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Help for Las Vegas--too many restaurants, too little time!

Howdy, Chowhounders.

I'm appealing to you for a little help, here. My husband and I will be traveling to Vegas towards the end of August for a belated birthday trip for me. We'll have 3 nights available for dinner, and DH wants to go to Lotus of Siam for one of them, leaving the other 2 nights up to me. I've narrowed down the possibilities to the following:

B & B Ristorante
Nob Hill
Craftsteak
L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon

We'll be staying at MGM Grand, so not only is it tempting to want to stay within the hotel, but they also have summer menus available--while limiting the menu options, it's a little easier on the wallet (especially for L'Atelier).

I'm also tempted to try Bouchon for dinner, as we've only been there for breakfast (and loved it), and we may hop over to Rosemary's for lunch, so I'd rather try somewhere else for dinner.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

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  1. Don't go to B&B, it is dreadful. Everything is oversalted. Batali is probably the most over-rated, over-hyped celebrity chef out there. He should stick to selling plastic shoes. Craftsteak and L'Atelier are outstanding. Rosemary's is very good, but not as amazing as most on Chowhound have described. Bouchon is just bad; a big disappointment for anyone who has been to Keller's other restaurants.

    If you want a local secret: go to Vinter's Grill in Summerlin; a bit of a trek but truly great.

    1. If you have not done a search of this board, you might want to. I believe that each of these has had a recent review, in the last few months.

      I did L'Atelier, and Nob Hill & Craftsteak appeared fairly recently. B & B has gotten some chatter, but I could be wrong about there being a full review.

      Good luck, and enjoy,

      Hunt

      1. I've went to L'Atelier shortly after it opened and went to Craftsteak last month. Both are very good, but it depends on what you want. L'Atelier was the far more interesting meal, with unusual taste combinations (I would definitely do the tasting menu). Part of the L'Atelier experience, imo, is sitting at the counter and being served across it, but that does not make for a very more comfortable, romantic setting.

        Craftsteak was very basic -- good steaks at high prices with fairly basic sides. Frankly, I was a bit disappointed with my non-Kobe ribeye steak. It was good, but not fabulous. I had a better steak a week later at Arnie Morton's in Los Angeles. My brother had the Kobe skirt steak which was very good, but not something I would go out of my way to have again. I thought the steaks both were a bit under-seasoned. The sides were about the same. We shared the mushrooms, but they didn't have the same garlicky goodness as the mushrooms at Craft in LA. We also has some potatoes which were also good, but not very memorable.

        Service at both restaurants was fabulous. Robuchon's staff is very well trained, and I was very impressed with the attentiveness of our waitress at Craft.

        9 Replies
        1. re: Jwsel

          L'Atelier has a "summer menu" through the end of August, basically a 4-course tasting menu for $75--I'm leaning towards that right now, since I figure it will give me an idea (however limited) of the food there without busting our budget. Thanks for the details about Craftsteak--I'm still on the fence about that one...

          1. re: beingreen

            Just got back from Vegas and stayed at the Signature at MGM and took advantage of the summer menus at both Nobhill and Craftsteak. At $60 per person at both restaurants, it is a great deal. The service at both restaurants was excellent, although the Craftsteak servers seemed a bit more personable. Hubby enjoyed Craftsteak a lot more than Nobhill, but that was because he didn't think the pork entree at Nobhill was very good and the farmer's market salad wasn't anything special, either. I really enjoyed Nobhill, but I had the fondue (very rich and cheesy with a nice hint of white wine) and the cioppino (probably the best I've had with a spicy tomato broth poured over extremely fresh and delicious seafood). So I would have no problems recommending those dishes. Another diner at our table had the chicken "tetrazzini" with truffled mac and cheese and that dish was also outstanding.
            The portions at both restaurants were huge and more than enough food, although it seemed that at Craftsteak the portions were even more out of control.
            I think both hubby and I felt that the summer tasting menu at Craftsteak was more interesting and well thought out and more fun than the Nobhill menu. Since the summer tasting menu at Craftsteak is family style, they just bring you one of everything and all the flavors blend well together and you can have as much as you like of everything. We loved almost every single dish on the summer tasting menu, the highlights would be the roasted quail (succulent and juicy), the white sweet corn (carmelized, but still bursting with fresh corn flavor), the scallops (perfectly cooked in a buttery wine sauce), and the appetizers especially worked especially well together.

            The only dish I really didn't like was the mushroom dish served with the entrees. The mushrooms were dry and tasteless. Every other dish had something to appreciate. I don't even eat steak, and there was more than enough other things to eat that I was completely stuffed. Hubby does enjoy steak and the steak served was quite good, but if you really want a big steak and nothing else, I wouldn't do the summer tasting menu since it seems to focus on a variety of tastes, not just steak.

