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Restaurant Charlie - Palazzo - Las Vegas

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  • kjs Mar 12, 2008 06:39 PM

After making a few $$$ on the tables decided to treat SO and I to a nice meal – I read where a fellow foodie had a reservation at trotter’s place in middle march so I called palazzo to see if the restaurant was finally open …it is…great …I’m there. No reservation – arrived at 6:00 pm ( Tuesday ) about 6 people eating in the entire restaurant and about …gee …at least 20 servers/waiters ready to pounce.

as empty as the place was, they put us at the table right at the doors leading to the kitchen area ( I figured…maybe the other, nicer tables reserved . ) btw – stylish decor – modern, I guess…geometric …with the music – hell I don’t know …mellow techno ?!?!

Restaurant Charlie is all about seafood ( cool …I thought I read pre-opening that it was going to be a steakhouse …that didn’t make sense given morel’s, cut and batali’s place…

Menu – cold apps ( $20 - $28 in price ) , cold apps ( $22 - $38 ) , main entrees ( $38 to mkt price …mkt for the lobster …at the hi end – “true kagoshima beef strip loin “ …$175 , seared 32 day dry aged rib eye …$75 ) , the sides ( $14 - $20 )

As you can imagine …bring serious $$$$

SO and I had :

I started w/ a foo – foo drink – tequila , orange amd lime juices w/ an egg foam ( damn…I forget the name of it …$18 for…hmm…4 ounces !! ) tasted good …the foo-foo drinks were $14- $18

Apps – Tart of Maine lobster w/ Spanish chorizo, black trumpet mushrooms, & carmelized onions ( $38 ) …also added but not mentioned …red wine foam ….decent app …maybe a little too much going on in this dish – the lobster tasted like it was poached in a lot of butter ( good by me ) the onions…very, very sweet, the chorizo and mushrooms were “strips” …very tasty …but put them all together…a little too much …alone each tasted great

Braised octopus w/ picholine olives , Serrano ham, scarlet peppers ( $22) …the octopus , very tender , the seasoning …the sauce / peppers had a definite thai influence to it. The ham…crisp it actually looked like jerky ….very good dish …not as complex as the lobster dish…

Btw – ordered a sauvignon blanc w/ my app – my usual – a selection from Marlborough, NZ …damn it …forget the name …only SB by the glass option on the menu – excellent wine but for my palate, did not compliment my app… it was kinda cool that just before my last bite of the app, the sommelier came by and added alittle more to the glass and asked what I thought – I asked did he have a riesling by the glass – he smiled and said yes…told him that would’ve paired better ( ala Lotus ) he laughed and agreed …he and I discussed our experiences at LOS …he apologized but mentioned ( correctly so ) that he sensed my SO and I would be sharing apps and felt the acidity of the wine would work well with the lobster ( I’m far from a wine snob – all I can say is my palate agrees w/ him )

Entrée – SO had the hand harvested sea scallops w/ parsley emulsion and yogurt ( $42) - very good – definite hint of tarragon ..i believe in the yogurt …

I had the seared hamachi , braised veal cheek and chaterelle mushroom sauce ….wow…great flavors !!! only complaint….not seared…but still very tender….( $52 )

Had a glass of rioja w/ the hamachi ( I was going to try a pinot but the sommelier politely convinced me to try the rioja … again – forget the name – only option on the by glass menu ) great choice !!! $22 again the sommelier topped off my glass...very generous topping !

Sides – ragout of miatake, abalone and trumpet mushrooms fingerling potatoes and cured pork belly …..great stuff – again, great flavors – especially the cured pork belly – SO and I agreed – could have used more pork belly ( especially blended in w/ the potatoes ) and cut up the mushrooms to bite size ( cost $18 )

Crispy Brundade ( potato cakes w/ reconstituted salt cod ) ….tasty but cod made it a little too salty ( $16 ) …give me a 2nd order of the mushrooms !!!

Desserts – the price range …gee…I believe $12 or $14 - $18
SO had the blueberry “tart?” , I went with the apple pie ala mode w/ apple gelee and Wisconsin white cheddar gelee …both very good - SO loved the blueberries I liked the gelee when combined w/ the ice cream and the pie. We both had “charlie’s coffee “w/ the dessert. …finished w/ the complimentary “mini-dessert tray “

Total price $310

Overall – I give the place a thumbs up …It ain’t cheap….overall, very good service ( noticed few diners entered during our entire meal so a better table should have been offered ) if anything, when it’s that slow, it’s a little intimidating - all the servers milling around trying to act busy….. given my attempt to try every restaurant in the vegas valley …It will be a year or so before I return…unless someone else is buying/offering .

Happy Eating

btw - CUT ( puck's steakhouse in the palazzo ) had their opening a few days ago ....next on the list ? )

 
 
 
 
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  1. Thanks for the review -- terrific, as usual. Does Charlie offer any fixed-price/tasting menu options?

    2 Replies
    1. re: Dave Feldman

      that's the 1st thing i asked them - i was surprised to find out that they didn't ...here are some more pics ..also - in my 1st post i included a pic of the amuse - a quail egg w/ bacon and the server said a parsley "sauce" - i believe she mixed this up w/ the parsley emulsion served w/ the scallops because the green sauce tasted more like broccoli . also - they did serve bread - started w/ a chorizo and olive oil roll ...tasty...it was kinda funny ...the bread person came by after the apps and asked if i wanted a 2nd course of the bread...sure...a flimsy piece of french bread...actually not bad...but what ?? no 3rd course ?!?!?

       
       
       
       
      1. re: kjs

        kjs-

        Thanks for the wonderful detailed review! I am even more excited now!

    2. I ate here the same day, and at Bar Charlie as well, which has 8 and 15 course kaiseki-style service. All my photos/comments are at www.fire-and-knives.blogspot.com

      13 Replies
      1. re: bosdine

        bosdine - great review - i noticed the bar to the right .. and i was expecting that we would be eating there since we did not have reservations ..... i'm disappointed they did not mention this option when we entered the restaurant nor did the server mention this option when i asked about a tasting menu ..at a minmum, suggest it for future visits.....i like your reference to per se .....good point ! i haven't been to trotter's in geez...4-5 years now .... i thought he was going to move to london a few years back ....

        i keep stalling on robuchon and guy savoy ....expecting a decent refund check this year ...... i think the time has come to hit the Mansion !!

        1. re: kjs

          definately, definately, definately go. you won't regret it. If I hadn't bought a bottle of krug for the staff, it wouldn't even have been that much more $$ than Trotters or Savoy.

