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My Upcoming Las Vegas Vacation

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LongIslandChef Dec 20, 2007 07:09 PM

Hi all. As you can probably tell from my name, I'm a Chef from Long Island, New York. I will be taking a vacation in Las Vegas in a couple of weeks and wanted to know what you all thought of my choices. Some of these restaurants i went to when I visited 6 months ago, but most not.

I will definitely be going to:
Seablue
Okada
Fiamma
B&B
BOA
Nobhill
L' Atelier
Craftsteak
David Burke
Prime
LOS(for Lunch, but not the buffet!!!!)
Bouchon(for brunch)

Also considering but need to know more about are:
Bradly Ogden
Picasso
Stripsteak
Koi

Any input is much appreciated, Thanks!!!

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  1. Debbie W RE: LongIslandChef Dec 20, 2007 07:33 PM

    Your list is kind of heavy on steakhouses, is that on purpose?

    I have NEVER read anything positive about David Burke. Room looks cool but I haven't liked his food/style when I've had it in New York.

    I would probably substitute N9NE for BOA, but many folks here like BOA. It's just that I live in L.A. and BOA is probably ok but N9NE has a wonderful combination of hip vibe and good food. Stripsteak has that fun vibe too but after two visits I concluded that I prefer the food at N9NE.

    Don't miss gelato at Jean-Philippe Patisserie.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Debbie W
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      LongIslandChef RE: Debbie W Dec 20, 2007 07:39 PM

      Yeah, I don't get to go out for a good steak too often during my working months, so I have to make up for it when I'm off, lol.

      Interesting info about David Burke, looks like I'll have to change that one.

      I'll have to look into N9NE steakhouse instead of BOA and possibly change my reservation there too.

      Thanks for the tips!!!

      1. re: Debbie W
        mdietrich RE: Debbie W Mar 4, 2008 08:17 AM

        Stay away from David Burke...the kitchen cannot deliver here. Picasso, Craftsteak, L"Atieler are all good choices.

      2. septocaine_queen RE: LongIslandChef Dec 20, 2007 08:00 PM

        i really enjoyed the kobe tasting menu at craftsteak. It is a really good value for the money. not cheap, but good.

        Are you staying at the MGM?

        1 Reply
        1. re: septocaine_queen
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          LongIslandChef RE: septocaine_queen Dec 20, 2007 08:26 PM

          Unfortunately it's just myself dining at these places and some, like Craftsteak, won't do their tasting menus for one. I tried to get them to when I was there in July and they said they just couldn't. But I still had an amazing meal there which is why I'm going back.

          No, I'm not staying at MGM, but I didn't get to go to any of the restaurants there when I visited in July. Many of them do sound interesting so I figured I'd give them a try on this trip. I guess I'm kind of methodical in that way, lol.

        2. k
          kjs RE: LongIslandChef Dec 20, 2007 08:28 PM

          do you get some sort of chef discount ?? man...i hope you are bringing some serious coin for your list.....how about showing a little love for the "local " places ( besides LOS ) ....rosemary's, todd's unique, table 34, vitner's, firefly, dragonfly, some dim sum, etc ? even andre's, pamplemousse, the tillerman,,,,

          as to steak - you cannot go wrong with n9ne or stripsteak.

          8 Replies
          1. re: kjs
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            LongIslandChef RE: kjs Dec 20, 2007 08:42 PM

            Nah, no discount. I've just been saving like crazy over the last few months so I can have a trip like this.

            As for the "local" places, I'm considering going to Rosemary's but not sure which night and I'll definitely be going to quite a few of those others you list for lunch or late night snacks.

            Starting to sound like N9ne is one I won't be able to miss.

            1. re: LongIslandChef
              Debbie W RE: LongIslandChef Dec 20, 2007 08:52 PM

              Rosemary's is wonderful. One of these trips we'll try Firefly or Dragonfly.

              Also, Mesa Grill has surprisingly good food, maybe consider that for a lunch. I actually think the food is better now than when it first opened.

            2. re: kjs
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              LongIslandChef RE: kjs Dec 21, 2007 06:50 PM

              Question for you kjs, or for that matter anyone else who may know, If I go to a place like Dragonfly or Firefly late night which is off the strip, how hard is it to find a cab to get back to the strip afterwards?
              Also, has anyone dared to try the Rossini burger at Burger Bar? Could it possibly be worth the $60?

              1. re: LongIslandChef
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                kjs RE: LongIslandChef Dec 21, 2007 08:01 PM

                not a problem - if one is not outside, they will call for you and it will be there in 5 minutes or less ( i assume you will not be there on new years ?!?! ) i have eaten at burger bar 4 times ...i love the place but i have not tried the rossini ...yet....i have this bad habit of ordered just about the same thing everytime - though i did try the kobe burger...i usually get blue cheese, bacon, grilled/carmelized onion and then i'll add maybe one more item..... fat tire ale and i'm a happy camper...

                since you are at mgm - you are less than a mile from in-n-out burger ...some consider it the top fast food burger on the west coast - the day after your L'Atelier meal, you may want to go for a nice walk and hit the place ( it's on trop just west of the 15 fwy...can't miss it ...a double double with grilled onion....tasty stuff ! )

                1. re: kjs
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                  LongIslandChef RE: kjs Dec 21, 2007 09:32 PM

                  No, I won't be there on new years,I'll be getting there right after on the 2nd actually..

                  I just might have to try in-n-out, especially late night(how could you go wrong?) A lot of people seem to swear by it, and I love a good burger.

                  1. re: LongIslandChef
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                    kjs RE: LongIslandChef Dec 22, 2007 07:28 PM

                    an interesting comparison - the $2.50 double double at in-n-out vs. the $10-$60 burger at burger bar ( or you can go to the high end burger places at the fashion mall ...strip burger or the burger place at paris ...the name escapes me...personally, i did not like the place ) ..let us know what you think...or to add a "middle burger" ...fat burger ( i know there is at least one on the strip...i can't remember where ) - it's been awhile but i think you can get a burger there for about $3.50...more
                    if you add the bacon, the fried egg, etc

                    enjoy !

                    1. re: kjs
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                      LongIslandChef RE: kjs Dec 25, 2007 03:07 PM

                      I agree, that certainly would be an interesting comparison, and just because of that I'm going to have to do it. I can't promise that I'll order the Rossini burger, but knowing me, I probably will, lol. One week before I leave and I can't wait. Of course I'll give a full report when I get back. Any other recommendations, especially for lunch would cetrtainly be appreciated.

                      1. re: LongIslandChef
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                        Rick RE: LongIslandChef Dec 30, 2007 09:21 AM

                        My father and I just didn't get the appeal of Burger Bar. The Burger was good, not great, the sweet potatoe fries were soggy, and the prices high. Go to In n Out and get a burger, vanilla shake, and ask to have your fries cooked crispy and you'll have a great late night snack.

            3. m
              masstech RE: LongIslandChef Dec 26, 2007 12:41 PM

              I don't know if this makes a difference to you but the executive chef at David Burke was replaced or is being replaced and Michael White is no longer at Fiamma.

              Also when it comes to steak, N9ne is a great steak restaurant but they are a wet aged shop similar to Morton's and SW at the Wynn. If you prefer dry aged you might consider some other choices.

              I can send you a link to a website that has divided up the Vegas steak houses by wet versus dry aged if you would like.

              Most of your choices are very good but some people have had mixed results at Prime. If you strike up a conversation with some of the dealers who work at Bellagio and ask them about Prime you might be surprised what they say about the service there.

              7 Replies
              1. re: masstech
                Debbie W RE: masstech Dec 26, 2007 02:24 PM

                I hesitate to pan Prime because I have never eaten there. But friends did several months ago, and had a terrible experience. These friends are knowledgeable, sophisticated diners who enjoy food at restaurants ranging from the diviest to the most elegant. They are true hounds and I trust them implicitly. They had problems with food and service there, to the extreme that they called the next day to talk to management. They were offered a future meal, but it's doubtful they'll ever return. FWIW.

                1. re: masstech
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                  LongIslandChef RE: masstech Dec 26, 2007 02:54 PM

                  Interesting stuff, I actually cancelled my reservation at David Burke a few days ago, but I'm still booked to go to Fiamma.

                  As for steakhouses, Dry aged is definitely preferred, but I've also had some incredible wet aged steaks as well. Would be interesting to see that list though.

                  I'm kind of suprised to hear that about Prime. In a way it makes me second guess that choice. But I'm also too curious about trying it to pass it up.

                  1. re: LongIslandChef
                    c
                    ciaobelly RE: LongIslandChef Dec 26, 2007 03:22 PM

                    In my opinion only:

                    -My meal at David Burke was less than remarkable (to be kind). Good call canceling your res.

                    -Chef Carlos Buscaglia, currently at FiAMMA at MGM, is doing a great job at the helm. Eat there. The hand cut pastas are outta sight. Try the braised short rib raviolini with piave cheese and barbera wine glaze...mmmm and the fusili with prosciuto, peas and parmesan. Visit Kerry and Kent at the bar for a good time.

                    -My favorite steaks are sill at N9NE and Crafsteak. N9NE simply has a hipper, nightlife vibe. Craftseak is the place for great scotch and more of a boys club, dark wood, cigar box atmosphere.

                    -You will really appreciate the artistry and craft of L'Atelier, being a chef. Pop your head into the Mansion side if you can.

                    -Seablue has made quite a comeback. It has once again become one of my favorites in Vegas. Over the past year they have changed the menu and exec. chef, and have finally found their way. Try some trio appetizers (soups, steamed) and the brochettes/skewers are amazing!

                    -If you are debating about sushi choices, I'd stick with Okada or do Shibuya or Nobu.

                    -I would do Alex over Picasso any day.

                    Have fun! Your list will keep you busy. Report back. Ciao!

                    1. re: ciaobelly
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                      LongIslandChef RE: ciaobelly Dec 26, 2007 04:00 PM

                      Wow, great post ciao, thanks for all that info. And yes, I am still debating a second sushi restaurant to go to along with Okada. That's what I was thinking about doing on that open night I was speaking of earlier. Now it's between N9ne and Nobu.

                      1. re: LongIslandChef
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                        MrsCris RE: LongIslandChef Jan 31, 2008 02:02 PM

                        Hear, hear on FiAMMA. Ate there a month or so ago and thoroughly enjoyed the full experience. Large table was handled well by staff, and the pasta was excellent.

                    2. re: LongIslandChef
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                      masstech RE: LongIslandChef Dec 26, 2007 04:23 PM

                      The dry aged vs. wet aged discussion is on a website called vegasmadeeasy.com. I never re-tried Fiamma after Michael White but I might given comments about the new chef there. Sometimes restaurants can't fully recover on a chef change but sometimes they get better.

                      I strongly second ciabelly's comment on Alex. They have a great tasting menu and it a bit cheaper (but not cheap) as well. The only way one would favor Picasso is for the genuine Picasso art which I never cared for anyway.

                      1. re: masstech
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                        LongIslandChef RE: masstech Dec 26, 2007 04:41 PM

                        I'm going to have to think about changing a reservation I have now to go to Alex. It's one restaurant I've been considering for a long time, but up until now have never heard anyone talk about. However, now you mention a great tasting menu I'm definitely interested. I always get a tasting menu when it is offered in a top restaurant. I've always found those to be the most memorable meals. That was a main factor in my original restaurant list, most of them have tasting menus that a solo diner can take part.

                        BTW...Just looked at that website, very cool stuff, thanks!!!

