel, however, to have missed this phenomenon. For one thing, I have not been to Spain since 1987; for another, I've found Spanish restaurants in the US to be poor representations. Yet, between a new crush on Anne Sibboney and an old crush on Claudia Roden, I've been exposed to a lot of Spanish food of late. When Vegas planning led me to newish places by two of the best Spanish chefs in the US, Jose Andreas and Julian Serrano (Spanish, but more well know, actually for cooking French food at Picasso), I knew at least one of our meals would be Spanish. I would also add that Spanish food fits well into the Vegas cycle. After all, where else does it seem more necessary to eat lunch at say 3 in the afternoon. It is not off. It is "authentic."

    We had our Spanish food at Julian Serrano's mostly because we got hungry as we walked past Aria. Man, I loved my lunch. Originally, I wanted a paella from one of them, but after six or so French pastries, I did not yet have the energy. Serrano actually works well for the under-peckish. For not too much money, I got a plate sized cast iron platter filled with a Spanish rice dish very much the parent of New Orlean's jambalaya. Man it tasted good. Really bold and interesting flavors of smoked paprika and other unidentifiable items. My wife went with the much pricier mixed seafood, made "modern" by some kind of whipped egg thing-ey. Again, it contained flavors good but different. The seafood overly abundant; several large prawns, clams, and such. There was a few clunkers though in the mix. The scallop was cooked just so right, crisp on top, soft within, but a bit too much grit marred. A lobster tail came way, way too cooked.

    Our third strip meal was probably my favorite, at least in the way it combined foods I loved with prices I love. Milos Estiatorio has always been a place I've wanted to try (if say in New York and be hosted by a rich friend who writes abrasively about food opinions). Now available in a place I visit more often, Las Vegas at the Cosmopolitan, and with an option just right for me. A $20.11 lunch special. For this price, one gets 3 courses of Greek food about as good as Greek food could get. It is the perfect Vegas meal. 2/3rds of it was in the ingredients: raw kumamato oysters, Greek bortaga, day-plane fish, market greens, etc.; the other 1/3rd, dishes from the cannon: tarma, horta, grilled fish, etc. This is my most rec of recs here.

    The last strip meal was back at the Aria. My wife loves Michael Mina, and she had her eye on his American Fish since we decided a few weeks ago to make this little Vegas jaunt. Her desire mostly fueled by a sockeye salmon tasting menu. I've gone on way too long to describe dish by dish the tasting menu, but this blog hits it about where I would. Again, being oddly not quite as hungry, I skipped the tasting menu for a dish of grilled mixed seafood. Luckily Mina fills his plates not just with fish but with little pots of sides, and the best part of a very (very) good plate of fish was a tiny, hard to eat, bowl of creamed corn. I should also add they serve excellent little muffins with excellent little containers of salted butter.

    I could go on, so if you need more info on these recs, let me know.

    *Sadly, one of my favorite Vegas places, Chinois, is now gone.
  • Post #40 - July 8th, 2011, 2:15 pm
    Post #40 - July 8th, 2011, 2:15 pm Post #40 - July 8th, 2011, 2:15 pm
    Milos Estiatorio was in my sights last time as well. It sounded so refreshing, especially for someone with high BP & cholesterol. But Wicked Spoon won at the end.

    Interesting you thought Milos was an excellent value but disapproved of Payard. I always take first timers to Payard for lunch if they don't want buffet...
  • Post #41 - July 10th, 2011, 11:55 am
    Post #41 - July 10th, 2011, 11:55 am Post #41 - July 10th, 2011, 11:55 am
    TonyC wrote:Milos Estiatorio was in my sights last time as well. It sounded so refreshing, especially for someone with high BP & cholesterol. But Wicked Spoon won at the end.

    Interesting you thought Milos was an excellent value but disapproved of Payard. I always take first timers to Payard for lunch if they don't want buffet...