            The desserts were out of control at Craftsteak as they brought out a liquid chocolate cake, a brioche bread pudding with vanilla bean sauce (hubby's fave), two scoops of ice cream (milk chocolate and butter pecan), two scoops of sorbets (blackberry and coconut), and some fresh raspberries and pluots. They also finished with petit fours. I love petit fours and could barely even eat one as I was so stuffed!

            One thing I would do differently at Craftsteak would be to request one of the booths, they seemed much more intimate and comfortable than the table we were seated at. Hubby and I like to sit side by side instead of across each other and we felt like we were far away from each other at our table.

            Hopefully this gives you a better idea of what to expect from the summer tasting menus...

            1. re: glazebrookgirl

              Thanks for the report! You've tipped the scales towards Craftsteak, for sure. Looks like we'll eat there, maybe after a stop at Nobhill for Cable Cars...

              The summer menus seems to be a good value to get an idea of both the atmosphere and the food of a restaurant, and we wanted to try new places this trip (except for the repeat visit--every trip!--to LOS), so sounds perfect.

            2. re: beingreen

              We had the summer menu at L'Atelier two weeks ago. I can definitely recommend it and we had both entrees on offer and both desserts. I meant to do a review but a family emergency intervened and I'm only getting back to the boards tonight. My only quibble was that the salmon entree was slightly dry. Service was terrific. I didn't like L'Atelier on our first visit two years ago but based on our recent experience I might give it another shot. You have to ask your server for the summer menu, they will not offer it to you.

              1. re: Debbie W

                Perfect Debbie, thanks. Looks like we'll be doing L'Atelier (summer menu), Craftsteak (summer menu), and LOS, with a stop at Nobhill for drinks. Can't wait! Thanks for your input, CHers!

                1. re: Debbie W

                  "You have to ask your server for the summer menu, they will not offer it to you."

                  This is true of the other restaurants, too. While some of the restaurants (i.e., Nobhill & Craftsteak) had the summer tasting menu outside the restaurant entrance where they posted their menus, others didn't (I think L'Atelier did not, for instance). And from our experience (I'm the "hubby" glazebrookgirl keeps referring to) at both Nobhill & Craftsteak we had the ask for the tasting menu after we were seated; neither place mentioned it to us or offered it to us until we asked for it.

                  1. re: alanstotle

                    Thanks, Alan. It's been a bit confusing, as on MGM's website it says that you must mention the summer menu either when making a reservation or when you arrive, depending on which web page you read. I figured as long as I know they exist, I'm not afraid to mention it to someone!

              2. re: Jwsel

                Good observations on L'Atelier. The food was great (both London and LV), and the service was great (LV). However, the experience was not THAT romantic, except that I was dining at both, with my wife of 37 years.

                I've felt the same at the chef's counter at Alan Wong's (HI), but the food, the service and the ambiance made up for the lack of romance. It's basically about the food...

                Good call,

                Hunt

                1. re: Bill Hunt

                  I'm with you, Bill. Though I've been married a lot less time, we're going for the food. Not that romance doesn't count, but I'm not depending on a restaurant's ambiance to supply it for me... :) Can't wait to eat at L'Atelier, now!

              3. i've been to all 4 of the places you mention, and they all are terrific. lots of criticism on this site for BB, some of it justified. of the 4, that's probably the last one i'd go back to. bartolatta at wynn is worth trying.

                6 Replies
                1. re: raider

                  Thanks, Raider--it's all the criticism about B&B (which seems to have just as many detractors as fans) which still has me hesitant to make a reservation... :)

                  1. re: beingreen

                    Does anyone recall how long we have to enjoy these "summer" menus? Are any other restaurants offering special/summer menus? We're going at the end of August and would love to try some new places.

                    I wonder if this happens every year or whether this is an indication of the economic squeeze happening now.....

                    1. re: Quattrociocchi

                      The summer menu at MGM is good until 8/31. I know Rosemary's is doing their prix fix lunch menu at $23 with the certificate as well as a $25 gift certificate good for weekday dinners on tickets of $100 or more. You have to print those off, though. I am not aware of the other hotel/casinos offering an establishment-wide summer menu a la MGM.

                  2. re: raider

                    Now, I wish I'd done B&B, just so I could comment. However, it would have been a solo lunch, so not sure that that would have counted.

                    Hunt

                    1. re: Bill Hunt

                      Regarding summer menus, I just received an email from Restaurant Guy Savoy, and they are doing a three course summer menu for $90, starting July 31, when they return from vacation....

                      1. re: lvnvflyer

                        Thanks for that tip. We've been trying to work Guy Savoy into our rotation, but the trips have been so very quick. I do not know if we're going to be back during the Summer, but will definitely try this one.

                        Appreciated,

                        Hunt