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Las Vegas - This is what I have reserved - What would you change?

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  • Ian F Aug 16, 2009 10:10 AM
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Last year my wife and I started something of a tradition. Drop the kid off at college in Southern California and then head to vegas for 5 nights, which since its the beginning of Sept. encompasses our anniversary. We are not big gamblers so stay out at the Marriott resort in Summerlin.

Last year we ate at Vintner Grill the first night, since after the long drive, it was close to the hotel. On the next 4 nights we went to Aureole, Red Square, Rosemary's, and Todds Unique. Vintner Grill was very tasty, service was good, but kitchen timing was off. Aureole was for our anniversary night, did the Swan room, great service, wife's entree was better than mine, but overall, good experience. Red Square is a sexy room, food was good, great martinis. Rosemary's food was excellent; we asked for a quiet spot and they put us next to the wine room, which could be great except they leave empty boxes in there and it looked like a mess. On the other hand, I offered our waiter a taste of the wine we brought, and he was so thankful, he waived the corkage fee and we had amazing service. Todd's Unique room is fairly unattractive but the food and service more than made up for it..

OK, so that brings us to our upcoming week, which I know is restaurant week as it was last year. Did not take advantage of it last year, maybe we will this year. Wanted to go with 5 new restaurants this year so my reservations are as follows:

Day 1 after drive from LA: Agave in Summmerlin
Day 2 (our anniversary): Joel Robuchon (Great that they have a choice of Prix Fixe menus now)
Day 3: Origin India
Day 4: Daniel Boulud
Day 5: L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon

We ate at Joel Robuchon's Jamin in Paris many years ago and so thought two JR nights would be great, but let me know if you think its redundant.

Also, while we like Thai food, we have done LOS on a previous trip, so that is not in the cards.

Thanks in advance for any help and thoughts.

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  1. Great Line up.

    I've eaten at both Robuchons's restaurants and both are great. I perfer L'Ateier a little more. (not based on food just personal preference)

    You might consider thinking about Guy Savoy or Bar Charlie same class as Robuchchon's places and it would give you more variety.

    1. I pretty much agree with chris2269, although I like Joel Robuchon more than L'Atelier (if money is no object). I also second Bar Charlie (within Restaurant Charlie).

      1. Sounds lovely! You'll enjoy Daniel Boulud! The hubby and I had the best of meal of our lives there recently. I ordered from the tasting menu (Taste of Wynn), and he from the regular menu. The food is simple, but executed SO very WELL! Service was a bit spotty the night we went because it was so busy. They forgot my champagne for the dessert course, and our waiter was all over the place that night.

        1. Michael Mina for Lobster Pot Pie

          1. Why Agave? Is it because it's close to where you are staying on the first night? Don't expect food at a comparable level to VG or Rosemary's.

            3 Replies
            1. re: Dave Feldman

              Yeah, I thought we would keep it simple, fun, and close the first night, and totally different than anything else we would have during the week. That choice probably has the greatest potential for a last minute change. Any other thoughts for the Summerlin area?

              1. re: Ian F

                Yes, skip Agave FOR SURE. That place is borderline horrible. Sounds like you might be staying at either Red Rock Resort or Sunset Station ... either way, give a nod to Terra Rossa at Red Rock Resort. Some pretty decent Italian ( albeit, admittedly not classic Italian ). It's not overly expensive and I've never had a bad meal there. They have quite a selection of pastas and entrees alike.

                One of my personal favorites in the Summerlin/Lakes area is Grape Street Cafe. It gets mixed reviews here but I love it! Great unassuming food in a casual "winey" atmosphere. They do retail wine out of there as well. Their baked brie is fantastic and I could eat the Chicken Gorgonzola every other night. Might fit the bill as a casual spot after a long day.

                http://www.grapestreetcafe.com/home.cfm

              2. re: Dave Feldman

                Definately skip Agave. If you want something really, really close to the hotel I would suggest the Kona Grill in the Boca Shopping Center. Otherwise, you might like Cafe Deia @ Flamingo and Grand Canyon. Not a fancy place but a relaxing one.

                Or if you are really hungry and a meat eater, Via Brazil Steakhouse at the corner of Fort Apache & Charleston. Great food but you do leave in a meat coma.

              3. Joel Robuchon at the Mansion is closed for August :( But I think L'Atelier may still be open..at least it solves the problem of redundancy.

                2 Replies
                1. re: PuddyLA

                  There is a new chef/menu at Origin India. I was given a few samples when I dined there in April and food/presentation were outstanding. Here is link to the menu:
                  http://www.originindiarestaurant.com/...
                  Here is a link to a printable 2/1 entree coupon:
                  http://www.cooleremail.net/users/TBWM...

                  Terra Rossa, previously mentioned, is included in a Station Casinos' 2/1 entree promotion that runs through October 1. Sunday - Thursday buy one entree, receive a second of equal or lesser price for free. Her is a link to the details:
                  http://stationcasinos.com/dining2for1/

                  1. re: PuddyLA

                    Shouldn't be an issue - the OP stated the visit is in September.

                  2. Thanks for all the suggestions. Looks like I will dump Agave and have dinner that first night at one of the local Italian restaurants in the Summerlin area like Terra Rossa or Nora's.

                    1. Ian, please post your thoughts on the restaurants you go to on here. We visit Vegas in November and reading back through your posts we seem to have similar values and tastes. We've also been to Jamin as well as Joel Robuchon in the mid '90's and L'Atalier soon after it opened. Sincerely appreciate your research and experiences. Thanks for sharing.

