HOME > Chowhound > Southwest >
What's your latest food project? Share your adventure
TELL US

3 Fine Dining Nights in Vegas

ejs1492 May 6, 2008 04:07 PM

My wife and I will be in Las Vegas for 3 nights in June, staying at the Wynn. Every other time I have been in Vegas it has been for "guy's weekends" and fine dining wasn't the mission...most of those trips are hard to remember! This trip is all about food and relaxation.

Can you fellow Hounds chime-in with your recommendations for 3 absolute must-have dinners in Vegas. Cost is no object. I'd like one of the restaurants to be a steak place; we're open to anything else for the rest. As long as it's on/near the Strip, location doesn't matter.

If you had an unlimited budget for 3 great dinners, where would it be?

I know there have been lots of "what should I eat in Vegas" threads here, so I'm sorry if this is redundant.

Thanks.

  1. ejs1492 Jun 17, 2008 08:03 PM

    Full review, as promised, under a separate heading for those interested.

    1. Condiment Queen Jun 16, 2008 01:16 PM

      Just sealed a deal for a tv commercial and the ad agency was taking us out for dinner to celebrate at Alex..
      Wow..
      Did the tasting menu with the pairing of wine which was exquisite.
      The ambience of the room is how I would like to have my home redecorated..very elegant French with tones of New York sophistication thrown in.
      Service was stellar and the food was sublime.

      6 Replies
      1. re: Condiment Queen
        ejs1492 Jun 16, 2008 01:33 PM

        We were pretty under-whelmed by Alex, to be candid. We were there on Thursday night. More than half of the tables were empty, the service was good but not great, the food was good but not great, and our tab for two (with wine pairings) was about $800 including tip.

        I'm working on a complete review of Alex, Craftsteak and Guy Savoy.....but I didn't think Alex was worth the price. I've had better meals at Binkley's for a fraction of the cost and the service was better too.

        They started a new menu on Thursday night, which may have been part of the problem. Who knows.

        1. re: ejs1492
          Condiment Queen Jun 16, 2008 01:49 PM

          Sorry to hear about that ejs..
          I don't know what our meal cost but I am sure it was in the thousands..love when someone else is picking up the tab!
          Food was stellar and we had no problems..
          Did you discuss your displeasure with the manager about your meal?
          I have picked up the phone several times to Steve Wynn's office to let him know good or bad on issues with the hotel/restaurants and they have always been extremely receptive.
          Love Binkley's and hope to be there in a couple of weeks.
          How was Craftsteak and Guy Savoy?
          Best to you!

          1. re: Condiment Queen
            ejs1492 Jun 16, 2008 04:12 PM

            It wasn't bad...just wasn't worth it. No problems per se; we just felt that Wynn could do better. Guy Savoy was worth it and truly memorable. Loved Craftsteak. Will write a lengthy review later this week with specifics on all three.

            1. re: ejs1492
              Condiment Queen Jun 16, 2008 08:57 PM

              I would let mgmt know...that is not fair to you or your wallet..
              New tasting menu should of been dialed in..
              Alex is a really good restaurant.
              I look forward to your report..

              1. re: Condiment Queen
                c
                climberdoc Jun 16, 2008 09:36 PM

                Wow! Are we talking about the same Alex? They've come through big for me on for occasions now. Actually seems to get better each time. Too bad they didn't come through for you.

                1. re: climberdoc
                  Condiment Queen Jun 16, 2008 10:26 PM

                  Totally agree climberdoc..it's not the Alex I know..

      2. ejs1492 Jun 11, 2008 09:44 PM

        Okay Hounds, it's the final countdown to my gluttonous adventure in money-sucking Las Vegas-style caloric debauchery.

        The game plan: Alex on Thursday night, Craftsteak on Friday night, and the Amex-busting finale at Guy Savoy on Saturday night.

        I'll provide a full report on Monday, just as soon as I get home and they complete my 1.) triple-bypass 2.) home equity loan and 3.) reservations to do it again!

        Thanks again for all your input.

        EJS.

        13 Replies
        1. re: ejs1492
          Condiment Queen Jun 11, 2008 10:18 PM

          All excellent choices EJS..
          I fly in on Sunday morning at the Wynn and going to Alex for an early dinner before flying back out..same day..makes the trip so worthwhile.
          Please give a report when you get back and have a great time!

