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5 Days in Vegas - help fill in the blanks

Just booked a 5-day trip to Vegas in December (longest time we've ever spent there, but it just worked out that's what I needed to do if I wanted to use miles for the flight). We already know at least some of the places we'll be going ->

L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon - one of my favorite restaurants anywhere.
Lotus of Siam - somehow never went on our prior trips - won't miss it this time.
B + B - newly opened since our last visit, eager to try unless strongly discouraged by any responses here (though most comments I've seen on this board seem to be positive).
Bouchon - definitely for breakfast; have thoroughly enjoyed our dinners there too, but may skip this time if there's other good suggestions.

Other places we've already been include ->
Rosemary's - loved the 50% off wine on Sunday but were surprised that we were actually a bit underwhelmed by the food, particularly after all the glowing reviews. Perhaps expectations were too high.
Aureole - thought it was good not great. Love the wine list gadget and the tower.
Renoir - again, good not great (is this gone?)
Sushi Roku - had a pretty good sushi lunch.
Noodles (Bellagio) - great for a dim sum lunch.
Petrossian Bar (Bellagio) - nice for a little caviar or smoked fish snack and a glass of bubbly or shot of vodka.

So ... I'm looking for ->
- 2 other dinner suggestions
- lunch suggestions, lighter food and ethnic particularly welcome
- sushi - what's the best in LV?
- we'll probably take at least one day trip to Red Rock Canyon or Valley of Fire; anything worthwhile along the way?

Not to limit possible suggestions, but my own "not so short list" of places I've not yet tried and am curious about includes Alex, Boulud, Wing Lei, Okada, Red 8, Le Cirque, Picasso, Michael Mina, Fleur de Lys, Guy Savoy, Japonais (have been to the one in Chicago). I should probably note that S.O. probably only has patience for, at most, 2 full-blown tasting menu style dinners, and L'Atelier will be one.

Finally, lodging suggestions. We've always stayed at the Bellagio which I enjoy for its more subdued style and central location. I'm thinking about the Wynn or the Venetian for a change but am concerned that the Wynn is somewhat isolated (we like being able to walk to restaurants in other resorts) and that the Venetian may not be on par with the quality of the Bellagio. Thoughts?

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  1. For lunch, do you have to stay on the strip? Maybe try one of the Asian places on Spring Mountain, or Lindo Michoacan (east on Desert Inn), or, of course, LOS but not the buffet.

    I guess if you have the bucks, then go for Guy Savoy for sure. But it's a lot more expensive than the others that you've listed, even Alex, which itself is fairly pricey (maybe on a par with Picasso? don't know for sure, haven't been to either).

    In the past we have enjoyed Fleur de Lys very much but it's been about 1-1/2 years since we've been there. Okada is a lovely room and the food is very good. I have been less than enthralled with Michael Mina, I think the price:quality ratio is out of whack. If the courses were $5 to $10 less then I would probably endorse it. Also have enjoyed Boulud but haven't been for about two years, that's actually on our "to return" list.

    As to lodging, we like the Wynn and stay there if we get a good rate, but we also stay at MGM. From the Wynn you can easily walk to the Venetian, so that would work if you are dining at, let's say, B&B. You can also easily walk to TI and Mirage although we don't go to either for food, just for gambling. Oh, and Cafe Ba Ba Reeba is fun and it's right across the street at the front of the mall. I also like the central location of the Bellagio and have stayed there before, but if the rates are comparable then I would choose Wynn over Bellagio for sure. Wynn is more subdued than Bellagio. Can't help with Venetian, have never stayed there.

    1. I loved ALEX. It might be too much to hit L'Atelier and Alex the same trip, but Alex was wonderful, a gorgeous space with food and service to match. If the SO will go for two such meals, try Alex. If you want a classy steakhouse, PRIME at Bellagio is terrific, I have had many a meal there and never been disappointed. If you want something a little more 'Vegasy' with just as good food, try N9NE at The Palms. As for a place to stay, theHotel at Mandalay Bay is my favorite. The room is huge, elegant and comfortable, and Mandalay Bay has great restaurants as well. Whether you stay there or not, a cocktail at the top of theHotel at Mix is a must: easily the best view of Vegas. I can stand on the patio for hours, looking out.

      1. Your plan looks good so far, we seem to have similar tastes. We will be there from 11/3-6 and will be trying B&B for the first time. I have heard nothing but raves, so we are extremely excited.

        We have been to Picasso at the Bellagio and have had outstanding meals both times. I was hesitant to try this place at first for some reason (bad branding maybe), but would highly reccomend it out of your list.

        As far as sushi is concerned, I would reccoment the old stand by - Nobu at the Hard Rock. Last time in town, I tried Okada at the Wynn. I think the fish and preparations are overall slightly better at Nobu. However some do not like the Hard Rock atmosphere. In that case, Okada is fine. I am still looking for more sushi selection and a truly outstanding sashimi experience in Las Vegas, which is on par with it's other restaurants. Unfortunatelty it has not yet happened.

        I can't be much help on lunch etc. We ususally do a light lunch whereever we happen to be at the time, and save the apetite for Vegas dinners.

        For lodging, we are staying at the Four Seasons as we have for our past two trips to Vegas. Previously I frequented The Hotel or Bellagio. While I do miss Bellagio's central location, we have been extremely happy at the Four Seasons. Typical Four Seasons service, including a great private gym and spa, with immediate access to all the Mandalay facilities. We almost tried the Wynn this time, but right now the Four Seasons falls under "if it ain't broke..." for us. I am not a fan of the Venetian, it is more of a convention hotel IMO. The rooms are big, but the service is nothing to write home about. Also, I hate the casino at the Venetian.

        I'll second the reccomendation for drinks at Mix. That is always a must for us. Same view as from out room at 4S, but with an open air balcony.

        Enjoy your trip. Less than two weeks to go for me...

        1. Fleur de Lys is de3finitely worthwhile...i have been to at least 8 of michael mina's restaurants and with limited exception, i've enjoyed them all ( i've made a vow not to eat at his places for a year...there are just too many places to try !! ) I'm so pleased that some good friends of mine from back east are visiting vegas in november - lately i've been eating at mainly "cheap eats " ...they like the high end places so i'm waiting to hear from them on which place we'll try...i'm a little bummed they put the budget at $150/ pp ...that knocks out guy savoy, robuchon...i suspect alex ( i've eaten at picasso twice...last time over 2 years ago...beautiful space, but i found the food to be....boring...sorry !! )
          anyways, you might want to give chinatown ( do you like dim sum ? ) a try on the way to red rocks....or how about stopping at at one of several italian deli's to pick up some picnic items on the way to red rock ? also - there is a michoacan outpost on the westside...decatur and hmmm... i believe also on desert inn...

          i will post a photo review of whatever place we decide on in november....enjoy your trip and please report back !!

          1. I just returned from Vegas 3 weeks ago and reported on the places we visited, B&B, LOS, Picasso and others. What I do want to comment on is B&B. I live in CT and work in NYC. One of my favorite things is to go to Babbo w/out reservations and sit at the bar. Great time and great food. If you are going to B&B based any way on the laurels of Babbo, you will be somewhat to entirely disappointed. The kitchen needs time to season itself. All the ingredients are there yet they have not yet hit their stride. And are not even close to hitting it either. That is not to say that it is a bad restaurant, but for the $ and reputation, it has a LONG way to go before it can be compared to the mother ship.