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Expense account dinner for party of 12

Hi all, I need some help! Will be in Vegas in late April with a crew from work, celebrating a recent client engagement. Everyone is accustomed to fine dining, especially the partners who will be there - where should we eat? It will be expensed, so price isn't too much of an issue - but Robuchon or Savoy, if they're really $1,000/couple, are probably a bit over the top. We're staying at Bellagio but could take a cab anywhere as long as it's not REALLY out of the way. Thanks in advance!

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  1. Picasso at the Bellagio would be my first choice, down from Robuchon & Guy Savoy. Great food, service and wine, plus an excellent view of those fountains. We do Picasso on each visit, regardless of where else we are dining. Board dinner with heavy-duty wines ran about US$450/person. If you were more moderate in the wine dept., you could bring it in for US$300, easily.

    Hunt

    1. Thanks Bill, good rec. Any experience with Michael Mina, Aureole, Bartolotta, or Bouchon (for breakfast)?

      1 Reply
      1. re: trojanhorse

        Auerole was interesting, but I think that too much was invested in the "lovely to look at" wine array, replete with "wine angels." The venue is noisy and a bit cramped. Food was good, but the wine list did not impress me. It, and SeaBlue (Michael Mina, in at least a consulting role) was even more so. Both reminded me of a '50s NYC lunchonette. This is not a good thing, but then I'm more into the entire dining experience, and want to converse with my guest (wife in these cases), and not have the waitstaff's posteriors clearing MY table, while they service nearby ones that are just too close.

        Other than SeaBlue, I have not done any MM sites in LV, only SF. I rate the Union Sq. restaurant very, very highly.

        Based on my guesstimate, of the list, Bouchon gets the best reviews on this board.

        Wish I could help out more. A side note: the staff at MM/SF recommended MM, and Nobhill in LV. They were not keen on SeaBlue either and had not even heard my comments to my tablemates. This led me to believe that it might not be a "true" MM restaurant, but may only be using his name in some way - pure speculation on my part.

        Hunt

      2. You might want to add Fleur De Lys at Mandalay Bay to your list. Hubert Keller is the equal of any of the other chefs in town and the room is absolutely to die for. I'm guessing about $250 per person with wine.

        7 Replies
        1. re: GroovinGourmet

          i 2nd fleur de lys....having many experiences with fine dining on an expense account or on someone elses dime, the key is are you looking for fine dining with an emphasis on the "look" or a true dining experience - many have eaten at fine dining establishments but they wouldn't know foie gras from sweetbreads, lobster from monkfish, truffles from mushrooms, etc. but if it's presented on fine china, in an architecturally/visually pleasing space with what appears to be two employees for every one customer, that's all that matters....
          i have eaten at both the sf and lv fleur de lys and both locations impressed me....i have got to get to Bouchon !!!

          which city are you coming from and maybe a few of the restaurants " the gang" has eaten at in the past ?

          good luck and i hope you'll report back !!

          1. re: kjs

            Thanks! You speak the truth, kjs - most of the group probably aren't "foodies" but my wife and I definitely are. We're coming from LA, last meal we had as a group was Mastro's (we're businessmen so the default is a steakhouse). That said, it was a pretty top-notch meal as far as steakhouses are concerned - we had a private wine room, and all told it was about $350/person. Not sure if they're going to want to spend quite that much again, though!

            I'm giving the real decision makers (the wives) some recs, and so far, the list is:

            Joel Robuchon
            Guy Savoy
            Michael Mina
            Okada
            Nobhill
            Bartolotta
            Alex
            Fleur de Lys
            Prime
            Bouchon
            Daniel Bouloud

            I really appreciate any further thoughts!

            1. re: trojanhorse

              You didn't say how many in the party; Okada has a very cool private table that sits in the middle of their "pond", but it is not terribly large. There are also two very pretty private rooms at Okada. The food is excellent, but it is not an over the top experience like Guy Savoy or Joel Rubuchon. I love Bouchon but am a bit less thrilled with Daniel Bouloud. Alex is a fabulous and very festive room, and I liked the food, but I would give the nod to Fleur de Lys for a similar price point and experinece. I am not a big Nobhill fan...the last time I ate there, we did the prix fixe and agreed that it was quite disappointing. If you have folks who like Japanese/Asian food, Okada would be a great choice....

              1. re: lvnvflyer

                You might want to re-read my post title, haha. Thanks for the advice!

                1. re: trojanhorse

                  Right you are! I don't know if the table at Okada works for twelve, but it is a very unique option, especially now that hte weather is so warm. I am confident that the other private rooms there would work, and I've seen a private room that size at Bouchon

              2. re: trojanhorse

                trojan...just noticed the name...usc fan i take it ? i love maestro's ( i've reported on it in the past on the la board )...the wine room...is that upstairs...i've been in the room downstairs next to the kitchen...i believe it's the "chef's table" ...so you are open to the "trendy" look as opposed to "elegant"...you really can't go wrong with any on the list, the key is to control the wine selections to stay under the $350/person "budget"...and to experience non- so cal chef outposts, you've compiled an excellent list...of course, you'll have to scratch the top 2 off the list
                enjoy !!!

                1. re: kjs

                  Go Trojans!!! Yup the wine room is upstairs, I think they call it the Napa wine room. It's enclosed by smoked glass, and is very classy feeling. As far as steakhouses go, Mastro's does it right, the seafood tower is very good and the steaks are awesome, and the service was so good I wrote a letter to the manager commending our waiters and bussers.

                  But to be honest, I think our group (the wives especially) is a little steaked-out!