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Rate my Vegas meal picks

I'm going to Vegas at the end of the month. Based on research here I've come up with an eating itinerary. Let me know what you think of my choices. We'll be in Vegas Thursday-Saturday. Friday night is our anniversary (4 years) and we're staying at the Venetian. We'll have a car. We want our Friday night dinner to be nice, romantic over scene-y, but good food is the most important. Friday night can be pricey but not ridiculous the other meals should be more reasonable. No strictly seafood or sushi places.

Thursday

Hit Cupcakery in the way in to pick up a few cupcakes for the weekend.

Dinner at China Grill. This seems to have some mediocre reviews and some really good reviews. I think the menu looks really good.

Friday (anniversary day)

Late Breakfast at Bouchon. I kind of have my heart set on this one since it'll be a while before I'll be able to make it up to Napa for the real thing.

no lunch

Dinner at Delmonico's. I hope I can still get a reservation. I'm going to call tomorrow. Hopefully a Friday night is easier than Saturday.

Saturday

Maybe a quick pastry for breakfast at Bouchon. Can we get a pastry to go? Room service?

Lunch at Rosemary's using the prix fixe lunch special.

Comments?

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  1. Bouchon for breakfast is a MUST. You'll love it. Quiche is delicious, and the waffles and French toast looked amazing!

    Delmonico's is a great choice. Seared tenderloin with sea scallops--perfection!

    Bouchon Bakery is available on the Casino level just outside the elevators that take you up to your rooms (Venetian Tower, not Venezia). No room service with Bouchon goodness--just run down and bring back. Pain au chocolat is divine. And chocolate-filled chocolate eclairs look tiny, but are so amazing and rich, they're as big as they need to be.

    Have fun! I just got back from four days there and am already craving an eclair...

    1. Oh, I forgot to include this:
      http://www.chowhound.com/topics/416196

      I, too, asked for some CH input for my Vegas trip, and I got some wonderful info. I heart Chowhound!

      1. Unfortunately, Rosemary's is not open for lunch on Saturday. We had a so-so dinner at China Grill a couple of years ago. I'd suggest substituting a late lunch at Rosemay's on Thursday.

        1. I've heard China Grill is horrible. Reviews on the Las Vegas Review Journal's site tend to be dismal. Why chance it? If I were you, I'd go to David Burke, which just opened recently at the Venetian. His Primehouse in Chicago was wonderful. If you are in the mood for modern Asian, I hear Japonais at Mirage is good.

          1. A friend of mine and I had breakfast at Bouchon on our last trip. He is quite a foodie and we both agreed that this breakfast was not only not stellar, but actually bad.

            I much prefer breakfast at the Verandah at the Four Seasons. The Huevos Rancheros are to die for.

            1. I agree that you should skip China Grill (although to be fair, I've never eaten there, only at the one in New York). Why not substitute Mesa Grill at Caesars? It's not over-the-top expensive. But the idea to do a late lunch at Rosemary's on Thursday is a good one, since you can't have Saturday lunch there. Then another place for Saturday lunch - maybe Burger Bar? Then pick someplace where you can get a light bite later Thursday night. I like Bouchon for breakfast (my fave is the boudin blanc) and dinner, and we are having breakfast at Verandah this coming Thursday for the first time, very excited.

              1. LIke others who are posting on this thread, my wife and I were kind of surprised at how "ordinary" Bouchon was for breakfast. We did not dislike it--in fact, I would like to return and try some of the other items on the menu--but we had pretty high hopes for this place that were not met. I wouldn't say "don't go there" because it is a nice place, but go with realistic expectations.

                The Bouchon Bakery stand downstairs on the casino level, however, had outstanding pastries (in our opinion, anyway).

                We have really enjoyed our breakfasts at the Verandah Cafe.

                6 Replies
                1. re: alanstotle

                  we had dinner at delmonicos a few years ago and i found it very average and not worth the price. dunno about china grill, would like to try bouchon....

                  1. re: AGENT FOODIE

                    The thing about Bouchon is that you have to know what to order. The quiche was great--creamy, well-seasoned, flaky crust. The brioche toast was, predictably, light and buttery. The salad accompanying the quiche was lovely--fresh and dressed just enough. As for everything else on the menu, I would suggest ordering things that appear to be strengths of this establishment: breads and pastries, boudin blanc (as noted by Debbie W), things that aren't typical American breakfast items. The BF ordered the eggs, bacon, and toast, which came with boring potato croquettes. Obviously, that was a totally wasted order. He'd have been better off with the sourdough waffles, which the ladies at the next table swooned over.