                  2. Frodnesor RE: LongIslandChef Dec 26, 2007 04:55 PM

                    LIChef -

                    Looks like you've got an even longer list going than we did on our recent visit!
                    http://www.chowhound.com/topics/453291

                    A few thoughts after having followed this thread for a while:

                    - Atelier is an absolute don't miss

                    - Okada had really excellent sushi - doesn't matter if you're in the desert if it's all flown in fresh, and it clearly is here

                    - Everyone raves about Bouchon's breakfast - I've thoroughly enjoyed a couple dinners there too. It's French bistro food but done to perfectionist Thomas Keller standards. I can't compare to the original in Napa Valley but it's certainly some of the best French bistro fare I've had.

                    - If you're looking for a second sushi choice, we enjoyed Sushi Roku (in the Caesar's Shops) for lunch on our visit a year ago. In addition to pretty good traditional sushi, they have a good number of other interesting non-traditional items on the menu - smoked salmon-wrapped ankimo w/ toro tartare, uni and ikura; home-made tofu, etc. I've never done Nobu because we've got one here in Miami.

                    - I thought Lotus of Siam was definitely worth the cab ride. Don't know what it's like in your neck of the woods, but here in Miami we don't see anything like the variety of items available (and excellently prepared) at LOS. Also one of the greatest wine lists you'll ever see particularly for reislings and rhone wines, with great prices.

                    - we did In-n-Out Burger to assuage my wife's obsession - it was good but probably not worth a trip just for that reason (or worth blowing a meal on, is my way of thinking). If you've got a hearty enough appetite to have a burger as a "snack", I'd do it, otherwise I don't know that I'd bother. If you do, definitely go "animal style" on the burger - mustard on the burger while it cooks, grilled onion, extra pickles and "special sauce."

                    - I'm not as big a Rosemary's fan as some others on this board. We went last year and I was somewhat underwhelmed. Perhaps expectations were too high. Last year's report is here ->
                    http://www.chowhound.com/topics/353029

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Frodnesor
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                      LongIslandChef RE: Frodnesor Dec 26, 2007 05:16 PM

                      More great advice, thank you!!!
                      I went to Bouchon for dinner when I stayed at the Venetian in July, I never got there for brunch which is why I'm going to try it now. The dinner I had there in July was fantastic, one of the best during the stay. For some reason the bread and butter with the warm pistachios especially brings back great memories, lol.

                      I've heard a lot of mixed reviews about Sushi Roku. Some seem to swear by it, while others call it nothing special. I'm not sure what to believe, but it might be worth checking out for lunch one of my days there.

                      LOS is a definite lunch, or maybe two since I won't be able to try more than one or two dishes at a time. Thai food is one of the few I've never experienced in my life and I can't wait to try some interesting things.

                      In-and-Out would definitely be a late night snack. I'm really interested to see the difference between a great expensive burger(Burger Bar) and a cheaper burger that everyone raves about as well.

                      1. re: LongIslandChef
                        Frodnesor RE: LongIslandChef Dec 26, 2007 08:28 PM

                        I can't say I'd swear by Roku, but it was good and I did enjoy some of the more innovative preparations. I'd definitely go back for a lunch if I were hungry and in the neighborhood.

                    2. Debbie W RE: LongIslandChef Dec 26, 2007 05:28 PM

                      You wanted lunch recs, right? Our regular lunch spots are Burger Bar, Mesa Grill, LOS and, for convenience sake usually, the Wolfgang Puck place in the MGM which does a decent job actually. We have also enjoyed Lindo Michoacan and Bonito Michoacan. We liked Lindo more than Bonito. We had a great breakfast at Verandah at the Four Seasons last summer, very civilized, excellent eggs benedict and huevos rancheros. Have also heard nice things about Tableau at the Wynn for breakfast. When I say breakfast I'm not talking 7am, more like 10am. That subs for lunch for us. If you want Asian casual then check out the many threads about the plethora of places on Spring Mountain. I'm not so much into buffets but they can be a true Vegas experience - I like Bellagio (breakfast or brunch) the best. Oh, Enoteca San Marco (Venetian, the more casual Batali place) might be an option for you for lunch. Can't wait for your reports.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Debbie W
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                        LongIslandChef RE: Debbie W Dec 27, 2007 03:43 PM

                        Sorry Debbie, I didn't see this post yesterday...I'm definitely going to Burger Bar and LOS for lunch. Maybe even two times each.

                        The two Mexican restaurants(Lindo, Bonito) you mention there I haven't heard about before, but will probably have to try one of them. I haven't had good authentic mexican in a couple years...

                        Truthfully, I probably won't be up until 12-1pm. When I was there in July I wasn't going to sleep until around 6am and I figure this trip won't be any different. I'm most definitely a night person, always have been which is one reason I love what I do for a living.
                        Most likely the only breakfasts I'll be having will be at Bouchon for Brunch. Of course those reservations are at 2:15pm, so even if I do have french toast it can barely be considered breakfast anymore, lol.

                      2. d
                        doc_foodie RE: LongIslandChef Dec 26, 2007 05:40 PM

                        Hey chef --- don't forget the new Michelin guide that came out Nov. Gives you an idea how the restaurants are rated here.

                        I would definitely recommend Guy Savoy at Ceasars (excellent wine selection, good tasting menu) and Alex at Wynn. Bartolotta may be a bit pricey, but it's worth it esp for the experience (ask for a Lakeside table). Mario Batali's B&B (at the Venetian) is like Babbo in NYC. Consistently good.

                        For the local restaurants, we have Sen of Japan (Chef Hiro, formerly of Nobu New York and Nobu Vegas) and Vintner Grill (Cuisine Americain) both at Summerlin (cab should take you back and forth no problem - although Strip jaunts are aplenty).

                        Skip Dragonfly/Firefly. Not good food unless you have juvenile tastebuds and budget.

                        Enjoy.

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: doc_foodie
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                          LongIslandChef RE: doc_foodie Dec 26, 2007 05:53 PM

                          Hey doc, no I actually haven't seen the Michelin ratings, but with a week to go I have enough time to take a look.

                          I have been seriously debating back and forth on Guy Savoy for three months now. Truthfully, that was the original restaurant in the one slot I keep saying I currently have open(although it could be two if I REALLY wanted it to be.) I know that if I go I'll have to get the full tasting menu which is $300 I believe. So my question is this: Is it worth going to Guy Savoy itself? or would it maybe be a better idea to go to Bubble Bar to pick and choose the dishes I want? I hear from some that Guy Savoy is a culinary experience not to be missed. It is so tempting to just go for it. I'm just so torn on what to do about a few of these places now.

                          1. re: LongIslandChef
                            ponocat RE: LongIslandChef Dec 27, 2007 10:56 AM

                            I just got back from an eating trip to LV and really had a wonderful meal at Guy Savoy. I rated it at the top of my dining experiences there. The others were Stripsteak, Picasso, and B&B—listed in order of my rating. I love really good steak and generally prefer dry-aged. Stripsteak's exceeded my already-high expectations. B&B is at the bottom of my list because of a couple of missteps: I paid a fortune for a white truffle dish, but the truffles were either old or mishandled (no scent, no taste), and the sunchokes had so much spice and salt that my tastebuds almost did not recover to enjoy the wine. If they are serving s'formato (w/ parmesan and fresh matsutakes), then B&B is worth the trip, however!

                            1. re: ponocat
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                              LongIslandChef RE: ponocat Dec 27, 2007 11:56 AM

                              Nice to hear something positive about Stripsteak, I haven't really seen anyone talk much about it on here or anywhere else really. The big question for me is, how many Michael Mina restaurants do I want to go to? I'm already definitely going to two.
                              B&B I'm definitely going to, maybe even twice. I went there in July, had the pasta tasting menu and I've been thinking about it ever since!!!
                              Still torn on Guy Savoy, but it's definiely now one of the few I'm considering for that last undecided dinner on my schedule.

                              1. re: ponocat
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                                brentbacher RE: ponocat Aug 5, 2008 10:12 AM

                                I'm heading to Stripsteak at the MB Casino on Saturday evening with a group of Friends. from the reviews its seems like a wonderful place. what did you order or what do you recommend to order at Stripsteak?

                              2. re: LongIslandChef
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                                ladybythebay RE: LongIslandChef Mar 3, 2008 04:09 PM

                                Hi there!

                                I just got tickets to the Bette Midler concert and would like to schedule a very nice dinner at Caesar's Palace. Now Guy Savoy is way over my price range so I am asking my chowhound comrades for recommendations. THX

                            2. m
                              markvegas RE: LongIslandChef Dec 27, 2007 01:45 PM

                              I've had a steak at Mesa in Caesar's; two things were missing from the table: a steak knife and salt.

                              Turns out I didn't need either one. Give them a try!

                              15 Replies
                              1. re: markvegas
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                                LongIslandChef RE: markvegas Dec 27, 2007 02:52 PM

                                I've been to a couple of Bobby Flay's places here in NY. His cooking has never really done it for me, however I've never had a steak at his restaurants. Since he and I both graduated from the same culinary school (him way before me) I've always wanted to love his work, but I just never could. Of course I'm willing to give it yet another shot, probably not on this trip, but I know with myself to never say never.

                                1. re: LongIslandChef
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                                  coreynyc RE: LongIslandChef Dec 27, 2007 03:57 PM

                                  LIChef--

                                  Why are you going to a bunch of places that you can hit anytime in Manhattan? Why not check out places we can't visit here?

                                  For the record, Mesa Grill is about $5 cheaper per entree (pretty much the same exact menu) in Manhattan vs LV.

                                  1. re: coreynyc
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                                    LongIslandChef RE: coreynyc Dec 27, 2007 04:50 PM

                                    Good question. Unfortunately, because of work, I don't get into Manhattan as much as I used to.
                                    That's why for dinner I've picked a mix of restaurants some that do have a NY branch, some that don't. Those places I don't get to go to for dinner, I'll be going to for lunch, so in the end I'll be going to quite a few restaurants without a NY branch.

                                    1. re: LongIslandChef
                                      m
                                      masstech RE: LongIslandChef Dec 28, 2007 01:35 PM

                                      Actually one reason to go to the Vegas branch is because you can compare the NY branch to Vegas. If restaurants are very similar then it means that they have good systems in place to replicate and control quality.

                                      If one is much better or worse then it means that there is a problem somewhere. If I were in the restaurant business such as you, I would think it would actually be interesting to see how much quality can be controlled from afar.

                                  2. re: LongIslandChef
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                                    suebro RE: LongIslandChef Dec 27, 2007 04:59 PM

                                    I find the filet at Mesa Grill one of the best I've had. I'm not even a big steak eater, but i always order the filet there.

                                    1. re: suebro
                                      Debbie W RE: suebro Dec 27, 2007 05:41 PM

                                      They do a good job with meat, to be sure. Our last dinner there we split the lamb chops. The one before that, the strip. Both were very good. Not to mention the burger, which is excellent at lunch. Their spicy collards are a delicious side as they're not overly rich but are incredibly flavorful. My respect for Mesa Grill has grown over the years and I think the food is better now than it was in the past.

                                      1. re: Debbie W
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                                        LongIslandChef RE: Debbie W Dec 28, 2007 09:09 AM

                                        I have to say that I'm kind of suprised that with all the replies no one has mentioned anything about Bradley Ogden. Is there a reason for this?

                                        1. re: LongIslandChef
                                          Larry RE: LongIslandChef Dec 28, 2007 09:43 AM

                                          I have mixed feelings about Bradley Ogden. The first time I went there, my meal was disappointing: excellent blue cheese souffle, but merely adequate crispy sea bass, and merely adequate apple sampling for dessert. The price was over $100 for one person.

