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Mar 31, 2009 08:34 AM

Las Vegas - what's best within a generous budget?

We will be spending three nights in Las Vegas, and wish to enjoy the best of what's available within a reasonably generous budget. We are willing to spend $80-100/pp, but clearly not $200-300/pp as is the case at the most upscale restaurants such as Joel Robuchon. One restaurant where we've been before, and loved, is Rosemary's out on Sahara. Please recommend other excellent dining choices where we can have terrific meals without mortgaging our home.

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  1. Mesa Grill and Noodle No. 9 at Caesars
    San Marco at Venetian
    Stratta at Wynn
    Society at Encore
    Craft, L'atelier, Sea Blue at MGM

    1. Mon Ami Gabi for very good French bistro food while sitting outside on patio. GREAT people watching and views of Bellagio fountains. Raku, 2 miles up Spring Mountain Road. Fabulous Japanese dining. Small place so be sure to make a reservation. Bang for buck it gives Lotus of Siam a run for its money, although completely different. I just wrote a review if you want to read about the particulars. If you watch what you drink, you can eek under the $100 mark at the new Italian place in Encore called Sinatra. Again I just reviewed it. GREAT pastas and very nice atmosphere. And I have to mention this place because I never really read much, if any about it, the Noodle Shop inside the Venetian, next to the sports book. While it will not win any awards, it is a VERY good alternative if you are in the area, not to mention it is open til 3am on the weekends. I loved it (although that may be a bit jaded as it was 1am, I had not eaten all day as I was playing a poker tournament in the Venetian...after playing down to 8 players and not losing another player for the next 2 hours...yes 2 hours! We all decided to chop the pot, avoid any taxes and each of us walked away with $5,500! So maybe my taste buds were just a tad skewed.)!

      Not to disagree...but I disagree w/Society. Over priced.

      2 Replies
      1. re: LVI

        For French bistro food, we were thinking of going to Bouchon. Do you think Mon Ami Gabi is better?

        1. re: josephnl

          Different. I would give Bouchon the nod in terms of food alone. Not that it is miles ahead of Mon Ami Gabi, just a tad more refined. However, Mon Ami Gabi has most places HANDS DOWN when it comes to atmosphere. And let me explain, as what I refer to as "atmosphere" may not be your cup of tea. First off, let me say that I refer to sitting on the patio outside only. The food is good but the outside seating is the key. MAG's location, directly across for the Bellagio is the perfect location to watch the fountains. Not only that, it is located about 3 feet above the sidewalk right off the strip. So not only do you have the fountains behind, you get the "freak show" that walks by and it provides for one of the more enjoyable evenings. The draw back is that it can be a long wait as no reservations can be made for the outside tables and the weather (although outdoor heaters are quite efficient at keeping you warm if it is chilly) can be iffy. IMHO, the wait is worth it and NEVER as long as they say.

      2. Raku, just west of mirage/wynn on spring mountain...outstanding, check the other posts here, easily within 100pp(depending on sake choices)

        1. any preference as to food type ? Italian ? chinese ? seafood ? etc

          Raku is definitely worth a visit. Ichiza and shuseki are other japanese options ( sen of japan for sushi/ omakase )

          not too far from rosemary's - vitner grill - the key is the alcohol - if limited then you can eat there, Todd's Unique, table 34, etc within your budget.

          Steak - again, do-able but gotta be careful on the vino - suggest you hit up for a a coupon to Envy Steakhouse. I just ate at the steakhouse at M Resort for under $100/person including a couple glasses of wine - i was pleasantly surprised ( review coming soo )

          more specifics = more recs

          1. We just returned from our three night trip to L.V. and had three excellent dinners.

            The first night we ate at Rosemary's off the strip, and way out on Sahara. This has got to be the best value in fine dining anywhere. It's not cheap, but for such an excellent restaurant, it is a relative bargain for L.V. The food and service are outstanding. They make terrific cocktails, and have a good wine list with many fairly reasonable choices (see the "50 under $50" section. This place is a find.

            The second night we ate at Thomas Keller's Bouchon at the Venetian. This is a very good French bistro. The food quality and preparation were both excellent, and although there is nothing terribly original or adventurous on the menu, the bistro classics are prepared precisely as they should be. The room is very attractive, the service competant, and overall this was a very good meal.

            Saving the best for last, we had our final dinner last night at Alize in The Palms. This restaurant is a spinoff of the original Andre's which for many years was downtown. Their house specialty then, as it is today, is dover sole. This is an incredible dish! It is without a doubt the best dover sole served anywhere, and may well be among the best entrees served anywhere. It is absolutely divine!!! The pristinely beautiful fish is perfectly sauteed, then baked. It is fileted in the kitchen and served with a choice of three sauces...grenobloise (caper), amandine, or as we prefer veronique (a butter sauce, enriched with demi-glace, and finished with seedless grapes). The fish was served with truffled whipped potatoes, artfully topped with vegetables. This is an amazing entree. We preceded the sole with salads... one of us had a "not so simiple" green salad, and I had a duck salad, made with confit. For dessert we had grand marnier souffles. Our food was perfection. The service was very competant, and the wonderful view from the top of The Palms was beautiful. This terrific meal does not come cheap. With drinks, wine and gratuity, our bill for the two of us approached $400.

            There is one complaint however that we do have with Alize. Their wine list, although excellent has almost nothing below $75, and with most choices well over $100. The sommelier was strongly urging us to order wines at least in the >$100-200 range. This is really not appropriate in this day and age when there are many excellent domestic and imported wines which are available retail for less than $20, which puts their wholesale price between $10-15. These wines can easily be placed on a wine list for $35-50 satisfying many diners and providing an adequate profit to the restaurant. We ordered a French chablis for $75 which was very mediocre at best. It is notable that this restaurant does not permit bringing wine for corkage. Because of their wine policy, dining at this restaurant becomes so costly that for most of us it is only doable for a very special occasion. This is too bad, because the restaurant has much to offer, and was, at least last night not even 20% full.