          1. re: ejs1492
            d
            Dave Feldman Jun 11, 2008 10:36 PM

            Have fun and report back or we'll confiscate your Amex.

            1. re: Dave Feldman
              e
              Eujeanie Jun 12, 2008 07:36 AM

              Both of you, please take a mental (or physical) image of the Alex tasting menu - I've been unable to access the Wynn website and I'm wondering what it is like for summer (also ask if it will be the same menu on July 13? Thanks).

              1. re: Eujeanie
                ciaogal Jun 12, 2008 08:10 AM

                http://www.wynnlasvegas.com/pdf/Alex_...

                1. re: ciaogal
                  e
                  Eujeanie Jun 12, 2008 08:55 AM

                  Thanks, ciaogal, that's the one I also saw before my computer problems - but the use of parsnips, cranberries, chestnuts, gingerbread, etc. makes me think this is an old autumn/winter menu that is on the website - I'm wondering if they have a new one for spring/summer.

                  1. re: Eujeanie
                    c
                    climberdoc Jun 12, 2008 11:04 AM

                    That's the same menu I had in March. I've noticed that they are slow to change the menu on the internet. I'm in Vegas now and I'll stop by and check it out today and let you know what I see.

                    1. re: Eujeanie
                      invinotheresverde Jun 12, 2008 11:25 AM

                      Yes, it's from January.

                      1. re: invinotheresverde
                        e
                        Eujeanie Jun 12, 2008 11:59 AM

                        Thanks!

                        1. re: Eujeanie
                          c
                          climberdoc Jun 12, 2008 12:45 PM

                          Here is the current Alex tasting menu:

                          Marinated needlefish with heirloom tomato, potato crisp, and golden osetra caviar

                          Butter poached Maine lobster with black truffle pasta, artichokes, and lemon verbena

                          Foie gras 'en torchon' with wasabi crisps, spices apricots, cardamom and muscat syrup

                          Roasted monkfish with endives, beets, raisins and red wine lobster sauce

                          Wagyu beef with carmelized onion custard, black mission figs, arugula and red wine sauce

                          Meyer lemon gratin with vanilla citrus

                          If you need the wine pairings let me know. I took pics of the menu on my phone. Hope this helps.

                          1. re: climberdoc
                            e
                            Eujeanie Jun 12, 2008 02:44 PM

                            Wow, thank you. I think it sounds great except for the torchon - that sort of poaches the foie gras, right? instead of the wonderful saute. Bummer. But everything else sounds really good. Going to look up needlefish now.

                            1. re: Eujeanie
                              e
                              Eujeanie Jun 12, 2008 02:49 PM

                              Errrr....yum! :(

                              "The flesh is palatable, although the greenish bones make it repellent to some."

                              1. re: Eujeanie
                                Debbie W Jun 12, 2008 03:28 PM

                                I actually prefer torchon to saute, mostly. Makes it a little firmer. Fleur de Lys at Mandalay Bay does a wonderful torchon, with beautiful little brioche on which to spread the foie. Also I love the foie at Bouchon. I came late to foie gras, having never liked any kind of liver other than monkfish liver until I hit about 40. Still detest chicken and beef livers. Sometimes the texture of foie when it's sauteed is a bit jiggly for me. Anyway, please don't dismiss the torchon out of hand. Looking forward to your report.

                                1. re: Debbie W
                                  e
                                  Eujeanie Jun 12, 2008 04:49 PM

                                  But is torchon like pate? I can get pate in duck, etc. but there is only one sauteed foie gras, jiggly or no.

                                  I'm so depressed because this was going to be my sauteed foie gras night...we're also eating at Prime and they want $32 for their sauteed foie gras - life is just not fair!

              2. ejs1492 May 12, 2008 05:56 PM

                Well, thanks everyone for your valuable input. We have settled on Alex, Craftsteak and Guy Savoy. I will report back upon our return, but it won't be until mid-June. If anyone thinks we're making any major mistakes, let me know, but it sounds like all three are winners.

                4 Replies
                1. re: ejs1492
                  c
                  climberdoc May 12, 2008 06:43 PM

                  Wow! That's quite a lineup. enjoy

                  1. re: ejs1492
                    azbirdiemaker May 12, 2008 10:45 PM

                    You got a good thing going there - don't change a minute of it!

