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Las Vegas Business Dinner: Bouchon, Emeril's, or Spago?

Hosting my staff (five people) for three dinners during major trade show next week. We are set on two of the dinners: Nora's (partially as a result of the postings on this board), and the Palm (I am a long-time Palm fan, understand its shortcomings, but love the steaks and sides).

Need to decide on the first night (Tuesday). I am far more into food than the others. They have all been to Spago (we hosted a dinner there a couple of years ago), and loved it. I think they would enjoy Emeril's. A couple of us ate at the one in Orlando last year. It was pretty good. My wife and I dined at Bouchon in Yountville in early September. The food was fabulous. The service was horrible, sonething that has been reported by many on the California board as well as some locals we met in Napa. Other than the bartender, the staff was so full of themselves it was laughable.

Thanks in advance for your help and ideas.

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  1. Personally, Bouchon is one of my favorite restaurants anywhere. The only time we had a service problem was when we arrived close to closing, around 9:30 pm. And yes, we felt practically ignored, however, the maitre d' noticed and made up for it completely. All other meals, our service has been just fine and in fact, there was one dinner where it was so perfect, that it may well have been at one of Keller's finer restaurants.

    We've had typical french bistro fare there, as well as some dishes which we've never had anywhere else. There was one night that the special was a veal breast, which was slow cooked for many hours until it was literally falling apart. It was then reassembled into a cutlet, breaded and pan fried and served with a sauce. Unbelievable. They said they almost never make this.

    BTW, breakfasts are quite a delight there too.

    I've never been to Emeril's yet, however, have been to all of his other restaurants and enjoy them. I'm sure you can't go wrong there for a group and in general, I'd say they they are very service oriented. After all, Emeril is a rather jovial of guy and I think his business model tends to reflect this.

    I think it may come down to what type of people your co-workers are. Bouchon does not tend to get a raucus crowd. In fact, we've noticed a lot of men wearing suits there, which does not always seem to be the norm these days. Emerils will be far more relaxed.

    As for Spago - we were not overly impressed. Nice dinner - but nothing special - no "wow" factor. Unmemorable.

    1. Don't overlook the Commander's Palace at the Dessert Passage Shops at the Aladdin...it's New Orleans style fare and FABULOUS! They have a great Saturday and Sunday jazz brunch as well. Hope you get a chance to check them out.

      2 Replies
      1. re: nagol

        I will agree with this. Love Commander's!

      2. We ate at Spago last time we were in Las Vegas. I've never been a fan of Puck's restaurants but my husband wanted to try it....we were very disappointed in our meal...mediocre food and lackluster service. I'd say definitely go somewhere else.

        Have only had lunch at Commander's Palace but it was wonderful!

        The Palm- in a former life I was often in Las Vegas for trade shows...whenever we were there for the automotive show one of our vendors always took us to the Palm. It was always an enjoyable meal and a fun night. May not be the best place in town, but for a business dinner it always seem to work well and the steaks were always quite tasty...

        1. I have eaten at Bouchon many times and they do a tremendous job. My experiences at Spago and Emerils have been less consistent. I also echo the comments about Commanders Palace which did a great job on a special dinner for my wife and I.

          1. My experience at Bouchon has been great food, okay service. Commander's Palace was good food, great service... i mean GREAT service. They know how to make people feel taken care of...

            1. Aquanox in the Venetian. Not too loud, sophisticated, but still with the Vegas flare.

              1. Bouchon has tremendous food, no doubt about that. But with that being said, if you're planning a business meeting there you might want to consider if it will be too loud for your preference. The bistro atmosphere makes for a loud room sometimes but it's actually intended to be that way as that is what a bistro in Lyon might be like. Personally, Spago Las Vegas is not bad at all. There have been a ton of business deals closed in that dining room and lots of them for huge $$$$ ... but it's not Spago Beverly Hills. If it's an important meeting where you will be heavy into business then Spago might be the best bet. If it's a casual thing, then Bouchon would probably be my choice. Emeril's isn't even an option.

                1. Bouchon... You'll do ok for dinner here, but breakfast and lunch is superb at this place, which is much better overall than its Napa counterpart.

                  Emeril's is good, but his other place, Delmonico's Steak House (also at the Venetian like Bouchon) is better. Highly recommned to you. Killer wine list too.

                  Spago is ok, a bit tired... has seen better days.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: WineTravel

                    I agree about Delmonico completely. We've eaten there several times and have completely enjoyed each meal. Not a raucus atmosphere at all, very subdued in comparison to the others but not in a stuffy way. They also have a lot of large tables, very good for business type groups. Wine list IS killer. If you don't mind breathing garlic on each other - have the truffled parmesean garlic potato chips - to die for!

                  2. Emeril's definitely-a step above the other two. There's a reason why Emeril's reservations are hard to get.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: elrushbo

                      I'd think Emeril's reservations are hard to get only because everyone in the world knows who Emeril is. Don't get me wrong - I've enjoyed my meals at the restaurants of his that I've been to (with the exception of NOLA, terrible) but I do think that for that particular restaurant, there's a popularity factor to the hard to get reservations.

                      1. re: sivyaleah

                        Try Delmonico sometime, it's popular because of the food, not because everyone's heard of Emeril. Maybe Emeril is famous...because he knows food? Seriously, Delmonico is better than Prime, and Prime is fantastic. It ain't just the rep. His Vegas operations are both great, with Delmonico the best of the best.

                        1. re: elrushbo

                          I totally agree with you about Delmonico. I was just referring to "Emeril's" in LV - not Delmonico. I mentioned above how great it is. If you meant "Emeril" to mean "Delmonico", I apologize for misunderstanding :-)

                          1. re: sivyaleah

                            I, too, was thinking Emeril's at the MGM vs. Delmonico when I read the post. However, I've been to Delmonico a couple times and I really don't see what all the hype is about. Nothing I had really stood out. I thought the beef was average, not nearly as good as Prime or Craftsteak. I had some stuffed shrimp that were awful and the foie gras was completely forgettable. I do know that they are booked solid every night but then again there are a ton of people who stay at the Venetian and the restaurant itself is steps away from the Sands convention center where a ton of people pass through every day. Personally, I think they are booked every night for those reasons as opposed to the food. But that's just my opinion.

                    2. First of all, thanks for all the posts. I was remiss in my initial post: my question was about Emeril's Seafood House, not Delmonico's. I had the pleasure of dining at the New Orleans Delmonico's a number of years age. It was phenominal. The food was outstanding, wine list a delight, and the service was impeccable--gracious (not fawning) with a great sense of timing. So, for those of you that have been to both the New Orleans and Las Vegas branches, how does Vegas stack up? (BTW, I understand the New Orleans Delmonicos has recently re-opened).

                      1. Delmonico's in New Orleans just reopened again within the past couple of weeks. The problem with the NO restaurant scene at the moment is that the service is a bit off just about everywhere. This is because they are having a lot of problems getting staff... so the experience level is lower than before Katrina. Will take some time for things to come back to approaching "normal". Had a very nice meal at Emerils in NO a few wks ago. Food was excellent. Oh, that BBQ'd shrimp with rosemary bisquits!!!

                        Difference btw NO and Vegas Delmonico's is that NO has more character. 2 floors with a few different rooms in an old house with a lot of history. Vegas outpost is, well, VEGAS. It's very slick and BIG. Still, a great place for a business dinner. Excellent food, GREAT wine list (Wine Spectator Grand Award winner... the highest level... not many of those). Place is noisy, but all the places in Vegas are noisy.