                    Delmonicos is, like Bouchon, a specialized place. Steaks should be cooked medium rare for optimal flavor and texture. Avoid the creamed spinach. Sea scallops and shrimp are nicely done, as is the steak a la Oscar (crab topping). The banana cream pie was good, but I like mine better.

                    I've found that Vegas restaurants are not consistent from year to year. So making a judgment based on a meal YEARS ago may not always be the best choice. After all, staff turnover is relatively high in casino restaurants, from what the waiters at David Burke were telling me.

                    1. re: riceflour

                      I totally agree with your last point, riceflour, and it goes the other way too. For example, our first dinner at Craftsteak about two or three years ago was very disappointing, but we decided to try it again a few months ago and it was fabulous. It's so difficult to make decisions about where to eat in Vegas, especially not living there and thus having a limited number of meals available, which makes it even harder to give a restaurant a second chance or to revisit an older favorite restaurant, eschewing it in favor of a newer place. For example, a few years ago we had about three wonderful meals at Circo over the course of a year or two, but we haven't been back, choosing Fiamma, B&B, etc. instead. I go crazy trying to make decisions, especially since we aim to try someplace new (to us) on every trip but we don't always succeed. On our trip next week, for instance, we are having our four dinners at restaurants we've previously enjoyed: Mesa Grill (although this will be our first dinner, having had several lunches there), Rosemary's, N9NE (husband's choice for his birthday night), and B&B. We are having breakfast at Verandah one day and that is new to us. Maybe we'll have a lunch at Lindo Michoacan, also new to us. With the meals so expensive, it's kind of hard to not make permanent judgments based on one experience.

                      1. re: Debbie W

                        From all accounts, Debbie, you and your husband are in for some great food. A friend tried N9NE when it first opened, was blown away, and came back. He was disappointed, but gave it another try a year later. He LOVED it! This was recently--in the past couple of months--so I hope it's still as great. B&B is supposed to be wonderful: a few friends who were there with us last week went for dinner and were very impressed. Please let us know how your meals go! It's so nice to hear recent reviews of restaurants, rather than hearing about a meal from years ago... It really is all about timing.

                        1. re: riceflour

                          Yes...please do report back. We look forward to hearing what others have to say about our favorite places.

                          1. re: alanstotle

                            I usually try to do so, which is better than I do on my home board (L.A.) where I tend to respond to inquiries rather than write reviews. I posted about our first visit to B&B here:

                            http://www.chow.com/topics/395152

                            Our next visit to B&B on Friday should be interesting, as we will also have some time issues since we have a 7:00 dinner reservation and tickets to the 10:00 showing of "Love." I think we'll be good, with at least two hours for dinner, since the walk from the Venetian over to the Mirage shouldn't take more than ten minutes.

                            I probably haven't written too much here about our specific experiences at N9NE but we've enjoyed it several times in the past. Ditto Rosemary's, with two prior visits on Sahara and one at the now-closed outpost in the Rio.

                2. Go to Fleur de Lys in Mandalay Bay for dinner. We had the 6-course chefs tasting menu and it was absolutely amazing!! really good service! we're both in the biz, so pretty picky about that! a little pricey but soooooo worth it!!!!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: mariekeac

                    That was probably my most disappointing meal ever in Vegas. We had the tasting menu with wine pairings. The food was okay, nothing spectacular, but the wine choices were horrid. One of the wines taste like sawdust and messed up my palate for two of the courses.

                  2. Gelato at Enoteca San Marco (St. Mark's Place, Grand Canal Shoppes, Venetian) was great. I loved the salted caramel--it faintly echoes the salted caramel atop the butterscotch budino at Mozza.

                    And re: reservations, if you're staying at the Venetian, just call the concierge. It's easier to get a table through their own concierge block than the restaurant itself. If you're not staying at the V, you can probably still get a reservation through your concierge.

                    1. Thanks for all the feedback. I'm thinking of doing a late lunch, early dinner on Thursday at Rosemary's since Saturday lunch is out. I guess this will depend on what time we end up leaving. I assume that Rosemary's wouldn't be that difficult to get into on a Thursday afternoon later in the afternoon (2:00ish).

                      Perhaps we'll try Mesa Grill instead of China Grill. Or perhaps the thai place that everyone raves about. We'd sort of like to stay on the strip once we get there though. We'll see.