                    Enjoy and make sure to post your reviews.

                    1. re: ejs1492
                      r
                      raider May 13, 2008 06:26 AM

                      can i go with you?

                      1. re: raider
                        ejs1492 May 13, 2008 07:09 AM

                        Only if you're buying....!

                    2. rp1760 May 10, 2008 09:37 PM

                      Just got back from my big "splurge" in Vegas! Details soon. Brief note for this post: Guy Savoy very difficult to get in, and note that they are closed Monday and Tuesday. For that reason, I was unable to dine there, although they were on my splurge list. Here's the order I'd rate my recent dining extravaganza: L'Atelier, Restaurant Charlie, Bouchon, Okada, Daniel Boulad, Mesa (fill in for Guy - mostly because I got lazy and decided to not leave the hotel). None were bad - Mesa rates a "B." A bit of a surprise for me, being from Minnesota, where public smoking is banned, is coming out of a great restaurant to the ching -ching of slots - which one expects - and the noxious aroma of smoke - which one has forgotten.....

                      9 Replies
                      1. re: rp1760
                        c
                        climberdoc May 11, 2008 09:29 AM

                        Vegas seems to have gotten much better from the smoking respect over the past few years. I think the laws now only permit smoking in the casinos themselves. Many of the older resorts are designed so you can't avoid the casinos even if you want to. The newer age resorts seem to have improved on this though likely as a result of Vegas now having so much appeal beyond gambling and watered-down "free" drinks. At Caesar's, one still has to walk though the casino to get anywhere. Other than a couple good restaurants at Caesar's, I tend to avoid that place at all costs. This is less of an issue at places like Venetian (Venetzia) and Wynn (Tower Suites). There are even nonsmoking/nongaming hotels which are doing very well (i.e. Trump is now #7 on Tripadvisor after only 2-months open). Can't forget about Four Seasons either. Bottom line is that you cannot necessarily extrapolate your experience coming out of Mesa Grill to the rest of Vegas. You just have to hang in the right spots.

                        1. re: climberdoc
                          rp1760 May 11, 2008 10:48 AM

                          Totally agree! Bouchon was tucked away in a lovely spot at the Venetian. Okadu and DB - both at the Wynn - were also relativelysmoke free. You noted Mesa, Charlie's was actually quite a smokey route, and the worse was L'Atelier at the old MGM. Which, as you can/will see, didn't keep me from rating it as my best dining experiences ever. Just thought I'd note the point. Also, with regards to Guy Savoy at Caesar's, if you stay there in the Augustus Tower, the restaurant is in that wing, as is the gorgeous Spa, so you can totally circumvent the casino floor.

                          1. re: rp1760
                            c
                            climberdoc May 11, 2008 11:37 AM

                            Maybe Caesar's does have some redeeming qualities aside from the restaurants and headliner shows. I still don't see staying there. I'm pretty locked in to the Wynn, Venetian/Palazzo, Four Seasons rotation.

                            I seem to be in the minority in that I did not hold L'Atelier in real high regard. The food was well-presented and very thoughtful. L'Atelier is a prime example of how important atmosphere and comfort are to me in my dining enjoyment. I just never really got comfortable in the barstools one is forced to sit on there. It was also difficult not to be distracted by the conversations taking place on both sides of me. Many enjoy this type of atmosphere. I actually do as well when I am in the setting of a sushi bar but not in the setting of a $500 meal for two (ordered the tasting menu and 4 glasses of wine). Sure watching the kitchen work was cool and the food was at times sublime. None of that was able to trump my inability to be comfortable in those surroundings. I'll take a comfortable booth or secluded table any day. Different strokes, I guess.

                            1. re: rp1760
                              c
                              climberdoc May 11, 2008 11:49 AM

                              MGM is another place I usually avoid. I can't deny that they have some great restaurants though.

                              Did you dine at Restaurant or Bar Charlie. The 16-course menu at Bar Charlie looks amazing, but I'm worried about the same types of issues I had with L'Atelier. When I really think about it, my favorite restaurants (Alex, Aureole (only Swan Court), Kai, Citronelle) seem to have a way of making us feel that despite the presence of other diners, that we are the only people present. That's on top of the amazing food.

