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Mar 27, 2008 06:41 AM

Miamian visiting Las Vegas

Hello All,

Help a fellow chow member from Miami! I will be visiting Las Vregas with my husband and staying at the Mandalay Bay. We are only going from Friday night to Monday morning so I need the best in just those days! What are your best bets for dining? We like fine dining but we like to pay for quality and not scene. We like modern type places but we also love wine oriented loiunges. So, where would you send me to dinner? Where would you send me to have a drink before or after dinner? What are the hot spots! Where should I go for dessert~breakfast`lunch? Help! I am more interested in dinner and drinks more than anything. Thank you all in advance! Oh my husband is heavy on steaks as well, I am not so much into that but I can always get Chicken or fish!

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  1. it's virtually unavoidable - when you hit the vegas strip you are paying a premium for the "scene" .... if your preference is to focus on the mandalay options , you have several decent options.

    you mention wine orientated lounges - at the entrance of mandalay place you have 55 degrees ....a wine lounge - i like it but i wish the chairs were more comfortable ( it has a modern look more then a comfort look ) .

    the pre/post drink options - highly recommend mix lounge - pre dinner sunset from atop THE hotel ...great view of the entire strip ...ok drinks , and the best view you will ever have ....from the bathroom !

    other drink options - red square ....surprise !!! they have a large vodka selection ...and how about sitting in a refridgerated cave with a heavy jacket provided, taking shots of vodka. next door, some nice foo-foo drinks at rum jungle ( the kind of drinks that go down very easy , but you'll feel it later )

    dining - steak - strip steak ...hip/cool look ...i like there steaks and they have many non-steak options. you also have charlie palmer steak ...more traditional steak place ...i prefer stripsteak.

    french - you have fleur de lys ...expect to pay about $75 minimium, per person of my favorite places on the strip. aureole - i gotta try this year ...i haven't eaten there in a few years - i was not pleased with my last visit but i've read some positive reviews since then.

    lunch - you've got burger bar in the mandalay place ...yeah are paying $10-$20 for a burger ...but it's good stuff ...wash it down with an ice cold brewsky's all good !!

    next door to burger bar is chocolate swan - a nice selection of desserts and candies ....not as extravagant as payard or jean phillippe but i like the place....

    before throwing out some more ideas, please search the board over the last 3 months for reviews of numerous places on the strip ...after that review, let us know any other specifics you need ...i'm sure several of us vegas hounds can help !

    happy eating !

    1 Reply
    1. re: kjs

      Thanks! well I am looking a bit off the Mandalay Bay as I will already be staying there. I have made reservations in stripsteak as I have read a lot about it already and it looks great. Jean Phillipe i guess is good as I have read about it here too. I do love dessert and chocolates. If there are more recs please shoot. I need as much insight so I can make this weekend memorable. I am noyt too much into the "view" i prefer good food and good atmosphere and less touristy things.

    2. From a fellow Miamian ->

      Here's a thread with suggestions I got for a trip we took back in December, and also has links to my reports on Lotus of Siam, Atelier de Joel Robuchon, Okada, B&B, Le Cirque (with side visits to Petrossian Bar, In-n-Out Burger, and a couple others).

      I consider LOS and Atelier to be "don't miss" places.

      LOS is in a dingy strip mall a few miles off-Strip, but is definitely worth the detour. Do NOT forget to ask for the wine list - it is possibly one of the best collections of German reislings I've seen, undoubtedly the best in a Thai restaurant in a dingy strip mall. Also very strong on Rhone wines. Prices are great too.

      Atelier has its detractors but I've been 3 times now, loved it every time, and wouldn't consider a trip to Vegas complete without it. I won't bother giving more detail here as there's plenty in the other thread and the ones linked there.

      I also just found the report on our prior LV trip a year earlier which includes Atelier, Rosemary's, Bouchon ->

      I was not as impressed with Rosemary's, an off-strip place, as many others were, but the food is good, the wine list is great, and I believe Sunday night is 1/2 off on almost the entire wine list - a great deal.

      On an earlier visit I also was somewhat underwhelmed by the food at Aureole, but their wine list is excellent, and the wine list on a PDA-like gadget and the "wine tower" in which folks go up on ropes to retrieve bottles are curious novelties.

      I have never done any of the LV steakhouses so I can't really help hubby there.

      For breakfast, don't miss Bouchon in the Venetian. I also have always enjoyed it for dinner as well, just wanted to try a couple new places on our last visit.

