Vegas Bound! Here's what I'll be eating/reviewing
Leaving for Vegas this afternoon for a 4 day business/fun trip. I'll be dining/drinking at the following and will post reviews when I return:
Mix (drinks only)
Sushi Roku (dinner)
Casa Fuente (drinks)
Aquaknox (big group dinner)
Solaro (poolside at Palazzo)
Still deciding on one other dinner for Sunday evening. Maybe Bartolotta, Sinatra, Rao's or may go with something lower end and casual. Going to play that evening by ear/feel. May be too hung over to eat (ha!).
Just noticed I forgot to post my reviews, so I'll try to give my brief thoughts. This was a business/fun retreat with a large group of lawyers and their spouses. Stuck to the Strip.
Stripsteak - one of those hip, sexy, loud, see and be seen type of places with bumpin music. A bit showy and Vegas-y, which for me in Vegas is usually a good thing where it wouldn't be so good somewhere else, if you get what I mean. Not an old school dark wood and leather steakhouse experience at all. Steaks were very good, but I must confess that I'm not a steakhouse guy because I always prefer mine to restaurants, even high end ones like Stripsteak. I think I preferred my dry aged NY Strip at CarneVino to the Stripsteak Wagyu Rib Cap. To me, the apps and sides were the hits and I enjoyed these thoroughly. I'm not dying to return, but I wouldn't complain if you made me. Worth a visit.
Mix - Cool drink spot with maybe the best view in Vegas. Great way to start our trip while watching the sunset before our dinner at Stripsteak. Highly recommended for drinks and a view. Didn't eat in the restaurant.
Sushi Roku - Our third visit and I'm tiring of it. Nothing wrong, but it's pretty standard sushi. Didn't have any of the freshness concerns that SD Gourmand experienced, but it certainly wasn't as fresh and vibrant as the fish at Uchi in Austin which is my new favorite sushi place. Still think it's a cool place for a Vegas-y vibe and great Strip view with dinner. Go here for a fun group dinner, not to be blown away with a foodie experience.
Bouchon - Enjoyed breakfast so much, we ate here twice. Just good solid French bistro breakfast fare. Thoroughly enjoyable and civilized experience, which is nice to find in Vegas. Would definitely go again and would like to try it for dinner or lunch sometime.
Hofbrauhaus - Went here for lunch. Good beer, standard German fare. Nothing spectacular. Unfortunately we left just as they were setting up some live music. I think this place would be fun at night if you're into drinking beer and dancing on tables, but it was fairly lame for lunch.
Aquaknox - A revelation. I had very low expectations given the mediocre reviews I've seen online and the fact that this was a large-ish banquet setting for about 75-80 people. Things got off to a rough start when half of our group was an hour late due to their golf outing running over. Despite this setback, the restaurant handled things unbelievably well. They just kept the appetizers and drinks coming for those of us who were already there and then seated us promptly when the remainder of the group arrived. They could not have handled the situation better. Great service. Then, to top it off, once we sat down at our tables the food was promptly served and it was fresh and hot. It was not cheap, but it was by far the best "banquet" food I've ever had. Frankly, it was just a really good meal, ignoring the fact that they were serving 80 people at the same time well over an hour after they were supposed to serve us through no fault of their own. Seafood was perfectly prepared and those who had steaks raved about them, which is something coming from a bunch of picky lawyers from Texas! Highly recommend this place for a nice intimate dinner or a group dinner. Hats off to them for wowing a pretty picky bunch.
Enoteca San Marco - nice casual Italian in the "outdoor" square at the Venetian. We enjoyed the meat and cheese plates and the house wine. Pizzas were mediocre, but certainly better than your average chain pizza. I'd eat here again for lunch or a casual dinner.
Mon Ami Gabi - great outdoor patio setting across from the Bellagio fountains. Fun place to eat, but the food was pretty mediocre to me. Nothing stood out. I'd eat here again on a nice evening or mild temperature day just for it's "only in Vegas" feel and because it's a nice outdoor setting in a place that doesn't have too many of those, but it wouldn't really be for the food. I'd probably just stick to oysters/apps and beer/wine next time.