        2. re: bosdine

          Wow - great reviews and pictures! Might I ask how much the 8 and 15 course meals at Bar Charlie cost?

          1. re: Larry

            A lot. My 8 course w/pairings was almost $400. Importantly, I had 3 courses in the main dining room first ($130), and I still wasn't too full after all that (and imagine the meals I'd had the previous days! I wasn't that hungry to start with!). I really think that the only big problem they've got is their price/portion ratio- but they'll fix that after one apoplectic review.

            1. re: bosdine

              Thanks to both of you, kjs and bosdine, for your reviews. I had made a reservation there for the beginning of April since we'll be staying at Palazzo and wanted to try it...but based on your reviews, I think I'll wait until their price/value and decor issues are settled.

              Our other choice would be Aquanox because we love seafood, and their presentations sound very interesting, although no one really seems to LOVE it.

              Our only other night we're going to Carnevino so we thought seafood would be a good choice after that pasta/steak meal.

              This is a very quick, 2 night trip to take advantage of a great rate at Palazzo, and we do NOT want to leave the premises.

              So, would you go to Aquanox or can you recommend someplace else in the Palazzo/Venetian complex?

              1. re: Eujeanie

                i'm trying either aquaknox or david burke this week ...i'll be sure to write a review. based on what you are saying, cut, b&b, delmonico's and valentino are off the list ( pasta / steak ) ...bouchon is worth a looksy ( i'm a fan but i've yet to try at breakfast time ) , i like postrio for lunch .... as to Charlie , i wouldn't call the decor an "issue" and the price/value ....geez....if that's an issue you might have a problem with carnevino ( based on other reviews i've seen ) then again price/value is an issue for more than 1/2 the strip casino high-end places ( even the low-end places ! ) i would be surprised if Charlie makes any changes on the price/serving portions ....

                happy eating !

                1. re: kjs

                  kjs, my comments about the price and decor were more in response to bosdine's review, not yours. Specifically, we were hoping for a tasting menu in the dining room which is not available at this time, and he said that staff there told him that decor changes are in the works. I would just rather wait until the kinks are worked out.

                  That being said, will look forward to your review of Aquanox.

                2. re: Eujeanie

                  I personally- if given the choice of eating at either The Venetian, or Palazzo, i'd go back to B&B in a heart-beat! It was mind-blowingly delicious..A food ephipany for me, a bit of a turning point in the was I now view food. Then, i'd run to to Pinot Brasserie, and from all the fantastic things i've heard from others, finally try Bouchon. I myself tend to stay away from restos the first month they are open, as they are still working out kinks in service and food.

                  The Illy Esspressemante in Palazzo is really really good. Fantastic gelatos, and one of the better esspressos i've had in town. Be aware, if you eat/drink food inside, they tack on a .75 extra charge, which threw me for a bit of a loop. I know better now, and get my coffee to go. Great people-watching there, to boot!!

                  1. re: Honeychan

                    In my humble opinion, skip Aquaknox, David Burke and/or Pinot Brasserie....some of the worst meal experiences I have had in my life.

                    In reference to Restaurant Charlie, I was under the impression that they would ultimately do anything to offer you a great experience. As I understand, they are waiting so that they may execute the a la carte menu better, and will offer a tasting menu down the line, but if you ask for the chef to cook for you, they will accomodate.

                    The kaiseki bar is $175/8 course and $250/15 course. The wine pairings are the same price as the tasting menus. This is where I ate......it is definitely not for those price conscious diners, but if you are adventurous and want a memorable omakase experience...this is it.

                    The restaurant is not cheap, but the cuisine is pretty unique. I am curious to see whether it floats or sinks in Vegas.

                    1. re: ciaobelly

                      I haven't cancelled my Restaurant Charlie reservation...yet.

                      Here are my problems. It's not about price, I've eaten at some very expensive restaurants, it's PRICE/VALUE relationship (sorry to shout but I don't know how to italicize here). When someone says they ate 3 courses for $130, were still hungry, and went and got the 8 course menu in the bar, my red flags go up.

                      Then the terminology used...kaiseke...omakase...my husband HATES sushi and will barely eat any Japanese except tempura or teppanyaki.

                      Given those parameters, would we be very unhappy at Charlie?

                      Our first night we're keeping our Carnevino reservation - despite negatives there, too, they are negatives we can deal with (ugly room, bad service)...I'm hoping that the pastas and steaks are good.

                      But we really wanted seafood the second night (we are ONLY staying 2 nights, and do NOT want to go off premise - we go to Las Vegas fairly frequently so don't feel the need to fly all over the place - for 2 nights we want to stay put).

                      So our other choices instead of Charlie's would be either Postrio or Bouchon (we've also eaten at Keller and Puck restaurants before). I've ruled out Aquanox.

                      I don't care who's name is on the door, I'm looking for a delicious seafood dinner in pleasant surroundings, that will not send my husband over the edge with outrageous prices or food he hates. Please help.

                      1. re: Eujeanie

                        tough call - i'm a big guy .... i walked away full ....i think the pics show you what you get - 3 large scallops ...$42 ...the hamachi ...maybe 4 ounces ...the veal cheek probably added 2-3 ounces ...$52 .... my sense ...your hubby will be close to the edge .... postrio - i've only eaten there for lunch ...i love their lobster club ( last time i was there, it cost about $25 ) ...i am a fan of bouchon ...

                        good luck !

                        1. re: kjs

                          I know this is off premises, but practically not (because of the bridges...) you could cross to the Wynn and do seafood at Bartolotta...beautiful setting and it's outdoor eating weather right now. Just a thought...it's more traditional seafood than Charlie's sounds to be...

                          1. re: lvnvflyer

                            Eujeanie, if your husband "hates" sushi, then do not do the kaiseki experience. It encompasses all preparations of fish, but with a sincere focus on sashimi, and raw preparations. I think you would be happy with the menu in the main dining room. That menu features cold and hot apps, entrees, sides and desserts. The menu looked very asian influenced, but there were some dishes that we enjoyed in the kaiseki bar that were adapted from the main room. I think he would be able to find/pick and choose dishes that satisfy his needs there. The servers said the food is extremely a la carte (meaning not too big, not many accompaniments on the plate). Chef Trotter is well known for not using much dairy/fats in his cuisine, so you can do many courses without needing a coronary (you can still walk as opposed to my dinner at The Mansion! Ha!). So if you were going to eat in the restaurant, I would probably do 4 courses, cold ap/hot ap/main and sides/dessert. It could get pricey for sure. The cuisine seems pretty pristine. I guess you will have to tell us what you think. I enjoyed my meal in the kaiseki bar, but I love fish in any state, and the chef there was really wonderful and engaging.