    Well, 3 course of lunch at Milos, with fresh fish, cost less than the all you can eat French pastriathon at Payard, not that I did not love stuffing myself with such pastries.

    I've reported on our off-strip meals here. As good as the Strip places were, they were as good as off-strip, and the Japanese diner, Ichiza, is the best place I've eat at in 2011 (even better than Carnevino, which I at ate earlier in 2011 in Las Vegas).
  • Post #42 - August 26th, 2011, 12:23 pm
    Post #42 - August 26th, 2011, 12:23 pm Post #42 - August 26th, 2011, 12:23 pm
    We had a whirlwind trip through Vegas last week, mostly off-strip visiting my parents. However, my parents volunteered to sit at home while the kids slept (it's a tough gig...you sit on the couch, watch TV, enjoy a beer or bourbon if the mood strikes) so my wife and I could have a night out.

    We started by checking out the new Cosmopolitan hotel/casino/mall/thing. After valeting at Aria & walking through City Center's big & fancy Crystals mall to get there, Cosmopolitan was a bit of a letdown - small & cramped due to its being shoe-horned into the tiny strip of land between the behemoth City Center and sprawling Bellagio. We settled down at the mezzanine level of The Chandelier bar (apparently this level is called "Inside the Chandelier"), where my wife ordered some grapefruit-based concoction from the cocktail menu. I was really, really craving a proper daiquiri...I asked the bartender if she happened to know how to make one, and she responded by telling me they don't have blenders at that particular bar.

    Fortunately, another bartender, Jason, overheard this exchange and came to the rescue, making the best daiquiri (based on Don Q rum) I've had since my last visit to The Violet Hour. He was very knowledgable, friendly, and enthusiastic about cocktails & booze in general. After asking us where we were from, he mentioned that he had a mixologist buddy in Chicago who had created an herb-infused liqueur...he went around the bar and came back with a bottle of Hum spirit. Sure enough, his buddy in Chicago is Adam Seger of Nacional 27 (is he still there? I'm out of the loop these days). For our next round, he made us a pair of negronis: one with Nolet Ketel1 jenever, the other with Ransom Old Tom. Both were spectacular. We could have stayed there all night, but we had a dinner reservation to get to (and I had to drive back to my parents' place...one more round that that wouldn't have been possible, or legal). Cocktails cost pretty much the same as they would at The Violet Hour, Sable, etc.: $12-14 each.

    While we were there, a distributor of Bob Marley-brand "mellow mood beverage" showed up with a case of sodas & teas specifically for Jason to play with. While we enjoyed our negronis, he disappeared with these sorta-chemically-tasting anti-energy drinks and reappeared with some really nice, balanced cocktails for the distributor, his wife, and us - bonus!

    So executive summary of the preceding paragraph: if you're on the Strip and you're seeking respite from lousy mixed drinks in plastic cups, 48oz beers served in oversized plastic beer bottles, and two-ingredient freebie casino drinks, go to the Chandelier bar at the Cosmopolitan and ask for Jason Hughes. He gave me his cell # and e-mail, expressly for the purpose of sharing with LTHers who plan on visiting Vegas (so you can find out his schedule, and not show up at the Chandelier bar only to find out he's off for the night)...PM me if you're interested.

    After our great pre-dinner cocktail experience, we went next door to Aria for dinner at Bar Masa (discussed just upthread in Gypsy Boy's post). We started with a bottle of sake (also $38...wonder if it was the same 375ml bottle that Gypsy Boy had) and an order of hirame with spicy cucumber vinaigrette, which was very fresh, crisp, and refreshing. After that came the garlic chicken karaage - if I may be so bold, I would dub this the chicken crack of Las Vegas. It was a generous plate of juicy, slightly fatty chunks of I'm pretty sure were chicken thigh meat, perfectly fried (crispy, deep brown, not at all oily), garlicky, and served mouth-searingly (temperature) hot.

