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Tasting Menu Las Vegas

I am planning a trip to Las Vegas in January/09. I enjoy solo travel and would like to experience a 6-15 course tasting menu. Since I travel light (casual pants and running shoes) I do not bring dressy clothes. Does anyone have a suggestion of where I can get a reservation for a tasting menu for one person that does not require dressy attire?

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  1. Vegas is generally not a "dress-up" town. That said, the places with the best tasting menus typically would require you to dress a step or two beyond casual. Those places would include, Alex (my personal favorite), Guy Savoy and Joel Robouchon.

    Some spots that may suit you would be Aureole, B&B and Bar Charlie. Bar Charlie has a 8 and 14 course menu emphasizing seafood both of which are memorable experiences. Aureole has a 7-course menu which I've enjoyed on 5 occasions now. B&B is controversial in its mixed reviews but has a tasting menu and of all the places I've mentioned you'd be most comfortable in casual dress.

    One more to mention is L'atelier which has a 10-course tasting menu. People on this site seem to love this place but I was not impressed especially in light of the prices they charge. It is bar style seating that suits solo diners well though.

    2 Replies
    1. re: climberdoc

      L'atelier would be perfect based on your dress recommendations. There were a few misses when I went, but overall I would say definitely worth the price.

      1. re: climberdoc

        ClimberDoc,

        Good call. I was going to say about the same thing, but you beat me to it.

        We did L'atelier (both Soho, UK and LV, within two weeks), and really enjoyed it. The two venues were different, but both very enjoyable. The wine service/pairings were better in LV, than UK. Also, for a solo diner, I think that their layout lends itself very well. It is more laid-back, than your first recs., but still very nice. A tad "edgy," but still comfortable.

        For me, I'd just travel in a blazer and do your first list. All are winners, and a jacket isn't a big deal. Heck, I even wear on, when going to Hawai`i.

        We were underwhelmed at Aureole, but that was early in their run. Missed B&B, but many on this board seem to have had problems. It "looked" right, but we ran out of time.

        Heck, pack the jacket and do either Alex or Guy Savoy, and be done with it.

        Hunt

      2. We recently had the 7-course tasting menu at Aureole which was quite nice. If you have a car there is also Rosemary's (off strip) which has nice 5-course tasting menu (with the option of a beer pairing which was really good when we went there).

        1. I will second the Rosemary's rec (no surprise). And if you are in jeans and running shoes, you'd fit right in taking the bus straight out Sahara and having it drop you off directly in front of the strip mall where Rosemary's resides. I'd call ahead and request a spot at the corner of the bar and tell them what you are wanting to do. For the cost of one of the tastings on the Strip you might could score a couple of tastings at Rosemary's (that's how I would spend my coin).

          Not sure of your tastes, but they are one of the few restaurants I know of that does a complete set of beer pairings. If you enjoy your brewskis it would mean for a tasting menu experience probably unlike any other you have had. Mike Shetler is the assistant manager and the "beermelier". If you go that route, consider a beer sundae for dessert. The one I enjoyed was a warmed cherry lambic poured over their housemade chocolate malt ice cream. A totally unexpected and way yummy surprise on one of my visits.

          9 Replies
          1. re: GroovinGourmet

            No surprise that I would disagree with the Rosemary's recommendation. Not only is it off the strip, inconsistent quality, and recently there are many recent posts about declining service.

            1. re: grantham

              On our recent trips we visited Bouchon, Picasso, Aureole, Rosemary, Enoteca, Boulud and Rosemary had by far the best service. Bouchon had by far the worst service. Somehow the Bouchon in LV (including the bakery) is a big disappointment in terms of service and food compared to his restaurants in Yountville which we enjoy.

              1. re: grantham

                You are certainly welcome to your opinion, and I'm glad you don't care for Rosemary's. If everyone loved it wouldn't be as easy for me to snag a seat at the bar for a sumptuous repast.

                But if you are going to attempt to back up your opinion, make sure what you state as fact is actually factual. A search of this board for "Rosemary's" yielded 14 posts with activity in the last 90 days or so (do you think 6 months or a year is "recent"? I certainly don't.) There was ONE mention of service issues in a single post. Since when does "many" mean one??? At the same time there were multiple messages praising the service at the restaurant, including the first response to your post.