                                          The second time, I tried the prix fixe special available at the bar. For $29, I got an excellent Caesar salad and a top notch hamburger with blue cheese; butterscotch pudding for dessert didn't blow me away, but was certainly OK. At $29, that's a real bargain.

                                          1. re: LongIslandChef
                                            Debbie W RE: LongIslandChef Dec 28, 2007 09:48 AM

                                            We only went once and it was at least three years ago. The blue cheese souffle was very good but everything else we had was merely adequate, and it was very expensive, and the service was really stilted and stuffy. All in all, a very disappointing meal. For the money, we weren't inspired to return, nor are we inclined to give it another chance unless the reviews indicate it's consistently wonderful, and they don't.

                                            1. re: Debbie W
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                                              LongIslandChef RE: Debbie W Dec 28, 2007 10:17 AM

                                              Well, it's looking like I can definitely cross that one off of my list. Probably wouldn't have been able to fit it in anyway, but it's good to know that at least I won't be missing much.

                                              1. re: LongIslandChef
                                                k
                                                kjs RE: LongIslandChef Dec 28, 2007 11:29 AM

                                                Chef - be careful - the vegas board is a tough read - there are probably as many tourist reviews as there are local reviews - as i think i've mentioned, i'm a semi-local ...i'm here every week for 2-4 days a week 50 weeks/ yr - i used to own 2 local taverns ...in working class neighborhoods - i've had drinks with literally 1000's of locals shooting the shit about everything ...for the most part, the locals avoid the strip....an occasional special occassion, friends in town, etc..can i speak for all locals...of course not, and most of the people i talk to are not the "upper crust" ...then the tourist, how often are they here ? 1/ year ? 2 / year ? so when the tourist is here, it's for a limited time, yet so many options ( as you are gathering ) ...most hit a restaurant once, maybe twice in there lifetime...who knows...then you have the biz traveler ....might come more often, on an expense account so a little more freedom to enjoy the strip places...what does this all mean ? for me, i value the opinion of people that have been to a place several times and i've seen similar thoughts from those people at places i've been too....don't get me wrong , i'm not telling you to discount anybody's opinion on this board, but you've been to vegas before - if you see other people giving opinion similar to yours on restaurants youv'e tried in the past, i'm sure you give the opinions of those people greater weight...at least i would.
                                                as to bradley ogden...it's funny...been awhile for me but my fond memory is the souffle...i'm not usually big on souffle's but i love blue cheese so i tried it and i'm glad i did.... the neighboring restaurant, mesa grill - only been once for lunch after many commented on the burger - if you check the archives you should be able to find my pic review it was good, but i recall paying $70+ lunch for 2...no alcohol...a little on the pricey side...but it was good....next week i'm trying payard's for some sweets ( b-day treat for me ! ) and i've got a couple friends in town so i will drag them to Grimaldi's for some pizza and then RUB apparently has opened in the Rio - i'm dying for some BBQ...i hope they wow me!!

                                                1. re: kjs
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                                                  Wonginator RE: kjs Dec 28, 2007 11:40 AM

                                                  Let us know how RUB is at the Rio. My friend found out about it a couple of months ago, and I checked out the NY board to read reviews of their original location. Reviews are mixed, some saying it's the best BBQ in NYC, while others think it's just OK.

                                                  1. re: Wonginator
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                                                    coreynyc RE: Wonginator Dec 28, 2007 12:49 PM

                                                    RUB very well may be the best in NYC. Getting hungry just thinking about it.

                                                  2. re: kjs
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                                                    LongIslandChef RE: kjs Dec 28, 2007 11:54 AM

                                                    Very good points. It's definitely hard to get the real picture of a place after only visiting once or twice.

                                                    As to Bradley Ogden, everyone seems to mention the B.C. Souffle. If that is the best the place has to offer I'll have to pass. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure it's great, but I'm excellent at making souffle. I've never made one with blue cheese, now I have something to try this weekend.

                                            2. re: Debbie W
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                                              suebro RE: Debbie W Dec 29, 2007 01:48 PM

                                              I agree with you on the lamb chops, and I've also had the veal chop which was also delicious. And my hubby and I split the burger at lunch.

                                              Then there are the breadstick like things at the bar at night that are wonderful.

                                              And the tuna nachos. Yum!

                                      2. e
                                        Erika Las Vegas Events RE: LongIslandChef Dec 28, 2007 01:13 PM

                                        Chef,
                                        May I suggest Joe's Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab in The Forum Shops at Caesars Palace? Joe’s is the culmination of a partnership between Lettuce Entertain You, ICON and Joe's Stone Crab, the legendary seafood restaurant of Miami Beach.

                                        Joe's features an extensive selection of seafood, flown in fresh daily, to complement the world's finest Florida Stone Crab claws. Joe's features the signature 16 oz. Bone-In Filet Mignon and 22 oz. New York Strip Steak. Matched with Joe's famous side dishes, dinner only gets better when capped with a slice of key lime pie. Enjoy a generous cocktail in the bustling lounge or the tuxedo-clad service of the clubby dining room.
                                        Erika

                                        8 Replies
                                        1. re: Erika Las Vegas Events
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                                          LongIslandChef RE: Erika Las Vegas Events Dec 28, 2007 01:39 PM

                                          Erika,
                                          Actually I've been to Joe's in Miami. Had a great meal there a couple years ago. Of course that's not to say that I can't go to the one in Vegas now, but I think I have my steahouse selections covered. Key words there are: I think. It certainly could change again over the next 12 to 24 hours.

                                          1. re: LongIslandChef
                                            Frodnesor RE: LongIslandChef Dec 28, 2007 01:49 PM

                                            As a Miamian, I say if you've been to the original Miami Beach location I would not bother going to the Vegas one.

                                            1. re: LongIslandChef
                                              h
                                              Hart50 RE: LongIslandChef Dec 29, 2007 05:51 AM

                                              Hi Chef,
                                              I'm thinking of going to vegas and I will also be a solo diner. Would you mind listing the restaurants that you have found that will allow one to try their tasting menu as a solo.

                                              Thanks!

                                              1. re: Hart50
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                                                LongIslandChef RE: Hart50 Dec 29, 2007 09:50 AM

                                                So far, the only places I have reservations at that I know for sure I can get the tasting menu for one is B&B and L'Atelier, the only one I know for sure that I can't is Craftsteak. I know this from my previous trip in July. I'm almost positive that Nobhill offers it's tasting menu for one. The only places that should be a problem are the restaurants who serve their tasting menus "family style" like Craftsteak.
                                                I'll definitely be able to give you a more detailed list when I get back on the 15-16th.
                                                Hope that helps...

                                                1. re: Hart50
                                                  Larry RE: Hart50 Dec 29, 2007 11:39 AM

                                                  Here are some more places that will serve their tasting menu to solo diners. I have personally had the tasting menu at all but Wing Lei:
                                                  Joel Robuchon;
                                                  Guy Savoy;
                                                  Alex;
                                                  Michael Mina;
                                                  Nobu;
                                                  Okada;
                                                  Tableau (if it still serves dinner);
                                                  Wing Lei (web site says no, but solo diners have called in advance and were successful).

                                                  1. re: Larry
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                                                    Hart50 RE: Larry Dec 29, 2007 03:33 PM

                                                    Thanks Chef and Larry!

                                                    1. re: Larry
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                                                      masstech RE: Larry Dec 31, 2007 01:06 PM

                                                      Quick question for Larry:

                                                      That's both L'Atelier and the Mansion, right?

                                                      1. re: masstech
                                                        Larry RE: masstech Dec 31, 2007 01:12 PM

                                                        masstech, that's right - both L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon, and Joel Robuchon (the one that used to be called Joel Robuchon at The Mansion). I didn't specifically mention L'Atelier because LongIslandChef had already mentioned that one.

                                              2. c
                                                Casinogal RE: LongIslandChef Dec 28, 2007 05:35 PM

                                                A very unknown steakhouse in Vegas but VERY good is Golden Steer on Sahara just west of the strip. Not much to look at from the outside and very OLD Vegas in side but they have the best strip steak in Vegas. Give it a try... bet you will like it. Try their special cappuccino after dinner... yummy!

                                                3 Replies
                                                1. re: Casinogal
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                                                  LongIslandChef RE: Casinogal Dec 29, 2007 08:04 PM

                                                  Does anyone have any more reviews of StripSteak? It appears that N9ne is out because they can't accomodate a reservation at the time that I'm looking for. So now it's between StripSteak, Savoy, and Nobu for the opening I have left.

                                                  1. re: LongIslandChef
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                                                    climberdoc RE: LongIslandChef Dec 30, 2007 04:20 AM

                                                    I ate at Stripsteak this past summer. It is definitely not your traditional type steakhouse. It is bright open and has a progressive feel to it. The appetizers were sensational especially the sashimi trio which seems to be a Michael Mina trademark. The steaks are butter-poached and then grilled which I guess is Mina's unique way of preparing steak (according to the server). I had the kobe filet which was outstanding and spendy. I'm still not convinced that the quality of kobe beef (compared to the classic Prime rated beef) warrants the steep prices. I have only tried filets though and not other cuts of Kobe. I found the desserts a little esoteric. Most deserts were some variation of the doughnut theme. Clever and intriguing but really didn't do it for me. This was one of my first steakhouse experiences that I didn't walk out of uncomfortably stuffed. The appetizers were reasonable size and the kobe filet was 8oz which is quite different from the enormous "Mortonized" appetizers and steaks at other steakhouses (like Morton's-LOL). My tastes are moving away from the typical steakhouse gluttony, which makes Stripsteak a refreshing change which I would most definitely frequent again on future trips. All this said, one could definitely get real full at Stripsteak by ordering larger steaks, heavier appetizers and sides. When I go again, I will probably skip dessert unless more non-doughnut options appear on the menu.

                                                    1. re: climberdoc
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                                                      foodiefromfl RE: climberdoc Dec 30, 2007 09:03 AM

                                                      Dined recently at Stripsteak and it was a good meal. Had the chestnut soup, barrata and beet salad, rib-eye accompanied with a few sides. FYI, if you order the artichoke rockefeller, make sure they removed the choke before you bite into it. Had to send that one back.

                                                2. tatertotsrock RE: LongIslandChef Dec 30, 2007 10:10 AM

                                                  Good Morning LongIslandChef,

                                                  I'd have to say the MUST is L'Atelier De Robuchon and Joel Robuchon at the Mansion!!!
                                                  These 2 places are the only things that get me to go to Vegas when I have no desire to go.
                                                  I have dinned at The Mansion 3x now and each time was amazing!!! The service is outstanding and each little gift of food is a little heavenly work of art.
                                                  I have been to L'Atelier 5x now and 2x were solo and each time was such a great experience.
                                                  I have no problem using my weeks per diem to have a dinner at either of those places.

                                                  My favorite dining companion, that turned me on to Joel Robucon just went to
                                                  Guy Savoy and said he really enjoyed it but that it didn't compare to The Mansion...he then went to L"Atelier the next night for dinner and said that, again, it surpassed his expectations.

                                                  Keep in mind, we are not chefs, we are not "rollin' in the dough" and we are from LA and love to save our money for our food adventures. We try to never try the same place twice but always make it a point to hit those two spots when Vegas calls.

                                                  I cana't imagine why Craftsteak would not let you do a tasting for 1.
                                                  I dine alone 90% of the time and I would not have any desire to "dine" in a place that would not grant me my tasting menu! Holy cow, especially in Vegas where a lot of business people have to dine alone.

                                                  I, for one, have to dine alone when I am there (unless the one foodie friend is in town) because I do not know of any other fitness convention attendees that want to spend their per diem on anything but cheesey places like Roku or clubs that over charge for shi!tty drinks and door fees.

