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The Return Of......My Upcoming Las Vegas Vacation

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LongIslandChef May 28, 2008 06:59 PM

Ok everyone, I'm back and once again I'm looking for some advice. After thinking I wouldn't be back to Vegas until January, I'll now be returning in July for eight nights. A friend of mine talked me into it...Thats my story and I'm sticking to it.
I already have a reservation at Restaurant Charlie, I've requested to go to the "bar" part and try one of the tasting menus. So that's one night down.
I'll definitely be returning to L'Atelier since I had such a fantastic meal in January, so that's two.
From there I'm open to advice from everyone. I'm thinking about N9ne, Cut, Okada, Alex, Guy Savoy, Koi, among others. I'll most likely be going to Burger Bar and LOS(not the buffet) for lunch. Have there been any other restaurant openings in the past six months that can't be missed?
All advice is certainly appreciated, especially since I only have a few weeks to figure it out.

Thanks!!!!

PS, Of course I will once again give a full report when I return

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  1. Debbie W RE: LongIslandChef May 28, 2008 07:21 PM

    I remember from the last thread that you were really into steakhouses. I stand by my recommendations of N9NE and Craftsteak (sorry but I don't remember if you went to Craftsteak last time - were you the person who didn't want to go because they wouldn't do a tasting menu for you on a prior visit?). I live in L.A. and last night my husband and I finally went to Cut in Beverly Hills. The food was really quite superb, as were the service and atmosphere. If the Cut in Las Vegas is anywhere near the Cut in B.H., then by all means I would recommend it wholeheartedly. I'm not sure if the Cut in Vegas has been reviewed extensively here yet.

    There are reviews dribbling in for the new restaurants at the Palazzo, which opened after your last visit. Carnevino, as a very high profile steakhouse, has received more negative than positive reviews. You're already set for Trotter. Table 10 hasn't been reviewed well. Morels seems mixed but on the negative side, and IMO wouldn't really be any kind of destination, more like where you'd eat if you were there already.

    Good luck.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Debbie W
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      LongIslandChef RE: Debbie W May 28, 2008 07:34 PM

      Hi Debbie, Yes, I definitely do love steak. I've actually been to Craftsteak in Vegas twice and it's one of my favorite restaurants out there.
      Steakhouses I've been to:
      Boa
      Craftsteak
      Prime
      Stripsteak
      Thanks for the info, The more I hear about Cut, the more I think I have to try it

      1. re: LongIslandChef
        janetofreno RE: LongIslandChef May 28, 2008 11:47 PM

        btw, tonight I ate at Hank's steakhouse at Green Valley Ranch in Henderson. Now, a caveat: it was a group meal and the menu was limited. OTOH, they did the group meal well. I had the salmon, which was wild...rare around here. Many folks had the beef medallions, and all who did raved about it...said it was very tender. The lady seated next to me told me that she had ordered the beef because they do steaks so well at Hank's that she figured it would be good. Service was excellent, btw...and they did a great job of serving without disturbing the speakers at the meeting. Another caveat: I didn't have a chance to peek at the menu, and this was a hosted event, so no idea about price point. But I imagine its pretty pricey. Very nice atmosphere, and when I left the private dining area at 9pm I was surprised at how busy the restaurant was. FWIW.

        1. re: janetofreno
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          LongIslandChef RE: janetofreno May 29, 2008 04:07 PM

          Thanks Janet, I know absolutely nothing about the henderson area, but I'll certainly look into it

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      QAW RE: LongIslandChef May 28, 2008 08:19 PM

      The tasting menu at Bartolotta might be a nice addition to the consideration list. There are two options, one that is all seafood, but even though the Bar Charlie courses will be seafood-themed as well the influences between the two menu's are entirely different. If you will be dining with a friend they serve their tasting courses "family style", and that can make for a nice relaxed evening.

      2 Replies
      1. re: QAW
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        climberdoc RE: QAW May 28, 2008 08:24 PM

        I fully agree with your rec for the tasting at Bartolotta. It does not get talked about much for some reason. The family style aspect really gives the diner exposure to many different types of seafood all of which are very well-executed. Top is off by scoring a table on the faux lake. Great evening!

        1. re: climberdoc
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          LongIslandChef RE: climberdoc May 28, 2008 09:22 PM

          Now that I see the last two posts I realize that I forgot to mention that I will be dining solo.

          However thank you for the recommendation, that sounds like something I'd love under different circumstances

      2. chris2269 RE: LongIslandChef May 29, 2008 09:35 AM

        I just ate at Cut (Wolfgang Puck's new steak house at the Pallazzo) and loved it.

        Burger Bar and LOS are two favorites of mine as well, you can't go wrong at either IMO.

        8 Replies
        1. re: chris2269
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          LongIslandChef RE: chris2269 May 29, 2008 04:11 PM

          It's sounding like CUT is a keeper, that may be the next reservation I make. I don't think I've seen or heard a bad review yet.
          As far as Burger Bar and LOS go, I basically have to go to both on this trip, this my third time in Vagas over the past year and I haven't tried either.

          1. re: LongIslandChef
            chris2269 RE: LongIslandChef May 29, 2008 04:50 PM

            Yeh I just posted a review of cut from my birthday trip, it was great.

            Burger Bar is one we hit everytime. The American Kobe Burger with sweet potato fries and a good belgian ale....Yummy

            LOS - The crispy rice with sausage and mint appetizer is such a brilliant dish. Its spicy, flavorful, and then the fresh mint cuts through like a cool breeze.

            1. re: chris2269
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              LongIslandChef RE: chris2269 May 29, 2008 05:17 PM

              Thanks for the tips chris, especially about LOS because I'm sure I'll be pretty lost on what to order.

              1. re: LongIslandChef
                Debbie W RE: LongIslandChef May 29, 2008 05:23 PM

                There are about a thousand threads here on what to order at LOS. Just do a search. However I guarantee you will have a difficult time choosing, especially if you're alone. There's only so much a person can eat. Don't miss the sticky rice dessert.

                1. re: Debbie W
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                  LongIslandChef RE: Debbie W May 29, 2008 05:56 PM

                  I'll look those threads up thanks. You're right, it will be tough to choose, knowing myself too well, I definitely will end up over ordering. Then again, maybe I'll try to get there a couple times for lunch so I can try a bunch of different dishes.

                2. re: LongIslandChef
                  The Dairy Queen RE: LongIslandChef May 30, 2008 01:51 PM

                  Chris are you referring to the Nam kao tod? Minced sour sausage mixed with green onion, fresh chili, ginger, peanuts, crispy rice and lime juice? I love that dish! (Warning--eat it while it's hot! It loses something important as it cools...) I wish I could find a recipe for that dish!

                  I posted some photos here (don't feel you have to read the whole post, it's really long--the photo you're looking for is #3 of my OP--several of the photos in the OP and a couple on the first reply are also from my recent'ish visit to LoS). http://www.chowhound.com/topics/48987...

                  I'm looking forward to your report, LongIslandChef!

                  ~TDQ

            2. re: chris2269
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              FDawson RE: chris2269 May 29, 2008 07:39 PM

              What does LOS stand for? I couldn't find it in Las Vegas on a Restaurant search.

              Thanks.

              1. re: FDawson
                Larry RE: FDawson May 29, 2008 07:51 PM

                LOS = Lotus of Siam. It's mentioned here so often that folks have turned it into an acronym.

            3. rp1760 RE: LongIslandChef May 29, 2008 06:04 PM

              Selfishly, I hope you go to Guy Savoy, because I couldn't fit that into my last trip and I love your reviews and would love love to hear what you think of it! :) Have a great time. -Mary

              1 Reply
              1. re: rp1760
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                LongIslandChef RE: rp1760 May 29, 2008 06:16 PM

                I'm definitely considering Guy Savoy. I'm not sure I can have such long meals every night though. Since Bar Charlie is a must, Maybe I'll cut out L'Atelier(since I've been there) and go to Guy Savoy instead.

              2. rp1760 RE: LongIslandChef May 29, 2008 06:09 PM

                I loved Okada. Review of mone earlier. Great service, fabulous dishes, very nice selection of sakes. The Okada Roll is the best I've ever had - although I am still somewhat a sushi virgin. TONS of lobster meat, asparagus, shrimp. I think the Robato Grilled Alaskan King Crab was one of top ten plates I've had in last five years. Serious. Have a great trip!

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                  Justjenn RE: LongIslandChef May 30, 2008 09:52 AM

                  I really enjoyed N9Ne (craft still being my favorite in town) but I read a review of CUT yesterday on here and it made my mouth water so I say try that. I am with you on LOS one of my faves but I am definitely in the minority on the Burger Bar. I don't like their burgers at all and find it overated. I am a burger purist ..If I have to put a lot of crap on my burger to make it taste good then I just dont want it. I have tried all their offerings including the turkey and veggie options (and I am a meat girl) and nothing. I agree with the guy who said they have great sweet potato fries though. (and as a side note because last time I voiced my opinion about the Burger Bar I got slammed and was asked why do you keep going back -- I have gone there often because it is a cheap convenient option when going to a concert at Mandalay and my friends pick it a lot not because of the food but because of the cute bartender and the sweet potato fries )

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: Justjenn
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                    jeff Daniels RE: Justjenn May 30, 2008 01:38 PM

                    I had one meal at the BB and thought it was OK. I'm going to Vegas with 8 guys and staying at M. Bay so it might be a fall back.
                    That said, we go to N9Ne every year and just have the best time. Steaks are good but the atmosphere is as good.

                    1. re: jeff Daniels
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                      mofo313 RE: jeff Daniels Jul 9, 2008 01:43 PM

                      JD or any of the others recommending N9Ne, I'm planning a bachelor party in out there in 2 weeks and deciding between Del Friscos and N9Ne for dinner. 7 guys in our early 30's, we all know our way around when it comes to steaks and I'm having a hard time between the sort of "traditional" steakhouse atmosphere at DF and the more "clubby" atmosphere at N9Ne. A lil help would be greatly appreciated--ie any discernable difference in food, service or price?

                      1. re: mofo313
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                        foodgimp RE: mofo313 Jul 9, 2008 03:23 PM

                        N9ne would be great for you. Especially if there are single guys in your group!!! ;)

                        1. re: foodgimp
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                          Eujeanie RE: foodgimp Jul 9, 2008 04:37 PM

                          I would say N9Ne just because it's a Las Vegas steakhouse, whereas you can go to a Del Frisco's many places (of which I was underwhelmed in Dallas).

                          1. re: Eujeanie
                            3star RE: Eujeanie Jul 10, 2008 09:47 AM

                            N9Ne is fantastic, everything about it is perfect for a scene... the food, the friendly service, the decor, I would recommend N9Ne, its far superior.

                        2. re: mofo313
                          janetofreno RE: mofo313 Jul 9, 2008 11:30 PM

                          Well, I've never eaten at N9NE, but a warning about Del Frisco's: if you reserve a private room there, make sure it IS private. I went to a business dinner there, and the hosts had reserved a private room. When we got there it turns out we were sharing our room with a group of guys...who very well could have been a bachelor party. It was hard for us to hear our speaker talk, and it was probably no fun for the guys to have to tone it down.....

