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Alex, Picasso, Guy Savoy, Joel Robuchon...? I Can't Decide!

I'm going to Las Vegas next week for a short vacation and I plan on treating myself to one fabulous, super-expensive meal, but I am having a hard time deciding which restaurant to choose.

I'll be going to some of my favorites (Bouchon, Enoteca San Marco, Lotus of Siam and Rosemary's) regardless, so I am specifically looking for one amazing, incredible meal. I'm not really concerned about cost, but I do want the best value for my dollar because this is a once-every-couple-of-years kind of thing. I'm gravitating towards Joel Robuchon, but I have read enough mixed reviews that I'm wary so any suggestions and recommendations are welcome!

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  1. Now this is my kind of post!

    I have not been to JR, so I can't comment.

    The Prestige Menu at GS will be a memorable event. Almost every course was unique and memorable in some way. The colors of caviar is to die for as was the artichoke and black truffle soup. I have searched for a fish preparation equivalent to their crispy seabass and have not come close to finding one. Dessert is also an event with two separate courses as well as the "dessert cart". The chef's son Frank will make you feel like a VIP. If you appreciate high-end cuisine, you won't go wrong here. Just expect to pay big.

    A small step down in quality, but a large step down in price would be the tasting menu at Alex. It is a bit lighter in the luxury ingredients such as truffles and caviar but equal in quality, taste and service. This is really my "go-to" over-the-top venue. I've been there 5-times and have not gone wrong yet.

    Picasso is a good step below the above and I imagine JR as well. It has its proponents on this site who will soon say the contrary though. I've had some good meals there though.

    Sounds like a great trip!

    1. I am very impressed! Any of these should be fantastic! I had one of the best meals of my life at Restaurant Guy Savoy. Another one was at Restaurant Charlie. In both cases I threw myself on the mercy of the chef and was richly rewarded! I have never eaten at Joel Robuchon, but I did eat at L'Atelier, which was outstanding, so I am sure The Mansion would be the same. I can't wait to here about your choices!

      3 Replies
      1. re: foodgimp

        foodgimp, I'm in a wheelchair and making my first trip to Vegas this summer. Did you have any problems getting into any of these fine establishments?

        1. re: ucflyboy

          I think Vegas is the most accessible city in the country. I have never had any problems. I do let them know when I make my reservations, just in case. Off the Strip can be a little trickier, but everything usually works out. What places are you thinking about?

          1. re: foodgimp

            As to not hijack this thread, I started a new one for my question
            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6027...

      2. I've not dined at Alex, but of the other three, my choice would be Jöel Robuchon's. All are good, but I would give a nod to Robuchon, but just a little. To me, you could put the latter three (and probably Alex) into a hat, draw one, and not be disappointed.

        Hunt

        1. I've been to Alex, Joel Robuchon and Picasso, and by a wide margin, my vote is for Alex. I'm returning to LV in three weeks, and I've already made another reservation for Alex. They're now only open Wednesday through Saturday. I've been to Guy Savoy in Paris, and don't consider it a particularly memorable meal.

          1. Of the four places you mentioned, I'd rank them:
            1. Joel Robuchon. Better than the others with respect to taste of food and much better with respect to presentation.
            2. Guy Savoy.
            3. Alex. Almost as good as Guy Savoy.
            4. Picasso. The food is excellent, but not as interesting as the above three. Still, I'd go back any time.

            I agree with foodgimp about Restaurant Charlie - at least with respect to the portion known as Bar Charlie. It serves wonderful 14 course meals - my second favorite behind Joel Robuchon.

            1. I don't think Alex and Picasso are in the same league. Joel Robuchon at The Mansion and Guy Savoy are a notch above. " I am specifically looking for one amazing, incredible meal." could also include Bar Charlie as foodgimp suggests. They are completely opposite in terms of experience (Bar Charlie being "kaiseki" dining while JR & GS would fall in a more "Haute Cuisine-ish", if you will. I would give the nod to Guy Savoy as the better of the two. Although I suppose it is like comparing the finest Russian Beluga Caviar to the finest Iranian. Which is better? I just think that the kitchen staff at GS is superior to that of JR and in the end, even though Chef Robuchon is more highly decorated for his years in the kitchen, Guy Savoy is still evolving and ever expanding. Go to both and let us know!

              7 Replies
              1. re: LVI

                Is Restaurant Charlie as good as Bar Charlie?

                1. re: babyblue

                  I cannot answer as I have not eaten at Restaurant Charlie. However, if it is similar to Charlie Trotter's in Chicago, then my answer would be yes, no question. Given the attention to detail that Charlie Trotter possesses, I would be shocked if the restaurant was anything less than excellent.

                  1. re: LVI

                    The danger of applying to a community of food-lovers for advice is getting too much of a good thing.

                    Thank you all for the advice!

                    1. re: Bellatrix

                      Well stated! I wish that I had dined at all, so I could make a comparison, even if only for myself.

                      If I were to distill all of the above, well-considered replies, I'd say that it possibly does not matter, and will be a case of personal tastes.

                      Now, I just need to dine at Alex, so I will KNOW!

                      Good luck, and enjoy. BTW, it is now up to you to tell us where you chose, why and how good it was. We'll be looking for the reviews.

                      Hunt

                  2. re: babyblue

                    I've dined at both Restaurant and Bar Charlie. They are both fantastic. It just depends what you are looking for. Both have the ultimate option of ordering a spontaneous 14-course menu. If you want to watch it prepared before your eyes in a bar-type setting then Bar Charlie is your choice. If you are looking for a romantic booth in a quiet, tasteful and classy dining room then Restaurant Charlie is your choice. Both will be heavy in the seafood options. If you are looking for a traditional menu with apps, entrees, desserts then Restaurant Charlie is a better choice. Just choose the atmosphere you desire and you won't go wrong at either (unless you are looking for a bargain).

                      1. re: climberdoc

                        Since I'm dining solo, I chose Bar Charlie instead of Restaurant Charlie. I figured that watching the chef prepare the meal will keep me engaged during dinner.