          2. I just went there last week while visiting Vegas and who was there? Charlie Trotter himself, he came around to the tables and spoke with the diners. I nearly soiled myself to say the least, mentioned I just finished culinary school in Boston and he said there's a job waiting for me in Chicago if I'm ever interested. Amazing meal to say the last, unforgettable experience.

            1. Had an outstanding solo dining experience sitting at the main bar area this past weekend. Warm beet salad with pickled quails eggs and chrysanthemum; Icelandic langoustine with cockles and razor clam over a puree of celery and yukon gold potatoes, with the freshness of the seafood accented by a roasted shallot vinaigrette; and a sinfully good breast of Poularde with Venezuelan chocolate and hazelnut foam, with a ravioli filled with a confit of the dark meat and roasted vegetables. Think of "mole" taken to a very special level. Finished with the steamed cacao cake and a "99% cacao" ice cream, accompanied by a Japanese single malt. And kudos to the staff for excellent wine pairings with each course. The interplay of the flavors and quality of ingredients made the price points almost seem reasonable. I know, that is not easy, because a restaurant has to be virtually flawless to merit that kind of ticket, hence the "almost" as a qualifier. On this visit they came close to that; close enough that I would not hesitate to return.

              4 Replies
              1. re: QAW

                How much was your meal?

                1. re: John Lowrey

                  It ran $220, for two appetizers, an entree, a side of the mushroom-fingerling-pork belly ragout, dessert, three glasses of wine and a single malt to finish...I felt that was more than fair for the food quality and service.

                  1. re: QAW

                    I think we are going to cancel. It just doesn't feel right. I showed my husband the menu, and it really reminded him of Le Bernardin, and he didn't care for it there at all.

                    Anyway, going to Carnevino the first night, and I have at this point NO idea where we'll end up the second. We won't starve.

                    1. re: Eujeanie

                      If you want to stay on the property with seafood as a focus you might also want to stop by Zeffirino and take a look at what they have fresh that particular night. I had an outstanding whole branzino there a couple of months ago, and it is a very pleasant setting.

              2. I ate at Restaurant Charlie on May 25th and they have a 6 or 12 course tasting menu that consist of a combination of Restaurant and Bar Charlie's menus. The place was not busy and I had the 12 and my friends had the 6 course menu. I believe we were the only customers who ordered it that night. The staff was fab and so nice making our 4 hour meal an experience we will never forget. We were oohing and ahhing with every bite and must have provided some amusement for the staff as we ended up being served 3 extra courses. Yes it is an expensive meal but the food was outstanding and Kurt and his staff were fantastic and I plan on going back again the next time I'm in Vegas.

                3 Replies
                1. re: lv08

                  Had the opportunity to dine @ Bar Charlie with a friend (QAW) and a new friend on Sunday evening. It was incredible. I had no idea what to expect except for what I have read on Chowhound and what I have gleamed from their online menu. Nothing truley prepared me for the trip I was about to experience.

                  QAW, who had dined at Bar Charlie before had talked with the chef's and the staff about creating a tasting menu that was experimental, creative, new and different....so we may have, and were at the mercy of these young, genius chef's..

                  As soon as I sat down I was presented with a glass of 2001 Prager Riesling Smaragd "Weissenkirchen Klaus" from Wachau Austria...it wasn't too sweet...though it was crisp and clean with a hint of fruitiness which prepared my palate for the journey ahead.

                  Our first Course was : Lobster with Red Bell Pepper, Mango & Mizuna. The preparation was bright, colorful and the flavors were clean. The sweet Lobster w/ the bite of the red pepper the juicy mango with the spicyness of the Mizuna...was amazing. It was the perfect bite....with an explosion of flavors. ...

                  Next came a Dungeness Crab with Fuji Apple & Chervil......this was a totally different experience than the first course even though it was similar....seafood, fruit and a fresh herb to bring out the sublteness of the flavors and freshness of the Crab....it was amazing.

                  Then we had Carbonated Carrot with Diver Sea Scallop, Ginger and Sultana Raisins.....this dish was absolutely beautiful...it was bright orange, yellow...it was bright and sunny as were the bright flavors of the carrots and ginger in a non traditional preparation that complimented the Scallop.

                  We then experienced a Japanese Snapper with Wasabi, Umeboshi & Plums...
                  This was one of my favorites so far....I am not sure I can describe how beautiful and how distinct and clean the flavors were....amazing. The plum was a terrific addition to the Snapper.

                  Next came a Tartare w/ Seaweed and Daikon...which was perfect to cleanse the palate...as this was our first dish without fruit...the flavors were more earthy, and substantial...it was a great transition dish for the courses to follow.

                  Then came a Tempura of Ayu with Bamboo and Sesame. This dish had BODY...it had texture, crispy, salty and a richness. Again one of my favorites so far!

                  Next up was a Ceviche of Langoustine with Pineapple and Citrus which played perfectly after the saltiness of our previous dish.....it was sunny, tropical and again over the top in color presentation and taste. I kept wondering What were they going to think of next......I was blown away and we were just getting started!

                  Then came a Yakitori of Brasied Papaya with Sweet Potato and Shiso.
                  I am a recent convert to Shiso...my first experience with this pepper was @ Koi....in the whole pepper form. In this dish it was used as an herb to flavor the dish...it really brought out the subtleties of the sweetpotato and added a nice dimension.

                  Next came a Sushi Rice Risotto with Black Fig, Maitake Mushrooms and Cilantro...we pared this with a Bottle of Beaux Freres Pinot Noir, from the Wilamette Valley. This dish was amazing. We all commented that we could lick the bowl.....it was, rich deep, flavorful, hearty and comforting. It was our first Starch based dish and it worked perfectly with the previous light, bright courses we had enjoyed. This was the perfect transition to the next part of our adventure.

                  From here we went to a Poached Maine Lobster in Yellow Curry with Lotus Root. The curry was vibrant yellow like brush strokes on an artists palette. It was almost too pretty to eat! It too was richer than the past dishes we had expeienced with more defined flavors and an heartiness from the curry and the lotus root...again this was an amazing combination.

                  We then had a Roasted Bobwhite Quail with Amazake and Red Miso Vinagrette.....another salty, crispy, dish that played to the taste buds. The quail was cooked beautifully, it was juicy, the skin snapped to the tooth.....I was in heaven.