    Following those items, we shared the $75 21-piece Seasonal Sashimi Tasting, which was three pieces each of seven extremely fresh items...off the top of my head, I recall sake, hirame, kanpachi, tai, and some seriously melt-in-your-mouth toro. We were very pleased with the sashimi sampler. I asked for two bowls of sushi rice to have on the side...they charged us $3 apiece, but considering this was some obscenely good sushi rice (apparently made with vinegar that Masa Takayama brews himself), I didn't complain.

    Rather than order dessert, we thought we'd end with the Sweet shrimp and uni sotomaki. We figured that, of all places, this place would probably have some spectacular uni. Sadly, we were mistaken. It was mediocre, not the best texture, with a slightly bitter aftertaste. I've had better a few times at Toro on Clark (on days when Mitch highly recommended it, saying the Moonies had delivered it that very morning), believe it or not.

    The crappy uni was a bummer of a way to end the meal, but other than that, it was excellent, and fairly reasonable for what we ordered ($219+tip). If I was on the Strip and in the mood for some top-notch sushi, Bar Masa would definitely be on my radar.

    The Chandelier
    The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas
    3708 Las Vegas Boulevard South
    Las Vegas, NV 89109

    BARMASA
    Aria Resort & Casino
    3730 Las Vegas Boulevard
    Las Vegas, NV 89158
  • Post #43 - September 10th, 2011, 11:40 pm
    Post #43 - September 10th, 2011, 11:40 pm Post #43 - September 10th, 2011, 11:40 pm
    I wanted to share some photos from a (mostly) excellent dinner at Guy Savoy at Caesar's Palace. I ordered the six course tasting menu (Menu Elegance), exchanging a Grapefruit Terrine for the Jasmine and Chocolate. Of the dishes four of them were really quite distinguished, revealing that some French chefs (i.e. Guy Savoy) have embraced the modernist chef's love of all things vegetable.

    Lobster in Cold Steam, served in a cool steam bath, was superb, the high point of the night. The sweetness of the lobster was echoed in the sweet, crackly, sugary accompaniments. It could have been dessert and a perfect one.

    Image
    Guy Savoy - Las Vegas - August 2011 - Lobster in Cold Steam by garyalanfine, on Flickr

    The Roasted John Dory in Basil Crust was, in contrast, a huge disappointment. Although well-cooked, the dish lacked any excitement. The basil "crust" was not much to look at or to taste.

    Image
    Guy Savoy - Las Vegas - August 2011 - Roasted John Dory in Basil Crust by garyalanfine, on Flickr

    The third course, Artichoke and Black Truffle Soup with squares of parmesan and truffle was intensely, insanely rich. A glorious soup.

    Image
    Guy Savoy - Las Vegas - August 2011 - Artichoke and Black Truffle Soup, Toasted Mushroom Brioche, Parmesan Squares, and Black Truffle Butter by garyalanfine, on Flickr

    Roasted duck with raw and cooked vegetables and spinach puree was a modernist take on duck, avoiding the usual sticky sweet, fruity sauce that is usually paired. Chef Savoy breaks through the stereotype of duck to great effect.

    Image
    Guy Savoy - Las Vegas - August 2011 - Roasted Duck, Raw and Cooked Vegetables and Spinach Puree by garyalanfine, on Flickr

    Cantaloupe and cucumber was powerful with its combination of textures and herbaceous flavors. It was more of a palate cleanser than a dessert and gains credit for its awakenings.

    Image
    Guy Savoy - Las Vegas - August 2011 - Cantaloupe and Cucumber by garyalanfine, on Flickr

    The grapefruit terrine was nicely made, but was somewhat dull. It was not a visionary dessert, although it was served with a witty cookie.

    Image
    Guy Savoy - Las Vegas - August 2011 Grapefruit Terrine with Gingerbread Cookie by garyalanfine, on Flickr

    While I do not consider Guy Savoy as the best meal of the year, it was, despite its location, a serious restaurant and the most accomplished meal of my four nights in Las Vegas. The restaurant is more sedate than jazzy, and that, too, is to GS's credit.