                              1. re: climberdoc
                                rp1760 May 11, 2008 02:55 PM

                                I dined at Restaurant Charlie. Full post coming soon - after I get through all emails. Restaurant was VERY comfortable - as a single I got a nice small booth. Didn't check out Bar Charlie. I did start with a sazerek (sp?) at the regular bar - $26.............

                                1. re: rp1760
                                  Debbie W May 12, 2008 10:24 AM

                                  Did I read that right? Your cocktail cost $26? I don't tend to have sticker shock in Las Vegas (and don't mean to get into the "value" discussion), but are you freakin' serious?

                                  1. re: Debbie W
                                    rp1760 May 12, 2008 11:52 AM

                                    Oops, sorry, it was actually $24. I sipped it very very very slowly.......

                                  2. re: rp1760
                                    rp1760 May 12, 2008 04:51 PM

                                    Review has been posted under "Splurge Solo Dining"

                            2. re: rp1760
                              DaveLaf Jun 13, 2008 02:29 PM

                              Just got back from LV - the smoke is actually a lot better than it used to be. Always thought of LV as a mandatory smoking zone. LV also used to be cheap but that has sure changed. You can drop a lot of coin there not just gambling!

                              Highlight: Dinner at Bouchon. Ate at the bar, very nice staff and awesome food.Had the Salade de Carpaccio Fume (yes I am copying from the menu I took - it is on brown paper suitable for notes...) really interesting microscopically thin slices that absorb the seasonings. Then rattatouille which was really good. Had some haricot vert too, thought they were overcooked at first but the sauce made a compete side dish. Had a cheese course after (sea stack, bouche, pepato). Wine was a glass of Counoise Montpertius, Vin de Pays du Gard 05, which I had never heard of but was a gerat accompaniment to the meal.

                            3. j
                              Just One Bite May 10, 2008 08:36 PM

                              I was lucky enough to eat at Alex, at the chef's table. It's a private room with a glass window looking into the kitchen. It was food & theatre, and Alex came in to say hello to our group of 8. A truly memorable evening! Here are a few photos. I have more (one for each course) but I guess we can only upload 4.

                               
                               
                               
                               
                              2 Replies
                              1. re: Just One Bite
                                c
                                climberdoc May 11, 2008 09:31 AM

                                Thanks for posting the pics of Alex. The shot of the Wagyu beef brings back such amazing memories. How did you score the Chef's Table?

                                1. re: climberdoc
                                  j
                                  Just One Bite May 11, 2008 01:48 PM

                                  One of our party took care of it. I was just one of the lucky guests!

                                  Here are a few more photos.

                                   
                                   
                                   
                                   
                              2. ejs1492 May 9, 2008 12:45 PM

                                It looks like we're set on 1) Alex and 2) Craftsteak. Any strong opinions on Guy Savoy vs. Bartolotta?

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: ejs1492
                                  azbirdiemaker May 9, 2008 01:57 PM

                                  If you are really unlimited on your budget your shouldn't miss Guy Savoy. It's not for everyone because of the price point and the haute cuisine moniker but it's out of this world.

                                  Bartolotta is great but given the choice with a bottomless wallet; Guy wins in my book every time.

                                  1. re: azbirdiemaker
                                    t
                                    tomritza May 10, 2008 11:34 AM

                                    I would agree with Guy Savoy. I had a number of service clitches at Bartolotta. I don't know if they struggle with the layout of the restaurant (2 floors and an outdoor section which seems to require extraordinary coordination) but, for a restaurant at their price point, service needs to be much tighter and much more professional. Specifically, the issues have ranged from small (sloppily placed and arranged silverware) to larger (delivering a dish, on 2 occasions, to the wrong table and taking coming to take an order with no explanation of the menu or what was available)

                                2. ejs1492 May 7, 2008 07:51 AM

                                  Wow..thanks for the great responses. Sounds like Alex, Guy Savoy and Barltolotta are all must haves.

                                  Is there any great Asian-inspired cuisine? Although I usually gravitate towards French, she usually goes Asian.