                Unless you expect a restaurant to be absolutely perfect in every respect on every visit (good luck with that), I think a single mention of service issues in a 3-month span is acceptable for any restaurant anywhere.

                1. re: GroovinGourmet

                  Rosemary's is top quality both food and service while being a great value. That said, I rarely make it there being that I almost always stay on the strip. Part of the appeal of staying on the strip is the access to so many top-notch restaurants. There are few "values" to be found on the strip, but the novelty makes me overlook the amount I am paying to enjoy it. You'd better believe that if I were a Vegas local (especially if I lived in Summerlin) then I would be snagging a seat next to you at the bar Groovin. I agree that a serious dig like grantham gave Rosemary's requires some supporting evidence to be taken seriously.

                  1. re: climberdoc

                    Well, I am more mixed on Rosemary's than many posters here, but I see why others deem it worthy of a try. My several experiences there have not been stellar; we've found the food okay, but not great. The service has always been fine when we've been there. We are big supporters of Todd's, which is also a local place; in Summerlin, we've actually kind of liked Vintner's Grill. But in general, if people are staying on the Strip, especially without a car, I do not recommend any of those places unless people specifically want to get off the strip.

                    Back to the original topic of the thread: I think L'Atelier would be a great choice for a solo diner, and I'd expect Bar Charlie would be too; we are headed there this week and I'll know for sure. We had a pretty up and down experience at B&B; we've been to Babbo, which was substantially better, so our expectations were perhaps too high....

                  2. re: GroovinGourmet

                    I've eaten at Rosemary's and Bouchon multiple times a year for a few years. Rosemary's has always had gracious service. Bouchon can be sometimes cold and indifferent. Bouchon is also the only place of of that level restaurant where I've gotten into an argument with the chef over the prep of a dish, which I ordered according to their description. Where they refused to serve it to me based on the way they described it. I've also had a waiter there express concern about the amount of food I've ordered in a less than professional manner.

                    I do like the food better at Bouchon but service at Rosemary's is much better.

                    1. re: Jase

                      I've also been to Bouchon and Rosemary's multiple times a year for a few years, though we've taken a bit of a break from Rosemary's for the past few months in order to check out some new (at least to us) places. There's never enough time in Vegas to eat everywhere I want to eat. That said, I've had mixed service at both but even when the service at Rosemary's is lagging, it's still charming in a way (as long as the problem isn't serious and it's never been serious). In fact, we are treated warmly, as regulars, at Rosemary's even though we're lucky to eat there every few months. I probably prefer the food at Bouchon as well but it's kind of comparing apples to oranges as both are really good in their own way. I agree with lvnvflyer that I wouldn't recommend Rosemary's to anybody who would have to take a taxi there from the Strip. We always drive to Vegas from L.A. so we have the luxury of taking our own car. We've even taken strangers back to the Strip after dinner at Rosemary's in order to save them the taxi fare (granted we had been chatting with them during the meal). My biggest issue with Rosemary's is that the chairs are really uncomfortable - both the regular chairs as well as the barstools at the "food bar" overlooking the kitchen, where we like to sit sometimes. My biggest issue with Bouchon is that it can be somewhat inconsistent.

                      I also think Bar Charlie would be excellent for a solo diner, provided the diner wanted to spend the money. It's one of the best meals I've ever had. I'm not a fan of L'Atelier but opinions on it definitely differ.

                      1. re: Debbie W

                        what's bar charlie?

                        actually partaking in vegas right now, where most of the restaurants are open, actually has anyone been to Louis las vegas or the next door more casual fish camp, both at the Town Square complex.

                        1. re: kevin

                          Kevin, I replied on your other threads. You can get to the menus at Bar Charlie and Restaurant Charlie through the Palazzo website.

              2. I've seen people in t-shirts and track suits in both Guy Savoy and Michael Mina. Nobody seems to care.

                On another note, does anyone know of any "recession" tasting menus or special prix fixes going on right now? I know a lot of hotels are offering dining credit for their own restaurants but how about deals at places where one isn't staying.