    Restaurant Guy Savoy
    Caesars Palace
    3570 Las Vegas Boulevard South
    Las Vegas, Nevada 89109
    702-731-SAVOY
    http://caesarspalace.com
    Toast, as every breakfaster knows, isn't really about the quality of the bread or how it's sliced or even the toaster. For man cannot live by toast alone. It's all about the butter. -- Adam Gopnik
  • Post #44 - September 11th, 2011, 1:45 am
    Post #44 - September 11th, 2011, 1:45 am Post #44 - September 11th, 2011, 1:45 am
    GAF wrote:While I do not consider Guy Savoy as the best meal of the year, it was, despite its location, a serious restaurant and the most accomplished meal of my four nights in Las Vegas.

    Looking forward to hearing about the other three, Gary. Guy Savoy is one for which I almost pulled the trigger on my last few visits.
    Dominic Armato
    Dining Critic
    The Arizona Republic and azcentral.com
  • Post #45 - January 27th, 2012, 12:00 pm
    Post #45 - January 27th, 2012, 12:00 pm Post #45 - January 27th, 2012, 12:00 pm
    So I'm planning a trip to Las Vegas at the beginning of March. Does anyone have any experience or information about getting into "e by Jose Andres"?

    Details are sketchy online but from what I read you email your reservation request in at 12:00 a.m. PT one month prior to the desired date.

    Any help would be appreciated.
    Check out my Blog. http://lessercuts.blogspot.com/
    Newest blog: You paid how much?
  • Post #46 - January 27th, 2012, 12:02 pm
    Post #46 - January 27th, 2012, 12:02 pm Post #46 - January 27th, 2012, 12:02 pm
    JLenart wrote:So I'm planning a trip to Las Vegas at the beginning of March. Does anyone have any experience or information about getting into "e by Jose Andres"?


    Like all else in Vegas: Ask your casino host.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #47 - January 27th, 2012, 12:41 pm
    Post #47 - January 27th, 2012, 12:41 pm Post #47 - January 27th, 2012, 12:41 pm
    stevez wrote:
    JLenart wrote:
    Like all else in Vegas: Ask your casino host.


    Host? You think I'm some kinda high roller? I play poker. Hosts won't even look at poker players, unless they degen it up in the pits, which I do very little of, and only at the lowest limits.
    Check out my Blog. http://lessercuts.blogspot.com/
    Newest blog: You paid how much?
  • Post #48 - January 27th, 2012, 12:43 pm
    Post #48 - January 27th, 2012, 12:43 pm Post #48 - January 27th, 2012, 12:43 pm
    JLenart wrote:
    stevez wrote:
    JLenart wrote:
    Like all else in Vegas: Ask your casino host.


    Host? You think I'm some kinda high roller? I play poker. Hosts won't even look at poker players, unless they degen it up in the pits, which I do very little of, and only at the lowest limits.


    Try the concierge or front desk of the Cosmo hotel. Pit boss isn't going to get you into e.
  • Post #49 - January 27th, 2012, 1:49 pm
    Post #49 - January 27th, 2012, 1:49 pm Post #49 - January 27th, 2012, 1:49 pm
    Dlongs wrote:
    Try the concierge or front desk of the Cosmo hotel. Pit boss isn't going to get you into e.