                    2. j
                      Justjenn RE: LongIslandChef May 30, 2008 02:20 PM

                      I have to agree the scene at N9NE is fun -- especially when there are people in many many inappropriate outfits. But its not for the stuffy. I would like to try the new Simon's at the Palms tower -- I liked the atmosphere of the old one at Hard Rock but the food there wasn't over the top just fun, varied and solid. There are other options at Mandalay Bay if your staying there -- Border Grill is always good and solid and not that expensive. Honestly I would never go out of my way for Burger Bar --- I am not saying its awful but I really don't get the hype on the boards about it. I have had a better tasting burger at a chain.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Justjenn
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                        LongIslandChef RE: Justjenn May 30, 2008 06:40 PM

                        Alot of interesting replies today. Sounds like Cut and N9ne should be my two steakhouses for this trip.
                        As for Burger Bar, I'll definitely be at the Mandalay Bay at least twice anyway, so I suppose I'll check it out then.

                        1. re: Justjenn
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                          jeff Daniels RE: Justjenn Jun 2, 2008 08:31 AM

                          I agree with you on all of the above.

                        2. 3star RE: LongIslandChef May 31, 2008 08:47 AM

                          I definetly would agree with N9ne, dined there a few years ago and had a fabulous experience, I can't wait to go back. As for your hesitation on Guy Savoy, I assume it is fabulous. I have not been to the one in Las Vegas but I dined at the Guy Savoy in Paris and it was the best meal I have ever had, so I would assume the Las Vegas one is held to similar standards. I don't think you can go wrong with Guy Savoy as a dining choice. I am actually going to Vegas next week, just for a few days, and the restaurants I am deciding between include Picasso, Cut, N9ne (once again), Rosemary's, LOS, and then somewhere for sushi, I haven't narrowed that category yet. The reason I haven't instinctly chose N9ne is because I have heard rave reviews on Cut and have yet to dine there,. However, if you have the opertunity to go to N9ne, take advantage because when I went there I had a great experience and my expectations were met quite greatly. Enjoy your stay in Vegas and I am sure whichever you choose will be delicious, you have a great pool of restaurants on your list.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: 3star
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                            LongIslandChef RE: 3star May 31, 2008 11:32 PM

                            Wow, I had almost forgotten about Rosemary's. Thats another one I need to try, but not sure if I can fit it this trip. I still have quite a bit to work out, so just like Guy Savoy, it may be possible

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                            LongIslandChef RE: LongIslandChef Jun 2, 2008 05:27 PM

                            Here's another part to add for this, the saturday night I'll be there, I may not be getting out of an event until 11-11:30pm. Where can I get a great dinner when I have to make a 12:15-12:30am reservation?

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: LongIslandChef
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                              QAW RE: LongIslandChef Jun 2, 2008 05:50 PM

                              Unfortunately, even on Saturday/Sunday that can be a little tough for the better places...But if you are planning to do Burger Bar at some point, that will absolutely fit - they usually do not begin to close up shop until 2 AM or so on weekends.

                              1. re: QAW
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                                LongIslandChef RE: QAW Jun 2, 2008 06:35 PM

                                I was thinking about that, the only problem is that since the event is at Mandalay Bay, many others will probably have the same idea and it could be packed.

                            2. j
                              Justjenn RE: LongIslandChef Jun 2, 2008 09:25 PM

                              I really don't think you will have a problem at BB at 12 am . If you have a car there are options like Joyful House which I think is open till 2:00 am. And then there is firefly which is definitely open late...somehow though I get the feeling you might not like firefly so much...its nothing great or high end but I like it for tapas and sangria and its hopping way into the evening. . You could definitely go old school at the peppermill but hell thats like going to the Flaship Diner in queens for food -- I love it but you could get it on Long Island ( I am a queens transplant in Vegas btw)

                              9 Replies
                              1. re: Justjenn
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                                LongIslandChef RE: Justjenn Jun 4, 2008 08:04 PM

                                Thanks Jen, looks like I might give it a shot, either before or after the event. I'm also thinking about the possibility of sushi that night. I can't believe I only have one dinner booked so far, I still have so much to figure out

                                1. re: LongIslandChef
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                                  lvnvflyer RE: LongIslandChef Jun 5, 2008 07:08 AM

                                  I know Social House at the TI is open for late night sushi, although I didn't like it when I went there (not late night, just for regular dinner). I would check to see if Koi in the Planet H/Wood is open for sushi late, or Okada in the Wynn. The sushi chef at Koi used to be at Koto, a much lamented local favorite sushi place, and he is terrific.

                                  1. re: lvnvflyer
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                                    LongIslandChef RE: lvnvflyer Jun 8, 2008 01:25 PM

                                    Seems like alot of positive reviews for Koi. I think I'll have to try it one of my nights there. I'll be going for sushi at least twice, I'm thinking Okada and Koi

                                    1. re: LongIslandChef
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                                      LongIslandChef RE: LongIslandChef Jun 8, 2008 06:04 PM

                                      Here's another question: Has anyone out there tried DJT at the Trump tower/hotel yet? If so how was it? Is it worth giving a try?

                                      1. re: LongIslandChef
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                                        ciaobelly RE: LongIslandChef Jun 10, 2008 08:53 AM

                                        Found two reviews on yelp!.:

                                        http://www.yelp.com/search?find_desc=...

                                        1. re: ciaobelly
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                                          LongIslandChef RE: ciaobelly Jun 10, 2008 01:34 PM

                                          Thank you for that Ciao, Since I've never been to that site before, I don't think I ever would have found those reviews. So far sounds very positive, I think I'll have to go and try the tasting menu.

                                          1. re: LongIslandChef
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                                            rickym13 RE: LongIslandChef Jun 10, 2008 02:02 PM

                                            been going to vegas for years and had meal at joel robuchon, picasso, delmonico etc....my favorite places to dine in vegas now are off the strip.
                                            my top 3 are:

                                            LOS - if you don't know what to order...just ask them. they will take care of you. also their german wine list is amazing!

                                            Rosemary's - great food. 3 course meal @ $55 which you can't beat. sunday is great night to go..50% off the wine list!!! (got
                                            04 alban reva for $82 and '05 clio for $51) wed night is lady's night and 50% off the bill.

                                            Todd's - ways out of strip but worth the trip.

                                            btw. hank's in green valley is very good steakhouse!

                                            1. re: rickym13
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                                              LongIslandChef RE: rickym13 Jun 10, 2008 02:53 PM

                                              LOS is definitely on my list for this trip, I meant to go last time there and just never ended up going.

                                              Rosemary's I want to go to very badly, but I'm not sure I can fit it this trip. Many of the nights, between dinner and shows/events, I'll be on a kind of tight schedule and don't want to stray too far off the strip, but I'm still thinking about fitting it in somewhere.

                                              Todd's I don't really know that much about. I've heard about it a few times and it sounds very interesting. I'll probably wait until my next trip out there for Todd's so I can specifically plan a night around going there.

                                              I'll definitely look into Hanks, I know literally nothing at all about that one.

                                              Thanks for the tips

                                              1. re: LongIslandChef
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                                                rickym13 RE: LongIslandChef Jun 10, 2008 10:16 PM

                                                f irst general manger from delmonico move to hank's when they were first open and in my opinion that is when delmonico went down hill and hank's really kicked some major ass!
                                                only thing i didn't and still don't like about hank's is that they don't allowed to byo wine. but quality of their service and food is top notch.

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                                LongIslandChef RE: LongIslandChef Jun 11, 2008 03:49 PM

                                well, it looks like Guy Savoy isn't going to happen. I finally decided I was going to do it, I booked a late show ticket just so I could go there, I call and they're closed until July 30th. Looks like I'll have to come up with a plan B.

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                                  LongIslandChef RE: LongIslandChef Jun 15, 2008 06:20 PM

                                  Well, it looks like I have my lineup, of course anything can still change, but here we go:

                                  Table 10(Not an Emeril fan, but I figure I'll finally try one of his places. Still not positive on this one though)
                                  Carnevino or Cut(still not sure)
                                  Bar Charlie
                                  Burger Bar
                                  SW Steakhouse
                                  DJT
                                  LOS(Lunch) not sure about dinner yet, not sure when the event I'm going to will be ending. But if it's at a reasonable time, I'll be going to Koi
                                  Fleur De Lys
                                  L'Atelier
                                  Any thoughts? I don't think I'll be able to get to N9ne,Rosemary's, Todd's or Hank's, I wish I could this trip. Like I mentioned earlier, Guy Savoy will be closed. Is there anything else I'm missing?

                                  24 Replies
                                  1. re: LongIslandChef
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                                    climberdoc RE: LongIslandChef Jun 15, 2008 06:32 PM

                                    I will be posting a review of Bar Charlie in the My ongoing Vegas trip thread soon. Got back home and got killed at work so I've been slow with it. You will not go wrong there. See my review of Cut in the same thread. Can't comment on Carnevino (which I really look forward to trying) but Cut was really something special. I find Burger Bar very middle of the road, but many Chowhounds love it so what do I know. Looked inside DJT on my last trip. Beautiful resty in a beautiful hotel. Can't wait to try it. Fleur De Lys has been striking in its inconsistency. I've had one of my most memorable meals there as well as that meal's polar opposite and one meal somewhere in between. I don't feel a need to go back.

                                    1. re: climberdoc
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                                      LongIslandChef RE: climberdoc Jun 15, 2008 06:57 PM

                                      Thanks Climberdoc. Interesting comments on all of the above, especially about Burger Bar. Are there any really good places yourself or anyone else can suggest for after midnight on a Saturday night? Besides recommendations from Chowhounds here, thats one of the main reasons I'll be going there, because it's open so late.

                                      1. re: LongIslandChef
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                                        climberdoc RE: LongIslandChef Jun 15, 2008 08:26 PM

                                        I would put Burger Bar close to the top of the category of late-night dining. I just don't ever dine that late so I can't help you too much. If I had to choose between Burger Bar and typical late night hotel/casino fare, I would choose Burger Bar in a heartbeat.
                                        Why did Alex not make your list?

                                        1. re: climberdoc
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                                          Eujeanie RE: climberdoc Jun 16, 2008 08:10 AM

                                          Has anyone been able to find a DJT menu on-line? Their website is useless.

                                          1. re: Eujeanie
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                                            climberdoc RE: Eujeanie Jun 16, 2008 09:11 AM

                                            I glanced at the DJT menu a few days ago. Can't remember the details (sorry!), but I was quite intrigued by a six-course tasting menu for $100 which included wine pairings. Seems like a great value in Vegas. It's on my list for the next trip which is hopefully in a month or two.

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                                              Eujeanie RE: climberdoc Jun 16, 2008 12:14 PM

                                              climberdoc, WHERE did you see the menu? It's not on their website and there are very few reviews around.

                                          2. re: climberdoc
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                                            LongIslandChef RE: climberdoc Jun 16, 2008 02:06 PM

                                            Actually I'd love to try Alex, and I still might go for it. The night I have a reservation at SW steakhouse I really wanted to go to Alex instead, but the timing won't work out. I'm seeing Spamalot at 8 and Alex opens at 6, not really enough time to enjoy a tasting menu like theirs.

                                            1. re: LongIslandChef
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                                              climberdoc RE: LongIslandChef Jun 16, 2008 04:37 PM

                                              Eujeanie-I went to the Trump and checked it out. I was in town last week. It's a beautiful restaurant. I am looking forward to trying it.

                                              Chef-We typically go to Alex with reservations between 8 and 9:30pm. We've done the tasting menu everytime without ever feeling remotely rushed. We've lingered there a few times after midnight. Alex is a unique experience and is my favorite restaurant anywhere. Give it a shot if you can.

                                              1. re: climberdoc
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                                                LongIslandChef RE: climberdoc Jun 16, 2008 05:29 PM

                                                Hi climberdoc, I may have to forget either L'Atelier or Fleur de Lys and go to Alex. Since I've been to both already it is very tempting, especially since I completely trust your recommendations. A question about Alex, do you have to be in a suit and tie? or would a sport jacket and nice pants(not jeans of course) be ok?