                  Sadly this next dish was our last dish in this wonderful tasting experience. It is one that will stay with me...as it was pure perfection! It was a Japanese Ohmi-Gyu with Bloomed Mustard Seed and Pomme Puree.
                  This was the most tender, rare beef I have ever had. It was like eating butter. I dont know how to describe how flavorful and delicate each bite was...this was a perfect ending to an amazing meal so far....it left me wanting more.

                  Now came the dessert tasting.....this we married with a 2004 Kracher Sheurbe "Tockenbeerenauslese #10" from Neusiedlersee, Austria.
                  I was so enamoured with this dessert wine I snagged the empty bottle....it's now making the trip back to AZ with me for my label collection.

                  Our first dessert offering was a Nectarine Sorbet which was light, fresh, and extoxicating. The flavor and colors of fresh nectarines were robust and the wine brought everthing together.
                  Then we had Coconut Tapioca Pearls, Passion Fruit Chiffon & Pineapple Sorbet....this transported me to the islands for a quick trip (it may have been the wine) It was summery, again beautiful and fresh. The flavors were all distinct and stood on their own...though worked well together.

                  We finished this Culinary adventure with 2 rich decadent Chocolate tastings...one was a cold chocolate drink which was laced with sea salt....it was subtle. We enjoyed this with a Baked Chocolate Ganache with Cilantro Phyllo and Raspberry Sorbet.....
                  I love the play with the Sea Salt and the Cilantro with the Chocolate. It had much more vibrancy and complexity than you would expect.

                  We finished the meal with a Suntory "Yamazaki 12 year" Whisky......
                  I could have enjoyed just sitting and sipping the Whiskey....I was so satiated from this cilinary experience.....

                  The final adventure of the evening was a tour of the Kitchen where our masterpiece was created and a view from the Upstairs chef's table. This was more than a working kitchen....this was a gallery. From the colors of the vibrant food and sauces in glistening pots and pans to the artwork on the walls to the Glass perch upstairs from the Chef's tasting menu. This was like a culinary museum. It would be fun to go back and enjoy dinner in the kitchen...though I definitely prefer the dim light of the Bar area to the bright lights of the kitchen. I think it would be great to watch my meal being prepared...it was just a little to frenetic.

                  Kudo's to QAW for this Culinary Experience, the Staff and Chef @ Bar Charlie that could not have been more accomodating, friendly and knowledgable....and the Creativity of these young chefs...I am in awe!

                  This was an evening to savor for a long time.

                  1. re: ciaogal

                    Wow. Thanks for the great report. We're going to Vegas this weekend and now I wish we had an extra night.

                    Barry

                    1. re: ciaogal

                      To expound just a bit (although the above comments showed an amazing retention through so many flavors and pours), this was my second go-round with their full Kaiseki menu, and what made it special is that the first visit was "tracked", so that they could create another unique experience. What they did was sensational - there was not a dish that is listed on their current tasting menu (and two-thirds of those had also changed since the earlier visit), and there was a tremendous attention to detail. That detail is particularly impressive when they were bringing out some of their creations for the first time. They have a most talented young stuff, and it was a joy to see their creativity at play - while agreeing with Ciaogal that the Ohmi-Gyu was the best beef I have ever tasted, and that the quality of the seafood was impeccable, when you walk away thinking about the cured Papaya served Yakitori style more than anything else, you have indeed had quite an evening.

                  2. I wandered in for a drink about a month after this place opened, and it was very slow, so I put off dining here until my next trip out to Las Vegas.
                    Once again, My guest and myself were one of the few diners in the establishment, which is decorated without taste and as comfortable as a one legged rocking chair. It is very sterile in this restaurant, and if your looking for a view, you will only find the wall of waiters in your line of sight.
                    the food, while presented well, is really an over interpretation of what every gourmet chef in the world is trying to do... the less is more routine is not fooling me. Especially since my bill was not too far behind my damage from dining at French Laundry, and the experience was no where near that.
                    The service was nice, stiff, and well starched; with coached remarks about chef Trotters skill and technique. Of course, when I asked if he was there, the answer was no. It is a coached representation of himself, nothing more.
                    The wine list, the main reason why I dine out, was plain. Very safe selections, with not much excitement. The sommelier, who looked like he was not even old enough to drink, fit the environment well. He held his nose high enough in the air to succeed at such an establishment, but not likely anywhere else. his recommendations were lame, and his knowledge limited.
                    Like I previously stated, the meal was way too expensive for what you get. French Laundry was only one hundred more than my meal here, and Per Se only two hundred more, and those establishments are in the top 5 restaurants in the world.
                    If you want a good laugh, have them explain their 'Bar Charlie' concept.

                    This restaurant experience is summed up by one word: Disappointment .

                    8 Replies
                    1. re: Traveling Diner

                      The great thing about Chowhound is that it gives anybody the opportunity to express their opinions and review a restaurant as THEY see fit, regardless of ones true culinary prowess or expertise. I have been eyeing this board intently for that last 6 months for any reviews of Restaurant Charlie/Bar Charlie. It seems that large majority of these reviews have been outstanding, evening glowing at times with a smattering of average reviews and very few negative experiences. However there are times when you just have to wonder exactly what the reviewer is trying to accomplish.

                      Say what you will about how different chefs interpret their dishes, but I'm not really sure where the whole rant about "every gourmet chef in the world is trying to do" is suppose to take us. Or the comment about wet behind the ears sommelier. Are we to assume that Charlie Trotter is just trying to milk the Vegas dining scene by installing another high priced eatery that really isn't anything new? Are we to assume that the wet behind the ears sommelier is just a young inexperienced, and snooty employee who really doesn’t care about what the customer wants?

                      I can't remark about the quality of Restaurant Charlie or Bar Charlie (not sure what is funny or amusing about the Bar Charlie concept.) as I have never been yet (We have a reservation 9/21). But suggesting that Charlie Trotter is trying to follow the interpretation of other chefs is almost comical in itself. Having dined numerous times @ Charlie Trotters in Chicago, I can state that his technique (HIS not others) is unparalleled and his undying dedication to the freshest and finest ingredients is unmatched. And I would state that he is in that elite class of chefs that continually push the envelope for creativity and exploration.