                      I think we'll stick with Bouchon and just stay away from the plain eggs and toast entrees. If our stomachs can handle it we'll try for Verandah another morning-- though I'd sort of like to skip adding another pricier meal. Thanks for the tip on the Bouchon pastry cart. I'm sure we'll hit that up at some point if even on the way out for a snack on the car ride home.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: jenjunum

                        For anyone who may read this post later just keep in mind that lunch is over at 2:30 at Rosemary's, so don't dwadle too much! And I would suggest a reservation, hubby and I have gone before during the middle of the week and they are packed for lunch. The first time we had lunch with no reservations, our service was spotty. But the last time we went (maybe about 2 months ago) with reservations and everything was perfect!

                        Here is the website with their hours: http://www.rosemarysrestaurant.com/

                        And don't forget the visit the promotions page and print off the coupon for the lunch for $22: http://www.rosemarysrestaurant.com/pr...

                      2. Sounds great. Personally, I think Delmonico's is just so/so and for the price I think there are better places. Have fun.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: artlee

                          Had a terrific meal last night at B&B - two of us split fritto misto, two pastas (the sweet potato lune and the mint "love letters), and an apricot torte; everything was absolutely delicious. I had read some complaints on an earlier thread about (a) loud music, and (b) indifferent service; neither was an issue at all last night. I couldn't even hear any music (and not because of other noise), and the service was first-rate.

                        2. Just returned from our Vegas trip. Here's where we ended up going and what we thought.

                          Thursday - lunch at Rosemary's (thanks for saving me from showing up on Sat, when they're not open for lunch)
                          We enjoyed the food but had an odd experience service-wise. We got there at about 2:10 (they stop seating at 2:30 for lunch, but we weren't the last to arrive or leave). The restaurant was less than 1/2 full but they seemed confused by our presence. We had to wait for about 5 min to be seated while it seemed like they were scrambling to "find" a table. They also asked for my name a minute or so before they sat us. I'm not sure why they needed that since we were the only people standing there right next to the host stand. We weren't presented with a wine list, which my husband took offense to. Our server forgot to take our drink order at all and came back later to get it. We were never served bread despite other eating it around us. I would say the service was more odd than bad but it definitely wasn't good.

                          The food, thankfully, was better. I had the sweet corn soup to start. Really nice flavors, sweet, with slightly spicy chives on top. Really yummy. My husband had the mixed greens. He enjoyed the parmesan "crackers" and wanted more of them. I had the salmon on a green apple slaw. Nice balance of flavors. Messy presentation with sauces and chives all over the plate and rim. My husband had the filet kabob. He enjoyed it. He picked the potatoes and procuitto out of his hash that also had mushrooms which he didn't want. I had the flourless chocolate cake for dessert. It wasn't warm, which was disappointing and the ice cream was already melting like it had been sitting for a while. Maybe a misstep for dessert at lunch since it was really rich but it was good. My husband had the strawberry ice cream, which we both agreed had too many crystals like it was freezer burned. Overall our meal was ok. We probably wouldn't return since we're not in Vegas that often. $56.83 with tax and tip (with the prix fixe deal)

                          Dinner - a quick snack in the food court

                          Friday - Breakfast - Bouchon

                          We enjoyed our breakfast very much. I had the Croque Madame and a mimosa. My croque madame was very good. Lots of sauce. I tried not to think about how many calories were in it. I could have handled a little bit more cheese. Pretty tasty. The frites were excellent. My husband loved them as well. Very nicely seasoned. My husband had the sourdough waffles and OJ. He liked them a lot. We also had a side of bacon-yummy of course. $72.33 with tax and tip

                          Lunch - Grand Lux (aka Cheesecake Factory) in our hotel

                          We decided we couldn't make it until out 9 PM reservations so we got a quick bite for a late lunch. I had the Chicken Lettuce Wraps which were fine, but better at PF Changs. My husband had a buffalo chicken sandwich that he liked. Poor server. Didn't check back until we were basically finished with our entire meal. Fine for a quick bite though. $25.03 with tax and tip (no drinks)

                          Dinner - Delmonico
                          We enjoyed this quite a bit. We liked the space. Very simple decor all the way down to the table settings. We felt relaxed. I had a glass of wine that was good. I started with the heirloom tomato salad with blue cheese and red onions. Good flavors. I thought the tomatoes were a bit overripe. Almost mealy. Still good though. Nice cheese and nice onions--sometimes raw onions are a bit overpowering for me, these were good. My husband had the mixed greens salad. A basic salad with breaded and fried mozzarella. The cheese was not warm and gooey like I expected. My husband sort of picked a little of the cheese but mostly ate around it. For mains I had the filet and my husband had the boneless ribeye. The filet was good. A really thick cut, cooked well (not well done), with a nice crust. The ribeye was a thinner cut. My husband liked it--I didn't try it. We split the mashed potatoes. Yummy. A pretty straightforward dish, not much to mess up, but it was good. It was served in a cast iron pot, but the cast iron wasn't warmed up first. Seemed to defeat the purpose to me. For dessert we split the butterscotch creme brulee. It was yummy. It was garnished with whipped creme which covered the crust on the top which seemed counter-intuitive to me. It came with some little cookies which were also good.