                                                1. re: LongIslandChef
                                                  Debbie W RE: LongIslandChef Jun 16, 2008 05:37 PM

                                                  I haven't been yet but friends have (two guys) and they wore nice slacks and sportcoats. No ties. I'm hoping to go in August, and will tell my husband that he doesn't need to wear a tie, but otherwise must be dressed very nicely.

                                                  1. re: Debbie W
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                                                    Eujeanie RE: Debbie W Jun 16, 2008 07:31 PM

                                                    LIC, we're going to Alex in July and I also asked about the jacket requirement (because if they had said yes I was going to ask about a loaner since it's so hot and would be the only place he'd need one, exacerbated by all the luggage issues)...anyway, I digress, but the restaurant itself said you do NOT need a jacket. My husband will wear a dress shirt and tie, however.

                                                    1. re: Eujeanie
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                                                      LongIslandChef RE: Eujeanie Jun 16, 2008 07:39 PM

                                                      Thank you Eujeanie, that's definitely good to know. The thing is, I hate to wear a tie. I wonder if it would be ok to wear a jacket, dress shirt and no tie. How about at Joel R.?

                                                      1. re: LongIslandChef
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                                                        climberdoc RE: LongIslandChef Jun 16, 2008 09:41 PM

                                                        I have always just worn a jacket without a tie at Alex. Even though it's sort of "old school" I kind of like it that way. It has a way of making the evening seem like an event.

                                                        1. re: climberdoc
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                                                          LongIslandChef RE: climberdoc Jun 17, 2008 12:34 PM

                                                          Thanks again climberdoc, Based on that, I might have to go. I really didn't want to pack a suit and tie with me, but I was planning on having a couple jackets and nice pants anyway.

                                      2. re: LongIslandChef
                                        Debbie W RE: LongIslandChef Jun 16, 2008 08:51 AM

                                        Well, from everything I've read here, I would choose Cut over Carnevino, no question.

                                        I think if you're going to try an Emeril restaurant, then why not try the one at the MGM. Certainly it's been around for a lot longer than Table 10. We've had some ok to very nice meals there, but not recently.

                                        I'm interested in your take on Fleur de Lys. I've been twice and the first time was substantially better than the second time. But we are thinking of taking the Mandalay Bay up on a summer offer that includes 20% off the bill at several restaurants and Fleur de Lys is one of them and probably would be our first choice.

                                        1. re: LongIslandChef
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                                          Michelle RE: LongIslandChef Jun 16, 2008 12:32 PM

                                          Hello,

                                          I was just in Vegas last week and have a few comments for you, just my own opinions, of course!

                                          One of the great memorable meals in this lifetime is lunch at LOS, consisting of crispy rice & sour sausage appetizer, Thai beef salad, and sticky rice & mango for dessert. I could eat this every day, it is just perfect!

                                          We walked past Emeril's new place, Table 10, and checked out the menu. I would go there for lunch over dinner personally. The menu looks good!

                                          Like a few others here, I am not a fan of the Burger Bar - it was nothing special and not that great. This trip, we went to the Burger Brasserie (sports bar) at the Paris and it was much better than the Burger Bar! You can choose your burger and fixings - I had a lamb burger with feta cheese. Great fries too. I would definitely go back there.

                                          An interesting discovery this trip was Fish Camp in the Town Square shopping center by Fry's. Southern/Cajun type food. We had the crawfish etouffee and shrimp & grits, and both were fantastic!

                                          Michelle

                                          1. re: Michelle
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                                            LongIslandChef RE: Michelle Jun 16, 2008 02:47 PM

                                            Alot of interesting replies. I've never heard of Burger Brasserie, I'll have to look into that one. I'll also look into Fish Camp.

                                            Table 10 for lunch is a great idea, that alone could shake up my whole lineup. I could also listen to Debbie and switch to Emeril's at MGM. That could be night two and go to Cut on night one. Then maybe go to Table 10 for lunch one of the other days, This way I could get it all in.

                                            1. re: LongIslandChef
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                                              Michelle RE: LongIslandChef Jun 16, 2008 04:52 PM

                                              Hi,

                                              Check out www.louislasvegas.com, that's the website for Louis' and Fish Camp - I think Louis' is a little more upscale and Fish Camp is a little more casual, both seem to be owned/run by the same folks and are right next door to each other in the Town Square.

                                              We've also had lunch at Emeril's Fish House at the MGM a couple of times and thought it was very good, but that was a few years ago. This trip, we had dinner at Delmonico, Emeril's steak house at the Venetian and thought it was fabulous! We had the fried calamari appetizer (which was enough for 3 or 4 people, really!) that had an interesting olive relish with it, and then the ribeye steak, which was tender and fabulous, with cheese/bacon grits and asparagus as the sides. The service was great, we had no complaints and would definitely go back there as well.

                                              Michelle

                                              1. re: Michelle
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                                                LongIslandChef RE: Michelle Jun 16, 2008 05:39 PM

                                                Thanks Michelle, I guess I have to consider all of Emeril's offerings before deciding on which to try.
                                                While I'll probably have to wait until my next trip before going to Fish Camp/Louis's, it sounds like something I'd like to try.

                                              2. re: LongIslandChef
                                                Debbie W RE: LongIslandChef Jun 16, 2008 05:40 PM

                                                I also think that the Emeril's at the MGM is open for lunch, whereas most of the nice restaurants aren't. At least, we've had lunch there in the past. (Just to make your head explode even more!)

                                                Burger Brasserie is in that walkway between Paris and Bally's, pretty sure it's closer to Bally's than most of the other restaurants in that area. Haven't tried it yet though.

                                                1. re: Debbie W
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                                                  LongIslandChef RE: Debbie W Jun 16, 2008 05:44 PM

                                                  Thanks Debbie, You're right about my head, now I'm really trying to figure things out. I could really do some interesting things.

                                                  1. re: LongIslandChef
                                                    seal RE: LongIslandChef Jun 17, 2008 08:47 AM

                                                    If you go to Louis, there is a certificate available from restaurant.com that will shave about $20 off your bill. I am going next week and got one and also got one for Rosemary's, Border Grill, and a few others.

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                                                      climberdoc RE: LongIslandChef Jun 17, 2008 07:23 PM

                                                      Don't fret Chef. You'll just have to make more trips out to Vegas. You can't do it all in one trip. I go to Vegas around 5 times a year and still have many conquests on my hitlist.

                                              3. re: LongIslandChef
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                                                rickym13 RE: LongIslandChef Jun 23, 2008 03:49 PM

                                                los (lunch) - never been there for lunch but i hear people having different experiences when going to lunch? don't even think about lunch buffet!

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                                                LongIslandChef RE: LongIslandChef Jun 21, 2008 05:39 PM

                                                Ok, here's my current lineup:
                                                Cut
                                                B&B(maybe, but still considering other options)
                                                Emeril's(Lunch)
                                                Restaurant/Bar Charlie
                                                Simon(Lunch)? maybe
                                                Burger Bar
                                                SW Steakhouse
                                                LOS(Lunch)
                                                DJT
                                                Dos Caminos(Lunch)
                                                Koi or Okada (if possible)
                                                Fleur de Lys
                                                L'Atelier
                                                Any thoughts on this version of my lineup?

                                                16 Replies
                                                1. re: LongIslandChef
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                                                  spike42 RE: LongIslandChef Jun 23, 2008 03:12 PM

                                                  I've not been to Emeril's but have been to Table 10. I sat at the bar and had gumbo and a couple beers (Alaskan Amber). The gumbo was not a life-altering experience, but it was very good, and everything gumbo ought to be. The service was good, the price was right, and I liked the atmosphere. I'd definitely go back.

                                                  I've been to Burger Bar twice - I like the food, the sports bar vibe and the beer. The beer selection is not vast, but high quality. I've had the Kobe and Ridgefield burgers, and they were both outstanding. The Ridgefield was about as good as the Kobe. All the ingredients I picked were excellent except the chili, it's not very spicy. I asked the waiter about it and he warned me ahead of time, but I tried it anyway. It wasn't bad, it was just bland and I like ultra-spicy Texas-style. I had the onion rings both times, they were perfect. Even though some people on this thread don't like Burger Bar, I like it quite a bit and will definitely go back.

                                                  I'll be interested in your opinion of Dos Caminos and Cut, those are on my Vegas to-do list. Sounds like you have a great trip lined up, good luck.

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                                                    cuisinefreak RE: spike42 Jun 23, 2008 08:39 PM

                                                    DJT is A MUST. TRUST ME.

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                                                      climberdoc RE: cuisinefreak Jun 23, 2008 08:43 PM

                                                      Can you elaborate on DJT cuisinefreak. What makes it a must? Have you dined there or have you been to other Isidori restaurants?

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                                                        cuisinefreak RE: climberdoc Jun 24, 2008 09:11 PM

                                                        I have eaten there with one of my previous bosses ( a Michelin 3star nyc chef). It was recommended by the chick who runs Starchefs.com. My mentors exact words were "put your arrogance in your pocket, and open your mind"
                                                        We ate a la carte, no tasting due to a hectic schedule. We were laughing because the flavor profiles were so very explosive & aggresive, but we could not get enough. The flavors were consistently bold, but disciplined. This restaurant is the whole package, I hope it doesn't get diluted by the upcoming, much deserved hype. If this is what they are doing out of the gate, I can't wait to see when they catch a rythym. In a town of consistently overrated meals, (expensive or not), this is a must for us food nerds. But remember, this is coming from a cuisine freak!!!
                                                        If you go, please post your experience.

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                                                          leeser RE: cuisinefreak Jun 24, 2008 09:15 PM

                                                          accidentally posted on my wife's name. Can't seem to get it deleted. climberdoc

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                                                            LongIslandChef RE: cuisinefreak Jun 25, 2008 10:01 AM

                                                            Thanks for the info cuisinefreak, sounds like DJT should be a great experience, definitely looking forward to it. I'll probably go with the tasting menu, but you never know

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                                                              thesuit RE: cuisinefreak Jun 25, 2008 01:28 PM

                                                              If I may ask, who was the chef that you dined with. I have a friend that works in the kitchen there and he is dieing to know who that was.

                                                              thanks

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                                                        thesuit RE: LongIslandChef Jun 25, 2008 01:31 PM

                                                        Dont waste your money on Simon I have heard nothing but horrible reviews. The room is beautiful but as with all of his restaurants the food is sub par. If you want a good lunch in vegas get off the strip and go to Lotus of Siam the best Thai food in the bussiness.

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                                                          LongIslandChef RE: thesuit Jun 27, 2008 01:50 PM

                                                          Thanks for the info, Looks like I'll have to pass on Simon, every review I see on here isn't very positive.

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                                                            QAW RE: LongIslandChef Jun 28, 2008 08:42 AM

                                                            Have finally had the opportunity for a Bar Charlie evening, and we were not disappointed in any way. There were a number of very high notes hit across a broad array on the food spectrum, and as wonderful as some of the main ingredients were (Sake steamed Abalone; Hamachi Belly and Ohmi Beef, to name just a few), you know that you have had a great experience when you walk away talking about the Crispy Spiced Artichokes, and some of the accompanying flavors throughout (mizuna foam, garlic blossoms, etc.). If we had a complaint it was a most unusual one, but it does impact how one decides to do their evening. We went with the alcohol pairings for each of the 14 courses, and they were extremely well thought out, including some that we are unlikely to find again (a boutique Sake and a wonderful Belgian Ale in particular). But they were generous with each pour, and that does accumulate over that many courses, particularly when mixing Sake/Wine/Ale. We thought that many of the pairings were sublime, but on our next visit we might take a different approach.