                      I am sure that Chef Trotter will be in the kitchen of his Las Vegas restaurant very little. I cannot state this for a fact but I will guess that he has a contract that states that he will be there a minimum period of time throughout the year. And even if he is there, does one actually expect that he is doing the cooking? Is Joël Robuchon sautéing your foie gras over @ L'Atelier, is Guy Savoy poaching your lobster at Guy Savoy, is Charlie Palmer turning your steak at Charlie Palmer Steak House, is Michael Mina searing your Tuna at all his restaurants...you get my point. It is the chefs responsibility to train his staff to prepare the foods to his exact likeness. Star chefs rarely spend any time preparing your dinner. They act more as orchestraters as opposed to line cooks.

                      And lastly, as I mentioned above, I am sure Charlie Trotter did his homework when he hires such key personnel as his sommeliers. And he could not have chosen a nicer, more qualified (wet behind the ears) sommelier than he did. Desmond (Desi) Echavarrie was previously employed over @ Picasso for several years. He worked w/master Sommelier Robert Smith and between the 2 of them I have never experienced a nicer more qualified duo...anywhere. If my facts are correct, I believe that Desi (if not already a Master Sommelier) is about to take the Master exam and if he passes will be the youngest ever. Have you ever poured a glass of wine (with the bottled covered as not to reveal the wine) to someone and have them not only tell you the grape, the region, and a lot of the time the year? Well next time you are in Restaurant Charlie try that w/Desi.

                      1. re: LVI

                        Thanks, LVI, for saving me some time. Having eaten at Restaurant Charlie multiple times, and gone through the entire Kaiseki program twice at Bar Charlie, it is incredulous to hear that they are merely mimicking what is being done by other chefs globally. You can like the food or not, and yes the price points are high, but if one understands the history of Charlie Trotter's work through the years, who is copying who? One of the genuine pleasures of the second kaiseki is that they did not offer a single dish that was on the current menu, since they had charted our earlier evening and wanted to go in some different directions. We were even "warned" up front that they would be trying some combinations that they had not served before, but that the staff believed in. It worked. The reason why we go to a place like Restaurant Charlie is that they are doing things that we do not find elsewhere, and in Las Vegas, and in other cities and countries were we travel, there are a lot of incredible options these days.

                        As for Desi Echavarrie, he needs no defense. He has built quite a reputation already at a young age, and one of the pleasures on the Bar Charlie side of the house is how open he has been to discussing pairings over the course of those menus. On the first trip we did the full wine tasting as well, which paired a dozen wines, two sakes, and a Belgian ale through the evening, and talking with him about the challenges of the pairings was an enlightening experience. A lot of time and effort went into their building of a cellar to handle the complexity of the dishes, and the provenance behind a few of the offerings were most unique - a couple of the wines, and one of the sakes, are not going to be found commercially anywhere. I shudder to hear the list called "plain". Kudos to Desi for his work.

                        1. re: QAW

                          lvi and qaw - couldn't have said it better myself. I did not know the history of the sommelier when i wrote the headlining review, did the guy look young ? sure he did, so what ? He impressed the heck out of me , especially on one key issue - he was approachable. no air of sobbery, not condescending.

                          given the recent news on Mix it made me wonder about the staying power of Restaurant Charlie . When i stayed at the Palazzo a few weeks back ( in town getaway ) i did walk by Charlie and it was barren - Let's hope for the best !

                          1. re: kjs

                            Thats is a great point. Restaurant Charlie certainly isn't for everybody but that does not seem like a quality issue. It is opening at a bad time (economic woes abound) and Vegas resorts that cater to high end spenders (as opposed to high end rollers) seem to be taking the brunt of the economic woes there in LV. With that being said, it does have a more solvent backing in the Palazzo/Venetian as opposed to DJT in the Trump, and DJT's sad closure there. Man, was I disappointed I didn't have a chance to dine there!!! As I mentioned above, I have a 9/22 reservation there and I will be posting a review when I return.

                            1. re: LVI

                              Dont waste your time at DJT...The chefs are gone and so is the rest of the staff and the menu consists of burgers, ribs and poor quality steaks...I would waste your time or money.

                            2. re: kjs

                              The idea also crossed my mind. When I was there in earlier Aug, I was the only diner in the Bar Charlie. I was glad that I went ahead solo when my dining partner decided not to go. It was a great experience, and I hope it survives the tough time.

                              1. re: foggy_town

                                LV is losing a lot of high rollers to the opening of several major casinos in Macao. I, too, hope Bar Charlie will still be there when I visit next time. There were just the two of us the entire night when we were there in Aug. Our dinner was truly fantastic. We loved the concept, the freshness, the creativity, and the service. It was not inexpensive but, hey, it's LV. I do expect to pay more in LV casinos. Cost aside, I personally prefer the entire dining experience at Bar Charlie to French Laundry or Per Se (in reply to Traveling Diner above.)

                                1. re: fdb

                                  Desmond is young, which makes his knowledge, elegance and passion for wine even more impressive. He is humble, poised and I think that can be intimidating to some, but more so should be taken advantage of by us that dine. If you get the chance to "tap" his keen sense for all that is wine, spirits, sake and beer, consider yourself lucky :) Take a look around, the world of wine is breaking the mold with youthful, spirited sommeliers and mixologists. Just my thoughts...

                      2. Well, I must say that if the gentleman who service my table with wine conversation was a master sommelier contestant, than not much is to be said about that program. He did not know the varietal content of certain wines we were inquiring about, and had some serious flaws in his pairings. I have worked as a restaurant chef, owner, and operator for 30 years, I am not a novice. This kid was stuttering through his explanations, and was not polished at all. Many, many drips on our table cloth as well.
                        As for Chef Trotter and his cuisine, it is average. That is my opinion. 4 ounces of fish for $50 is an average offering. I do not care what he is doing on the plate beside the protein. Mushrooms are not 'that' expensive!
                        As for bar Charlie... it was empty. The person who gave us the tour said it was that way most of the time... enough said.
                        The room was boring as well. Decor was great, 15 years ago.
                        Time will judge all I guess.

                        6 Replies
                        1. re: Traveling Diner

                          I am not a chef nor will I pretend to know the 1st thing about running and/or managing a restaurant. I have forever loved food from my earliest years and hope to for the rest of them. I am as passionate about my cooking as I am about my dining, whether it be at Rawley's Dogs in Fairfield CT or Gary Danko in San Francisco. But I can say with conviction that Charlie Trotter can in no way be considered average. I refer back to my opening comment about how I believe sites like Chowhound are a great resource and voice for the average person. And had you had a bad experience @ Restaurant Charlie I would certainly listen and respect that. I would respect your opinion that you did not like it. But I have to question all of that when your rant goes beyond detailing your experience (actually, come to think of it, you don't really detail much about your actual meal) and instead you say things like "As for Chef Trotter and his cuisine, it is average." and "Mushrooms are not 'that' expensive!".

