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Celebration in Las Vegas: Someplace dressy but not over-the-top expensive...

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Some friends are planning a 50th Birthday celebration in Las Vegas next month...and have asked us as the only "locals" going to help plan a restaurant. They have told me that they want to "dress up" and go someplace nice, but I know that these guys are not into spending a fortune on dinner either....so I think the very top end places are out. In these recession times I tend to stick to casual ethnic places...so I'm drawing a bit of a blank. Ideas?

I only know the one other couple: the rest of the celebrants will be their family. My friends tend to like ethnic and are adventurous, but since they live in Arizona they probably get enough Mexican...besides, I can't think of any high-end Mexican places they might like (with the possible exception of the new reincarnation of La Madonna, but that's not slated to open until the week after they are here...). The rest of the group are from the east coast. I've asked for more details on food preferences, cost range, etc...but in the meantime I welcome all suggestions.

Oh, and we'll be a group of 10....so we want some place that can handle that size...

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    1. Rosemary's Restaurant at 8125 W. Sahara is where my wife and I had one of the best restaurant experiances of our lives. It can be pricey if you go for it all like we did, but the prices were resonable, the staff is excellent and the wine list is very well put together. I was told this is where a lot of the chefs from the Strip hang out on Sunday nights. All said it was a great time and I would call them and see if they could do something nice and reasonable for your party,

      1. Update: They are looking for something close to Mandalay Bay, and in the $50 per person range....

        5 Replies
        1. re: janetofreno

          have you been to Wolfgang Puck's Lupo in Mandalay Bay? Or perhaps others can comment on it? Of all of the Mandalay Bay restaurants it looks to be the closest to what they are looking for...the website says average tab per person is $55 though that may not include wine.

          1. re: susancinsf

            not sure if they will be in effect when your group goes, but it looks like Lupo is offering 'recession deal' discounts:

            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6061...

            1. re: susancinsf

              You know, I've walked past and not been that impressed with the atmosphere (never eaten there....)...just doesn't seem that dressy....

              I have eaten dinner at Red Square and enjoyed it, and of course the vodka tastings are fun (in fact, Red Square was DH's first choice when I gave him the parameters...actually, finding "dressy" fine dining within walking distance of Mandalay Bay and in that price range isn't easy....). Red Square seems a little more upscale in atmosphere than Lupo (at least to me), which apparently is important to my friends' family...

              I've emailed them and told them that if they go a little above that range, especially if they don't go overboard with wine, that my first choice in that neighborhood would be Charlie Palmer's steakhouse in the four Seasons....especially if you don't all have the high end steaks. I've eaten there and found it to be a great celebration place...and of course it has that Four Seasons "feel" and good service....always pluses in my book....

              1. re: janetofreno

                Right next to Charlie Palmers is another place worth taking a look at - the Verandah at the Four Seasons would also have the vibe that you are looking for, and while their breakfasts have earned some deserved attention on these boards through the years, it is also an under-rated place for dinner.

                1. re: QAW

                  Verandah is a great suggestion. There are some specials there, also, including a three course pre-theater menu that I believe was $35. There is also a locals special Th F and S nights: 50% off all entrees.

          2. Update: we ended up going wth Charlie Palmer's...and they were very happy with the choice, even if it was a little pricier than originally planned.... Everything was very good, service was excellent, and a good time was had by all. I think they really appreciated the quiet but elegant atmosphere...hard to find in Vegas. Its nice to have a table of 10 and to be able to carry on conversations with the entire group. BTW, the "summer salads" on the Charlie Palmer's "summer Lite" menu (probably only there for a short while longer) are excellent and a good buy...several of us had them. They contain various meat choices encorporated into entree salads, and are quite satisfying (check out the website). I had the herb-rubbed filet on spinach, 25 dollars, and it was excellent...especially the matchstick potatoes that came served on the side. Yum! That and an appetizer of some wonderful creamy oysters from Washington (I forget the type) was more than enough dinner for me....(I did share a tangerine creme brulee with DH, however :-)

            Speaking of sides, many of us agreed that the sides at Charlie Palmers are wonderful...their peas and peapods were some of the best I've tasted lately....a taste of spring at the end of summer. What a treat.

            We began the evening with drinks and a beautiful sunset (thanks to some clouds) at Mix. Still one of my favorite places to take out of town guests for an evening drink with a view. I highly recommend the pomegranate mojito, btw.....