    Neither, from what I've read the only way in is to email at midnight PT exactly 30 days out, and pray.
    Check out my Blog. http://lessercuts.blogspot.com/
    Newest blog: You paid how much?
  • Post #50 - January 27th, 2012, 3:40 pm
    Post #50 - January 27th, 2012, 3:40 pm Post #50 - January 27th, 2012, 3:40 pm
    You also can rent out the entire space at e for a night that they are closed. Not cheap, but perhaps you would have some takers on this board.
    Toast, as every breakfaster knows, isn't really about the quality of the bread or how it's sliced or even the toaster. For man cannot live by toast alone. It's all about the butter. -- Adam Gopnik
  • Post #51 - January 29th, 2012, 11:41 pm
    Post #51 - January 29th, 2012, 11:41 pm Post #51 - January 29th, 2012, 11:41 pm
    Vital Information wrote:Our third strip meal was probably my favorite, at least in the way it combined foods I loved with prices I love. Milos Estiatorio has always been a place I've wanted to try (if say in New York and be hosted by a rich friend who writes abrasively about food opinions). Now available in a place I visit more often, Las Vegas at the Cosmopolitan, and with an option just right for me. A $20.11 lunch special. For this price, one gets 3 courses of Greek food about as good as Greek food could get. It is the perfect Vegas meal. 2/3rds of it was in the ingredients: raw kumamato oysters, Greek bortaga, day-plane fish, market greens, etc.; the other 1/3rd, dishes from the cannon: tarma, horta, grilled fish, etc. This is my most rec of recs here..


    I was there last Saturday and overall, the $20.12 meal was pretty good.

    The Greek Meze plate was one of the best dishes of the meal. The smokes scottish salmon was also excellent. The two desserts - the Walnut Pie was excellent and the fresh fruit was also decorative but not very plentiful.

    The entrees, however, were disappointing. The lavraki (sea bass) was cooked well but a portion was so salty that is reminded me of bocalao. The salmon was nearly tasteless. It was missing something - maybe a maple glaze or something.

    The service was impeccable.

    We were heading to the Wicked Spoon for lunch on Saturday but ended up at the Bellagio buffet. That was a real mistake. The brunch selections were not much different than I could have gotten at the South Point for about half the price and so many of the dishes were POORLY executed.

    The omelet maker was clueless. I ended up with runny scrambled eggs that were pretty much inedible. The guy was using the spatula to press down the omelette much like some folks do with their hamburgers with much the same results.
  • Post #52 - February 11th, 2012, 6:54 pm
    Post #52 - February 11th, 2012, 6:54 pm Post #52 - February 11th, 2012, 6:54 pm
    JLenart wrote:
    Dlongs wrote:
    Try the concierge or front desk of the Cosmo hotel. Pit boss isn't going to get you into e.


    Neither, from what I've read the only way in is to email at midnight PT exactly 30 days out, and pray.


    Since I'm too lame to stay up until 2:00 am chicago time to send such an email, I set my outlook to "delay sending" until exactly at 2:00 a.m. 30 days out. I requested 2 seats for either the 5:30 or 8:30 seating for a Friday night and did the same thing the next day for a Saturday night. Scored the 5:30 Friday night seats! Really looking forward to it, and it was so drama-free compared to a certain Chicago area restaurant's seating process (aka opposite of "Last"). :D
  • Post #53 - February 13th, 2012, 5:55 pm
    Post #53 - February 13th, 2012, 5:55 pm Post #53 - February 13th, 2012, 5:55 pm
    chicagoillini2012 wrote:
    Really looking forward to it, and it was so drama-free compared to a certain Chicago area restaurant's seating process (aka opposite of "Last"). :D


    "First"? Is that a new restaurant? Haven't heard of it.
    Objects in mirror appear to be losing.
  • Post #54 - February 20th, 2012, 4:01 pm
    Post #54 - February 20th, 2012, 4:01 pm Post #54 - February 20th, 2012, 4:01 pm
    chicagoillini2012 wrote:
    JLenart wrote:
    Dlongs wrote:
    Try the concierge or front desk of the Cosmo hotel. Pit boss isn't going to get you into e.


    Neither, from what I've read the only way in is to email at midnight PT exactly 30 days out, and pray.