                      1. We are back from Vegas and have to say that every dinner we had was memorable. Thanks so much for the suggestions.

                        I took the advice and dumped Agave for our first night's dinner. Actually, we arrived early enough that we decided to hit the strip for dinner and went to the Mesa Grill. I did the Restaurant week menu, and had the duck pancake, pork tenderloin, and chocolate corn bread pudding. Probably the best pork tenderlon I have ever had. The rub was amazing, and the meat was extremely tender. My wife ordered off the regular menu and had the Chile Relleno, while having tastes of my appetizer and desert. The waiter was very personable, and was actually promoting the restaurant week menu.

                        Our second night was Joel Robuchon. It met all expectations, and actually seemed like a good value, especially the way we ordered. I had the three course menu which comes with an appetizer, and my wife had the two course, which comes with a desert.. The result was that we had an appertizer and desert to share. When you add the amuse bouche, amazing bread cart, and anniversary ice cream cake they surprised us with, we certainly did not leave hungry.

                        A couple of comments. The service was uniformly professional and friendly, and clearly felt like a Michelin 3 star experience. I had the Duck and Foie Gras and my wife had the Veal Cheeks. All great. I guess my only disappointment was the amuse bouche with caviar and crab. While definitely a "10" for presentation, the taste was sort of bland.

                        Our third night was Origin India. My wife and I did the tasting menu and I did the wine pairing with it. My advice here is when the bartender comes over and asks if you would like one his special cocktails, say yes. He took amazing care of us, even making sure my wife who was not doing the wine pairing always had a little something. The food was exceptional from beginning to end, but clearly the personal service made the difference. By the way, I think that restaurants, like this, that are off the strip, realize they have to try harder, and offer more personalized service. This one clearly succeeds.

                        Our fourth night was Daniel Boulud. We had a great outside table with view of the water show. Service was spot on. I had reviewed the restaurant week menu online and had already decided not to go that route, but the menu was never offered anyway. I ordered the DB Burger since I had never had it before. It was good, but is so big I had to eat it with knife and fork which took a little of the fun out of it. My wife had the mussels which were the plumpest we have ever seen. Great presentation of the food and wonderful whimsical show on the water.

                        Our fifth and last night was L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon. Any concern about redundancy with Joel Robuchon was unfounded, unless you count the amazing mashed potatoes which managed to find our plates on both evenings. I had to ask for the restaurant week menu, but it was brought immediately. Again, good value. An Amuse Bouche, Gazpacho, langoustine fritter, steak, and souffle for $50.09. We added the wine pairing for another $30.09. A bit of a misnomer. It was really a glass of white and a glass of red. But when we downed our glass of white before the fritter appeared, the somelier poured us each another half glass. Food was tasty and the abillity to watch the kitchen in action, highly entertaining.

                        A great week in Las Vegas. I think the food just keeps getting better. Thanks for all the help and thoughts.

                        8 Replies
                        1. re: Ian F

                          Thanks for the update. I enjoy reading about these great meals, even if they aren't the kind of places I frequent...

                          You're right on about the special drinks of the bartender at Origin India (I DO eat there fairly frequently...:-) We were there not too long ago and were offered the specialty drinks: one of us took the bartender up on the offer and the other two of us had beer. We beer drinkers ended up being very jealous of she who had the cocktail......

                          1. re: Ian F

                            Ian, thank you for taking the time to post your thoughts. How much was Joel Robuchon for your dinner? I believe they also have the most expensive prix fixe in America @$350 plus wine, tax and tip for their degustation. How many people were in the dining room when you were there? Same questions for L'Atalier? I'm also curious why you didn't try Lotus of Siam or repeat Rosemary's?

                            Dave, if you read this, which two or three off the strip restaurants would you return to in Vegas?

                            1. re: Joe H

                              Joe, When in Vegas, I tend to eat cuisines that are weak in New York, so I often eat at Lotus every day and then pick a Mexican or Chinese place for the other meal: If I had a couple of days right now, I'd probably check out Los Molcajetes or La Mexicana for antojitos, or Raku if I wanted something more upscale, and perhaps Dong Ting Spring for Hunan.

                              1. re: Dave Feldman

                                Thanks, Dave. Much appreciated.

                              2. re: Joe H

                                Joel Robuchon came in at $318 plus tip. That was accomplished by ordering the prix fixe for $89, and the prix fixe for $115, a sparkling water, and an $80 bottle of wine (Pommard). The first menu you see is the one for $385 a person. I had to quickly point the other menus out to my wife before she freaked out :)

                                We went on a Wednesday at 7:30 and every table was filled and while we were there, they also seated a large group outside. Couldn't tell if they had misters out there but I would not have wanted to be outside.

                                L'Atelier came in at $182 plus tip. That was for the two Restaurant week menus at $50.09 each plus two wine pairings at $30.09 each, and a bottle of sparkling water. This was on Saturday night and we had to wait until about 8:30 for our 8:15 reservation. They were booked solid and were telling people without a reservation that nothing would be available that evening.

                                Did not repeat Rosemary's simply because with the wealth of great restaurants, we just wanted to try all new ones. We had eaten at LOS on a previous trip, liked it, but again wanted to try something new, like Origin India, which was a great experience.

                                Joe, I'm looking forward to hear where you decide to go in November and how it goes.

                                1. re: Ian F

                                  You talked about the group at Robuchon that was seated outside. Are you sure it was outside? I was under the impression that it was another inside room, with a wall of plants and other such features to give it an outside feeling.

                                  1. re: Larry

                                    I can't say for certain, as I did not physically go out there, but to get there you had to pass through a glass door that they always made sure was closed. Maybe someone who has eaten out there can confirm.

                                  2. re: Ian F

                                    Thanks, Ian. At this point for six days Lotus of Siam, Rosemary's, Alex, La Mexicana (lunch), In-n-Out Burger (lunch) and probably Joel Robuchon with two more for dinner.