      1. Hi Sarah, I'm actually heading to The Hotel @ Mandalay this weekend. REALLY wanted to hit B&B and L'atelier but it's a guys trip so I sacrificed on the food for scene which is tough for a hound... That said, we are heading to N9NE (steaks) Sat night, which I've heard was very good and fun. I'm also hitting FIX @ The Bellagio but that was a pure scene call. Looking forward to trying Burger Bar (Mandalay) for lunch one day. Since you are staying at Mandalay, definitely check out Mix for drinks. GREAT view of the Strip. Foundation Room (Mandalay) is also a great place to grab a drink.
        Forty Deuce (Mandalay) is fun late night.

        1 Reply
        1. re: The Chowfather AKA sobe

          Mix is great for drinks (but not cheap, of course)...if you go make sure you take a trip to the restroom. It just might be the highlight of your Vegas visit. Choose the right stall, and you can sit there all day watching the planes taking off and landing.

          I also enjoyed the vodka flights at Red Square. Try and get a seat at the ice bar.

        2. Well Hello All, and sorry for the delay, things have been hectic. My trip to Vegas was outstanding! Friday night my husband and I hit MIX at the Hotel @ Mandalay Bay since we were both tired and did not want to go far. We had dinner and although the scene is bigger than anything else, our meal was actually pretty good. We started off with a crisp white wine, the selection was good in my book and as an appetizer the spicy crab salad, mango, cucumber and green papaya, small but my taste buds had a feast with that little bite. My main course was the Tuna (medium rare) it came sliced and topped with this delicious tomato/veggie type of mix, and under the tuna was this very subtle tapioca “mash” that complemented the dish so well. My husband had the free range chicken with the fork mashed potatoes. He said it was good as well, he did not feel like ordering anything heavy, but it did the trick. As dessert we opted for a delicious baked/dry apple that came accompanied with crème fraise and a minty pistachio ice cream. Again the tiniest portion but very good when you combine all three together (separate can taste funky, but all 3 together I was amazed of the change in taste). After dinner we did go to MIX’s club side and partied a little bit, then went for more after dinner drinks to the funky Eye Candy Sound Lounge.
          Saturday: This day e walked Vegas’ entire strip. We ended up eating at Maggiano’s for Lunch as they have a gluten free menu (I am in a gluten free diet  ) So nothing spectacular but the chef did come himself to take my “special order”. For dessert we went to Jean Philippe. Oh my! All I can say ;)
          Saturday’s dinner for me WAS THE BEST: STRIPSTEAK! After we went to see one of Vegas’ Cirque shows, we went straight to our reservation…it was great food! They started taking our wine order, we got a wonderful bottle of Riesling and they followed with the famous trip of potatoes (French fries with different toppings). It was great and I am not a French fry fan at all..But I guess the spicy/sweet/tangy combination of fries and sauces made it for me or I was just too hungry. I ordered a Hawaiian Snapper I believe it was…the name..No clue as it was very complicated for me at that point hehhe. My husband had the filet mignon and raved about it. We both had sides, my husband had the mash and I had this awesomely cooked mix of Mushrooms on a Gorgonzola type sauce, oh my my my! I believe, their spinach soufflé is a signature dish but unfortunately I could not have it cause they do put wheat. For dessert mu hubbie got the doughnuts which I guess are very famous, it comes with dipping sauce (jasmine chocolate and caramel) and a side of caramel ice cream. I just had ice cream (a liiiitle scoop). After STRIPSTEAK we ended up having some after dinner drinks at the sound lounge again.
          Sunday we went to walk all of the other hotels that were just plain second in our list and we went for the search of the perfect restaurant to have lunch in and make reservations for dinner. We had lunch at the Bellagio’s Olives. For me it was so wonderful. I had the Chicken baked in their brick oven, my hubbie had the flat bread.; Everything was tasty. Then we went to jean phillipe of course for dessert ;) For dinner we ended up in Japonais. We got the best table and ended up having dinner next to the Black Eyed Peas, a famous hair stylist for the stars. Now about starts, I also happened to be standing right next to Chandler from friends, and Daughtry was filming a video and I got to see himn sing live, what are the chances right?
          Back to food…in Japonais again we started with our beautiful bottle of German wine, and then as appetizer I had this great mix of seafood that came baked in a little pot, very tasty; my husband had the “hot rock” and adored it. My entrée was great, I opted for the tuna again and my hubbie for meat. We both enjoyed it greatly. For dessert, we ended up in good ol’ Ghirardelli!.. Then ate it looking at the beautiful Bellagio fountain at night. Well…there you go…next morning at 3 AM we had to get up and go home! I hope all this helps whoever goes to Vedgas. I wish I could spend more time, Ill have to go back soon!

          1 Reply
          1. re: SarahOM

            Thanks so much for reporting back, Sarah. It's nice to know that even some of the "sceney" places have good food.