    Since I'm too lame to stay up until 2:00 am chicago time to send such an email, I set my outlook to "delay sending" until exactly at 2:00 a.m. 30 days out. I requested 2 seats for either the 5:30 or 8:30 seating for a Friday night and did the same thing the next day for a Saturday night. Scored the 5:30 Friday night seats! Really looking forward to it, and it was so drama-free compared to a certain Chicago area restaurant's seating process (aka opposite of "Last"). :D



    Please write up a trip report upon your return.
    Check out my Blog. http://lessercuts.blogspot.com/
    Newest blog: You paid how much?
  • Post #55 - February 22nd, 2012, 11:13 am
    Post #55 - February 22nd, 2012, 11:13 am Post #55 - February 22nd, 2012, 11:13 am
    Kman wrote:
    chicagoillini2012 wrote:
    Really looking forward to it, and it was so drama-free compared to a certain Chicago area restaurant's seating process (aka opposite of "Last"). :D


    "First"? Is that a new restaurant? Haven't heard of it.


    After I wrote that I realized my grammar error and knew someone would point that out -- opposite of "Previous".

    Looking forward to this weekend's trip, will report back next week. Planning to start out with a breakfast torta from Tortas Frontera in terminal 3 to kick off the weekend of good eats.
  • Post #56 - May 30th, 2012, 8:00 pm
    Post #56 - May 30th, 2012, 8:00 pm Post #56 - May 30th, 2012, 8:00 pm
    JLenart wrote:So I'm planning a trip to Las Vegas at the beginning of March. Does anyone have any experience or information about getting into "e by Jose Andres"?

    Details are sketchy online but from what I read you email your reservation request in at 12:00 a.m. PT one month prior to the desired date.

    Any help would be appreciated.

    Not sure if you ever got in, but for anyone else trying to get into é by José Andrés, they are now accepting reservations 90 days out. You can email them at reserve@ebyjoseandres.com, beginning I believe at midnight Pacific time 90 days prior to your desired reservation.

    They are located within Jaleo in the Cosmopolitan and are open Wednesday through Sunday, two seatings per night (5:30 and 8:30), with only 8 seats per seating, cost: $195 per person, not including tax, tip or beverages.

    I'm guessing most people don't know that they changed their reservation policy from 30 to 90 days, which might explain how I just got a reservation for Sunday, July 1, 8:30pm, just 33 days out. I hope to post pictures upon my return.
  • Post #57 - June 1st, 2012, 1:14 pm
    Post #57 - June 1st, 2012, 1:14 pm Post #57 - June 1st, 2012, 1:14 pm
    I am posting a VERY delayed trip report from my weekend at the end of February.

    We left Friday the 24th which was the day after one of the few snowstorms we had this winter, which meant our morning flight was cancelled the day before. Luckily I was able to get on an early afternoon flight, but that still left us literally running through MacCarran trying to make our e reservation on time. I had emailed the reservation e-mail address earlier in the day to let them know and they were very understanding. I think we made it from the airport to our hotel, checked in, changed, and to e in the span of about 45 minutes. But I digress.

    We ended up missing only the very first course which according to the menu was some type of gin & tonic. The next three courses were served at once, 'bar food' style -- carmelized pork rinds, beet 'jewelry' (spiral-shaped crispy beets with gold dusting served in a jewelry box) and spanish "clavel" - what looked like a rose served on a plate which was actually a plaster hand modeled after Jose's own. I was meh on the pork rinds but the beets were really good.

    The next couple of courses are a bit of a blur to me, but the next standout was the crispy chicken skin, also served with chicken oysters. What's not to like about a course based on chicken skin? This was followed by the Jose taco - jamon iberico (mmmm) topped with caviar. Maybe it's my simple midwestern upbringing but I have never been huge on caviar, nonetheless, paired with the divine ham it was delicious. Next up was the Ferran Adria-style olive sphere, which, if anyone made it to Next's el Bulli, is the exact same as the dish there except at e, you get to watch them make it. Basically the olive-iest olive you will taste, just a thin membrane of covering around a burst of olive juice. It was intense.