                          Saturday - Breakfast - Bouchon Bakery
                          We stopped at the Bouchon Bakery to grab a quick breakfast. I got a blueberry muffin and a cheese danish. Both were yummy. My husband got a cinnamon and raisin danish that he liked. I also got a chocolate tart to eat later on in the day which I loved, loved, loved. I very much enjoyed the hazelnut garnishes. Yum.

                          Overall we had a really good trip. Bouchon was our best meal. I think we'd try lunch or dinner there next time. We almost returned for a 2nd meal later in the trip but resisted.

                          5 Replies
                          1. re: jenjunum

                            Thanks for reporting back. Sorry about your disappointing lunch at Rosemary's. We've not had lunch there, only dinner, but the service has been excellent each of our three times (although one of those was at the bar rather than in the dining room) with no one standing around looking confused and no serious missteps. I had a 3-flavor ice cream sampler for my dessert last time, about three weeks ago, and nary an ice crystal could be found, so I'm sorry to hear about your husband's poor experience, nothing ruins ice cream like freezer burn. I always think of the line from the Albert Brooks movie "Mother" where the Debbie Reynolds character has a "protective layer of ice" on her ice cream.

                            We love Bouchon for dinner and I'd recommend you try it on your next trip - don't think they're open for lunch, maybe they are on weekends but not weekdays - think I actually like it for dinner more than for breakfast although I really like the boudin blanc dish. My only complaint about dinner at Bouchon is that the service can be spotty and/or strange, depending on which server you get. Never has it been bad enough to ruin a meal, but they do tend to act like you don't know anything about food, sometimes they're a bit slow, etc. The Bibb lettuce salad there is the simplest and most wonderful salad you could ever hope to eat, although others here swear by the frisee w/lardons and egg, but I really don't like frisee.

                            1. re: Debbie W

                              We will definitely return to Bouchon for lunch or dinner. I believe Bouchon is open for lunch on the weekends (but you're right, not during the week). I prefer bibb to frisee too so I'll give that a try.

                              The food (for the most part) was really good at Rosemary's so that's the main thing we're looking for anyway. We got the feeling several times during our trip (but not a Bouchon) that we were young and less important than other guests. Always disappointing when we're paying the same price as everyone else. And we're 26, not babies. Overall we had a really good time. And lots of more restaurants left to try next time.

                              1. re: jenjunum

                                that happened to us, every las vegas book said Bouchon is open for lunch every day. we get there, they're closed! maybe they should notify the brochure makers, we were very disappointed, that was the main place we were really looking forward to....

                            2. re: jenjunum

                              I, too, am sorry to hear about your experience at Rosemary's. As glazebrookgirl says in her post above, we had a similar experience the first time we went to Rosemary's over a year ago: the food was good but the service was really inadequate.

                              We went back a second time a few months ago and everything was perfect. We were using our $20/person lunch coupon (before the price went up a couple bucks) and despite the fact that we were eating "cheap" the wait staff treated us like we were paying full price. We really appreciated that. I'd like to think that your age (and hence your perceived spendiness) wasn't the issue. Certainly it shouldn't be an issue; everyone should be treated equally (that is, like human beings) whenever & wherever they eat out.

                              I'd encourage you to give Rosemary's one more try. Our second experience was much better; perhaps yours would be, too. If they mess it up a second time, well, then I'd really consider going somewhere else.

                              1. re: alanstotle

                                We had a wonderful lunch at Rosemary's this past Wednesday. The coupon on the net is now $22/pp, but our service was as impeccable as the food. The waiter even went to ask the chef what type of heirloom tomatoes were being served as I really really wanted to know!

                                We also had the salmon and filet kebob...didn't want the shrooms either so we got the cheese grits instead, and they were spectacular! My husband actually loved that flourless chocolate cake, it was rich and fudgy, he didn't mind that it wasn't a traditional fallen souffle-like one. We enjoyed the flavor of the ice cream trio but agree with comment above that it was too icy/grainy texture-wise. Really the only flaw of the day though.

                                Wouldn't have found Rosemary's without this board, thanks for the rec.