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"Turning 40 Dinner" Help Needed - LV

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We'll be down in Vegas next weekend Jan 11/12 and are looking for our one fine dinning experience. The group is 6 guys - all professionals (well, some might say I'm not) and everyone is celebrating turning 40 this year. We're looking for somewhere with a reasonably lively atmosphere. So romantic and stuffy-ish restaurants are out - would prefer a modern feel but want to avoid places where the "scene" is the only redeeming feature of the restaurant. Friendly and professional service is a must. No particular cuisine is sought - I'm kind of up in the air on whether steakhouses make the cut. We're staying at the MGM Grand and I would prefer to get out of the hotel. No particular budget in mind but would expect $100 to $200 pp would do the trick. As much as I'd give it a go - some of the ultra expensive restaurants would be a bad choice as not everyone is on the same budget.

Some restaurants were suggested by one of our group:
Picasso, Nobhill, Valentino, and Le Cirque. From what I've read on the board, the latter two are to be avoided. Nobhill sounds quite good - but is at our hotel which I'd like to avoid.

Other places - I've seen on CH that sound like might work - Alex, L'Atelier, B&B, Bradley Ogden, N9NE, Bouchon. Not sure about $ and atmosphere of those restaurants.

Any advice on which to pick or avoid of the above? Any I am missing?

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  1. Speaking to the places I've been ->

    Le Cirque has good food but is definitely romantic and stuffy-ish. Not a lively atmosphere, not a place I'd bring a group of guys.

    L'Atelier has outstanding food but also isn't a place I'd go for a guys' night out. Best place to sit is at the kitchen bar, which doesn't really work for a group of 6. Not very romantic, but not terribly lively either. It really does sort of have the feel of what its name suggests - a workshop. Also with drinks would likely exceed your proposed budget.

    Bouchon has very good food but not a ton of atmosphere. Basically is like a very large, well-lit French brasserie. I've always enjoyed going there, though.

    I thought the food was very good at B&B (though it has its detractors) and the place also has a somewhat party-ish atmosphere. It's crowded, the tables are sort of on top of each other, the rock music is loud (again, all of these elements have their detractors too). I was very happy with our meal, though the service was great, and you can get out without it being too pricey a meal. If I was having my 40th in LV (and I turned 40 this year), this would be somewhere close to the top of my list.

    I haven't eaten at Bradley Ogden but the place never seems very active to me. I also go and look at the menu every time we're in town but am never particularly inspired to go there. I'd say the same of Picasso.

    Here's my report on several of these places which I recently visited:
    http://www.chowhound.com/topics/45329...

    1. Love Nobhill but you said youwant to get out of the MGM. I actually like N9Ne but thats a steakhouse -- however it does have some atmosphere, but it can get loud and trendy -- its the palms. Bouchon is pretty casual and the time I was there it was pretty quiet -- but the food was great. I recently went to Enoteca San Marco and although not as high end as some of the other restaurants you are suggeting -- its Mario Batali and it was fun, delicious and reasonable -- and definitely a place for everyone to share and not be all stuffy (It was about 75 bucks a person with 3 glasses of wine each). I would ask to sit inside because the outside the tables tend to be on top of each other.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Justjenn

        Thank you both for the help - looks like its down to N9NE or B&B. The former will probably win out (strong vote for red meat). Thanks for the Enoteca San Marco recommendation - that might come in handy one of the other nights.

        1. re: Cooooooooper

          as a 45 year old - i highly recommend n9ne - food is top-notch and the scene is also nice....very nice...you might get a sore neck...and not from chewing the steak !

      2. Tao

        1 Reply
        1. re: The Chowfather AKA sobe

          How is Tao Las Vegas - I am familiar with the NYC location. Same vibe? How is the lounge?

        2. Add Del Friscos in. It's perfect for what you're talking about. We do our "Gentlemen's Dinner" every year there, great steaks, delicious seafood and they pour a mean martini. It will be closer to $100 than $200 per head as well.