                                                            Can serving a little too much alcohol be considered a complaint? They even brought us a few other wines to try over the course of the evening, as we discussed pairing possibilities. Had we been there for the eight course menu the balance may have been just about right, but for a meal that lasted nearly five hours, the amount and quality of the alcohol do make a challenge for the taste buds.

                                                            1. re: QAW
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                                                              LongIslandChef RE: QAW Jun 28, 2008 10:49 AM

                                                              Sounds like an amazing meal, I'm really looking forward to it. A five hour meal? wow, that's a long one. I have a 10pm reservation and now I wonder how long it will go since I'll be starting so late. Not that it matters, it's not like I have plans for afterwards, but it should be interesting.

                                                              1. re: LongIslandChef
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                                                                QAW RE: LongIslandChef Jun 28, 2008 11:55 AM

                                                                It does not have to be anywhere near five hours - this was a case of dining with an old friend and catching up on a lot of stories. So we had them slow the pace a bit, which also gave us a better ability to fully appreciate each dish. It also allowed for a lot of interplay with the staff, discussing the provenance of a lot of the ingredients and where some of the particular inspirations had come from. One could probably do the entire 14 courses comfortably in half of the amount of time that we spent.

                                                                1. re: QAW
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                                                                  LongIslandChef RE: QAW Jun 28, 2008 01:35 PM

                                                                  ah ok, that makes sense. I was figuring 2-2.5hrs, at most 3 hours.

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                                                                    climberdoc RE: LongIslandChef Jun 28, 2008 01:54 PM

                                                                    My recent review of Bar Charlie as well as Cut and LOS.

                                                                    http://www.chowhound.com/topics/527547

                                                                    1. re: climberdoc
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                                                                      LongIslandChef RE: climberdoc Jun 28, 2008 09:44 PM

                                                                      Great reviews climberdoc, only a few days away and I can't wait!!!

                                                              2. re: QAW
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                                                                LVI RE: QAW Jul 1, 2008 10:18 AM

                                                                Just a note on the sommelier there, Desmond (Desi) Echavarrie. He is, by far, one of the nicest most professional sommeliers in Las Vegas, if not the US. He used to work @ Picasso with Robert Smith (again, one of my favorites). Although not a master sommelier, his knowledge about wine and spirits is astounding, bordering on freakish. I believe he is taking (if not already taken) the Master Sommelier test some time this year and if he passes will become the youngest person ever to become a Master. I would unequivocally let Desi pair wines w/my dinner @ Charlie (sure it would be expensive but...It's Vegas Baby!).

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                                                          LongIslandChef RE: LongIslandChef Jul 1, 2008 09:32 AM

                                                          oops, double post

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                                                            LongIslandChef RE: LongIslandChef Jul 1, 2008 09:37 AM

                                                            Well, I leave tomorrow and I can't wait. Of course I'll give a full report on the details of my culinary escapades when I get back. Like last time it may take a day or two of recuperation before I begin my reviews, but I'll certainly be writing them.

                                                            Thanks for all the help everyone!!!

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                                                              LongIslandChef RE: LongIslandChef Jul 11, 2008 09:47 PM

                                                              Well, I'm back. What a trip, especially in the culinary sense. I'll begin my reviews tomorrow when it finally sinks in that I'm really home.
                                                              First up will be Cut and B&B's pasta tasting menu

                                                              3 Replies
                                                              1. re: LongIslandChef
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                                                                Eujeanie RE: LongIslandChef Jul 12, 2008 01:56 AM

                                                                Did you go to Alex? I'm leaving Sunday morning and have a res there Sunday night - hopefully you get to your review tomorrow!

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                                                                  LongIslandChef RE: Eujeanie Jul 12, 2008 05:17 PM

                                                                  Unfortunatly I didn't get to Alex on this trip, I definitely will in January, but from what I heard, even from competing chefs, you can't go wrong on that one.

                                                                  1. re: Eujeanie
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                                                                    LongIslandChef RE: Eujeanie Jul 12, 2008 05:32 PM

                                                                    double post

                                                                2. chris2269 RE: LongIslandChef Jul 12, 2008 08:28 AM

                                                                  Can't wait to hear your thoughts. Hope you had a great trip

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                                                                    LongIslandChef RE: LongIslandChef Jul 13, 2008 08:05 PM

                                                                    Ok, lets get this party started:

                                                                    Night One: CUT
                                                                    Let me start by saying that this will be a very short review. I wasn't very hungry when I arrived for my reservation, but I still wanted to go and at least try something. I got to the restaurant about 15 minutes early for my reservation, there was no problem seating me right then. Upon sitting down I surveyed the rest of the diners and noticed three of them in t-shirts. Kind of bothered me, but I digress...
                                                                    Like I mentioned, I wasn't very hungry so I went right into it. I ordered the wagyu filet, I figured I'd try it and it was also the smallest steak on the menu. For a side I ordered the carmelized fresh corn.
                                                                    The steak itself was pretty darn good except for one major problem. They re-salted the steak after it was cooked. After my first bite I looked closely at it and realized there was more salt added. Made the outside a bit too salty. However the corn was fantastic. The carmelizing brought out the natural sweetness of the fresh corn.
                                                                    It's hard to Judge a place just based on the little I had, but I'll have to give it a B- for what I did have.

                                                                    Night 2: B&B: Pasta Tasting Menu
                                                                    They supposedly open at 5pm. I had a 5:15 reservation so I arrived about 5:10. Upon arrival, the hostess had to scramble around to set a table for me. The strange thing about it, is that while she's running around setting a table there are three busboys standing in a circle on the other side of the room doing nothing.
                                                                    I already knew going in I was going to order the pasta tasting menu so I wasted no time in ordering it.
                                                                    Course 1: Herb Fazzoletti with Burro Guffanti
                                                                    This was a simple course of little handkerchief like pasta with herbs pressed inside with a butter sauce. There was one major problem, I could see the herbs, but I couldn't taste them at all. So basically it was just big noodles in butter sauce. A big disappointment.
                                                                    Course 2: Paglia e Fieno with Charred Corn and Castelmagno
                                                                    This was possibly the best pasta of the night. It was regular and spinach fettuccini with charred corn and sharp tasting chives/garlic chives also in a butter sauce. The heat from the chives, the texture and flavor or the charred corn, it all just worked so well.
                                                                    Course 3: Spaghetti alla Chittara with Mussels and Saffron
                                                                    This was another incredible dish, as long as you don't mind some heat. This dish definitely had some kick, but also alot of flavor. There was plenty of saffron present, a few nice juicy mussels(out of the shell)and the pasta was perfectly cooked.
                                                                    Course 4: Jose's Pyramids with "passato di Pomodoro"
                                                                    Ok, now I have had this dish before quite a few times and I've always really liked it. I was in fact looking forward to this dish since I had began the menu that night. Well, as soon as it was put down in front of me I just didn't like it. The dish just looked so lifeless and unattractive. So I tasted it, and my initial opinion really didn't change all that much. It just wasn't good, especially the sauce, it looked and tasted almost canned.
                                                                    Course 5: Goose Liver Ravioli with Balsamic Vinegar and Brown butter
                                                                    Now this has always been my favorite course of B&B's pasta tasting menu. It's also a chance to redeem themselves from the last disappointment. Well, they certainly delivered the goods on this one. The ravoli were perfectly cooked, loaded with lots of tasty goose liver. the sauce could've used a little less balsamic and a little more butter, but it was still very good.
                                                                    Course 6: Apricot Sorbetto
                                                                    Well, I made it through the five pasta courses without exploding and I was very happy with myself. I hadn't eaten that much in one sitting in a long time. Now it was time for dessert. Basically this was a big quenelle of apricot sorbet over slices of fresh apricot and a balsamic glaze drizzled over.
                                                                    The sorbet was very good, loaded with apricot flavor, but it was just too much of it. after about three bites I had enough and there was still half to go.
                                                                    Course 7: Farmer's Market Berry Crostata with Deus Beer Zabaglione
                                                                    Well this was the final leg of the menu. Of course I was stuffed by this time, but I still had to try at least some of it. I liked the idea of the berry tart with a kind of bitter zabaglione, but not to finish the meal. I felt like if the two desserts switch places I might've enjoyed this one alot more. But as it stood, it was not earth shattering but good, The zabaglione has alot of beer flavor to it which was a nice contrast to the sweet berries and the crunchy tart crust.

                                                                    Overall this is a difficult one to call as well because of the ups and downs. I'll settle on C+/B- which is a definite drop from my last trip.

                                                                    Next up: Bar Charlie

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: LongIslandChef
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                                                                      beingreen RE: LongIslandChef Jul 13, 2008 08:27 PM

                                                                      LIC, I've been anxiously awaiting your return (as I'm sure others have been) to read your thorough and knowledgeable reports. This did not disappoint--it helped me decide not to go to B&B for my upcoming short trip. Thanks so much!

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                                                                      LongIslandChef RE: LongIslandChef Jul 14, 2008 08:06 PM