                          I know judging a chef and restaurants merely by their awards or ratings is not prudent but one has to question saying Charlie Trotter and is cuisine is average. Apparently the folks at the James Beard Foundation have a different opinion, along with a myriad of other publications and culinary experts.

                          And about the price of mushrooms, food costs across all food groups are drastically up from years past. That is not opinion, but a rather unfortunate fact.

                          1. re: LVI

                            Not in defense of anyone, or even commenting on Chef Trotter's endeavors in LV, but possibly germane to the discussion - Charlie Trotter's in Chicago was about average ++, and not a "+" more. We were really disappointed. Maybe our expectations were just too high.

                            Now, based on the majority of CH comments on Charlie and Bar Charlie, I will definitely try one, or the other. There are just too many folk, who have praised them here, and I trust the CH "team." I'll clear my mind, and put Chicago behind me - easy, as it was some years ago. Whatever happens will make its way to the SW board.

                            Also, a lot can happen to make one night excellent, and the next a disaster. One respected reviewer on this board had a big problem with a favorite restaurant of mine. His review was difficult to read. I had dined there just before, and about five nights later. All was excellent for me. I have no doubt that his experience was anything but what he wrote. I felt so bad, that I pulled the GM aside and gave her the URL to his review for her information in hopes that she could do a "post-mortem" on his experience. In the restaurant business, there are a lot of people, who can affect a diner's impression of their experience, and these people can have bad nights, as well as good.

                            Hunt

                          2. re: Traveling Diner

                            Sorry, so curious now. Was your wine service administered by a dark-haired gentleman? I wonder if it was not Desi, and perhaps one of the assistants? Just had to ask...it doesn't sound characteristic of my experiences, and I truly respect your opinions. I am not a Rosemary's fan and I think our experiences and their variances in quality are important to determining a restaurant that is consistent on all levels.

                            1. re: Traveling Diner

                              I cannot imagine anyone with a sommelier's pin not knowing their wine list. That should just never happen. To apply for the MS test, one has to have done the preliminary work and received the first distinction. What you describe just should never happen - maybe an on-line sommelier course?

                              Sorry to hear about your experience. To me, wine service is right up there with what the kitchen is doing and my food service. I grade heavily on all, with the front-of-the-house not too far behind.

                              Hunt

                              1. re: Bill Hunt

                                Well, if I did not know any better I would think I am surrounded by Trotter employees. I got the same lines when I was at is restaurant... 'Chef Trotter is a legend, Chef Trotter is breaking the culinary boundries', and so forth.
                                The simple fact is that his restaurant is boring. Dining out is so much more than just the food. That dining room is very weak. Uncomfortable, stuffy, and just exists without excitement.
                                The wine guy was a young kid, with not much knowledge, and no CMS 'sommelier' pin. No need to go further than that. If a red blend has syrah in it, the sommelier needs to know, or answer with a simple I am not sure. No need to BS me.
                                Chef Trotter may be a great Chef, but his skill as a restaurant operator is bland. His room lacks energy and his design is very average. I have had so many better meals, and experiences in my life, and that is the simple fact. You can go into some very small, practiclly uknown establishments all over Manhattan and get what he is serving up.
                                I do not care how fresh his halibut is, or how hard it is to find the lamb he serves.... it is the blend of all the elements of dining that make a great restaurant.
                                I am making it a point to go to his Chicago location the next time I am there, to compare and contrast.

                                As I said before... time will tell all.

                                1. re: Traveling Diner

                                  I couldn't agree more, Traveling Diner. Very often this problem comes up for me when I read the opinions of others. T Keller is a great chef, for ex., but Bouchon in Vegas was one of the worst meals of my life (the food and the service). It set a bad tone for my trip in Vegas. I am looking forward to trying Bar Charlie, as I love kaiseki...

                            2. Well, based on the other thread about Bar Charlie, and not being dissuaded by the negative comments on this thread (which mostly seem to be about Restaurant Charlie and/or the wine service), I have made reservations for October 18th for Bar Charlie. The night we are going is our actual 10th wedding anniversary. I know that we'll spend more than we've ever spent for a single meal (excluding the one meal we had at Urasawa which is really in its own category), and the choice was between Alex and Bar Charlie. We decided on Bar Charlie due to the fact that we tend to like a relatively more informal experience, and some of our best dinners ever have been when we've been able to interact with the chefs. I had a wonderful conversation with the woman who took the reservation last week - she asked if it was a special occasion, I responded that it was our actual anniversary night, she asked for my husband's name, we discussed our limited food restrictions in detail, etc. I had quite a good feeling when I finished the phone call and I'm really looking forward to our dinner there. As to the wine experience, who knows, maybe we would do a single pairing between the two of us, we are not big wine drinkers (not that we don't like it, but I tend to get headaches if I drink too much, and I seem to be able to metabolize distilled alcohol more easily). I'll be bringing my camera, and will report back.

                              10 Replies
                              1. re: Debbie W

                                I'll be looking forward to your review Debbie W - we're heading to Vegas at the end of October and I'm trying to decide between Bar Charlie and L'Atieler for one of our dinners.

                                ps - Happy Anniversary!

                                1. re: Cookiefiend

                                  We have a reservation @ Bar Charlie Sept 21st and L'Atelier on the 22nd so I will try to provide some color and insight.

                                  1. re: LVI

                                    That would be a huge help!

                                    If you could also give me a heads up on the cost at L'Atelier (the website says $125 on average, but I'm taking a wild and crazy stab and thinking that probably doesn't include any wine) so I can give Mr CF a ball park figure...

                                    He still hasn't quite forgiven me (and Mr Robuchon) for last years whopper of a dinner at Joel Robuchon. I told him it would be expensive but I didn't figure on the insane mark ups on the wine list. Oops!

                                    :-)

                                    1. re: Cookiefiend

                                      Not too long ago, I did a review of L'Atelier and *think* I included the prices. Our tasting menu was for the "sommelier's pairing," also.

                                      Hunt

                                      1. re: Bill Hunt

                                        Bill -

                                        I'll do a search for your review - you're very thorough and I appreciate that.

                                        1. re: Cookiefiend

                                          CF,

                                          Here are the two reviews, one for London/Soho and the other for the LV restaurant:

                                          Las Vegas: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/522601
                                          London/Soho: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/522517

                                          There are other restaurants reviewed in each, but just scroll down to L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon.