                                                  Have a great time and I can't wait to hear where you wind up!

                                                  3 Replies
                                                  1. re: tatertotsrock
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                                                    LongIslandChef RE: tatertotsrock Dec 30, 2007 11:55 AM

                                                    Thanks for the recommendations tater. The reason Craftsteak gave for not being able to to the tasting menu was because they serve the dishes family style. So my guess is that basically each course was a big kobe steak prepared in three, four or five different ways depending on which menu you ordered. It wasn't even something I had sprung on them the night I dined there, I had requested the possibility of it in my reservation, I was disappointed about that, but still had an incredible meal.

                                                    I'm definitely going to L' Atelier and I'm really looking forward to it. Not sure If I'll be going to the Mansion though. I've thought about it, but not sure if I'll be able to fit it in. Most of my reservations are already set. However, it would be fun having a 16-course tasting menu, its definitely tempting.

                                                    1. re: LongIslandChef
                                                      tatertotsrock RE: LongIslandChef Dec 30, 2007 12:49 PM

                                                      Hi again LongIslandChef,

                                                      I hope you have an enjoyable time.
                                                      I have not dinned solo at the Mansion but if I was rolling in the dough, I would for sure splurge on it.
                                                      It is such a beautiful place and such and "event" destination. Save it for when you want to woe yourself or someone you adore.
                                                      My favorite dining companion is still the only fella I'd want to dine with there because he really paces himself well and knows how to savor and enjoy a long, sensuous meal.
                                                      On our first visit to the mansion, we took the first seating of the evening and by midnight, we realized that we had been there for several hours. We were the last ones there and never even noticed it and the servers and sommellier kept trying to get us to stay for a cigar (not for me). They brought us some Calvados and Armagnac for us to enjoy and we were getting sleepy so asked if we could take our glasses up to our room (we stay at the MGM West Wing when we go to "dine"...if you charge it to your room, there is a little discount extended for guests)...they said no problem, just to stop them by the next evening...when we did, they sent me off with a few petitt fours and my favorite lardon bread!!! YUM! Whenever I stop by to Mansion, they send us offf with brioche that my friend makes french toast and bread pudding out of when we get back to LA...can't wait till spring so we can go again!!!

                                                      1. re: tatertotsrock
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                                                        LongIslandChef RE: tatertotsrock Dec 30, 2007 01:31 PM

                                                        Sounds like a good idea, plus I REALLY don't want to have to put a tie on at any time during this trip and I'd feel like I have to at a place like that, lol.

                                                  2. s
                                                    Syrah_Lover RE: LongIslandChef Dec 30, 2007 05:52 PM

                                                    Just came back from Las Vegas and tried L'Atelier et Craftsteak. I'll post review shortly but in a few words: blown away by L'Atelier, not at all by Craftsteak. L'Atelier can use simple techniques to turn perfectly sourced ingredients into a masterpiece. Out of 8 dishes from the tapas/rationes menu, one (although good) did not generate any excitment. The service is impeccable, the GM (Emmanuel) is keeping things tight. Has great wine-related discussions with Gordon (sommelier) whose knowledge and passion are infectious.

                                                    Craftsteak, on the other hand, is another story. The platinum kobe tasting menu costs a fortune but we decided to give it a shot. After one of the servers bragged that they are going for the gold with their cellar with 600 different bottles ("we going for gold"), I asked if they had 3000+ in their cellar. Actually no, more like 800. No my style of cellar management and it highlights what they're aiming for: show.
                                                    How wold you feel if 15-20 min after being served the appetizer of prawns and kobe tartare, a server would come to your table freaking out because everything else is ready and they need to clear out the table? Oh, forgot to mention we told them we had plenty of time since we took a reservation at 6pm (which we never do) since we had a show at 10:30 pm. They smiled and agreed we had ample time. I guess they meant we'd be out McDonald style in 30 min??
                                                    More in another post but I would NEVER return to Craftsteak while I would be a regular at L'Atelier.

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                                                      LongIslandChef RE: LongIslandChef Dec 31, 2007 08:52 PM

                                                      So it looks like N9ne is out. They weren't able to offer me a reservation for the time I wanted, it was too late. So It's between Stripsteak and Guy Savoy and considering where it lies in my schedule, I think Stripsteak would be a better fit. There's one other night I may get to Guy Savoy. I currently have a reservation for that night, but may have to change it.
                                                      Can't believe I leave in one more day.

                                                      Happy New Year Everyone!!!!!

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: LongIslandChef
                                                        k
                                                        kjs RE: LongIslandChef Jan 1, 2008 10:44 AM

                                                        happy new year ! an option with n9ne is eating at the bar ....i personally liked it because i could see all the "pretty people" before they sat down for their meal ...i love seeing barely legal beauties having din din w/ papa sugar daddy !!! gotta luv vegas ! i assume they still serve dinner at the bar ( i did this option 2 times...pre- girlfriend )

                                                        Enjoy !

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                                                        LongIslandChef RE: LongIslandChef Jan 1, 2008 07:02 PM

                                                        Alright everyone, this is my last post until I get back. My dinner reservations are set. Most days lunch are still up in the air, but it's probably better that way to give me some flexibility.

                                                        I'll let you all know how it went when I get back

                                                        1. cherel RE: LongIslandChef Jan 3, 2008 01:59 PM

                                                          My husband and I just got back from Las Vegas....as I am sure you did....we had an excellent time! The restaurants that we went to were:

                                                          12/29 -Shibuya (sushi place in MGM) - it was excellent - you gotta try the sashimi of toro cold plate, squid, and a bottle of sake (there is a huge selection)
                                                          12/30 - Delmonico (steakhouse in Venetian) - one of my favorite places to dine of all time - have been there before and would return in a heartbeat....everything is great.
                                                          12/31 - Mon Ami Gambi (French steakhouse in Paris) - very good but I think I would need to give this place a second change before truly commenting on it - considering it was New Years Eve, everything was rushed and the menu was limited

                                                          1. j
                                                            jindomommy RE: LongIslandChef Jan 7, 2008 07:02 PM

                                                            Don't know if you have left for your trip yet, but we just came back. 2 times to Vegas in the last 6 weeks! I loved Guy Savoy. The have a bread pairing cart and a dessert cart. Also, I got to hug the Top Chef winner when I was there. Joel Robouchon is next on my list. I was surprised that given the service and food, GS did not get 3 Michelin stars. The food was absolutely phenomenal. I can see why it may not be everyone's cup of tea. The truffle happy elves in the GS kitchen need to lay off those 'shrooms a little. Too many restaurants are truffle happy these days.

                                                            Personally, I had a great experience at Bradley Ogden. The black sea bass was delicious and the bread basket had butter rolls, a white bread and corn muffins. Just a note...both restaurants are in Caesar's and require you hold the reservation with a credit card.

                                                            We had a bunch of unforgettable meals at Daniel Boulud and Bouchon and a couple of other places. We were out of luck on our last trip. Several restaurants were closed for the Christmas holidays. We wanted to go to Alex and Picasso. I always chat up the people working in the good restaurants and everyone loves Picasso and Bartalotta. Just keep in mind that some chefs have "sold out" and try to slide by on reputation alone. I'd stay away from Spago, Olives, David Burke (LOUD!!!), and Aureole (I've dined at these places and all I can say is, "eeehhh.")

                                                            My favorite place is Jean Phillipe. If available and you love almonds, the almondbrioche is fantastic. Also, the flavor of the desserts are phenomenal. I go there EVERYDAY when in Vegas. Payard Patisserie should be opening any day now.

                                                            5 Replies
                                                            1. re: jindomommy
                                                              Frodnesor RE: jindomommy Jan 7, 2008 07:40 PM

                                                              I just read in the most recent Food & Wine (which presumably went to press some time ago) that Hung has left Guy Savoy?

                                                              1. re: Frodnesor
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                                                                kjs RE: Frodnesor Jan 7, 2008 08:42 PM

                                                                by winning that contest, isn't he supposed to get some $$ to start his own place ? or is that on the other food competition show on fox ?

                                                                1. re: kjs
                                                                  Frodnesor RE: kjs Jan 7, 2008 09:55 PM

                                                                  Won $100K and the article says he left GS shortly afterwards (and why not?)

                                                              2. re: jindomommy
                                                                tatertotsrock RE: jindomommy Jan 7, 2008 09:08 PM

                                                                Hi jindomommy,
                                                                Just wait till your eyes get a glimps at the Bread Cart, the Cheese Cart, and the Pettite Four Cart at Joel Robuchon at the Mansion...NOTHING compares.
                                                                Mmmm, the gruyere brioche, saffron, brioche, some other beautiful bread bits,and my absolute favorite lardon bread with a touch of stone ground mustard just kissing the little porky bit before it gets to enjoy its last slumber in its delicious bread sleeping bag...mmmm, can't wait till spring!
                                                                The cheese cart has amazed me each time and the petit four cart is like disneyland for the eyes for those who love cute and enticing sweets that taste even better than they look!

                                                                1. re: jindomommy
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                                                                  mrsjoujou RE: jindomommy Jan 8, 2008 08:02 AM

                                                                  Payard opened up at the end of Nov and it is not as great as the one in NYC, but it is pretty good for LV.

                                                                2. z
                                                                  zoogrrrl RE: LongIslandChef Jan 16, 2008 09:31 PM

                                                                  LongIslandChef --

                                                                  I'm headed to LV on Saturday 1/19 and am waiting for your trip report! Hope your trip went well. It seems you came home tonight?

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: zoogrrrl
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                                                                    LongIslandChef RE: zoogrrrl Jan 17, 2008 10:42 PM

                                                                    Yes, I'm back, just recovering for the last day or so, was a CRAZY trip, lol. I didn't get to go everywhere I wanted to, especially for lunch. However I did go everywhere I said for dinner except for Okada because some moron who works at Tryst said they were closed and wouldn't let me get through to check myself. I'll start writing things up tomorrow beginning with Seablue.

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                                                                    AnnBR RE: LongIslandChef Jan 18, 2008 08:09 AM

                                                                    Bouchon is stupendous. Just had dinner there two nights ago. Boudin noir was memorable. Lamb shank--best I've had. Even the mixed greens with goat cheese were special. Profiteroles: divine.

                                                                    Atelier is also wonderful. Best mashed potatoes in the world.

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                                                                      LongIslandChef RE: LongIslandChef Jan 18, 2008 11:32 AM

                                                                      Ok, let start with night one: Seablue
                                                                      Since I had a long day travelling I wasn't starving when I arrived, but still managed to spend over $100. I started with oysters. They had 5 different types, I ordered three of each and they were all delicious. It had been a while since I had West Coast oysters, I'm going to have to have them more often. After that I ended up ordering two of the appetizer tastings, the raw and the steamed.
                                                                      First the raw, The yellowtail was great, definitely the best of the trio. The salmon was good, but the quail egg with it was way overcooked and kind of ruined what could've been great. The Tuna just didn't do it for me. I didn't like the texture combo they had going on. The flavors weren't bad, just the texture.
                                                                      Now the steamed trio. The clams with Chorizo, white wine and cilantro were delicious. It was the only one of the three that left me wanting more. The mussels were perfectly cooked but I wasn't crazy about the onion/dill sauce they came in. The prawns were the opposite, I loved the sauce, but the prawn was way overcooked.
                                                                      Overall I'd give the meal a B to B-
                                                                      Night 2: Fiamma
                                                                      Started of with a caesar salad. Focaccia croutons sounded pretty cool, I wanted to give it a try. The presentation was nice, I liked how the kept the romaine leaves whole and they were perfectly dressed. The dressing was very good but the croutons were a big disappointment. In fact, I'm not even sure they were focaccia. They were tiny and were barely crispy.
                                                                      For my main dish I had the lobster gnocchi. This dish was great. There was plenty of lobster and the rich truffle sauce was incredible. The gnocchi was nice and soft, but not mushy. The only problem was that the portion was a bit small, but truthfully with the sauce so rich, there's only so much you could eat of it anyway.
                                                                      Overall meal B+ to B
                                                                      More to come in a little while...