                4 Replies
                1. re: Negaduck

                  fall tasting menu's @MGM

                  Note that I was never actually offered the fall tasting menu at L'atelier, and they ran out of the supplies for the fall tasting menu @Craftsteak

                  1. re: ns1

                    When we did the summer tasting menus at L'Atelier and Craftsteak, we asked for it in both places. It wasn't offered proactively.

                    1. re: Debbie W

                      Ah, it seems fall is over Dec 31st. I'll be going in January.

                  2. re: Negaduck

                    Don't know if it counts, but we have booked MGM for late Jan with their MasterCard promotion, to take 30% off the entire bill that is charged to the room (excluding room itself). I believe dining at Bellagio and MandalayBay can be charged to the room if one stays at MGM.

                  3. I was soooooooooooooo not impressed with Joel Robuchon. Have done both of his places in the MGM twice just to make sure I was not "missing something". I was not. I think people talk themselves into thinking it was fabulous because they just paid a grand for a so-so dinner for 2. I was unimpressed with EVERYTHING. I won't make the same mistake a third time (or a 5th if you count both places). There are too many great restaurants to have a mediocre meal.

                    Have you tried Nob Hill (Michael Mina) for the tasting menu. I've never been disappointed there!
                    Aureole wsa ok - I would go back but I would go back to Craftsteak before Aureole. Ditto for Bouluds' place. Just not that impressed

                    1. If $ is no concern (even if it is throw caution to wind and spend!) the w/out question Bar Charlie. All others pale in comparison and the freshness and execution is really mind blowing. Plan on $300 ($400 if u drink, tell Desi I sent you ;-)) but you will not be disappointed. It is very dependant on seafood, alot raw so if that doen't fit the bill then look elsewhere. l'Atelier is great for single diners but it lacks the quality of a place like Picasso. IMHO Rosemary, while good and reasonably priced, is nowhere near the praise level it gets and takes 1/2 hr to get to.

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: LVI

                        Is there a place where we can customize our tasting menu? Im going to vegas for my mom's 75th birthday and want to take her to a very special place. But I dont eat sea food and she doesnt eat raw sea food. We both eat beef, lamb, sausage, veal, pork, chicken, duck, pasta, rissoto, soups, salads, and short ribs, and she, in addition, eats fish. My girl friend, who will be with us, does eat sushi. Thank you!

                          1. re: ssh

                            I agree with ns1. My wife has some dietary issues, and we made them known, when we did the reservations (both Soho and LV), and there were no problems. Even the "sommelier's pairings" were tailored to the regular (my meal) and to hers. Nice touch and very accommodating of them. OTOH, I've never had a problem with any other restaurants' tailoring a chef's tasting for her, though most of the wine pairings do not usually take the changes into consideration, like L'Atelier did.

                            Do call ahead, just to give them a H/U. To me, that is only fair. They get to give you their best, but have time to do a little thinking about it.

                            Hunt

                            1. re: ssh

                              Most places will let you "design" your own menu. And when I say design, I mean that if there are choices to be made you can mix and match to make your own. When a tasting menu is set with no choices it may be harder but every time I have asked to change something most places tend to have no problem with it. I will use Picasso as an example. They have 2 different tastings. I have NEVER encountered any resistance when I want to mix and match my own "tasting". L'Atelier is the same. My feeling is that if you are with your mom and GF that Picasso would fit perfectly to your needs and desires. One of the most beautiful dining rooms, its offerings and varied enough to cater to each need. And while it is by no means adventurous or cutting edge (and I will say a bit stale in that the menu RARELY changes) each dish is expertly crafted. And as the current economic malaise strangles all consumers, Vegas is getting hit harder and in turn trying harder to keep the consumer happy.

                              I agree w/Bill in that either sending an email or contacting by phone may be courtsey that will let them prepare for your dinner and enable them to actually create a tasting that will be acceptable to all as opposed to showing up and asking them to create a tasting that evening. More often than not you will get a haphazardly constructed tasting that lascks any real imagination.

                              1. re: LVI

                                I had forgotten about the "tasting menu" at Picasso. It was some years ago, and we were hosting some new and outgoing board members. I advised of wife's little food-related problems, and they handled them perfectly. The sommelier did not blink an eye, even when he had 5 dishes, plus her one. Different wines, and no hesitation.

                                Great venue too!

                                Good call, and sorry for my poor memory.

                                Hunt