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1 Open Night in Vegas - Suggestions?

Frodnesor Nov 16, 2006 01:24 PM

We've got 3 nights in Las Vegas next month. I've already booked L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon for the first night and Michael Mina at the Bellagio for the last night, and am looking for suggestions to fill the open one.

We've done Atelier before (and loved it, obviously, since we're going back). Have also been to Bouchon (really enjoyed our dinner there), Aureole (good but not outstanding, although I loved playing with the wine gizmo), Commander's (like it, although we did it for lunch last time which was a bit heavy), Renoir (good, but probably wouldn't go back), Noodles in the Bellagio (hit and miss but some stuff is good - lunch or late night, not dinner), Sushi Roku (very good but a lunch option rather than dinner).

Any suggestions for our one open night? Not to limit the possible suggestions, but can anyone share thoughts on Rosemary's (worth a trip off the Strip?) or any of the places in the Wynn?

Also, any suggestions for late night eating? Our flight will be getting in around 11:30pm and we may be peckish, have a chance to squeeze in one more meal.

  1. Frodnesor Nov 20, 2006 01:47 PM

    Particularly given how much the quality of the restaurants has improved on the Strip of late, it's understandable most visitors don't venture further. I think I'm probably a good example. We'll have 3 nights in Vegas. We've been about once a year for the past few years, and I'm going to 1 supposedly great restaurant I haven't been to yet (Michael Mina Bellagio), 1 I've already been to and loved (Atelier), and am debating #3.

    I actually think we will venture off-Strip to Rosemary's, but we could just as easily try several other supposedly great places we haven't been to yet on prior visits (the Wynn places, Fiamma...) or go back to an old favorite (Bouchon). When it's that easy, it's difficult to summon the motivation to go venturing further afield.

    I'm sure there's plenty of great eating further off-Strip as well, and we'll probably explore it more on future visits - I'm just happy that the options on the Strip have improved so dramatically over the 24-hour buffet of years past.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Frodnesor
      Debbie W Nov 21, 2006 12:32 AM

      I agree with your assessment. We get to Vegas about 3-4 times per year and we usually drive. Every now and then we fly. We've driven out to Rosemary's twice and we really like it, but it is somewhat of a schlep. Sadly my husband really dislikes Thai food so we haven't been to LOS.

      We are always struggling with where to eat because there are so many good choices. We try to hit at least one new place per trip, and we usually stay for 3 nights. We'll be there next week and we are going to Fiamma (new to us), Bartolotta (been once) and Bouchon (been 3x for breakfast and 2x for dinner).

      We went to Michael Mina in May and it was very good, but we were kind of fooded-out by that night, having dined the prior two nights at L'Atelier and Fleur de Lys. I don't think we enjoyed Michael Mina as much as we otherwise would have. I hope you have a great dinner there.

      I think you would be very happy if you end up at Rosemary's for your middle night. As to places at the Wynn we've only been to DB Brasserie (once for lunch, once for dinner) and Bartolotta. DB isn't as good as Bouchon. Twice we've enjoyed cocktails in the DB bar prior to going elsewhere for dinner. Bartolotta was excellent the time we went which was a year ago and we are very excited about returning. We might try Alex on our following trip in January but that's in a totally different league. BTW we didn't really enjoy L'Atelier - food too fussy, snotty service - but you like it so I hope you like it again!

    2. d
      Dave Feldman Nov 20, 2006 03:37 AM

      I'm a little surprised how little discussion there has been here about Chinese restaurants in Chinatown. I admit I've sort of abandoned Chinatown-Chinese myself because I eat so often at Lotus of Siam, but there used to be many good places, primarily Cantonese and Shanghai. On my last trip, I fell in love with Panang Malaysian and Hue's Thai (Vietnamese). I'm sure there are many terrific Chinese options that haven't been discussed here.

      Some of this is a matter of definition. Is Joyful House *in* Chinatown? It's a little west of the main drag, but it's on Spring Mountain, not far away.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Dave Feldman
        j
        jlawrence01 Nov 20, 2006 05:21 AM

        Over the last five years, it seems like about 90% of the conversation regarding Las Vegas food has centered on the most recent Strip eatery. You would ALMOST think that all of Las Vegas is centered on a four mile stretch of Las Vegas Blvd. South. People forget that there are about 1.2 million people in the Las Vegas metro area, many of whom do not head to the Strip for their entertainment. (One friend told me, "Sure we head to the Strip ... when we have out-of-town friends here.")

        As for what constitutes "Chinatown" in Las Vegas ... well, I am not sure that there is a formal area. Some would claim that it is limited to that mall area with the 99 Ranch store. Most would say that it stretches all along Spring Mountain.

        I will be in Las Vegas in January and I plan to spend a significant part of the trip in smaller eateries OFF-STRIP.

        1. re: jlawrence01
          lvmanager Nov 20, 2006 09:52 AM

          No kidding. Don't get me wrong, I'll be the first to admit that I head to the Strip if I'm looking for some really good professional food, but there are several really good places around town that have really good food. Table 34, Grape Street Cafe, Bob Taylor's, Andre's (original), and so on.