                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: LongIslandChef
                                                                        aadesmd RE: LongIslandChef Jan 18, 2008 12:14 PM

                                                                        I can't wait to read the rest of your post! We are in Aspen now, and just have had one of the worst high end meals of my too long life- at Matsuhisa. I go to LV at leat 5x a year, and have been both thrilled (Picasso, Bouchon,) as well as disappointed. In fact, my best meal in LV was at a sushi bar called Sumo, near Green Valley.

                                                                        Thank you so much for taking the time to do this.

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                                                                        LongIslandChef RE: LongIslandChef Jan 18, 2008 01:31 PM

                                                                        Ok, so the next day after Fiamma is when I was supposed to go to Okada, but like I mentioned earlier, that didn't end up happening so I skip ahead to the next day.
                                                                        Night 4: B&B:
                                                                        As soon as I looked at the menu, I couldn't pass up the pasta tasting menu.
                                                                        The first course were ricotta and beet shoot filled ravoli with a little extra virgin olive oil over them. A great starter, they were very light with a nice balance of flavors.
                                                                        Course two were these little tortellini type pasta in a beautiful parmesan broth. It gave a strong parm flavor in every bite of the little pockets. Very good, loved the addition of this kind of course on a pasta tasting menu.
                                                                        The third is another pasta that I'm not sure what they called it, but basically it's as If you punched out one sheet of pasta like a round ravoli, and you just cook it like that. It was paired with some nice tender rabbit and prosciutto and If I remember correctly it was a reduced veal stock based sauce. I loved every bite of this one, but the next two turned out to be even better.
                                                                        The fouth course was what they called Jose's pyraminds. It's basicaly braised short rib stuffed pyramid shaped pasta with a basic pomodoro sauce. This was my favorite dish of the night.....for about five minutes.
                                                                        The last course were the goose liver stuffed ravioli with basamic vinegar and brown butter. WOW, I'm not even sure what more I can say then that. Of course, if you don't like the taste of goose liver it's definitely not for you. But if you do, you can't not love this dish. The taste of the liver with the sweet and tart from the vinegar plus that extra nutty flavor from the brown butter. My mouth is watering here now just thinking about it.

                                                                        The first dessert was ok, but nothing special. And I didn't like the second dessert at all. It was a spiced stout tort and the flavors were way too strong. I guess you should really call it an overspiced stout tort. Truthfully though I didn't have much room for dessert after five pasta courses anyway. However if they had put something chocolate in front of me I would've eaten it, no doubt, lol.
                                                                        Overall rating: A to A-
                                                                        To be continued shortly...

                                                                        1. l
                                                                          LongIslandChef RE: LongIslandChef Jan 18, 2008 02:17 PM

                                                                          Night 5: Olives
                                                                          I have a 5:30 reservation, I arrive at 5:10 and they leave me waiting outside for 10 minutes when the place is half empty. Keep in mind, I'm also a table for one not a big party or anything. Thought that was a bit weird.
                                                                          Finally I get seated and my waitress is very nice so everything worked out.
                                                                          First course I have the grilled squid and octopus with chick peas, lots of garlic, tomato and parsley. The squid was very good, but the octopus wasn't that great. The pairing with the chickpeas was ok, nothing special, plus there was so much of the chick pea mixture and not much of the squid and octopus in comparison.
                                                                          For the main dish I had the braised short rib with creme fraiche mashed potatoes and cippollini onions. It was very tender and very good. The potatoes were nice as well and how could you go wrong with nice sweet tender cippollini onions?
                                                                          Overall rating: A- to B+

                                                                          Night 6: StripSteak
                                                                          This was the first of three steakhouses I'd be going to on this trip. I'll tell you right now, I'd rank this number two of the three. One big problem I had with them is that the night I was going to be there they called me three times. Twice while I was at a show with my phone turned off and the third time while I was two minutes from arriving. Keep in mind, I had a 10pm reservation and they called me at 7:40, 8:30 and 9:15. When I did finally answer their call, they got my name wrong. Jeez, lol.
                                                                          But I digress...The decor of this place is really cool. And the chairs were very comfy which is always a good thing. Plus, as soon as I sat down, they give you three types of duck fat fries to try with three different dips. A very nice touch.
                                                                          Once again, I went for oysters to start this meal. I went for the West Coast Oysters. They had four different types, three of each. They were very fresh and very good.
                                                                          For my steak I went for a 10oz Wagyu ribeye rare, baby brussel sprouts, and roasted potatoes. The steak was very good as were the potatoes, the big problem was the brussel sprouts. They were shredded, and when I say shredded I mean shredded. It was not what I was expecting at all. Why would you do that? They said they were roasted, I saw no evidence of that. That was a big strike against them. I was really looking forward to the sprouts.
                                                                          Overall Rating: A to A-

                                                                          Still a lot to more to come...

                                                                          6 Replies
                                                                          1. re: LongIslandChef
                                                                            k
                                                                            kjs RE: LongIslandChef Jan 18, 2008 04:13 PM

                                                                            geez ...they are still doing the duck fries amuse ?!?!? keep it coming !!!

                                                                            1. re: LongIslandChef
                                                                              Frodnesor RE: LongIslandChef Jan 18, 2008 05:15 PM

                                                                              *They were shredded, and when I say shredded I mean shredded. It was not what I was expecting at all. Why would you do that?*

                                                                              This is actually one of my favorite brussels sprout preps to do at home, but I pan-saute rather than roast. Slice the heads cross-wise rougly so you get lots of leaves exposed, then cook on high heat with some pork product (bacon, pancetta, etc.). When you roast brussels sprouts, the best part (for me) is the crispy bits - if you do them this way (at least the way I do it) you get a much higher ratio of crispy bits.

                                                                              Great reporting, thanks for the updates.

                                                                              1. re: Frodnesor
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                                                                                LongIslandChef RE: Frodnesor Jan 18, 2008 07:42 PM

                                                                                Not bad Frod, if there were lots of crispy bits I actually think I would've liked them a lot more, but they were shredded and basically raw and the bacon was not very crisp, it just didn't make sense to to me. The way you describe I'll have to try doing myself, I think it would definitely change my mind.
                                                                                Tomorrow the first two reviews up with be the cookbook tasting menu at Nobhill and the discovery menu at L' Atelier.

                                                                                1. re: LongIslandChef
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                                                                                  LongIslandChef RE: LongIslandChef Jan 18, 2008 08:08 PM

                                                                                  ah, forget it I'll start now....
                                                                                  Night 7: Nobhill
                                                                                  I arrived to the restaurant about a half hour early. I asked the hostess if it would be possible to get in early and her exact response was "we're running on time." At first I didn't think she understood my question so I asked again and got the same answer. I laughed it off and came back a half hour later.
                                                                                  After examining the menu I realized the cookbook tasting menu would be the best way to go, just without the cookbbok.
                                                                                  First up was the caviar parfait. This was an excellent start and it wasn't at all salty like a dish with smoked salmon and caviar can be at times.
                                                                                  Course two was the lobster pot pie. Overall a very good dish, except for the vegetables. The lobster, crust and sauce were great. However the vegetables while they didn't taste bad, looked extremely unappealing. Hoever the table next to me had the full sized lobster pot pie and their veggies looked great.
                                                                                  Course three was the fried chicken. The chicken was moist and juicy and the crust was nice and crunchy. The truffled mac and cheese was loaded with truffle and it had a nice sauce as well.
                                                                                  Next up was the Kobe beef, foie gras, pinot noir reduction and cippollini onions. the beef was perfectly rare/medium rare. The foie gras was seared on the outside and nice and gooey on the inside. A great dish.
                                                                                  Dessert was a banana tarte tatin with maple ice cream and creme anglaise. A very good dessert, but I could barely eat half of it. For a tasting menu, the portions were big. I'm glad I took the waiters advice and only ate half to three quarters of each dish, otherwise I never would've made it to dessert.
                                                                                  Overall Rating: A

                                                                                  1. re: LongIslandChef
                                                                                    Frodnesor RE: LongIslandChef Jan 19, 2008 07:29 AM

                                                                                    Ahh - when not cooked through like that I hate 'em too. Locally there's a place (Michy's, celeb chef Michelle Bernstein) that had a dish that paired duck confit w/ a similarly done brussels sprout salad that I always thought was absolutely awful.

                                                                                    Loved reading your write-up of Atelier which is one of our favorite places in LV (or anywhere else for that matter).

                                                                                2. re: LongIslandChef
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                                                                                  Beignets RE: LongIslandChef Jan 18, 2008 11:00 PM

                                                                                  Fun read!

                                                                                  shredded brussel sprouts??? geez..

                                                                                3. septocaine_queen RE: LongIslandChef Jan 18, 2008 07:51 PM

                                                                                  nice job. I am waiting to read more.

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                                                                                    LongIslandChef RE: LongIslandChef Jan 18, 2008 08:48 PM

                                                                                    ok, now for the big one
                                                                                    Night 8: L'Atelier
                                                                                    This is the one I've been waiting for, I had been in Vegas for one week and had one week to go. I had been waiting for this dinner for months...
                                                                                    The first up was the Amuse, Fioe gras parfait with port wine and parmesan foam. Loved it, a great start. Every flavor was spot on.
                                                                                    Second course, Langoustine carpaccio. Another very good dish. The roasted poppy seed dressing with it was a nice compliment bringing out the flavor of the langoustine.
                                                                                    Third up was the poached Kussi oysters with Echire butter. When I first heard them say poached I wasn't sure if I was going to like it. However these were barely poached, they were basically raw which I was happy about
                                                                                    Fourth course was the egg cocottewith a light mushroom cream. Let me say, that I'm a mushroom freak, I love them, and the addition of a runny egg yolk accentuates the mushroom flavor and gives that extra richness and body to the cream sauce you have to love.
                                                                                    Next up is the truffled cappuccino of squash and chestnuts. This is the course that had me nervous. This one the one I was soooo tempted to switch out with something else. I'm not a huge fan of squash or chestnuts but I was there to try new things, so why not? In the end I have to admit, it was very good. I loved the little croutons floating in the soup for texture in each bite. I'm definitely gald I tried it, but if I went back again, I'd probably switch it out.
                                                                                    Next was the slightly smoked salmon, warm watercress salad and crispy potatoes. Not the most memorable of dishes. It wasn't bad, but nothing about it stands out at all. I remember when eating it saying to myself that they weren't kidding when they said slighty smoked.
                                                                                    The "main dish" was the quail stuffed with foie gras with the truffle mashed potatoes. The quail was very good and it was stuffed with lots of foie gras which was nice for such a small portion. Now I have to talk about the potatoes. I LOVE mashed potatoes, and I definitely loved the mashed potatoes at L'Atelier, but for some reason I can't rave about them like so many others. Were they great? Yes. But I'm not sure I can say they're the best I ever had.
                                                                                    First dessert was the Banyuls wine gelee, pear sorbet and crunchy ginger bread. I like this dish a lot. The tartness of the gelee, the smooth sweetness of the pear sorbet and the crunchy teture of the bread with that slight taste of ginger all came together beautifully.
                                                                                    The second dessert and last dish of the night was Hazelnut cremeux, fresh mango and coffee-caramel streusel. The fresh mango was delicious as was the hazelnut cremeux, but the streusel wasn't what I thought it would be. It was just like a small squiggle of it stuck into the cream and considering the amount of mango and cream that was in there you'd think they'd put a little more. Overall a good dish.
                                                                                    Overalll Rating: A+

                                                                                    However there's one bad thing I noticed when I was there. The was this one guy plating the a la carte dishes a few feet away from me. I'm guessing he was the sous chef. He had a cut on one of his fingers. Yes it was bandaged and had a peice of tape over it, but he should still have what we in the business call a "finger condom" or cut a finger off a glove and put it on over it. That definitely bothered me, especially as a chef. I'd flip out on cook if they did that in my kitchen, and I don't even work in an open kitchen.

