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Las Vegas Report - wow!!

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Well it was another great visit...every year we seem to get better than the previous year.
Cleary, chowhound recommendations have a lot to do with this.
This year..we decided to go to two restaurants on the strip and two restaurants off the strip.
(last year we tried one of the strip). I swear, next year we will do THREE off the strip.

So lets start with those fabulous restaurants off the strip:
RAKU:
we made reservations for a monday nite at 8 p.m. It indeed was packed so thanks for the tip that you need a reservation.
I had made notes from chowhound regarding what to order and talked to a few chefs too who put in their two cents.
We loved everything...the sashimi salad, the pork belly skewers, the tofu dish,the grilled mushrooms, the foie gras dishes with egg, the fried asparagus, the fluffy cheesecake.
It was a perfect meal..with a gracious and helpful server.
Everything was cooked to perfect, flavorful, and clearly someone knows what he is doing in the kitchen.
I asked the server what percentage of tourists visit their restaurant and she said 50 percent tourists and 50 percent local.

HOT 'N JUICY CRAWFISH:
We live in Toronto and this is the type of restaurant we NEVER see in Canada.
It was again PERFECT.
We loved everything..the shrimp, the crawfish, the ettoufee (did I spell that right)??, the beer..(LOL).

Now lets review the on-the-strip restaurants:
BAR CHARLIE:
we had reservations on a sat. nite at 8 p.m.
The restaurant (bar) was not full but we didnt mind as we were able to shmooze with the chef as he prepared the dishes.
I wish I could go into detail regarding each plate but I sadly did not make notes...but I can tell you this...we loved every bite of everything.
Flavors, complexity, textures, presentation,...you name it, everything was "happening".
The service was at the highest level of professionalism. (managers, chefs, waitress, hostess). The whole team is clearly highly trained.
I could go on and on...but I wont. Just go there!!!

BARTOLOTTA:
we went on a Sunday nite and bar charlie was still in our mind, which isnt fair coz its two separate type of cuisines.
We managed to score a table outside which was truly very lovely.
I had the family-style tasting menu and my mom had the "taste of" special.
Again..everything was tasty. I cant complain.
Was it special?..not really. Was the presentation exceptional? not really.
Was the service outstanding...not really.
I cant say we were in love...but then again we were stil on a "high" from our experience at Bar Charlie.

So everyone..that was our 2009 report. I am looking forward to next year....already!!
I have a whole year to do more research. LOL.

Thank you again to all those who made recommendations on a previous post.

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  1. Thanks for reporting back. I'm glad you enjoyed all the meals and hit home runs with three of the four, but I'm most pleased you enjoyed Hot and Juicy.