    A couple more courses later came my favorites - artichoke puree with vanilla and truffles. It was like the most delicious artichoke soup you'll ever eat, but with the flavor concentrated into a puree and topped with truffles. Next was a lobster course which was good, but didn't stand out amongst the rest. The next course was the richest of the night for me, turbot with bone marrow -- a good-sized piece of turbot, and on the side, bone marrow topped with caviar. Holy cats. Biting into the bone marrow "nuggets" as I'll call them was rich, meaty, just full of umami flavor. This course was followed by wild mushrooms and rosemary cooked 'en papillote' and topped with a mushroomy broth.

    Desserts didn't disappoint. There was a creamy cheese-type course with orange pith reduction, followed by flan, and then my favorite, pan con chocolate (details are getting a little fuzzy at this point) but I remember chocolate, olive oil, and a soft bread bottom. They also served a "25 second bizcocho" which we encountered again at Next el bulli in a slightly different form - here, a light sponge cake cooked in the microwave (for 25 seconds) in a water-cooler style cone cup.

    All in all, e was a huge hit. Apologies for no photos and somewhat sparse memory. We fell into Next el bulli tickets a couple weeks later from a friend, and both honestly can say we liked e FAR better (and it was about $300 cheaper for the two of us.... the cost of one of our hotel nights!).

    The next day we had croissants at Payard's in Caeser's after reading about them on here, and they probably were the best croissants I've tasted (didn't do the continental bfast, just a la carte).

    Lunch was a forgettable mexican place, can't even remember what hotel.

    Dinner was Le Bouchon since I've never had the pleasure of eating Mr. Keller's food. After our rich dinner the night before we just wanted very basic but tasty food and Bouchon delivered -- we ordered steak frites and roasted chicken. Both perfectly executed and delicious.

    Would highly recommend e as well as Bouchon. Happy vegas dining!
  • Post #58 - June 24th, 2012, 12:20 am
    Post #58 - June 24th, 2012, 12:20 am Post #58 - June 24th, 2012, 12:20 am
    As I just returned from Las Vegas last week, I wanted to add a couple of data points to the thread.

    The Wicked Spoon: I am not a huge buffet guy, and from what I have seen, many from LTH nation are also in that camp, but Wicked Spoon may be the best one in Vegas. Located in the Cosmopolitan hotel, dinner there was $36, but I liked it for several reasons. 1. All of the servings were plated in individual tasting portions (many plated rather creatively), so there was no "pigs at a trough" type action, and the food was fresh. 2. There were a lot of interesting dishes that would not be found on any buffets I have seen such as Marrow bones, General Tso's pig tails, crispy chicken skin fried rice to name a few. 3. It gave me the opportunity to enjoy some regional delicacies that I don't often get such as Cioppino, Shrimp with Grits, New Haven style White Clam Pizza. 4. The selection was vast and terrific.

    Lotus of Siam: Still really good! They are now open until 10pm most nights, and the crispy duck breast over drunken noodles was outstanding, as was the crispy rice with funky sour sausage appetizer.

    El Gordo: A Tijuana based taqueria with a few different locations, the taco's were $2 each, but very small. The ingredients were exceptionally fresh, and the Carne Adovada tacos are something I am still craving. Bonus points for having really late hours.
  • Post #59 - June 24th, 2012, 7:14 am
    Post #59 - June 24th, 2012, 7:14 am Post #59 - June 24th, 2012, 7:14 am
    The Verandah Bar & Charlie Palmer Steak.

    Before dinner we stopped in the Verandah bar for happy hour. D's Vodka/Campari/OJ/soda splash drink was tart and good. $5 happy hour prices applied only to five bartender special cocktails. I asked the waiter if it included vodka on the rocks and he answered no but in a very good natured way. I scanned the five cocktails and found a likely mark. "Could I get this one, but hold the peach schnapps...and hold the (whatever) ... and hold the pama? And make it a double?" Laughing, he said sure. Drinks were accompanied by thinly sliced fried squid cooked tender not leatherey served with decent cocktail sauce. Total check $15. How could you go wrong?