                                                                                    Thats definitely it for tonight, first up tomorrow is Craftsteak

                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: LongIslandChef
                                                                                      tatertotsrock RE: LongIslandChef Jan 19, 2008 08:28 AM

                                                                                      Good Morning LongIslandChef,
                                                                                      I've been waiting in crazy anticipation to hear about your experience at L'Atelier.I am so happy you enjoyed it since I am always talking it up so darned much.
                                                                                      Did you do any wine? Did you sit at the bar?
                                                                                      Too bad you didn't get the sweetbreads...aaah, they are so good!
                                                                                      Hopefully the rest of your Vegas highlights were great and that you didn't lose anything at the "tables".

                                                                                      1. re: tatertotsrock
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                                                                                        LongIslandChef RE: tatertotsrock Jan 19, 2008 09:49 AM

                                                                                        No, I didn't drink wine on this trip. I knew that every night would be a long one(I was right) and I never would've made it if I started drinking wine with dinner.
                                                                                        Yes, they did seat me at the bar which was definitely cool. I always love watching the controlled chaos of a professional kitchen, especially when I don't have to worry about running it, lol.
                                                                                        As for gambling, I did ok. I'm not a big gambler, but I ended up a couple hundred dollars, which for me is very good. The only reason was this one slot machine at Harrah's, just about every time I played it I doubled or tripled my money, if not more. One time I turned $20 into $148 in about two minutes. For me with my kind of gambling luck that's a big score, lol.

                                                                                    2. l
                                                                                      LongIslandChef RE: LongIslandChef Jan 19, 2008 10:51 AM

                                                                                      Night 9: Craftsteak

                                                                                      This was the second steakhouse I'd be going to and the next contestant in the battle of the ribeyes.
                                                                                      First of all, as soon as you sit down you are greeted by a waiter who already knows your name. I love that, makes the experience so much more personal right off the bat. Again, I had to start off with some oysters. A nice selection, three each of four different types, half east coast, half west. Very fresh and very good. Plus, for the first time on my trip, the raw oysters didn't have any bits of shell on the inside from the shucking of them.

                                                                                      From there I went on to a ribeye rare, roasted hen of the woods mushrooms, and the yukon gold puree. Let's start with the steak. Hands down, this was the best steak I had all trip. It had the best flavor, cut like butter and was perfectly cooked. It did have quite a rim of fat on the outside, but except for a few small places, it didn't get in the way.
                                                                                      The sides were fantastic as well. The hen of the woods mushrooms were nicely roasted, but not burned which can sometimes happen with mushrooms. They had that great earthy flavor and I loved every bite of them I could fit in. The potato puree was amazing as well. While I was there I heard a table complaining that they were too runny. But it's potato puree, not mashed potatoes. They're loaded with butter, a little cream in there and it was perfectly seasoned, how could you lose?

                                                                                      Of the three steakhouses I went to, this is my number 1.

                                                                                      Overall rating: A+ to A

                                                                                      Next up: Fleur de Lys (what I remember of it, lol)

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                                                                                        LongIslandChef RE: LongIslandChef Jan 19, 2008 01:45 PM

                                                                                        Night 10: B&B again.
                                                                                        Went with the pasta tasting menu again and it was prepared even better this time, but still didn't really like the desserts, not at all satisfying. Plus again the spiced stout cake was overspiced. I would've preferred tasting more of the stout in it.
                                                                                        Overall Rating A to A-

                                                                                        Night 11: Fleur De Lys

                                                                                        Let me start off by saying this was a fantastic meal, but this was during perhaps the craziest 24 hours of my life, so some details got lost in the shuffle, lol.
                                                                                        As soon as you sit down they give you three different menus, but they do explain everything immediately so that no one gets at all intimdated. I decided on the chefs 7 course tasting menu. They said it would be whatever the chef feels like, I figured what the heck.
                                                                                        Before they even started with the seven courses they came out with two different amuse. One was a fresh oyester with an apple ice/frost on it which was amazing, it was so flavorful as the ice melts in your mouth and mixes with the oyster.
                                                                                        The second was I believe a squash cappuccino. it was very good and frothy and was basically a thin soup.
                                                                                        Then they give you a choice of what bread you'd like to have. There are about five choices, I tried three and they were all great.

                                                                                        The first course of the tasting was tuna tartare. For a tasting menu first course, this was a big portion, The tuna was very fresh and still had nice texture to it.
                                                                                        Up second was a butter poached salmon. Again this was a big piece for a seven course tasting menu. This became a recurring theme throughout this meal. I usually don't like cooked salmon, but it was still medium rare through the middle so it wasn't too flaky.

                                                                                        This is where I lose things a bit. I believe there was a beef course and a quail course. One dish came with a chestnut puree I ddin't like one bit. Neither really stand out, but the beef was very tasty and tender.
                                                                                        After those two course came the cheese course which I enjoyed quite a bit. They offered a nice slection with a lot of fuits and nuts to add if you wanted.
                                                                                        The first dessert wasn't anything memorable, but the second one sure was. They called it their chocolate tasting. It has choc.sorbet, choc.tart, coc.cake, plus a few others. It was incredible. It was like chocolate overload, I just wished I wasn't so full at that point so I could've eaten more of it.

                                                                                        Overall Rating: A-

                                                                                        Only one more to go....

                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                        1. re: LongIslandChef
                                                                                          d
                                                                                          Dave Feldman RE: LongIslandChef Jan 19, 2008 11:16 PM

                                                                                          Chef,

                                                                                          You're a champ. And not just for your eating prowess. You asked for help, were generous in your comments before you left for LV, and then have given us a great report. Thanks.

                                                                                        2. l
                                                                                          LongIslandChef RE: LongIslandChef Jan 20, 2008 12:31 PM

                                                                                          The last big dinner of my trip.
                                                                                          Night 12: Prime

                                                                                          I had been looking forward to this dinner all trip. Next to L' Atelier, this was probably my most anticipated meal.

                                                                                          Let me start by saying that during the show right before I went to this dinner, I could feel myself starting to get a cold. However it wasn't bad enough yet to be a problem, it was the next day and that's why this is my last big dinner.

                                                                                          To start I had the onion soup. You were probably thinking oysters right? Well, I would've had I not been starting to feel that cold. The soup just wasn't very good. The cheese on to was way too stringy and you had to use your fingers to finally stop it before you lost your mind. The soup itself looked like slightly dirty dishwater. It didn't have a really overwhelming taste of anything. I could taste onions, some herbs, the chesse, but nothing stood out whatsoever. Big disappointment, but not the biggest of the night.

                                                                                          For the main course, I ordered the 18oz. ribyeye rare, the sauteed muchrooms in wine butter and the gratin dauphinois.
                                                                                          Let's start with the sides, they were delicious. The potatoes were prefectly cooked, just enough cream and they looked beautiful. The mushrooms were a mix of all different types in a nice silky tangy sauce, loved it.
                                                                                          Now to the steak...To say I was disappointed wouldn't even start to describe it. First of all, on the outside was a huge thick of fat. On the inside, the meat the perfectly cooked, but had so much gristle at times I could barely cut through. There were actually times when I was sitting there wondering if I was going to be able to cut it without dropping it on my lap or splashing juices all over my shirt. Thankfully neither happened, but it was close.
                                                                                          Almost forgot to add, the view of the fountains out the window is extraordinary. I had no idea you'd be so close.

                                                                                          Overall rating: B- to C+ (the view: A+)
                                                                                          Final Steakhouse ratings for this trip:
                                                                                          1. Craftsteak
                                                                                          2. Stripsteak
                                                                                          3. Prime

                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: LongIslandChef
                                                                                            Debbie W RE: LongIslandChef Jan 20, 2008 01:52 PM

                                                                                            Thanks for all the reports, they've been really interesting. I'm not surprised to hear your report on Prime, given my friends' experience that I referred to way up this thread. Their dinner included similar issues with their steaks that you had, very poor quality indeed. Too bad, especially for the price.

                                                                                            1. re: LongIslandChef
                                                                                              k
                                                                                              kjs RE: LongIslandChef Jan 20, 2008 01:54 PM

                                                                                              man o man ...i just re-read all your reviews...i'm drooling !!! thanks for the detailed descriptions of each meal ....i gotta admit ...i'm surprised about prime....i've decided i've gotta give b&b another try....the last several reviews i've read about it makes me believe that they were still working out the kinks when i ate there. L'atelier....some day...hopefully soon !

                                                                                              thanks

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                                                                                              LongIslandChef RE: LongIslandChef Jan 20, 2008 03:52 PM

                                                                                              Well, that pretty much sums up the trip, and thanks to everyone for the tips and recommendations. However, in about six months I'll be back looking to start planning a new Vegas trip. Probably for January once again. I already know I'll have to go to Guy Savoy, so that's one night down but many more to go......

                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: LongIslandChef
                                                                                                tatertotsrock RE: LongIslandChef Jan 20, 2008 06:42 PM

                                                                                                Please let me know when you go!!!!
                                                                                                I'll be happy to do the 5 hour drive to help you finish your Pasta Tasting leftovers or anything else you cannot manage to finish!
                                                                                                Oh my goodness, you've eaten more fine food in one week than I had a chance to enjoy in all of 07'.
                                                                                                You are my hero!!!

                                                                                                1. re: tatertotsrock
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                                                                                                  LongIslandChef RE: tatertotsrock Jan 20, 2008 07:37 PM

                                                                                                  Thanks tater...I have to admit, the vacation completely exceeded my expectations in the culinary sense and every other as well. If I told you some of the seats I had for some of the shows you'd probably flip. Getting called up on stage by Penn&Teller was probably the coolest of all.

                                                                                                  Believe it or not, I actually didn't have any leftovers at B&B, the portions were perfect sized considering you're getting five different pastas. The only one I never would've gotten through had I eaten it all was the Nobhill tasting menu. There is no way in a million years I could've made it though that one. Good thing the waiter warned me and he got a nice tip because of it, lol.

                                                                                              2. e
                                                                                                Eujeanie RE: LongIslandChef Jan 21, 2008 03:33 PM

                                                                                                Thank you so much for your wonderfully detailed critiques. We were trying to decide between Craftsteak and Strip House, and you've now convinced me that there is no need to venture outside of MGM (where we are also staying). However, I've been rather put off/intimidated by Craftsteak's very terse menu - I like to get my head around more descriptive terms, even if it is a steakhouse, which is pretty straightforward.

                                                                                                I'm still up in the air about Nobhill on another night - I was underwhelmed by a Michael Mina restaurant in Bellagio a few years ago, and don't want to repeat my error.

                                                                                                We do want a great seafood experience, so are open to any suggestions from anyone.