                                                                      Night 3: Bar Charlie
                                                                      It was Friday July 4th. I arrived about 9:45 for a 10:15 reservation. They had no problem seating me immediately. Besides myself, there was only a group of three further down the bar.
                                                                      Immediately the sommelier came over and asked about wines, when I said I'd be drinking beer instead she presented me with quite an impressive beer list. She said that they could pair beers with each course. I was tempted, but knowing that I was going to have to go with the 15 course tasting menu, it seemed like too daunting a task. I ordered a large bottle of Duvel, a bottle of water and I was ready to go.
                                                                      From that point, I was watching the two behind the counter do their thing. The chef Hiro is quite a talent, he's really a pleasure to watch in action and to listen to. For a young guy he really knows his stuff. After about ten minutes of watching the fest began.
                                                                      Course 1: Diver Sea Scallop with Fuji Apple and Chervil
                                                                      An unbelieveable way to begin. The creamy scallop sashimi with the tart of the apple and the brightness of the chevil was a perfct way to start and to get the tastebuds going
                                                                      Course 2: Japanese Snapper with Braised Rausu Kombu and Lime:
                                                                      This was another nice beginning, the fresh snapper sashimi with the bright lime flavor and the little salty. seaweed flavor in the backround from the kombu.
                                                                      Course 3: Carbonated Carrot with Ginger and Sultana Rasins
                                                                      I had never had a dish quite like this before and I loved it. The carbonated carrot is full of flavor, I'd say it's a little gelatinous looking, but still light and airy in flavor and texture. The sweet of the rasins plays with the sweetness of the carrot and the ginger is in a sense refreshing . They said it was a new dish they just recently added to their menu and i can see why. A definite winner.
                                                                      Course 4: Tuna Two Ways: Tartare with Red Bell Pepper, Mango and Mizuna, Sashimi with Watermelon, Pine Nuts and Mint
                                                                      Another great dish, but this is where I began to get a little scared. this was quite a bit of tuna for course four with ten to go. Plus since both of them were so delicious I had to eat it all. The only thing I wasn't thrilled about were the pine nuts, it just didn't need them. Not to say there were bad in there, they weren't by any means, but just weren't necessary.
                                                                      Course 5: Nigiri Trio: King Salmon with Barley Miso, Fennel and Chrysanthemum, Braised Octopus with Kanzuri Carrots and Grapefruit, Shime Sabe with Aged Ponzu and Lemon
                                                                      I statred with the salon first, it was very good, the salmon was nice and buttery, the miso, fennel and chrysanthemum came together for an herbal finish. The shime Saba was very tasty because of the ponzu and lemon which weren't overpowering, but just enough to bring out the natural flavor. Then came time for the octopus. Let me say this straight out, it was the best octopus I have ever had. It was so tender and so flavorful I couldn't believe it. I haven't been able to stop thinking about it since I had it. The carrots brought a little sweet to the slightly salty octopus. when you add in the sushi rice it all balanced perfect.
                                                                      Course 6: Steamed Alaskan Halibut with Asparagus, Garlic and Heirloom Tomatoes
                                                                      A nice dish, not the most memorable, but it was very good. The fish was nice and tender, the aparagus tips were nice, especially since i love asparagus. The heirloom tomatoes were tasty. I enjoyed the dish, but overall I wasn't sure what it was striving for.
                                                                      Course 7: Crispy Spiced Globe Artichokes with Honey, Pine Nuts and Mint
                                                                      This dish just didn't do it for me at all. First, a few of the artichokes were basically too raw to eat. Second, the spices were very pronounced, almost too much at times. Just not a great dish, to me at least.
                                                                      Course 8: Tempura of Langousine with Raosted Beets, Turnips and Black Sea Water
                                                                      Now I was starting to feel full. Really full!!! I was starting to get scared that I wasn't going to be able to eat too much more. As I was eating the previous courses I was talking with the three people eating further down the bar. At this point they asked me to slide down and joing them, which of course I did.
                                                                      This was the first dish I had while eating with them. I had caught up to them course wise even though I started about 30 minutes later. The langoustine was sweet and delicious, almost like lobster. The crispy tempura batter was nice and thin. I usually don't even like beets, but these were delicious. The black sea water was a foam on the side of the plate. It certainly tasted like the sea and added that little bit of salty that the tempura needed. Unfortuantely I could only eat half of it, especially if I wanted to make it through.
                                                                      Course 9: Seared Hamachi Belly with Cured Wa-Gyu and Breakfast Radish
                                                                      I really don't remember anything about this dish. I must've liked it because if I didn't I'd certainly remember that. Sorry that this is no help here.
                                                                      Course 10: Saikyo Miso Soup with Kurobata Pork, Maitake Mushrooms and Cilantro
                                                                      This was one delicious soup. It was a very small portion, which I was thankful for. The miso soup itself was wonderful. It had an amazing miso flavor that was perfect so deep into the meal. The added texture and flavor of the pork and mushrooms made it into much more than just a simple soup. In a way, it refeshed me for a few more courses.
                                                                      Course 11: Elysian Fields Lamb Chop with Bing Cherries and Marcona Almonds
                                                                      This dish was one nice meaty medium rare cooked lamb chop. The nice fresh cherries and almonds added a nice fuity and nutty bite to the slight gaminess of lamb. This wasn't as imaginative as many of the previous dishes, but still very good.
                                                                      Right about here is where the Sommelier started pouring me glasses of wine too so that I wouldn't feel "left out" with the others I was sitting with. Plus she was pouring me other beers to try during previous courses. Two courses from now I have about 7 glasses in front of me, it was kind of funny.
                                                                      Course 12: Ohmi Japanese with Hacho Miso, Plum and Fresh Wasabi
                                                                      Again I'm going to give it to you straight. This was the best beef I have ever tasted in my life. Hiro explained that this beef is the second best grade of Kobe beef available in the world. It was so tender it almost melted in my mouth. For this course, I found a way to eat it all and could've eaten more. I tried it with the plum, with the miso and with the wasabi. I thought it was best with some of the miso and some of the wasabi on it at the same time.
                                                                      Course 13: Cherry Sorbet
                                                                      I'm a cherry freak so i liked this one. just a nice cherry sorbet with some fresh sliced cherries. Simple and good.
                                                                      Course 14: Mint Infused Strawberries with Strawberry Sorbet, Lime Granita and Hempseed Ice Cream
                                                                      When you read the above you're probably thinking that there's alot going on in that one. You'd be right, there is alot going on, but it's definitely good. I really liked the granita with the strawberries. The hempseed ice cream was suprisingly good, I have never had something like that before. For this dish the sommelier had poured me some port, again so I wouldn't feel left out. There was alcohol all over the place now. there was beer, port, and wine in front of me.
                                                                      Course 15: Steamed Cacao Nib Cake with Sour Candied Kumquats and 99% Cacao Ice Cream
                                                                      I didn't like this one at all, but I was happy that I made it through. The nibs annoyed me to no end. I really wanted to like this one, especially since I was dying for something chocolate, but it just didn't satisfy me. the kumquats were too sweet and the ice cream also had the nibs in it, so I couldn't even fully enjoy that.

                                                                      Now to give it a grade. Overall it was an amazing meal. I learned alot, I tried many things and combinations I never had before. Were there a few flops along the way? I suppose so, but nothing too awful or unforgivable. Even with the ups and downs I'll still have to give it an A/A-, just an incredible experience.

                                                                      Next up: Burger Bar and SW Steakhouse

                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                      1. re: LongIslandChef
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                                                                        spike42 RE: LongIslandChef Jul 14, 2008 09:33 PM

                                                                        That is a mind-boggling review, thanks for the great write-up!

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                                                                          foodgimp RE: LongIslandChef Jul 15, 2008 09:06 AM

                                                                          Great Review! Thanks! I had the pleasure of dining in the main dining room in March. Here is a linktomy review, http://www.chowhound.com/topics/537105

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                                                                            John Lowrey RE: LongIslandChef Jul 15, 2008 02:16 PM

                                                                            Thanks Chef for a really great review. BTW, how much did this cost?

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                                                                              LongIslandChef RE: John Lowrey Jul 15, 2008 02:34 PM

                                                                              My meal at Bar Charlie was about $380 which includes the tip.

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                                                                            LongIslandChef RE: LongIslandChef Jul 15, 2008 05:13 PM

                                                                            Night 4: Burger Bar
                                                                            I have to start off by saying that I almost left before I even sat down to eat. I arrived there about 10:30pm, after the UFC had let out. I was greeted by three hostesses. When they were told I would be dining alone the blond said something so fast I couldn't understand what she meant. I said "so does that mean I can eat at the bar right now or I have to wait?" She snapped back with lots of attitude "I said you can sit there right now" Well, at least I would be able to get away from her, so I decided to go for it.

                                                                            Upon perusing the menu I remembered that I had previously said if I went I would try the Rossini burger. So of course, I had to go for it. Rossini burger rare, well done fries. The bartender mentioned that I also get a dessert "burger" with the Rossini. I decided on the cheescake. I was really thinking about the chocolate, but after going to the UFC event and even though I was eating a burger, I felt I needed keep the little bit of somphistication I had going with this meal.

                                                                            The burger arrived and it was beautiful. I nice big "kobe" burger, a big chunk of fois gras on top and topping that, lots of shaved truffles. The sauce was on the side along with kosher salt and cracked black pepper. I put a little of each over the top of the burger and dug in. It was delicious!!!! all the flavors stood out, the earthiness of the truffle, the creamyness of the fois gras and the meaty flavor of the burger were an unbelieveably satisfying combo. The fries really weren't well done, which was a bit disappointing, but they were still good.

                                                                            The dessert buger was very clever. A donut cut in half, cheesecake and carmelized pineapple. The plate had a rasberry coulis drizzled on it. The first couple of bites were very good, but it's the type of dessert where you think to yourself "how much of this could I really eat?" I ate about half of it and gave up.

                                                                            Overall, I'd have to give them an A/A-, Next time I look forwrd to going back and trying more items to really fully judge them,

                                                                            Next up: SW Steakhouse

                                                                            5 Replies
                                                                            1. re: LongIslandChef
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                                                                              winedine RE: LongIslandChef Jul 16, 2008 06:47 AM

                                                                              Thank you for all your wonderful posts! I am heading to vegas tomorrow.
                                                                              Thurs -Morels (their menu looks wonderful- usually eat at Bouchon twice a trip, but ready for something new)
                                                                              Fri- seeing Wayne Brady at nine, so was thinking of grabbing bar food at Cut, and then if hungry later going for dim sum at Jade or the other asian place at Palazzo
                                                                              Sat (my b'day) dinner at L'Atelier
                                                                              Sun - off to Rosemary's for 1/2 priced wine bottles.

                                                                              We usually eat at B&B too, but after 1 stellar (first visit not long after they opened) to dismal the last time (1-08) with about 2 visits in between, I don't have the urge to go back. Also holding off on Carnivore, although it is a "steak house", there appears to be a lot of repetition. I have had decent lunches at Enoteca though. Still remember the potato leek cake with a fried egg and bottarga on top.

                                                                              Has anyone tried the wine bar Double Helix?

                                                                              LongIslandChef - do you recall the price of the Rossini burger?

                                                                              Any input from others is greatly appreciated.

                                                                              1. re: winedine
                                                                                chris2269 RE: winedine Jul 16, 2008 08:37 AM

                                                                                Me and the GF had wine at Double Helix. The selections OK I think with so many great restaurants just steps away you'd do better going to a restaurant bar for wine. You would get more interesting choices.

                                                                                We also had the worst (Im pretty easy going and I let bad service roll off my back) Worst service ever. We actually use it as a running joke when talking about service. Bad but not Double Helix Bad.

                                                                                1. re: winedine
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                                                                                  LongIslandChef RE: winedine Jul 16, 2008 11:40 AM

                                                                                  The Rossini was $60, but it also includes the dessert burger of your choice. So in a sense it almost feels as if it's not as expensive as it really is. Or at least that's what I kept convincing myself.

                                                                                  Have fun at Wayne Brady, I saw him when I was there and he's hilarious. If you're near the front be prepared for him to call on you for ideas or possibly to participate in skits.

                                                                                  1. re: LongIslandChef
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                                                                                    lestererik RE: LongIslandChef Jul 16, 2008 12:54 PM

                                                                                    please let me know about sw steakhouse after you eat there. were going there in a few weeks and i wanted to no if you think its better than cut, etc. also were are the best seats in the restaurant?

                                                                                    1. re: lestererik
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                                                                                      LongIslandChef RE: lestererik Jul 16, 2008 01:04 PM

                                                                                      That review will definitely be on here tonight and if I have time L'Atelier as well

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                                                                                LongIslandChef RE: LongIslandChef Jul 16, 2008 04:51 PM

                                                                                Night 5: SW Steakhouse

                                                                                I arrived about 10 minutes early for my 5:30 reservation. I was told they were having their nightly staff meeting if I wouldn'nt mind waiting until after, no problem. Well, ten minutes pass...fifteen...twenty...finally I was told they could seat me. Mind you, I was not the only one waiting for this meeting to end.

                                                                                Finally, I was seated. The table was nothing special and didn't really have a view of much else but a table in front of me. You'd think the first person in the restaurant could get a table with a view of something worthwhile. Then, I was asked the typical drink/water questions you get everywhere and was shown the menu. I decided to start with the crabcake, then go with the 20oz bone-in ribeye, parmesan creamed spinach and potato puree.

                                                                                The crabcake was small, but it was full of crab. The remoulade on the side brought a nice creamy contrast to the light but meaty and zesty cake. I'm not sure what made me order the crabcake, but as soon as I tasted it I was happy I did. Since I knew I had alot of food coming a small starter was perfect.

                                                                                Now it was time for some steak. I was so happy, especially since I was actually hungry this time, unlike my night at Cut. It came out perfectly rare like I wanted with a nice crust on the outside. It wasn't the tastiest meat I've had, but it was tasy and very tender for a ribeye.
                                                                                The sides were a mixed bag. The spinach was very good. It was creamy, cheesy and through it all the flavor of the spinach didn't get lost like can often happen with creamed spinach. The problem were the potatoes. They had literally zero flavor. If it had any salt at all they would've been much better, but there seemed to be none. A big disappointment especially since I love mashed potatoes so much.