    The $48 weekly changing Cut of The Week menu, was, as often cited, an excellent deal. To begin with, the Jerry Springer fashion inspired clientele so pervasive at our hotel--the Trump--was mostly absent at the Four Seasons.

    The meal began with the bread basket: several types of baguettes including sourdough, wheat and olive--of which the olive was by far the best; and cakey cornbread--not good for southerners who like cornbread savory not sweet, poor (no milk) not rich (with milk). And the butter was freshly sliced and well refrigerated.

    A white Rhone 13% alcohol grenache was the first wine poured from a screw top bottle. Like many wines of that level of alcohol it was round and full. This one was crisp enough to enjoy, however. In all a good choice. The sommelier, Scot, was knowledgeable and responsive when queried about the wines and kept our glasses full.

    The salad course was caprese inspired. It featured buffala mozzarella served atop a 3"x3" slice of toasted ciabatta and dressed with a good quality balsamic vinagrette and garnished with dots of reduced balsamic.

    Shiraz was the next wine, and even though I usually don't like these for their being too big, too fruity and too high in alcohol this one was at least well balanced. It evoked a third growth bordeaux. All in all about the best I would expect from this kind of table wine.

    The main was two quarter inch slices of closely trimmed roasted strip loin lightly napped with a good demi-glace based sauce and teenie baby carrots. Accompaniments were corn with chanterelles (exc) and truffled twice baked potato--sinfully good.

    When I ordered I had asked for rare/medium rare to which the waiter had responded "it's roasted, the kitchen serves it as it comes off the roast". I didn't push, figuring this was how it was.

    My main course plate arrived well done. I stared at it. I cut a piece and tasted it. It was delicious, and if I had to guess, prime not choice. In a $5 cafeteria I wouldn't have complained. While I stared at it some more the maitre d', a gentlemen of long experience inquired in the best Cafe Boeuf manner if everything was good. In French that welled up from deep within I replied that it was not 'a point' but rather 'bien cuit'. He had the waiter whisk the plate away. In less than two minutes its replacement was set down rosy and medium rare.

    Dessert was a pistachio creme atop a tuile topped with very good berries.

    This was a first class meal in a first class milieu with excellent service. Overall it was indeed a tremendous value.

    DJT at the Trump International.
    Breakfast only. Price fair. Service exc. Average delivery time to table 35 minutes.--unacceptable. Omelettes overstuffed and luke warm. Separately, bacon good. Lox and gravlax excellent atop a mediocre/bad bagel. Coffee vg.

    PJ Clarkes Happy Hour
    In this burning hot June when Las Vegas temperature hit 113 F at the time of the summer solstice, we went here for the dollar oysters served from 3 to 6 PM. Schlepping through the rat maze of the Forum shoppes was annoying to say the least. The oysters Washington state sourced and very good were shucked by a skilled gentlemen from Michigan, in a past life an executive chef, whose skill at serving them whole with no shell and very fast was truly notable. Would return in a heartbeat.

    Why you should eat off the strip, unless you're a gotrox nabob: Don't take my word for it. Here it is from the NY Times.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/27/dinin ... ref=dining

    "These restaurants remind us that Las Vegas is ultimately about money and about encouraging people to drop their inhibitions and reach for their wallets..."
    Chicago is my spiritual chow home
  • Post #60 - October 2nd, 2013, 1:50 pm
    Post #60 - October 2nd, 2013, 1:50 pm Post #60 - October 2nd, 2013, 1:50 pm
    Headed back for a day's worth, and this time, I'm just totally uninspired by the dining prospects. Will visit Fifty50 to pay tribute to McClain (I used to walk by Spring almost daily), will probably down a few pieces of late night hikari mono at Kabuto, may take the cooking Thai bubbe in my household to mock the prices/food at LoS, but beyond that, I'm tapped out.

    Any one have anything new on the radar? Is Due Forni worth the trek down to Summerlin? That Eater 38 list is of no help.

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