                                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: Eujeanie
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                                                                                                  LongIslandChef RE: Eujeanie Jan 21, 2008 03:56 PM

                                                                                                  The great thing about Craftsteak is that any questions you have about the menu, the waiter will answer for you, they are VERY helpful. My waiter was even explaining the tasting menus to me for the next time I come if I dine with a group of four or more.
                                                                                                  However, I know exactly what you are saying. The menu is very straightforward with very little description, but I suppose that's why they make sure their waiters are so well trained.

                                                                                                  1. re: Eujeanie
                                                                                                    Debbie W RE: Eujeanie Jan 21, 2008 05:06 PM

                                                                                                    On our first visit to Craftsteak a few years ago, we had a problem because of the lack of descriptions on the menu coupled with a particularly unhelpful or not-well-trained server. However, we've been twice since and both times were much, much better in that regard. You definitely do need to engage your server, though, and not be shy.

                                                                                                    I've been underwhelmed twice at Michael Mina at the Bellagio, but I enjoyed Nobhill quite a bit more. Seablue too, actually. If you do decide on Nobhill, you can request a booth in the bar room - I'd do that next time, as they look very cool. The dining room itself isn't all that special, but the food was excellent.

                                                                                                    1. re: Debbie W
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                                                                                                      LongIslandChef RE: Debbie W Jan 21, 2008 05:15 PM

                                                                                                      I definitely agree with you about Nobhill Debbie, the bar room definitely looked more interesting and lively than the main dining room I was in.

                                                                                                      1. re: Debbie W
                                                                                                        j
                                                                                                        John Lowrey RE: Debbie W Jan 29, 2008 06:36 PM

                                                                                                        I had one meal at Nob Hill about six months ago. We sat in one of the booths by the bar--loved it. The food was some of the best I have had in LV and I have eaten at most of the nice places. It is the most underrated restaurant on this board. The drinks are great to.

                                                                                                    2. s
                                                                                                      Sunkisst RE: LongIslandChef Jan 29, 2008 04:59 PM

                                                                                                      We had dinner on Sunday evening At B&B .. We have traveled a great deal through Italy and new it would be hard to deliver authentic food to the masses of Las Vegas. But were still really jazzed! I was a bit surprised initially to the sounds of a crying infant. Our server was pleasant. We started with the Marinated Anchovies & Armandino's Salumi. & wine the sommelier suggested. The anchovies were perfectly marinated on a bed of buttery tasting greens. The Salumi had 3 pieces of meat sliced the thickness of a postage stamp and two breaded, fried green olives. The meat was ordinary at best. The olives were the stand out. We then ordered the pasta course. We chose the Linguine & clams with lemonchella, and Gnocchi with braised Oxtail, and again each a wine that was paired. The wine was served beautifully by the sommelier. A server placed a slice of rustic bread on a plate for each of us. The other server came over right away and asked if we would like some olive oil at an additional cost of $5. We passed. The infant stilled cried! I used the rest room.... and could not help but noticing the spray of red something spattered across the bottom tiles on the bathroom wall. : /
                                                                                                      The gnocchi & oxtail was very good. The linguine & clams, again ordinary. Better, hands down, at Jay's in Carlsbad Ca. Infant still fussing. We paid and left.

                                                                                                      1. f
                                                                                                        foodiesnorth RE: LongIslandChef Feb 1, 2008 08:36 AM

                                                                                                        Wow lot's of good info in the replies to your post. We go to Vegas a couple or three times a year...strictly for food and shows. Here is my two cents:

                                                                                                        1. Best steak house...Delmonico (although went for lunch there last trip and it was horrible...the dinners are by our view and that of froends who have gone, superb. Best steak of many I have had in a lifetime of carnivorous behavior)

                                                                                                        2. The breakfasts at Bouchon in Vegas are excellent. The french toast is unrivalled anywhre I have ever been (mde from a fresh brioche base)

                                                                                                        3. Bradley Ogden (who gave us the pleasure of a personal tour of the kitchen along with another two couples) was, disapppointing. Very salty entrees (I had the pork tenderloin), the deserts were so rich when we attended that we could not get through more than one piece of the trio. I recall the appetisers as excellent.

                                                                                                        4. Wolfgang Puck's place in the MGM (I am not sure if he has more than one...but it is the central place with no walls..if that helps!) had a wonderful lunch prepared for us two weeks ago (when we attended with our four kids)

                                                                                                        5. Robuchon's was incredible...we were there in Novemeber just after they got their three stars from Michelin. Likely the best meal we have ever had in terms of service and food. Fantastic...my mouth is watering just thinking abou it.

                                                                                                        6. Rosemary's...second favourite place after the the above. Loved the food and service. Do the testing menu (but of course).

                                                                                                        7. LOS was everything is is said to be. ANother fantastic eatery (and one that wonlt break the bank).

                                                                                                        8. Nobhill...never been to the original, but this is again a memorable place to eat. We would put it third of the places we have eaten in LV.

                                                                                                        Well, I could go on, but you have plenty of input from others. Have fun!

                                                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: foodiesnorth
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                                                                                                          LongIslandChef RE: foodiesnorth Feb 1, 2008 08:15 PM

                                                                                                          Thanks for your recommendations foodie. A couple of those are definitely on my must-go-to list for when I return again next January.

                                                                                                          1. re: LongIslandChef
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                                                                                                            noshie RE: LongIslandChef Feb 10, 2008 09:45 PM

                                                                                                            Thanks for such a great read. You're an inspiration to all of us who love to chowhoud.com My wife and I go to Las Vegas about three to four times a year, and she likes more of the old style Las Vegas so she goes for The Steakhouse at Circus Circus, especially since she likes bargains. We did like the steak and the amazing sides at Craftsteak, but she wasn't too thrilled about being close to the casino floor at the MGM. I agree that Bouchon for brunch is amazing, especially the french toast, the sourdough waffles and the boudin blanc (if you like boudin).

                                                                                                            For your lunches in the future, we've been to Lotus of Siam several times and think that it's pretty good, but cannot say that it lives up to Thai food in Los Angeles. If you can't get good Thai food in New York, then it might be worth it but it still does not compare to the best places in Los Angeles. We really recommend Commander's Palace for brunch as that was sublime (although we have not been there in over a year and are not sure it is still around).

                                                                                                            We have yet to go to L'Atelier but we will have to break down and go after your review. (We have been to French Laundry several times, and have been awestruck by some of the items on the tasting menu there.) We are looking forward to your next post for any trip that you take. Thanks.

                                                                                                            1. re: noshie
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                                                                                                              LongIslandChef RE: noshie Feb 11, 2008 09:48 AM

                                                                                                              Thanks for the nice comments noshie. I really look forward to doing it again next year. I actually just booked a room in Vegas for next January about an hour ago. It's hard to believe I won't be back until then, but what can you do?
                                                                                                              Next year I'll try to write the reviews a little closer to the time I have the meal or at least write some notes afterwards instead of doing it all off the top of my head like I did.

                                                                                                          2. re: foodiesnorth
                                                                                                            GroovinGourmet RE: foodiesnorth Feb 11, 2008 07:57 AM

                                                                                                            Placing Rosemary's 2nd after Robuchon says TONS. And I look forward to having the coin to do Robuchon right. In the meantime, Rosemary's it always is!

                                                                                                          3. c
                                                                                                            CityFoodNY RE: LongIslandChef Feb 12, 2008 05:11 PM

                                                                                                            I'm a Long Island Foodie....and I have been to Vegas over a dozen times...I like your choices, all good picks. Some other ideas...

                                                                                                            Emril's Delmonico Steak House
                                                                                                            Charlie Palmer Steak
                                                                                                            Country Club Steak House at Wynn
                                                                                                            SW Steak House at Wynn
                                                                                                            (Above are better than Stripsteak at Mandalay, although I ate at Stripsteak 3 weeks ago, it is not bad at all)

                                                                                                            Rao's in Caesars is great

                                                                                                            Zefferino is also good in Venetian

                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: CityFoodNY
                                                                                                              The Dairy Queen RE: CityFoodNY Feb 13, 2008 09:21 AM

                                                                                                              CityFoodNY, can you talk a bit more about Country Club Steakhouse? We recently dined at SW and, though we have a perfectly lovely (though not flawless), when we took our after-dinner stroll around the Wynn and we got to The Country Club and saw the patio dining overlooking the 18th hole and another one of Wynn's faux (but charming nevertheless) waterfalls, I wanted to cry. I so wish our reservations had been at Country Club instead of SW, but, Country Club wasn't even on my radar. As I said, wonderful meal, great service at SW, the the atmosphere was a lot more zoo'ish compared to country club, which seemed comparatively mellow. Is the steak good at Country Club?

                                                                                                              P.S. LongIslandChef, thank you so much for your detailed reports in this thread.

                                                                                                              ~TDQ

                                                                                                              1. re: CityFoodNY
                                                                                                                l
                                                                                                                LongIslandChef RE: CityFoodNY Feb 14, 2008 07:48 PM

                                                                                                                Hello fellow LI foodie, thank you for your suggestions. I'll have to look into some of those for my trip next January. I'll be staring another post for that adventure later this year. Since you go to Vegas so often, maybe you'll have more suggestions by then.

                                                                                                                P.S. No problem Dairy Queen :-)

                                                                                                              2. b
                                                                                                                bds RE: LongIslandChef Mar 16, 2008 10:53 PM

                                                                                                                You may want to try CUT- a new steak restaurant that Wolfgang Puck opened in the last week in the Palazzo in the Venetion. Prime is great! The interiors are just as yummy as the steak.

                                                                                                                1. tbeeten RE: LongIslandChef Mar 27, 2008 04:49 PM

                                                                                                                  Koi is amazing. My husband treated me to two nights at the Planet Hollywood for my birthday. We ended up eating both night at Koi. The service was fabulous, the atmosphere was great and the food phenomenal. Their shishito peppers are the best I've had. You must add Firefly and or dragon fly to your list. You wont be disappointed.

                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                  1. re: tbeeten
                                                                                                                    l
                                                                                                                    LongIslandChef RE: tbeeten Mar 31, 2008 11:56 AM

                                                                                                                    Koi was edged off the list for my trip this past January because I had only planned on going for sushi once. As it turned out, and as I explained earlier in the thread, unfortunately I didn't even end up getting to one. So next year I'll definitely have to make up for that and go for sushi two or three times when I'm there. Koi is one on my preliminary list for next January. The more good things I hear about it, the more interested I am in trying it.

                                                                                                                    Both Firefly and Dragonfly are on there as well, but I'll probably end up going to just one of the two.

                                                                                                                    Thanks for info

                                                                                                                  2. f
                                                                                                                    Frequent Flyer RE: LongIslandChef Apr 29, 2008 03:10 PM

                                                                                                                    I just wanted to thank LongIslandChef and all the posters in this thread for your input! I just returned from LV with a group. We were staying at MGM and had two "dinner nights" to pick; thanks to all your input, we ended up at Shibuya and Craftsteak.

                                                                                                                    We were very pleased with Shibuya: the fish was fantastic all around, and their sake menu was the most extensive I've ever seen. I did the omakase, while my tablemates ordered rolls and nigiri. The omakase was beautifully executed, even if the selections were a little "overly glammy" for me (lots of lobster, truffle, foie gras, kobe, etc.) -- I like to see an omakase really show off the fish. The service at Shibuya was exceptional.

                                                                                                                    Craftsteak: our table of four did the American kobe tasting menu (one of the diners insists on humane beef, which the Japanese wagyu is sadly not). We let the kitchen make our choices.

                                                                                                                    Our starters were artichoke hearts, proscuitto, mixed lettuces, grilled shrimp and a cold beet salad.