                                          Hope some of it helps,

                                          Hunt

                                          1. re: Bill Hunt

                                            Thanks Bill!

                                            If I have any questions - I'll ask on those posts...

                                            Sounds like we're in the same "I heart Fois Gras" boat ;-)

                                      2. re: Cookiefiend

                                        L'Atelier discovery menu (9 course) $148 as of early Aug., plus drinks and tips.

                                        1. re: foggy_town

                                          That sounds about right. Throw in the wines and the tip and it's about what I recall.

                                          Though some aspects of the evening at the Soho, UK location were a bit better, it was still worth the $ for us. Getting to do two, back-to-back was a treat. I'd definitely go back - to either.

                                          Thanks for the update on $.

                                          Hunt

                                          1. re: foggy_town

                                            ah ha!

                                            Thank you!

                                  2. I recently moved to Las Vegas and my goal is to try all the prix fixe menus available. I moved in May and, to date, I have tried Aureole, L'Atelier and Yellowtail. Next on the list is Restaurant Charlie. I took the "official" tour last night. I must admit, I am looking forward to the experience. I will be dinning in the area reserved above the kitchen. The tour included the kitchen area and the chef was very polite and eager to show me and my guest everything I would have wanted to see. I was very impressed with the level of enthusiasm from the entire staff and the eagerness to meet my expectations even before dining.
                                    If I may digress, I would like to offer a brief synopsis on the aforementioned dining experiences. First on the list is Aureole in Mandalay Bay. First and foremost, the wine tower is impressive. I decided to do the 7 course with the wine pairings and opted to secure the "swan patio" for my dining experience. Aside from the ambiance and the private patio, as well as the wine, there was nothing too extraordinary at Aureole. There was not a particular course that "wowed" me or my guest, but I was impressed with the wine selection and the pairings. Overall, I would recommend but with reservations.
                                    In regard to L'Atelier; wow. I must say I loved it. My guest and I sat at the bar overlooking the kitchen. We decided on the 9 course. Unfortunately, they did not offer a wine pairing with the meal. Regardless, the recommendations were more than adequate. The meal started off a little shakey with an interesting cucumber jelatin/foam creation. The freshness was spot on but the flavor and texture were not. The next 8 courses exceeded all expectations, especially the truffle mash potatoes. The kitchen graciously gave us extra upon request. The prices were very fair and the food was incredible. I would certainly recommend, especially over the first experience at Aureole.
                                    Finally, Yellowtail at the Bellagio. A complete and utter disappointment. I deciced to go the second week of operation and I wish I would have foregone the entire experience. The meal was average at best and the wine pairings were weak. They offer a wine pairing or a saki pairing. I ordered the wine pairing yet they still brought saki during one of the courses. The kobe beef was the only dish I would say was above average.
                                    Regardless, I know this string is about charlie's place, I just wanted to add my two cents. I am certainly looking forward to the CT experience.
                                    On a side note, if anyone ever goes to Cincinnati, I highly recommend Boca (not to be confused with Boca di Beppo).

                                    10 Replies
                                    1. re: jojaling

                                      Thanks jojaling -

                                      Please let us know how Restaurant Charlie is.
                                      Curious, curious, curious!

                                      1. re: Cookiefiend

                                        I did the 9 course for two at L'Atelier. I had 4 glasses of wine and my guest had a glass of champagne. Total cost with tip was just over $400. I know a little expensive, but totally worth it in my opinion. I would suggest sitting at the bar and asking as many questions as possible. The staff is very eager to get involved. We were able to get a little extra food by being friendly.

                                        1. re: Cookiefiend

                                          in regard to L'Atelier, I chose the 9 course for two. I had 4 glasses of wine and my guest had a glass of champagne. Total bill with tip was just over $400. I would recommend sitting at the bar and geting to know the wait staff. They tend to put a little extra on your plates and are very accomodating. Happy eating!

                                          1. re: jojaling

                                            That was about the range of our tasting menus, plus the sommelier's tasting menu. As wife cannot do bi-valves of any sort, they easily did the wines for the actual courses for each of us.

                                            Hunt

                                            1. re: Bill Hunt

                                              My wife and I had the grand tour tasting menu about a month ago in the "kitchen loft". It was by far the best meal i have ever had! Great drink pairings, 16 courses, great view, and not as crazy expensive as I thought it would be. totaly worth every cent!

                                              1. re: eatdtown

                                                eat - would love to hear the details on 16 courses !!! Cost ? also - how long were you there ?

                                                1. re: kjs

                                                  I strongly second that request.

                                                  Hunt

                                                2. re: eatdtown

                                                  I want to know as well. My guess for the meal for two, 16 courses with wine in the kitchen loft, according to the hostess when i was there, looked to be close to $800. is that correct?

                                                  1. re: jojaling

                                                    with wine pairings it was a little more than that. We were there about 5 hours. I will post the menu with pairings once my daughter goes down for a nap.

                                                    1. re: eatdtown

                                                      I can't wait to see what you post and what your overall thoughts were for the meal. I am very anxious to go.

                                        2. I took my boyfriend here for his birthday last month, and was pretty let down. We were both excited to eat here, especially my boyfriend, who is an asst. executive chef for a major strip hotel.
                                          The initial room you walk into, their 'lounge' reminded me of my veterinarians office. Slate floors, steel, and glass. Very cold and sterile.
                                          We chose not to do a tasting menu of any sort, and we proceeded to order two courses of apps and two entrees with a bunch of side dishes.
                                          We started with a watered down sake crab salad and smoked salmon that was decent. Then we proceeded to have dumpling soup that came out room temperature and a Lobster tart that had very little lobster, but decent flavor.
                                          Our entrees were Big eye tuna over wilted greens (and they came out wilted, believe me) and the Rib Eye that the server raved about. The presentations were good, but that is about it.
                                          The milk chocolate cheesecake was the best part of the meal by far.
                                          The wine list was decent, but for a Trotter restaurant, pretty small. We paid $120 for a decent bottle of Pinot, but nothing special in that price range.
                                          Service was good, but a little stiff and over-bearing.
                                          The dining room was very boring, and the location of the restaurant is hideous. The furnishings are slightly uncomfortable as well.

                                          We have eaten in almost every restaurant in Vegas, and this was a definite no-return for us. We could have gone to Alex or Guy Savoy for almost the same amount (we paid over $500 with tip), and those experiences were truly amazing. French laundry cost us under $700, and that is probably the best restaurant in the country!

                                          p.s.
                                          I responded to a customer survey on his website detailing everything, and didn't even get a courtesy e mail back.