      2. Frodnesor Nov 19, 2006 09:15 PM

        Chinatown? Where? Is this a restaurant or is there actually a Chinatown in Las Vegas?

        1 Reply
        1. re: Frodnesor
          j
          jlawrence01 Nov 20, 2006 01:15 AM

          There is a Chinatown in Las Vegas. There is a mile stretch of Asian markets and restaurants on Spring Mountain Rd. about 2 miles west of the Las Vegas Strip.

          It is not "Chinatown" is the sense of New York or Chicago where there is a large adjacent residential area but there is a concentration of Chinese restaurants and stores.

        2. seal Nov 19, 2006 01:22 PM

          If you are near the strip late night, go to chinatown and you have a chance to catch one of the truly talented local chinese chefs "moonlighting".

          1. Frodnesor Nov 18, 2006 02:39 PM

            A friend just told me a funny little story about the Cafe at the Bellagio. They got in there late one night, sat down to eat, and eventually noticed a guy sitting at another table - passed out face down, with a gigantic steaming platter of meatloaf in front of him. After not seeing him move for about 15 minutes, they said to their waitress, "I think that guy may be dead." She says, "Oh, no, he always does that", goes over and gives him a poke, and he pops his head up and immediately starts digging into his meatloaf. Ahh, Vegas.

            1. Frodnesor Nov 18, 2006 05:58 AM

              Thanks for all the good suggestions. We may rent a car that free Sunday and drive out to Red Rocks or Valley of Fire, which would make an off-Strip venture even more likely. I also understand Rosemary's does 1/2 off the wine list on Sunday, which is also a nice lure.

              Any late-night ideas?

              2 Replies
              1. re: Frodnesor
                c
                ClevelandRandy Nov 18, 2006 02:24 PM

                A quick look at Zagat.com shows a few 24-hour places on the Strip with decent food ratings, among them: Grand Lux Cafe (Venetian) and Cafe Bellagio.

                1. re: ClevelandRandy
                  lvmanager Nov 19, 2006 09:12 AM

                  Stay away from Grand Lux ... it's the Cheesecake Factory with added menu items. Try "The Cafe" at The Hotel in Mandalay Bay, they do some really good food 24 hrs. I would also check out the Peppermill for a really cool, "chill", atmosphere and some decent ( but not great ) eats.

              2. e
                elrushbo Nov 18, 2006 03:34 AM

                Michael Mina is wonderful, you'll love it.

                If you want to try a place at the Wynn, you have a lot of options. SW gets consistently good reviews, and from my experience, 9 times out of 10 if a place gets great reviews from the media and consistent great reviews from places like Chowhound, it's probably going to be good.

                I loved Fiamma at MGM last year, a lot of fun and food had big "wow" factor. EVERYTHING was good and my picky wife who normally doesn't like "fancy" restaurants wants to go back there. You've made some great choices, imho a place like Fiamma would be good for giving you an experience different from the other two but at the same time good.

                1. d
                  Dave Lazar Nov 17, 2006 08:13 PM

                  Ditto on the love for both Rosemary's and Lotus of Siam. Rosemary's is a much nicer setting and the food is excelent and VERY reasonable for Vegas standards. Lotus prices are absurdly low but it's a typical very ethnic Asian restaurant. The food is superb but the decor is very bland.

                  Other good Vegas choices:
                  Pasta Shop & Ristorante - excellent off-the-strip Itlian, home made pasta.
                  Grape Street Cafe - off the strip continental
                  Firefly - very good Tapas

                  1. c
                    ClevelandRandy Nov 17, 2006 08:05 PM

                    On a recent trip to both Las Vegas, I ate at both Rosemary and Lotus of Siam. I was absolutely thrilled with both (for very different reasons, as they are totally different dining experiences). I would definitely recommend both. Getting off that hideous Strip is a nice thing, and you'll probably have a net cost savings even after factoring in the cab ride.

                    1. s
                      saeyedoc Nov 16, 2006 04:55 PM

                      If you want something completely different and like Thai food, go to Lotus of Siam. I just ate there for the first time Monday night and it was superb. Very short cab ride from the strip. Not fine dining by any means, but the service was good. I enjoyed it as much or more as my meal at L'Atelier for a fraction of the cost.

                      1. GroovinGourmet Nov 16, 2006 04:10 PM

                        Rosemary's is absolutely worth the trip off the Strip.

                        Find a cheap rent car for the day...it'll be less than
                        a cab out and back.

                        And you'll dine beyond the dollars on the bill.

                        Do the prix fixe dinner at $48 for 3 courses (with some addons)
                        and split another appy if you are really hungry.

                        Our party of 5 hung at the bar last week and the 3 first-timers were
                        totally amazed, even after all my glowing recommendations.

                        With places like Robuchon, Rosemary's may not be the best
                        overall fine dining establishment in town, but it's easily the
                        best value in fine dining for miles around.

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