                                                                                Overall, I'd have to give a B- While the steak was very good, flavor wise it wasn't close to the best I've had. The potatoes were a huge letdown and the initial wait a good ten to fifteen minutes past my reservation time was disappointing.

                                                                                Next up: L'Atelier

                                                                                10 Replies
                                                                                1. re: LongIslandChef
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                                                                                  lestererik RE: LongIslandChef Jul 17, 2008 12:54 PM

                                                                                  I have reservation for SW on august 15 for two 30th birthdays. we want the best steak and were wondering if we made the wrong place> the couple that we are going with, its there first dine in vegas and i wanted a place that would blow their minds away-visually and food wise!

                                                                                  1. re: lestererik
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                                                                                    foodgimp RE: lestererik Jul 17, 2008 01:17 PM

                                                                                    I have been to both SW and N9NE. I would pick N9NE to Impress your friends, the food is just as good and there is definitely more of a SCENE there!

                                                                                    Happy Birthday!

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                                                                                    grimaldi RE: LongIslandChef Jul 17, 2008 06:45 PM

                                                                                    I have three reservations on the same night: Cut, Craftsteak and SW. I've read every review on every site and still cannot decide. Can anyone who has done these (even two of the three) give me a comparison, once and for all? Service, ambiance, food? Price is not an issue.

                                                                                    1. re: grimaldi
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                                                                                      LongIslandChef RE: grimaldi Jul 17, 2008 09:30 PM

                                                                                      Of those three I'd go with Craftsteak. I have been to all three and the only area Craftsteak would be lacking is ambiance. But then again the ambiance at SW isn't spectacular, Cut wasn't much better withdiners in t-shirts. Food-wise I'd put Craftsteak on top of the three. Service-wise they're all pretty good in that area.

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                                                                                        ciaobelly RE: LongIslandChef Jul 18, 2008 12:09 PM

                                                                                        I would have to agree...Crafsteak has absolutely stellar food and service, killer scotch selection, great (ahem...but marked-up as only Vegas can) wine. I frequent N9NE and have since they opened 8 years ago. The food is tasty, the atmosphere is extremely hip and sleek, and the service is usually familiar and upbeat. Crafsteak is where you go to dine and relax, N9NE is where you go with your friends before a night of partying, to be part of the club-type see-and-be-seen atmosphere, more fun, young. You get my drift?

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                                                                                          grimaldi RE: ciaobelly Jul 18, 2008 01:21 PM

                                                                                          Then I think we'll try Craftsteak based on these recommendations. We live in Chicago, so N9NE, Ruth's Chris, Morton's, The Palm, etc. etc. are all represented locally. I have a hard time going to the same places elsewhere that we have here at home. But also coming from Chicago my standards for steakhouses are spoiled. I hope Craftsteak is as good as its billed. One last question, what did you order specifically that was good? Apps, entree, sides?

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                                                                                            ciaobelly RE: grimaldi Jul 19, 2008 11:35 AM

                                                                                            I have been seeing a lot of diners have been taking advantage of a specal Summer Tasting Menu that many MGM restos offer to lure in guests during the hot, slow Vegas summer. I believe it is $60 per person and might be right if you're on more of a budget.

                                                                                            I usually like the heirloom tomato salad, roasted jerusalem artichokes, kobe tartare, porterhouse for two, kobe skirt steak (can you feel my heart beat faster? ha!), some form of roasted mushroom (hen of the woods is very popular here) and potato (puree, blue cheese mashed, gratin, etc), creamed spinach and corn. Honestly, never have I had room for dessert, but they always bring little mignardises to munch on with the bill.

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                                                                                      FatArty RE: LongIslandChef Jul 17, 2008 08:42 PM

                                                                                      Chef,
                                                                                      Did you happen to go eat at DJT...if so please let us know, I have heard unreal reviews about the place...KNPR radio food critic John Curtas said that it is top five in the city if not the best.

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                                                                                        LongIslandChef RE: FatArty Jul 17, 2008 09:22 PM

                                                                                        Yes, I did go to DJT, that review will come in a few days. That was my last night in town, and what a way to finish!!!!!

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                                                                                          FatArty RE: LongIslandChef Jul 18, 2008 07:12 PM

                                                                                          Great...I look forward to reading your review!!!!

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                                                                                      LongIslandChef RE: LongIslandChef Jul 18, 2008 08:03 PM

                                                                                      Night 6: L'Atelier

                                                                                      This wasn't my first visit to L'Atelier, so I pretty much knew what to expect, but of course I also knew there would be a great new tasting menu to try out so I was definitely looking forward to this dinner.
                                                                                      I almost didn't make it to my reservation because of problems with the monorail. A usual seven minute ride between Harrahs and MGM took just over twenty. Its a good thing I knew just where to go after arriving at the MGM station.

                                                                                      As it turned out, I was a few minutes early for my reservation, so I was happy about that. Upon being seated I already knew I would be ordering the dicovery menu so I wasted no time.

                                                                                      Course 1: Cucumber gelee tarragon cream, cumin yougurt
                                                                                      Nice start, the refreshing taste of the cucumber gelee with the sour of the cumin yogurt and the brightness of the tarragon were a simple but fantastic combination.

                                                                                      Course 2: Big eye tuna with tomato infused olive oil
                                                                                      This was similar in some ways to the langoustine dish they offered on this menu in January. The big difference the this one was a quinelle of fresh avocado on the side which when mixed with the tuna and spices really brought it home. Without the avocado it was ok, with the avocado it was great.

                                                                                      Course 3: Maine Lobster in a gelee of vegetables topped the chilled leek soup
                                                                                      Another winner. The cold vichyssoise over gelee that had small diced cooked lobster and small brunoise of vegetables which were just lighty cooked. This dish was amazing. All of the flavors stood out, the leek, lobster, veggies and potato. After eating this, I was wishing it was a bigger portion. I even considered ordering another portion.

                                                                                      Course 4: Scallop cooked with seaweed butter, curried cauliflower
                                                                                      The thought of this dish scared me a little. The curried cauliflower sounded a little strange when I read the description and it definitely left me a bit hesitant. However, after the first bite it all made sense. In fact, I ended up loving the cauliflower when paired with the scallop and the seaweed butter.

                                                                                      Course 5: Capuccino of green asparagus with parmesan
                                                                                      This was an asparagus soup with slices of asparagus inside for texture and a parmesan foam. Not the most memorable of dishes, but I do remember it and it was good. The problem is following all those great dishes in a row, this one gets lost in the mix.

                                                                                      Course 6: Sea Bass filet with baby calamari and artichoke
                                                                                      Another not so memorable dish. The fish was perfectly cooked and all the ingredients were very good, but it just doesn't stand out in any way.

                                                                                      Course 7: Free-range quail stuffed with foie grand and served with truffled-mashed potatoes
                                                                                      I had this dish in January and couldn't pass up the chance of having it again. the quail is loaded with foie gras, just with there were more than two peices. The potatoes were amazing as usual. I don't find them as mind-blowing as many others do, but they are excellent.

                                                                                      Course 8: Strawberries with basil infusion and olive ice cream
                                                                                      I don't remember much about the desserts I had this night. They really didn't stand out at all. Yes, I was talking to the couple next to me, especially during the desserts. But, I don't think that's why. I remember liking the strawberries in this one, but that's about it.

                                                                                      Course 9: Pistachio parfait with marinated rhubarb and muscat sorbet
                                                                                      This dessert was much better than the last. It has lots of pistachio flavor and when eaten with the sorbet it was an interesting mix of flavors. The rhubarb was ok, but definitely not a favorite.

                                                                                      This was a good meal, a very good meal. The menu always takes chances and that's what I'm looking for with this type of menu/cuisine. For a grade I'll have to give them an A/A-. I'll definitely be looking forward to see what they'll have in store for when I go back in January.

                                                                                      Next up: Dos Caminos

                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: LongIslandChef
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                                                                                        spike42 RE: LongIslandChef Jul 19, 2008 12:38 PM

                                                                                        L.I. Chef -

                                                                                        These are great reviews, thanks for all the detail, it's very interesting. How do you remember so many of the details, do you take notes or just naturally memorize it? You really racked up a lot of meals with a lot of courses!

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                                                                                          LongIslandChef RE: spike42 Jul 19, 2008 09:08 PM

                                                                                          Spike-

                                                                                          Some things I remember but most of the tasting menus I have a copy of and just remember the details from there. I still have two more tasting menus to review after I write up dos caminos, the extravagance menu at Fleur de Lys and "The Big Deal" at DJT, two very interesting menus, so stay tuned.
                                                                                          Unfortunately I have to be at work in seven hours so I'll have to begin tomorrow night.

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                                                                                        LongIslandChef RE: LongIslandChef Jul 20, 2008 04:29 PM

                                                                                        Night 7: Dos Caminos

                                                                                        This was not my first choice of where I wanted to go that night, or second, or third. I ended up going here because it was about 10:30 and my choices were limited. I was considering going for sushi instead, but I was right there and I figured why not.

                                                                                        I started out with the guacamole, medium spicy. Let me say this here, I love guacamole, I make it alot so I think I know what makes a good one. Their guacamole was just ok and for alot of people it would be too spicy. It was loaded with Jalapeno and for medium I was suprised it had so much. I couldn't really taste any fresh lime or cilantro in there, but it was seasoned well.

                                                                                        For my main course I decided on Shrimp Ajillo over saffrom chorizo rice. I love the dish when prepared well but this just didn't cut it. First of all there was barely any garlic flavor at all. On the brighter side, the shrimp were cooked perfectly.
                                                                                        My biggest complaint was with the saffron chorizo rice, it turned ot to be a risotto. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE risotto, but when I want one, I'll order it. On top of that it wan't very good. The rice was cooked al dente, but it just didn't have as much flavor as it should've.

                                                                                        Overall, a C/C-, nothing special at all. The dishes I had could easily be so much better, why weren't they?

                                                                                        Nexy up: Fleur de Lys: Extravagance menu

                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                        1. re: LongIslandChef
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                                                                                          kjs RE: LongIslandChef Jul 22, 2008 10:38 AM

                                                                                          LIC - i've been off ch for awhile - just started reading this thread - great reviews - glad to hear restaurant charlie is still going strong and burger bar was a food success - looking forward to your spin on DJT - that's on my list.

                                                                                          keep-em coming !

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                                                                                          LongIslandChef RE: LongIslandChef Jul 22, 2008 07:40 PM

                                                                                          Night 8: Fleur de Lys

                                                                                          When I had dined here in January, it wasn't until after I had already started my meal that I had learned about the extravagance menu they offer. That was the main reason I felt I had to go back. It was almost as if there was unfinished business.
                                                                                          I arrived for my reservation and the place was basically empty. Which in a way, as a single diner, it's not such a bad thing. As soon as I saw the menus offered I immediately ordered. I hadn't even read through the whole extravagance menu before deciding on going for it. Within five minutes, the first course arrived....

                                                                                          Amuse 1: Raw Kumumoto Oyster with Granny Smith Apple Granite
                                                                                          I had this same starter in January, but it was definitely better this time. The briney oyster with the sweet and tart apple granite was tasty. The oyster took very little chewing to melt in the mouth along with the granite.

                                                                                          Amuse 2: Truffled Onion Veloute with Braised Duck Ragout and Black Truffle
                                                                                          Another excellent starter. A small tea cup with some pulled duck meat and a thick slice of black truffle. At the table they pour the veloute over the top. The only problem with this dish was that the duck seemed a little dry, but other then that it was great. The soup was packed with onion flavor and the earthiness of the truffle was a nice addition.

