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1st Vegas Trip: need some advice

Heading up to Vegas in October for a friend's birthday. We are looking for a good spot for a birthday dinner for friends who are on somewhat of a budget but still consider themselves connoisseurs. They like a to have a few cocktails and good food....we are all in our mid 30's so we are not looking for a hipster club....Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

My husband and I, however are leaning towards Alex for our private meal while in town. Is that good choice for a first visit? If not, what would you recommend. Money is no object but we are very particular about our food/wine (and cheese!). We don't want to follow a 'name' and be disappointed with food/wine/service.

Gosh, I sound like a snob.....

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  1. For your private meal I recomend Aureole at Mandalay Bay. I had my most memorable dinner experience ever at that place on my honeymoon. Everything was perfect. Great appetizers, great salads, great steaks, great deserts. Fantastic wine!

    1 Reply
    1. re: jpc8015

      I think Aureole gets very mixed reviews. My pick is Picasso.

    2. If money is no object, then I would highly recommend either Alex or Guy Savoy. If you're really into cheese, then Guy Savoy might be your best bet. Their cheese cart is absolutely over-the-top and includes many cheeses that I have never seen, tasted or smelled (!) before.

      Here is a link to a review I wrote of both Alex and Guy Savoy. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/530071

      Note that, in hindsight, I have come to believe that our experience at Alex was a bit of an anomoly. It is almost universally adored and respected and I will definitely dine there again when I back in Vegas.

      1 Reply
      1. re: ejs1492

        after reading the first paragraph of your previous post....you and your wife must be our southwestern doppelgangers.....you just described me and Simon!!!! NOt big gamblers or show folks....we are eating and drinking folks. We enjoy a good backyard BBQ as much as a fine dining experience! Thanks for the link to the post, EJS.

      2. I'll be dining at Alex, MiX, and Le Cirque this week. I will post a review here on the boards and in my blog regarding the new tasting menu at Alex. :-)

        That said, I imagine you can't go wrong with Alex, Robuchon, or Savoy.

        As for the cocktails and birthday, Thomas Keller is never a bad pick.

        1. How much money per person are you looking to spend for the birthday dinner? Also, is off the Strip ok (as long as you have a car)?

          1 Reply
          1. re: Eric

            $200/person for dinner is what I assume would be their cutoff...but I could be undershooting it if ETOH is included. We would like to stay on Strip. Folks are flying in and coming straight to the hotel. We will be the only couple with a car. Walking distance is preferred.

          2. I think Alex is a great choice for a private dinner. For the Birthday, I've heard awsome things about N9NE steakhouse at the Palms and really fits hip and trendy and heard there cocktails are fun!