                                                                                                                    The mains were flatiron, strip, skirt, and filet. Each steak came out in a cast iron skillet, already sliced for serving. I was glad we all four took the same temperature! Our sides were roasted asparagus with sea salt, a sampler of their mushrooms (including the hen-of-the-woods, which was a first for me), the potato puree... and then the fourth one escapes me, which means I must have passed on it so it was likely fingerling potatoes.

                                                                                                                    The desserts were a sampler of ice creams and sorbets... a molten chocolate cake... an apple crisp... a bread pudding... and a lemon tart.

                                                                                                                    My thoughts on the food: all the starters and sides were lovely, no complaints. But in hindsight on the steaks, I wish we'd each had our own individual cut, rather than family-style portions from community plates. While it was fun to sample the different cuts of kobe, I didn't get to enjoy the seared flavorful crust, and the natural juices. I didn't really feel like I'd Had A Steak For Dinner, if that makes sense.

                                                                                                                    I got a comeuppance on the desserts: I remember looking at the menu and thinking, "molten chocolate cake? lemon tart? yawn." But everything was delicious and perfectly executed. I guess a dessert doesn't have to be nouveau and artistically exotic in order to impress, after all! I would HIGHLY recommend that anyone visiting Craftsteak in a group get the dessert tasting menu.

                                                                                                                    But -- I've got little good to say for the service. When we were finally seated (almost 20 minutes late, with no apology or acknowledgment), we brought our drinks from the bar; no one ever asked us if we wanted fresh cocktails, even when we were down to slivers of ice. I had to ask for a wine menu. I ordered a glass of champagne as an aperitif -- and then the server took the wine menu away and never brought it back. I'd spotted a bottle that I wanted for later, so I remembered it to order -- but then the wine came out with only one glass. (?? Maybe I look like a sot? Who knows.) We had to ask for water refills. We were constantly having to look for our server, trying to catch his eye.

                                                                                                                    It felt as though, since we were having the tasting menus, our server decided that we needed little to no attention. It was very disappointing.

                                                                                                                    But, as pointed out upthread, you can't really eat at a place once and make a fair decision on it.

                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                    1. re: Frequent Flyer
                                                                                                                      aadesmd RE: Frequent Flyer May 2, 2008 11:37 AM

                                                                                                                      This type of service is inexcusable. The restaurant is actually owned by MGM/Mirage, but given Colicchio's penchant for service, I would write to him, with a copy of your receipt, and a copy of what you wrote above. I know that he would lose sleep that night, and that is the only way that management would know what happened. I would also send it to the President of MGM, who started in the hospitality side of things.

                                                                                                                      The employment situation is such in LV right now that you could save other diners the same plight.

                                                                                                                      Again, inexcusable for a restaurant at this price point. They also should have asked you if you wanted the steak served cut- I hate this- or whole.

                                                                                                                    2. f
                                                                                                                      foodmadfam RE: LongIslandChef May 4, 2008 06:07 AM

                                                                                                                      my first post on Chowhound - so here's my question. We will be in Vegas this coming Wed and Thurs night and looking for any of your suggestions of what you'd do if you only had this limited time - from what I see, I thought maybe N9NE one night for a good steak and Rosemary's the second for something local and not too expensive. On the Friday we are going to LOVE so will need to grab a bite fairly early evening - any ideas welcome. Staying at the Rio - my husband is at a conference so I have Thurs and Fri available in the day - my first visit so aside from the obvious e.g. the strip - any other suggestions?

                                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: foodmadfam
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                                                                                                                        climberdoc RE: foodmadfam May 4, 2008 06:55 AM

                                                                                                                        Enoteca San Marco would be a good pre-Love option. Not fancy but great Mario Batali dishes. Good selection of wines by quartino. I've enjoyed Enoteca more that his more upscale B&B.

                                                                                                                        1. re: foodmadfam
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                                                                                                                          VegasEl RE: foodmadfam May 4, 2008 11:42 AM

                                                                                                                          Since you plan to go to Rosemary's during your trip and you'll be in town on Wednesday night...make that your Rosemary's night. Everything is 50% off for Ladies....even the 3 course prix-fixe menu. You can never go wrong with Rosemary's and certainly not for half off.

                                                                                                                          1. re: foodmadfam
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                                                                                                                            foodmadfam RE: foodmadfam May 4, 2008 04:38 PM

                                                                                                                            Thanks - sounds like we're set to go. Really appreciate the input -

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                                                                                                                            solidgold RE: LongIslandChef Aug 7, 2008 03:49 PM

                                                                                                                            LIChef - Thanks so much for your detailed posts. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your restaurant reviews from your Vegas trips. I'm planning a trip in October for my birthday and your reviews have been quite helpful. It's great to know that there are so many people willing to share their experiences at these places.

                                                                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: solidgold
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                                                                                                                              LongIslandChef RE: solidgold Aug 7, 2008 04:36 PM

                                                                                                                              I'm glad I can help solidgold. Of course if you have any questions ask away. I'm sure you'll have a great time in October.

                                                                                                                              1. re: LongIslandChef
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                                                                                                                                solidgold RE: LongIslandChef Aug 7, 2008 09:49 PM

                                                                                                                                Actually, if you don't mind me asking, what restaurant are you a chef at in Long Island? I live in Brooklyn, so I don't get out to LI much, but it's always good to have another restaurant on the list in case I'm out there for whatever reason. Based on your reviews, I would certainly be interested in trying your cooking.

                                                                                                                                1. re: solidgold
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                                                                                                                                  LongIslandChef RE: solidgold Aug 8, 2008 07:05 PM

                                                                                                                                  solidgold, actually right now I'm not at a restaurant, I'm at the United States Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, LI. I'm the chef of the officers club. We serve the VIPs, plus we cater weddings and such. After working in restaurants and country clubs for about 10 years, I thought something like this would be interesting and at times it certainly is. Plus, it allows me the time off to take great trips like these.

                                                                                                                                  itryalot, I actually never did get to in-and-out. But on my trip back there a few weeks ago, which I talk about in my other thread on here, I did finally get to Burger Bar and had the Rossini burger.
                                                                                                                                  Yes, it's very expensive for a burger, but was definitely worth it. Plus, at least it also came with a dessert burger, so it didn't feel as bad spending that much money since I felt as if I was getting a full meal.

                                                                                                                                2. re: LongIslandChef
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                                                                                                                                  itryalot RE: LongIslandChef Aug 8, 2008 05:09 AM

                                                                                                                                  I am curious. How did the burger challenge end up? Expensive vs cheap?

                                                                                                                              2. b
                                                                                                                                brentbacher RE: LongIslandChef Aug 18, 2008 12:54 PM

                                                                                                                                Had a great meal at Stripsteak. Stripsteak is one of Michael Mina's restaurants, the 10 oz filet mignon was perfect, in fact the best I can remember. The filet was cooked and seasoned perfectly. Also, we ordered up the trio of duck fat fries, grilled foie gras, bacon wrapped fritters, chicken fried steak and butter poached lobster tail which we all enjoyed. We were not impressed by the salads, i.e. bibb wedge and Caesar. A big hit were the two veggie dishes, creamed spinach and the jalapeño cream corn wow! And for desserts, we ordered the dunkin' mini doughnuts and beignets which we all consumed in record time. BTW, the wine and scotch selection is out of this world. The wait staff was courteous and friendly. Stripsteak was certainly a great place to dine, we all enjoyed our experience.

                                                                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                                                                1. re: brentbacher
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                                                                                                                                  SUNTAB RE: brentbacher Aug 18, 2008 02:18 PM

                                                                                                                                  that sounds awesome!! i'm still debating my steakhouse choices.. have you had Craftsteak, CUT or SW and if so how do they compare??? I've read good and bad reviews on all, so imagine they are all very good overall with a bad experience here and there. Been leanin' toward Craftsteak though after reading the reviews. Any input.....?

                                                                                                                                  1. re: SUNTAB
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                                                                                                                                    brentbacher RE: SUNTAB Aug 22, 2008 03:47 PM

                                                                                                                                    I have not tried Cut, Craftsteak and or SW. the only other steakhouse I've tried is Delmonicos.

                                                                                                                                    I only get to Vegas about once every 3 years. I will say that Vegas sure has many killer choices, its hard to narrow it down.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: SUNTAB
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                                                                                                                                      LongIslandChef RE: SUNTAB Aug 22, 2008 04:54 PM

                                                                                                                                      I've been to all three and you really can't go wrong at any of them. But if I had to choose one, I'd go with Craftsteak. I've been there twice and loved it both times.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: LongIslandChef
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                                                                                                                                        SUNTAB RE: LongIslandChef Aug 22, 2008 07:57 PM

                                                                                                                                        thanks!! Sold.....iit's Craftsteak!!

                                                                                                                                  2. k
                                                                                                                                    kryztyne RE: LongIslandChef Jul 27, 2009 03:41 PM

                                                                                                                                    It looks like this is an old thread, but maybe it's time for LongIslandChef to return to Vegas! But this is awesome, since my husband and I are going to LV next week and I need some ideas. My husband and I are great appreciators of awesome food. Here's where we've been in the past and I recommend:
                                                                                                                                    Bouchon- awesome breakfast
                                                                                                                                    Wynn Buffet - you have to eat breakfast here, it is the biggest selection of really great -tasting food I've ever seen in a buffet in my life! And, I hate buffets!
                                                                                                                                    Tao-really inspired food, great ambiance and it didn't hurt that David Spade stopped by our table. We were a little starstruck.
                                                                                                                                    Lavo- mouthwatering, great service.
                                                                                                                                    Bartolotta- if you like fresh seafood, this is the place.

                                                                                                                                    I don't recommend:
                                                                                                                                    Dos Caminos-we got a hotel credit to use here, food was so-so.

                                                                                                                                    Please give us your opinions on where we should eat for dinner next week!

                                                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                                                    1. re: kryztyne
                                                                                                                                      Striver RE: kryztyne Jul 28, 2009 05:49 AM

                                                                                                                                      We just returned from a very brief overnight stay in LV, and had two good meals there. One was a light lunch at Enoteca San Marco - just a pizza and two glasses of wine, but the pizza (the day's special, with braised pork and arugola) was excellent, and the wine (a Langhe Nebbiolo sold by the glass) was a perfect accompaniment.

                                                                                                                                      The other was dinner at Bouchon Bistro. I see you had breakfast there, and might want to try a different place, but our dinner was first-rate in all respects (food, wine, service, ambience), and I strongly suggest you consider it.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: kryztyne
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                                                                                                                                        LongIslandChef RE: kryztyne Jul 28, 2009 08:15 PM

                                                                                                                                        I'll probably be returning this January, its either Vegas or Jamaica, could they be anymore different? lol

                                                                                                                                        As for Dos Caminos, I definitey agree about the food but look on the bright side, at least you didn't pay for it.

                                                                                                                                        by the way, here's another thread of mine from last year, so its a bit more recent

                                                                                                                                        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/523538

                                                                                                                                        1. re: LongIslandChef
                                                                                                                                          foodlvrzen RE: LongIslandChef Jul 30, 2009 12:54 PM

                                                                                                                                          LIC, really enjoy your reviews; glad you're still on ch. seems you have more in common with Chef Joe Isidori than incredible food; he has some background in Westchester/Long Island area; you might be able to have a new version of the divine experience in his future place...

                                                                                                                                          nice interview, pre Harbour
                                                                                                                                          http://eats.com/eats-editorials/foodi...

                                                                                                                                          other;
                                                                                                                                          http://www.nydailynews.com/lifestyle/...

                                                                                                                                          post Harbour;
                                                                                                                                          http://eater.com/archives/2009/07/che...

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