                                                                                          Course 1: Tsar Nicoulai Ostra Caviar accompanied by Warm Parsnip Blinis
                                                                                          How could you go wrong here? The only problem I had were the blinis were cold and they didn't taste of parsnip. But they dished out plenty of caviar on top of them. Plus some Creme Fraische at my request. On the side they served finely chopped egg whites and yolks in one dish. In another was finely chopped red onion and parsley.

                                                                                          Course 2: Seared Foie Gras & Smoked Duck Terrine with Pickled Tomato & Mushrooms, Fresh Baked Brioche.
                                                                                          Of all the foie gras dishes I had on this trip, and I had quite a few, I'd have to place this one at the top. The terrine was loaded with the taste of foie and duck. The fresh brioche was nice to spread the terrine on and the vinagrette on the "salad" in the middle was a great palate cleanser in between bites. I'm still thinking about this dish two weeks later.

                                                                                          Course 3: Butter Poached Maine Lobster with Herb Spaetzle, Alsatian Choucrute, Chanterelles and Paprika foam.
                                                                                          This was a very good dish. It would've been a great dish had one peice of the lobster I had not been slightly overcooked. It had a claw and half a lobster tail. The claw was the problem. Not that it was terrible, it just could've been better. However the tail section was perfectly cooked and very enjoyable. The spaetzle with the choucrute(basically sauerkraut)and the mushrooms were very good. The paprika foam I don't remember at all, I'm not even sure if it was there.

                                                                                          Course 4: Prime Filet Mignon "Rossini" with Seared Foie Gras, Wild Mushrooms, Salsify and Red Wine Reduction.
                                                                                          Basically, the was the Rossini burger without a bun. The entire time eating this I was trying to figure out if I liked this version or the burger version at burger bar. Truthfully, I think I'd go with the burger version. This was definitely a great course, but not quite as memorable as the burger. The one thing that made no sense was the salsify, what's the point? It was one peice of salsify next to this big filet/foie gras/truffle mass. It looked ridiculous. The peice of foie gras on top of the filet was huge and the filet itself was nice sized for this late in such a large meal.

                                                                                          Course 5: Cheese Course
                                                                                          They offered me a selection of four cheeses to try and they were all very good, but unfortunately I don't remember the names of any of them. Along with the cheeses they offered a few types of nuts, dried fruits and toast points.

                                                                                          Course 6: Exotic Fruit Minestrone with Basil Sorbet
                                                                                          By this time of the meal I was virtually stuffed. This was a nice dessert though. It was basically a fruit salad with a basil sorbet which when paried with the fruit really brightened up the flavor of everything. Even though I love basil, when I read the description I was kind of nervous, but it was all for nothing.

                                                                                          Course 7: Green Grape Gelee with Avocado Cream, Honeydew Melon, Pistachios and Yogurt Sorbet.
                                                                                          I truthfully don't remember much about this dish. All I do remember is that I enjoyed the gelee. I was full of grape flavor.

                                                                                          Course 8: Fresh Baked Madeleine with Warm Chocolate Sauce
                                                                                          I was seriously stuffed here. These were tiny little cookies and I could only eat one. The chocolate sauce was amazing smothered all over the cookie.

                                                                                          Course 9: Petit Fours
                                                                                          Didn't try any of these, I just couldn't, Was way too stuffed. They looked good though.

                                                                                          A great meal. There were a few flaws, none too huge, but for an expensive meal like this there shouldn't be flaws, even minor ones like that. The one major flaw I forgot to mention was that during the meal someone came in to eat wearing a t-shirt, bathing suit and flip-flops and they seated him. But I'm not going to hold that against them when business is so slow. I'll have to give them a solid A-

                                                                                          Next Up: DJT "The Big Deal"

                                                                                          22 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: LongIslandChef
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                                                                                            raider RE: LongIslandChef Jul 23, 2008 06:08 AM

                                                                                            forgive my ignorance. djt stands for ??

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                                                                                              aaronling RE: raider Jul 23, 2008 08:17 AM

                                                                                              Donald John Trump

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                                                                                              Eujeanie RE: LongIslandChef Jul 23, 2008 07:09 AM

                                                                                              What is it like eating a multi-course menu alone? I'm thinking about doing this on an upcoming trip to New York, but then I wonder...am I really going to sit in this restaurant for a couple/three hours alone? I can see a nice regular 3 course meal, but does it seem weird to have such a long meal alone? Do you bring a book, people watch, stare into space? Do you request that the pacing be faster than if you were with someone? (as you can see, I don't often eat alone so would really like some hints).

                                                                                              Enjoying your reviews - can't wait to hear about DJT! (which, for the other poster, is Trump's restaurant in his new hotel - DJT are his initials).

                                                                                              1. re: Eujeanie
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                                                                                                foodgimp RE: Eujeanie Jul 23, 2008 07:58 AM

                                                                                                Eujeanie-
                                                                                                As a frequent solo diner, I thought I'd reply to your question. I am actually more likely to bring a book or newspaper to a casual restaurant. When I do a tasting menu, I consider it a special occasion and try to savor every moment. I do take notes on the experience, talk to the staff when appropriate, contemplate the meaning of life, etc. I do not make any special requests on pacing unless I have a show or poker tournament to attend. Three years ago, I would never have thought of dining solo, now I don't give it a second thought! I guess my philosophy is; If I want to do something, I am not going to let being by myself stop me! So just go and enjoy yourself!

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                                                                                                  LongIslandChef RE: foodgimp Jul 23, 2008 01:33 PM

                                                                                                  foodgimp is 100% right. I feel the exact same way and do the same things. Plus remember, being in the business myself I'm always interested in seeing the way that restaurants run. I'm always picking up ideas for if/when I open my own restaurant down the road.

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                                                                                                    foodgimp RE: LongIslandChef Jul 23, 2008 05:42 PM

                                                                                                    LIC-
                                                                                                    Thanks for the confirmation. I love your reviews and value your opinion!

                                                                                                    Happy Eating!

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                                                                                                  ciaobelly RE: Eujeanie Jul 23, 2008 10:08 AM

                                                                                                  Really enjoying the reviews too! Just a heads-up from a Vegas foodie....The Donald laid off his entire dinner staff on Monday due to budget cuts. He is reformulating DJT into a burger joint! That is the buzz around town. I too enjoyed (what I guess was) a "last supper" at the restaurant. So, anyone making reservations, beware it is undergoing serious changes.

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                                                                                                    LongIslandChef RE: ciaobelly Jul 23, 2008 01:36 PM

                                                                                                    What a shame about DJT. After you read my review which I'll write tonight or tomorrow, everyone will see just how big a shame its closing is.

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                                                                                                      climberdoc RE: ciaobelly Jul 23, 2008 08:40 PM

                                                                                                      With all due respect to ciaobelly, I will really have to see that to believe it. A burger joint in the Trump? What would the owners of the condos think of that? Seems like Donald is a bit smarter than that, but then again anything is possible.

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                                                                                                        spike42 RE: climberdoc Jul 24, 2008 01:32 PM

                                                                                                        It does seem far-fetched that a burger joint will replace DJT, but Channel 3 News says they're having serious financial problems.
                                                                                                        http://www.kvbc.com/global/story.asp?...

                                                                                                        1. re: spike42
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                                                                                                          ciaobelly RE: spike42 Jul 24, 2008 04:25 PM

                                                                                                          It's alright (climberdoc), I understand the grain of skepticism. I have worked in beverage in Vegas for nearly 10 years and have friends and aquaintances up and down the strip. These were the direct words from a pal at the hotel. In reference to spike42, I also have caught the newscasts. This was a 2nd round of lay-offs, the first apparenty knocked out 30% of the F@&B Team. They have roughly 1/5th of the rooms closed. That means nearly 1,000 rooms that are unfinished or failed to close. I had friends stay there, and while they said the rooms were beautiful, they were delayed for 3 hours in check-in, sent to the lobby for comped drinks among a large crowd of similar travelers. Go ahead and call the hotel on Friday and ask about the restaurant....my source who was on staff said that they were changing the menu to burgers and salads.

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                                                                                                            ciaobelly RE: ciaobelly Jul 24, 2008 04:37 PM

                                                                                                            http://www.eatinglv.com/2008/07/djt-c...

                                                                                                            ...more evidence from the food critic from KNPR and Channel 8.

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                                                                                                              climberdoc RE: ciaobelly Jul 24, 2008 05:15 PM

                                                                                                              Amazing! One would think that with Trump's resources, they would wait out the bad economic climate. I guess not. Looks like the venerable Burger Bar will have a bit of competition.

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                                                                                                                climberdoc RE: ciaobelly Jul 24, 2008 05:17 PM

                                                                                                                My experience with DJT is going to be limited to Chef's review. Take this one seriously Chef. We are all living vicariously through you.

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                                                                                                                  Eujeanie RE: climberdoc Jul 24, 2008 05:28 PM

                                                                                                                  But do you think anyone is going to make a SPECIAL TRIP over to the isolated Trump hotel to eat a burger???? With so many gourmet burger places now in town at easily accessible locales?

                                                                                                                  I would have made a special trip for a special dinner but not for ho-hum.

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                                                                                                                    LongIslandChef RE: climberdoc Jul 24, 2008 07:12 PM

                                                                                                                    That's why I haven't finished my review yet, With the news of the changeover I'm going to have to take a different tactic than planned with much more detail. But of course, It's still going to get the same grade I had in mind. By tomorrow night I should be done for sure.

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                                                                                                                      ciaobelly RE: LongIslandChef Jul 24, 2008 07:59 PM

                                                                                                                      For your next trip, make sure you try out Raku, a really great new authentic Japanese Robatayaki place on Spring Mountain. It seats maybe 30 ppl....think foie gras custard udon soup, house-made tofu with tomato, kombu and baby fried conger eel, robata skewered duck tongue...awesome and adventurous. I was nervouse to post about it, afraid I might not get in after they get popular! They open from 6pm to 3am. Check em out locals!

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                                                                                                                        FatArty RE: LongIslandChef Jul 24, 2008 09:08 PM

                                                                                                                        DJT RIP....A very sad day for those who put their heart and sole into a very special project....I wish them all the best!

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                                                                                                                          FatArty RE: FatArty Jul 31, 2008 10:53 PM

                                                                                                                          LongIslandChef & Ciaobelly...Raku is better then you can imagine...The foie is awsome and so is the tofu..WOW!...Hey Chef, any chance we can hear what you have to say about DJT...I heard the Executive Chef Joe Isidori has left the restaurant...No news as to where he will be going...so I look forward to your review and hopefully we can see what he does else where....RAKU IS A MUST FOR LOCAL FOODIES!!!

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                                                                                                                            chris2269 RE: FatArty Aug 1, 2008 05:40 PM

                                                                                                                            I will def check out Raku when I'm in town next month thanks for the heads up FatArty

                                                                                                                            I hope L.I.C. (longislandchef) is allright been awaiting his take on DJT .

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                                                                                                                              LongIslandChef RE: chris2269 Aug 1, 2008 07:24 PM

                                                                                                                              Hey chris and FatArty, I should post my review on Sunday, just been working alot lately and haven't had the time to get it done.
                                                                                                                              It's probably going to be a long review, so I need a couple uninterrupted hours to do it, which unfortuanately I haven't really had recently.

                                                                                                                              I'll definitley look into Raku for my planned return trip in January.

