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Las Vegas - 4 nights, 1 business dinner

I will be heading out to Las Vegas for a 4-night trip in a couple days. We've been out roughly once a year the past couple years and my game plan will hopefully include a couple favorites, L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon and Lotus of Siam. Some recaps of prior visits here ->
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/353029
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/4571...
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/472733
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/4571...
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/4012...
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/4475...

That will leave me with 2 nights open, one of which will be wide open, the other of which I need to plan a dinner among business colleagues (a group of about 10-12).

I've really enjoyed Atelier, loved LOS, always like Bouchon, had a very good visit to Okada, enjoyed B&B.I've been underwhelmed by Aureole, Le Cirque, and while I thought Rosemary's was good, I'm not sure it's worth the schlep.

For my one completely open night, I'm intrigued by Bar Charlie/Restaurant Charlie as well as an off-strip venture to Raku. Any other good suggestions?

How about ideas for a group dinner? Proximity to the Bellagio would be a bonus.

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  1. Frod! Sorry I missed your SF trip. I would have recommended Koi Palace over Yank Sing easliy.

    As for Raku. Excellent choice.

    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/554291

    Can never go wrong with B&B.

    In terms of high end, go all out and do Joel Robuchon. Call ahead as they were telling me that they are closed for a few weeks late August. The cuisine isn't particularly innnovative but it is luxurious and the wines are reason enough to go. Being from Miami 2.5-3x markup shouldn't scare you one bit.

    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/638167

    2 Replies
    1. re: Porthos

      Uh. Actually you can go wrong with B&B and a quick search will show that many Chowhounds have. I've had great meals there and not so great. Go at your own risk. It is Vegas after all.

      Can't comment on Raku, but I highly recommend either one of the Charlie venues. I won't say you "can never go wrong" there cause that would likely be a false statement as most absolutes are. That said, I've had multiple excellent experiences on both sides of that restaurant.

      1. re: Porthos

        Thanks, SF was a whirlwind trip that was literally planned in about 48 hours. Given the circumstances we did OK. Yank Sing's quality was fine, but the prices were somewhat shocking and the selections were mostly pedestrian. I'm not completely convinced I could have gotten the family out to Daly City for dim sum (though perhaps I could have finessed a stop-off on the way out of the airport).

        I thoroughly enjoyed B&B on our last Las Vegas visit but am not necessarily itching to go back yet. It could just be that I don't get as excited by Italian food as many other cuisines. I do like their work with offal though. This could potentially be a crowd-pleaser site, though I recall it being fairly small, crowded and noisy which might not be the ideal combination (though I did like the wine list).

        It's funny, I've always been a little bit tempted by Joel Robuchon but also generally been pretty satisifed with Atelier. Mrs. F is not a big fan of posh 3-hour+ meals which makes Atelier a good middle ground (and she loves the food).

      2. For my 3 non-group nights it will likely be some combination of Atelier, LOS, Raku and Bar Charlie (maybe a late night trip to Raku is in order).

        I still could use advice on a group dinner for about 10-12 people. My goals are: (1) good food; (2) not too stuffy ambience; (3) not outrageously pricy; (4) ideally easy walking distance from Bellagio.

        Here's what I'm thinking about ->
        Mesa Grill - doesn't excite me, but it's close and probably a crowd-pleaser.
        Bouchon - I always enjoy this place.
        Craftsteak - people seem to enjoy it though steakhouses don't excite me much personally. Good for a group?
        Nobhill Tavern - don't see it's talked up much; any feedback?
        David Burke - don't hear much about this either, from reading his menus I get concerned his food is sometimes too cute for its own good. Any feedback?
        Japonais - I ate at the Chicago one and thought it was better than decent. Thoughts on the LV edition?

        4 Replies
        1. re: Frodnesor

          How about Sensi for the group dinner? I ate there a few weeks ago (with a group of 10); excellent food and service and a wide choice of dishes.

          1. re: Frodnesor

            Not that close to the Bellagio, but we had an excellent group dinner at Daniel Boulud at the Wynn last week. Can't say the same for Aureole, unfortunately. That was a true disaster of an evening. Will be writing up a report later.

            1. re: Frodnesor

              Hey Frodnesor -- I'm mostly posting here so I remember to check back for your report. I'm especially interested in your feelings about Raku and Bar Charlie (I hit up Naoe last time I was in Miami on your rec and wasn't disappointed). Several years ago we ate at l'atelier in Paris and had a fantastic experience, so I think you'll be happy there, too.

              I will vouch for Craftsteak, which was outstanding a couple years ago. The thing that impressed me about it was that the sides and appetizers weren't all afterthoughts or boring and tired steakhouse classics -- we had a truly outstanding heirloom tomato salad. There's also a $55 or $60 fixed price menu at Craftsteak with a focus on local (relatively)/seasonal that we're tempted to try on our next trip (in mid-September). I would also say that it's good for your group, but it's not within walking distance of the Bellagio.

              1. re: gleam

                Having now been to Craftsteak more recently, I'll say take it off the list. It has become a lot less craft-y and a lot more steak-y.. a lot less colicchio influence, as far as I can tell. It's just not the same as it was 2+years ago. Maybe Carnevino instead.

                As for Raku and Bar Charlie, you won't be disappointed, especially by Bar Charlie. Truly outstanding.

            2. I had an incredible group dinner at PRIME in The Bellagio once. I've been there many times, always good, but this was for 16 after a wonderful wedding. They took amazing care of us. I love that place.

              1. sooo... where did you end up? how was it?

                5 Replies
                1. re: gleam

                  trip isn't till mid-October. Still in planning stages.

                  1. re: Frodnesor

                    oh, damn. I read "a couple days" as "in august" :)

                    Well, I might end up at bar charlie in mid september, and definitely raku. Look for report+pics in a few weeks.

                    1. re: gleam

                      You read it right, I meant to say "months" instead of "days". (doh). My current thinking is Atelier, Bar Charlie, Raku, and either Craftsteak or Bouchon for the group. I hate to leave out LOS. Perhaps Raku will be a late night "4th Meal".

                      1. re: Frodnesor

                        Bouchon shouldn't be missed -- it blows Crafsteak out of the water in terms of service and food, though Craftsteak is good it can be found in almost any american city.

                        Skip Sensei - the food is average and pricey, the service rude and inattentive.

                        Raku is an absolute DO NOT MISS - if you catch a cab next to Fashion show you can get there for $11. Make reservations - they fill up fast and are booked almost all night unless you go quite late.

                        Consider Country Club at the Wynn or Carnevino for the group meal - both were excellent in terms of food, service, and "bang for buck."

                        1. re: uhockey

                          We managed to sneak in without a reservation on a Saturday night at Raku.. showed up at 6:30 and promised we'd be out before an 8pm reservation arrived (we had show tickets anyway, so that wasn't a problem). They had seats at the bar even if we didn't get a table, though.

                          I do agree that it's worth a trip, although I went to Bar Charlie the night before, so I think I didn't enjoy it as much as if I'd gone there first...