first time in vegas - restaurant recs
my GF and i will be staying @the palazzo for 3 nights the end of oct. we are probably going to bouchon for breakfast, lotus of siam and lindo michocan for either lunch or dinner (we've rented a car). we were leaning towards bartolotta for our anniversary dinner, but have been scared off a little by some bad reviews mentioning poor, or worse, rude service. also curious about l'atelier (more me than the GF), alex, DB brasserie, nobhill and picasso. two caveats to any choice would be cost (hoping to keep it to about 150pp) and disappointments we've had in the past going to restaurants where the "name' chef is not actually physically running the kitchen. any advice would be much appreciated.
Have generally been underwhelmed by the big name restaurants in vegas; had a great meal several years ago at the pinot brasserie--don't know if it's still open. I think their chef is here at Atlas. However--the most delicious cuban restaurant is in vegas and it is very reasonably priced. In the Howard Johnson's, on the old strip next to the old olympic gardens is the Florida Cafe. Ok, I know this sounds kind of seedy--but the food is outstanding. Even Cubans have told me it is great, and the place hosts quite a few cuban wedding receptions. The restaurant is nice enough; it's been in the same location for a long time, and keeps expanding. I eat here everytime I go to las vegas, usually more than once. If you like cuban, you won't be disapointed.
You can do better at La Mexicana or Viva Zapatas for Mexican over Lindo Michoican. I find the food at Lindos to be, at best, bland and greasy.
Bouchon's is a great bet. You will probably end up back there for lunch or dinner.
I think that most of your choices are good, my experience with Vegas is that in the top tier, the food & service is better during the week, versus the weekend when all of them are packed and they try to maximize revenues.
As a nice lunch suggestion let me recommend Cafe Ba Ba Reeba, almosty across from Palazzo at the Fashion Show Mall. A member of the Chicago Lettuce Entertain You group, this place serves small plate Tapas and of course Paella. Great Spot to people watch.
Another idea since you have a car, Piero's for an intersting old Las Vegas experience. Food & price are highly debatable, maybe drinks at the bar suffice.
I did eat at L'Atelier (comped) and it was spectacular.
we're really pumped about bouchon...we're thinking we might pick-up some treats from the bakery and drive out to red rock for a picnic as well. what else can you tell me about l'atelier? i'm really curious but our (only) experience @super-luxe french (le grand vefour in paris) was somewhat disappointing, not to mention obscenely expensive...
L'Atelier was on my friend's comp, really nice not to have shell out big bucks.
It's a theater as much as it is an incredible food experience. The menu Degustation varies from season. Art on a plate.
I have left Europe many years ago, but it did bring back memories of haute service from the hey days of a Maxim's or Witzigmann's Aubergine in Munich.
I am torn to say it is a must, especially on your own dime. Well worth it for sure, if you enjoy 3 hours plus of food and pampering.
So go roll the dice first, double or nothing?
Vegas is fun on all levels, I think they spray the whole valley with some happy gas?
I think it's great that you're renting a car on your first visit.
I want to encourage you to take that trip to Red Rock. Another possible stop for picnic food, which is right on your way, is for bahn mi in Chinatown. Hue's Thai Sandwiches is the most obvious destination at 5515 Spring Mountain, and Hue's is used to packing stuff to go. Almost across the street, at 4600 Spring Mountain, you could stop at Ronald's Doughnuts for vegan doughnuts.
Las Vegas is a great breakfast town, and there are plenty of fun places to go off-strip, including Hash House, Original Pancake House, and Maple Tree. Others are partisans of Hash House A-Go-Go (I haven't been there) and Blueberry Hill (I'm not a fan).
re: Dave Feldman
While visiting sister Janet, hubby and I had breakfast at the newest outpost of Original Pancake House, located in the just opened Aliante Station Casino. That's waaayyy out there (my theory is that Janet knew she'd miss Reno so decided to get a house that seems like it is halfway there :-)) so probably more of interest to locals than visitors in most cases...
Service had some minor glitches, which one would expect from a place only open two weeks, but our server was clearly a long-time professional and fixed them all quickly with a smile and an apology.
Have to say, perhaps I ordered wrong, but the food didn't wow me. Hubby is still recovering from a serious illness, so just had Cream of Wheat, nothing to comment on there...I was tempted by the corn beef hash and should have tried it, but instead was suckered in by the menu comment that the potato pancakes were 'famous'. Well, I hope not: they were as flavorless as I've ever had, slightly undercooked, and probably had more flour than potato. The accompanying sour cream also managed to have no taste (it didn't even taste sour, it was very strange...) but the applesauce was good, with large chunks of apple. OJ was fresh squeezed and the bacon is of decent quality and a huge side order (four large pieces).
Total with wheat toast for hubby and coffee for both of us was around $30, including a generous tip in honor of the holiday and the fact that our server was on the ball, even if hostess, busboys and runners weren't.
BTW, other than the buffet and Dunkin Donuts, Original Pancake House is pretty much the only game in town for breakfast at the Aliante Casino, and it is none too big so go early or be prepared to wait. I would go back, but mostly because it is so close to sister's house, in an area with almost no restaurants of any type.
Or did I miss some hidden gems on the menu?
I used to frequent OPH at Green Valley and always ordered teh same thing. Swedish pancakes. More like a Crepe, topped with whipped cream and lingonberries.
My daughter (3 to 5 at the time) enjoyed a variety of things, for sure sweet over savory. Her favorite was the one with apples.
Never had the potato pancake so I cannot coment. Corn beef hash was good.
To sum it up: SWEDISH PANCAKES
have had, without reservation, some stellar meals in Vegas! in fact, the only bad experience(s) I have ever had were at Lotus of Siam......that being said, L'A is really, really, good.....ridiculously so infact! also, Cut(Wolfgang) at the Palazzo is amazing(bone marrow flan, best thing I ate all year!) If sushi is your thing, Sen Of Japan is the best kept secret in Vegas. way, way......WAY off the the strip but,an incredible experience awaits you! one of the owners is the head chef at Nobu. better food/service at about 1/5th the price(bonus points for being open til like 2am, even on weekdays)
as for the Original Pancake House, its(there are, I think, 4 locations in vegas) good, but nothing like the ORIGINAL original, in Portland, Oregon. you can definately do worse for breakfast in Vegas(im looking at you Blueberry Hill......) . The Egg and I is also damn good.
My friends recently ate at Bartolotta and HATED it. Worst meal of their trip. Just an FYI. I didn't eat there as I arrived the next day, but I trust my friends as they are big time foodies who not only live in NYC, but travel all over the world for food and fun.