                                          6 Replies
                                          1. re: hereinvegas

                                            Well, this board was definitely divided on the results of Charlie Trotters Las Vegas restaurant. I was a pure skeptic from my first post.
                                            I was eating in the Palazzo last night and spoke with a gaming manager who works in the casino. Apparently Restaurant Charlie is closing any day now, and they have already picked its replacement. The casino manager told me it will be an up and coming chef with a menu price point a little more conducive to survival in this economy.
                                            When I tried to google up some info I didn't find anything, but I did find that Trotters new restaurant in the Elysian hotel in Chicago has been scrapped, and that his Manhattan restaurant due to open next year is now ready to be canceled.

                                            Tough times in the world of Charlie Trotter. Tough luck.

                                            1. re: Traveling Diner

                                              "I was eating in the Palazzo last night and spoke with a gaming manager who works in the casino. Apparently Restaurant Charlie is closing any day now, and they have already picked its replacement."

                                              Well, that was almost a month ago, and there is absolutely not even a peep about it closing. No information anywhere online, and calls to concierges at multiple properties in Vegas have not resulted in any confirmation of this.

                                              I think you got some bad information on this one!

                                              1. re: MGG42

                                                I for one hope it remains open, at least the Bar Charlie aspect of the operation. Quite simply the best meal by far I have had in Vegas, maybe the states.

                                                --
                                                Stuart
                                                http://www.gastronomicslc.com

                                                1. re: gringo_stu

                                                  I really like Bar Charlie, too.

                                                2. re: MGG42

                                                  Like MGG42 said, it's STILL open, and Charlie Trotter was quoted in an article today, indicating that Restaurant Charlie/Bar Charlie will remain open.

                                              2. re: hereinvegas

                                                I have to agree 100% with hereinvegas. One word describes the dining experience, BORING.
                                                The decor, the staff, the food, everything was very disappointing. After hearing so much about Charlie Trotter it was such a let down. You are correct when you say that the best thing was the milk chocolate cheesecake. I've had an appetizer at the Terrace Point Cafe at the Wynn that looks almost exaclty like the Big Eye Tuna dish, but is by far much better than the one I had at
                                                Restaurant Charlie. You would be better off trying Bradley Ogden at Ceasars, or Daniel Boulud
                                                at the Wynn. I've even had better food at the Grand Lux Cafe next door. James Beard missed the mark on this one.

                                              3. Does anyone know if the Grand Tasting Menu is available to a solo diner? I know that some restaurants allow it, while others require at least two. Thanks

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: fahtyarbuckle

                                                  Sorry for late response...just saw and been on vaca. Yes about the solo and as a matter of fact, $ not being and issue, this would be the best place to dine solo, IMHO. Chefs love to interact and counter makes it so you can interact.

                                                2. Well, it seems there are a wide variety of opinions about Restaurant Charlie here. We were, unfortunately, disappointed. We'd been huge fans of Charlie Trotter's in Chicago, and were excited to try out his new place in Las Vegas emphasizing seafood. Maybe it was because it was so late (9:30pm on a Friday night after a show) but the servers were definitely not on their game. Though they advertise that they take reservations until 11:00pm, there was just one other party in the restaurant (maybe due to the poor economy?).

                                                  I started out with a nice, albeit expensive glass of Schramsberg, and was greeted by a refreshing amuse consisting of a little pile of Peekytoe crab seasoned with light citrus and vinegar flavors. As an aside, I wonder what the attraction of Peekytoe crab is...it seems that it is always somewhat tough and stringy. I much prefer Maryland Blue Crab.

                                                  I then proceeded with the Fruits de Mer with spot prawns, cockles, and oysters. The presentation was lovely but it was oversalted. Furthermore, though chilled, I didn't realize that the spot prawns would be raw...they weren't even cured by the citrus, and as a result, were unpleasantly mushy with an unpleasant lingering aftertaste. The dish was garnished with two deep-fried shrimp heads, but these were lukewarm and tasted like they had been done well in advance of plating.

                                                  My wife had spiced artichokes with honey and pine nuts. Now these were delicious. The artichokes were deep-fried and seasoned with some Moroccan-inspired heat. Great dish.

                                                  I then had the Lobster tart with chorizo and trumpet mushrooms. This was again marred by oversalting and the generous chunks of lobster were a bit overdone. Conceptually, the problem I have with this dish is that there was an overwhelming amount of chorizo that had been overcooked resulting in a vinaigrette with lots of hard "pebbles".

                                                  Finally, I had the hamachi with braised short ribs and trumpet mushrooms. It was okay. The short ribs were shredded into little ropes of meat but were a little tough and stringy, and again seemed oversalted to me (I wonder if they had been sitting around too long out of their braising liquid through the course of the day). The fish, though nice and rare in the middle, seems to have been seared at too high a temperature so that the exterior was actually over-seared and overdone...I've never encoutered that before!

                                                  In the meantime, my wife had the ocean trout with oysters and hijiki. The oysters were perfectly poached and remained meltingly tender albeit too salty, but the trout again tasted overdone and chewy.

                                                  We would have given a pass on the food if the service were better. It was very friendly and as a result, it was very difficult to post a negative review. But it seemed unattentive. We had a dining companion who was vegetarian but did not like beets. We made this clear to the many servers who attended us. So the amuse came with roasted beets. We pointed this out to the server. Then her next dish came with beets. We again had to point this out. We had to ask for more bread on numerous occasions, and refills on water.

                                                  Again, this dining experience was so disappointing in view of the fact that I love Charlie Trotter's so much. For my wife's two courses and my three courses, a glass of Schramsberg and a glass of chablis, tax and tip, we paid nearly $300 (way overpriced). The place did have the air of impending failure wafting about....I wonder if the result would have been different earlier in the evening. But this is Vegas for crying out loud!

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: jtkoo

                                                    Weird! On a recent visit I had both the lobster tart and the Hamachi/short ribs. Both were spot on. I'll probably order different things next time only because I want to try other of Trotter's menu items. I sure hope this place does not fail. It's a great addition to the Vegas dining scene. Bummer they didn't come through for you.

                                                    1. re: climberdoc

                                                      I can't help wondering if our experience is the reason Charlie Trotter resisted opening other outposts for so many years...he is a well-known perfectionist and you could tell in the precision way his Chicago restaurant is run. These flaws were really minor, but annoying nontheless...mistakes in seasoning, careless service. Maybe he just needs to spend more time in Vegas to shake things up a bit.