                                  1. j
                                    jstroose May 6, 2008 04:41 PM

                                    Funny - we will be at Wynn for 3 nights starting June 11. I have had great meals at Delmonicos and Prime. I think my favorite meal though has been at Michael's in the Barberry Coast. The hotel is seedy but the restaurant is awesome - old fashioned - tons of food - expensive. I hated Renoir in Mirage. Someone I know just came back and said he had the best meal at the top of the Eiffel Tour.

                                    4 Replies
                                    1. re: jstroose
                                      ciaogal May 6, 2008 05:12 PM

                                      FYI, Michaels has moved to the South Point Hotel on S. Las Vegas Blvd. It has retained the ambiance and quality of the original location. Barbary Coast is now Bill's Gambling Hall.

                                      As for Steak, my first choice would be Carne Vino @ the new Palazzo. It is beyond a traditional Steakhouse. Impeccable Service,and Impeccable food.
                                      Non traditional Sides and appetizers as well as an exciting wine list. The Sommelier was terrific!
                                      Second choice would be Craft steak.....@ MGM. A more Traditional steakhouse..but quality,quality, quality! Portions are all large enough to share!

                                      As for the Wynn...check out DB Brasserie, Wing Lei, Alex (formerly of Mary Elaines) and Bartolotta which I am dying to try...especially the tasting menu!

                                      Enjoy!

                                      1. re: ciaogal
                                        c
                                        climberdoc May 6, 2008 08:14 PM

                                        These are my favorite threads. Give me the best. Not the best for under $50/person. Not the best off the vaunted strip. Not the best non-celebrity chef. Just the best. Kudos! Now let's go.

                                        I have to echo previous responses. Alex is unbelievable! You just cannot go wrong there if you enter ready to pay the price. No deals here. Enough said.

                                        Bartolotta is my personal favorite for both seafood and Italian food. The family style tasting menu is well worth the price and gives the diner a taste of everything the chef excels at. The main course is the fresh fish flown in from Italy that the restaurant is known for, so the tasting menu does not mean you have to miss out on this.

                                        I have not yet been to Guy Savoy, but I'm sure this place would qualify for your all out, no hold barred dinner. Will let you know after I dine there in June.

                                        Staying at the Wynn, you cannot go wrong with the choices there. Alex, Bartolotta, DB are all amazing choices.

                                        My steak experiences in Vegas are limited to Stripsteak and Charlie Palmer. Stripsteak was notable for their eclectic appetizers and wide variety of steaks including kobe and Wagyu. Charlie Palmer Steak was a clubby-type atmosphere with comfortable seating (couches for couples) with a more traditional steakhouse menu. Both are worthy and memorable. Just depends on what you are looking for.

                                        Have a great trip!

                                        1. re: climberdoc
                                          r
                                          raider May 7, 2008 06:00 AM

                                          second bartolotta and alex.

                                          1. re: climberdoc
                                            Bill Hunt May 10, 2008 07:21 PM

                                            I could not agree with your more, ClimberDoc. Usually, there are so many qualifiers, that one needs an Excel spreadheet to sort it all out. Things like, "looking for a seafood, but one diner is a level 5 vegan, and two cannot eat seafood, plus we want fabulous dining for <US$30/person, including 1er Cru Bordeaux with some age on it... "

                                            Yes, ejs1492 puts no restrictions on the request, and that is great.

                                            Based on the great comments on this board, I'll be trying to do Alex and Guy Savoy on the next two trips.

                                            Hunt

                                      2. azbirdiemaker May 6, 2008 04:41 PM

                                        1.) For your steak ... Craftsteak
                                        2.) Guy Savoy
                                        3.) Picasso or Alex

                                        1. z
                                          zack May 6, 2008 04:34 PM

                                          for steak, you've got tons of options but i would go with cut at palazzo. other options: carnevino, craftsteak, prime, n9ne, delmonico

                                          rest are easy if there's no budget:

                                          alex at wynn

                                          guy savoy at caesars

                                          joel robuchon at mgm

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: zack
                                            Bill Hunt May 10, 2008 07:04 PM

                                            Just did Joël Robuchon L'Atelier, London, last week and it was wonderful. So good, in fact, that I decided to accommpany my wife to a meeting in LV and try his restaurant there. Unfortunately, my review will probably be too late for the OP, should it be as good as the London one.

                                            Hunt

                                          Show Hidden Posts