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                                                                                                                                atlantachowhound RE: LongIslandChef Aug 1, 2008 08:25 PM

                                                                                                                                Just got back from a long weekend in Las Vegas and while I'm no LongIslandChef, what I did discover was the best deal in town. If you want a sampling of some of the best that Las Vegas has to offer, at a very affordable price, go to Daniel Boulud's place at Wynn Las Vegas. The prix fixe menu is $48 for 3 courses, and it's a great way to try out the place. A very enjoyable meal. The prix fixe menu at Bradley Ogden wasn't as good, but the blue cheese souffle was to-die for! As a solo diner, I have usually had great experience eating at Mario's restaurants (both B&B and Carnevino - haven't tried Enoteca yet). Love the ability to sample wines by the glass before getting poured an entire glass. And the amuse bouche at most of the restaurants is still a dying thing that is still in place at Mario's places. And if you are looking for the perfect dessert to end the night, head to Caesar's and go to Payard and get some of their most delicious chocolates (they have individually handmade chocolate truffles that are out of this world and with the richest chocolate rolled in a deep cocoa powder - a good contrast).

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                                                                                                        LongIslandChef RE: LongIslandChef Aug 4, 2008 12:02 PM

                                                                                                        Night 9: DJT "The Big Deal" menu

                                                                                                        This was my last night in town and I was really looking forward to this dinner. On my trip in January and this past trip I was able to see Trumps new tower from the window of my hotel room. It didn't seem too far and it looked as if it was right on the strip. I jumped into a cab and about 11 dollars later I arrived. Not only was the hotel not on the strip, the area around it was all construction and all I could think about was how in the world will I find a cab when I leave because there was nothing and no one in the immediate area.

                                                                                                        The building is beautiful, I enter inside and see that DJT is to my right. I was greeted at the door by two people and they told me that they had three different tables set up for me, depending on where I wanted to sit. There was a table, a booth and a private booth. I went with the regular booth overlooking the bar. I was also the only customer in the place. This was 6pm on a Thursday and no one was there. During my entire almost two hour meal only a table of two came in. If they only knew what they were missing!!!!

                                                                                                        There was a ala carte menu, a tasting menu called "The Deal" and another called "The Big Deal." Of course, I had to go with the last choice. I had only read three of the courses and decided on the spot. And so it began....

                                                                                                        Course 1: Glidden Point Oyster & Caviar, Fresh Wasabi, Ponzu
                                                                                                        When the waiter placed this dish in front of me, i felt like I was in a Stanley Kubrick flim. The ponzu gelee over the top made the rest of the ingredients below look like some new kind of life form. My first forkfull was loaded with wasabi, which I didn't realize until about three seconds after putting it in my mouth. On the bright side, it certainly cleared out my sinuses and taste buds. Once I tasted it correctly with the gelee, the oyster and a little of the wasabi, it was amazing. The oyster was fresh and briney and was delicious mixed with the citrus of the gelee and heat of the wasabi.

                                                                                                        Course 2: Chilled Maine Lobster with Miso, Cilantro and Apricot
                                                                                                        This was one of the best lobster dishes I have ever had, It might even be the best. The lobster was perfectly cooked and on the side, there were lots of different flavors to taste the lobster with. There was apricot puree, broken peices of tangerine candy, a tangerine or apricot powder and a couple others. I couldn't stop thinking about this dish for the rest of the meal.

                                                                                                        Course 3: Crispy Wild Striped Bass with Yellow Curry, Shrimp Shu Mei and crispy garlic.
                                                                                                        Usually when I order a dish like this the skin isn't as crispy as I'd like. For probably the first time ever, it was perfect. As soon as I started to cut into it, I knew that I was going to love it. As soon as I heard the crunch when I began to cut it, I knew it was going to be good. Not only was it crispy, but the fish wasn't overcooked at all, in fact it was still nice and moist. The shrimp shu mei was very good as well. The yellow curry sauce complimented both elements perfectly.
                                                                                                        It was about now that Chef Joe Isidori came out and talked with me for a few minutes. He explained that he likes to meet the people who go for the big deal menu and said that usually only 3 or 4 go with it per night. Seemed like a very nice guy and from what I had tasted so far, certainly a talented chef.

                                                                                                        Course 4: Salt Cured Foie Gras Torchon with Toasted Peanuts, Pineapple and Green Papaya
                                                                                                        After the foie gras dish i had the night before at Fleur De Lys, this dish had alot to live up to. While I didn't enjoy it as much as the dish on the previous night, it was still very good. It was a BIG piece of foie gras and played nicely with the papaya and pinapple. On one edge of the plate was toasted peanuts on another was a peanut powder. Both were nice for adding some texture and flavor to the dish.

                                                                                                        Course 5: Chinese Barbequed Squab with Spiced Lentils and Curry Leaf
                                                                                                        This dish and the next dish were good, but not as memorable as the previous four. This dish was certainly flavorful, and it had a beautiful glaze over the squab. The squab was also perfectly cooked. The one main problem with this dish were the lentils, they were undercooked. They had nice flavor, but just a little too hard to really enjoy them.

                                                                                                        Course 6: Colorado Lamb with Evaporated Carrots, Hummus and Argan Oil
                                                                                                        The most important part of this dish was the lamb and it was a beautiful medium rare. I'm a big fan of lamb, so I was very happy. As for the rest of this dish, I don't really remember much else about it.

                                                                                                        Course 7: Artisan Cheese Cart with Summer Fig and Apricot Mostarda
                                                                                                        One of the waiters wheeled a big cart over to me and started to explain the different cheeses he had to offer. All of them looked wonderful but since I know next to nothing about good cheese I let him decide for me. He made some very good choices. Along with the cheese was the fig compote which was sticky and full of fig goodness. The apricot mostarda was the real star. The only problem was that it was VERY spicy, so you couldn't use much. Even with the potent spiciness there was a delicious taste of apricot which was always tempting me to add more and more.

                                                                                                        Course 8: Peach Sorbet with Candied Rhubarb and DRY Rhubarb Soda
                                                                                                        Earlier in my trip at B&B I had a peach sorbet that was good but after a few bites it was too much. This peach sorbet was perfect. It was a small quinelle of sorbet in a martini glass which was laying over the rhubarb. On top they poured the rhubarb soda. I can't even put into words how perfect this was at this point of the meal. It was refeshing and full of flavor, but not overwhelming.

                                                                                                        Course 9: Macallan 12 Year Butterscotch Pudding with Sweet Corn Ice Cream
                                                                                                        When I first read the description of this dessert I was afraid that the scotch might overtake the flavor. Well, that was certainly not the case. In fact, this is one of the best desserts I've ever had. the pudding was silky smooth and full of butterscotch flavor. The sweet corn ice cream tasted as if it's something I've been eating for years, of course it helps that I love corn. Also on the top were a few popcorn kernels and a few freeze dried unpopped popcorn kernels. I felt almost as if the dish had been created just for me.

                                                                                                        At this point, I'm sure you can figure that I loved this meal and this place. The fact that it's now closed is a shame. I can definitely see many reasons why this is, not because of the restaurant itself, but because of the building and location. However, this was one of the best meals I've had in my life. I'll have to give it a A+/A.
                                                                                                        And by the way, I did find a cab on the way out, but only because someone was just pulling in.

                                                                                                        11 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: LongIslandChef
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                                                                                                          Eujeanie RE: LongIslandChef Aug 5, 2008 01:43 AM

                                                                                                          Well, thanks for the review...even if none of us can ever go.

                                                                                                          What the heck is "dry" soda (in case I ever see it anyplace else).

                                                                                                          And where were you staying that it was an $11 cab ride to Trump? We stayed at Palazzo a while back and it didn't look THAT far - someone said you walk through the Fashion Square Mall and then it's right across the street? I would think a big hotel would have taxis coming and going all the time - maybe not as many as a casino hotel, but I'm sure the doorman (was there a doorman?) or someone in the restaurant could have called you one.

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                                                                                                            LongIslandChef RE: Eujeanie Aug 5, 2008 09:22 AM

                                                                                                            I'm not sure if DRY was the brand or not, but the way it's typed on the menu with the word DRY in bold, I think it could be.
                                                                                                            I has staying at Harrah's right next door to the Palazzo. I agree that it doesn't look too far, but the ride seemed to take longer than expected and he definitely did take a direct route. Plus, the week I was there they raised the prices of the cabs.
                                                                                                            Yes, there was a doorman at Trumps building and yes they could've called one, but it was just suprising how desolate the area around the main entrance felt. There was very little, if any, traffic coming and going.

                                                                                                            PS, I just looked it up, DRY is the brand

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                                                                                                              Eujeanie RE: LongIslandChef Aug 5, 2008 09:45 AM

                                                                                                              Oh, when you typed DRY in caps I thought you were emphasizing your surprise at the ingredient, like it was soda that had been dehydrated, a la molecular gastronomy.

                                                                                                              I'm actually a little disappointed in the reality, LOL :(

                                                                                                              1. re: Eujeanie
                                                                                                                Debbie W RE: Eujeanie Aug 5, 2008 10:36 AM

                                                                                                                I kind of thought that too, especially since there were powders and stuff on his menu.

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                                                                                                                  LongIslandChef RE: Debbie W Aug 5, 2008 01:04 PM

                                                                                                                  Yeah, I was just typing it the way it was written on the menu. Sorry to disappoint you, lol

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                                                                                                                    foodgimp RE: LongIslandChef Aug 5, 2008 01:14 PM

                                                                                                                    Do you know where the DJT chef is going now?

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                                                                                                                      LVI RE: foodgimp Aug 6, 2008 05:11 AM

                                                                                                                      My guess is that given his past relationship w/Donald Trump and his east coast roots he will return there, which would be too bad for Las Vegas. He certainly has the pedigree to be at the top of a very talented chef pool in Las Vegas.

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                                                                                                                        Larry RE: LVI Aug 6, 2008 12:33 PM

                                                                                                                        John Curtas reported that Joe Isidori has left the Donald Trump organization. See the August 1 entry at http://www.eatinglv.com/ .

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                                                                                                                          LongIslandChef RE: Larry Aug 6, 2008 04:54 PM

                                                                                                                          I have to say I'm pretty shocked he left the Trump organization. During my meal at DJT about three of the waiters told me that the chef was Trump's personal chef, it's pretty amazing that they couldn't find another place for him. Unless of course he just wants to branch out on his own, which is certainly possible.

                                                                                                              2. re: LongIslandChef
                                                                                                                altonho RE: LongIslandChef Aug 6, 2008 01:02 PM

                                                                                                                DRY soda company is based in Seattle and makes soda in Kumquat, Rhubarb, Lemongrass, and Lavender flavors.

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                                                                                                                  Eujeanie RE: altonho Aug 6, 2008 01:14 PM

                                                                                                                  Hmmm, I wonder how they got that trademark past Canada Dry. I'll look for it - I'm in Oregon. Flavors sound yummy.

                                                                                                          2. jetetway RE: LongIslandChef Dec 8, 2008 10:24 AM

                                                                                                            I would still recommend the Palm at the Forum Shops. For over 80 years, The Palm restaurants have consistently served superb, flavorful, fresh food with a seemingly effortless style. With 30 about venues, the Palm restaurant is renowned for its big bold steaks, fresh fish, fabulous lobster, tasty veggies and yummy desserts to round out the meal.

                                                                                                            The Palm offers exclusive discounts for club members. I recommend joining the Palm’s renowned “837 Club.” As a member, you will receive bonuses, discounts and panoply of other benefits. The name 837, reflects the address of the very first location of the Palm (at 837 Second Avenue, right in the heart of New York City), where the original restaurant still stands today as it did when it opened its doors in 1926.

                                                                                                            When we dined at the Las Vegas location, we enjoyed the lobster, steak, great veggies, a gigantic lettuce wedge and impeccable service.

                                                                                                            Barry Shulman
                                                                                                            http://jetsetway.com

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