One Week in Vegas = a Long Review!
We just returned from a week in Vegas and we had a fantastic time. Definitely spent more time eating than gambling, but we really enjoyed it! We tried to eat in for at least one meal a day and were able to check out some local foodstores. We tried several local places and a few on the strip.
GROCERY STORES (on some CH rec's)
Trader Joe's: We really wanted to like TJ's but we didn't. We walked around and put a few things in the cart but after a bit, we decided to put the stuff back and head to WF. It may have been ignorance on our part, but we did not know that it wasn't a full grocery store.
Whole Foods: We don't have WF here in Montreal and we were excited to check it out. It was huge, with great looking produce, and everything we needed. I did find the prices excessively high (we paid over $10 for a deli container of spicy potato salad), but I could see going there on occasion for special items.
International Marketplace: Wow! This place was awesome! It made me realize how little I know about food. We didn't get much, but it was so fun to walk through the aisles and see the products from so many countries. Really impressive!
Bouchon: Our first outing, based on many positive CH reviews. Have to say, unfortunately, it was a huge disappointment. We were excited by the pastry offerings, so we decided to get the basket ($14) and when it came out, it looked great, but I'm pretty sure not one of the items was less than a day old. Just dry and stale tasting. We ordered the omelet special (sausage, emmenthal, and tomato) and the sausage was akin to Jimmy Dean, and the omelet just really had no flavor. Some fresh herbs would have really helped it. We also ordered the Croque Madam, which was pretty good, but an enormous portion. We barely made a dent, but it was good. The service was impeccable, though.
Hash House a Go Go: Did a "best breakfast" CH search and decided to check this place out. It was fun to watch heads turn and eyes bulge as the food arrived. I was really impressed by the size of the dishes and the strength I assume it must take to carry them around. The food was good, and we did not come close to finishing! We had the brown sugar pancake and the Warsaw hash. Service was ok, not great (took about 15 minutes to get a latte, with no apologies.)
Bellagio buffet: It was our only buffet and it was great. We managed to try a lot of items and left in considerable food comas!
Osaka: Again, another CH rec and we really enjoyed it! Actually ended up going twice. Some items we really enjoyed were the Red Dragon specialty roll and the Bam Poppers. Good sushi and good service. Next time we come, we want to go back for their "after 10 PM" specials.
Burger Bar: Had a modest "name your own" burger and the chocolate burger. The regular burger was good as were the sweet potato fries. The chocolate burger was really creative, but super rich, definitely good for sharing!
Wichcraft: Had the meatloaf sandwich, which was a really good size for $9. It was good, but I would try something else if we went back. It was a litle greasy for me, but my boyfriend loved it! The place was super busy, but we didn't wait long.
Los Molcajetes: Did a CH search for "best mexican vegas" and found this place. While a bit of a drive for us, it was worth it! We were one of two tables in for lunch. We ordered the green chile burrito and the combo molcajete. The burrito was great and for $2.50, it came with big chunks of pork and packed a lot of flavor. The molcajete was something too! It was loaded with beef and shrimp, as well as avocado, nopales (something I've tried a few times this past year and I really enjoy!), onions, and queso fresco. We loaded up a few tortillas with this stuff and left really happy, and full!
Daniel Boulud: Made a reservation for early evening so we could get the tasting menu. The restaurant is beautiful, and it was great to face the waterfall. We did have to ask for the tasting menu, which is a tad annoying, given that there are tasting menu boards placed prominently outside every restaurant in the Wynn. After asking, we noticed our server then hand it out to his other tables who were sat before us. We ordered the pate and corn soup to start. Both were fantastic, with immaculate plating. We then had the moules frites and the steak frites. Unfortunately, the steak was overcooked (medium well to well, but ordered medium rare) and as much as we loathe sending anything back, this was the time to do so. However, they were extremely gracious and had a new, perfectly cooked steak and fresh fries out in a matter of minutes. For dessert, we had the chocolate fondant (probably the best dessert we had the whole week!) and the cheese plate. We really enjoyed our meal here, and the fact that we were able to do so on a budget!
Stack: Again had to ask for the tasting menu here, and the server was a little more peeved with the request than at DB. We got the bleu cheese salad and the calamari for starters, both of which were good. We ordered the steak and the truffle penne pasta. Both were really good! The steak was perfectly cooked and the pasta was a huge portion and was very fresh and hot. The desserts were the creme brulee and the jelly donuts, both of which were also good. The donuts were playfully plated, which was a nice touch. Overall, the service could have been warmer, but it was a good experience.
Lotus of Siam: We went on a whim right a little before they were closing and they were able to squeeze us in. We were a little surprised by the building exterior after hearing so much about it from CH and friends who have gone, but wow, was it good! We rushed to order and got dumplings for an app, then braised ribs in a red curry sauce and pad thai noodles. The ribs and sauce were so tasty, and the plating on both of these dishes was done with as much care as any of the other "fancy" places we went to. We really wanted to go again but could not make it. Will definitely go back the next time we visit!
Top of the World (Stratosphere): Hadn't seen any mentions of this one CH, but we wanted to enjoy the view and had previously enjoyed a lunch there a few years back. We did not want to drop $170 on the tasting menu for two, so we opted for a shared app, a cheese plate, and 2 desserts. The shared app was the platter they offer, which is $25 per person, which is a little steep, IMO. For $50, it was close, but not worth it. It was 2 (yes 2) shrimp, with a nice beurre blanc, duck ravioli with foie gras (nicely seared), and kobe medallions with a lentil risotto. BTW, you do not choose the offerings on the platter. The cheese plate was nice, as were the desserts, nothing mind-blowing. With wine, we spent far less than we would have with the tasting menu, and we really enjoyed the spectacular view.
Firefly: We went here twice and thoroughly enjoyed it. Sat in the lounge area once and in the dining room the other time, both times to have a little something and a glass of wine. We loved the people-watching and the food was great. Some standouts were the thai beef salad and the empanadas. So good and great service, too!
Phew, that took a while:) We really had a good time and look forward to returning again to try more places! Thanks to all CH'ers for the fantastic rec's!
I'm glad you enjoyed your trip! It sounded food-tastic. I was just as impressed with the plating at DB as you were...it was perfectly artistic.
Having followed and replied to your original post, I appreciate the detailed trip report, which was a pleasure to read.
Just a few words about the markets. Most folks use Trader Joe's as a supplementary market. Their fresh produce is often weak and there is no onsite butcher. The prices are great, though, and it's a wonderful place to buy dried, canned, jarred, and frozen food, nuts, chips, juices, etc.
I think you have Whole Foods pegged well.
I also don't buy much when I go to International Marketplace -- it's almost like going to a museum with an integrated gift shop. When you dig deeply, you can find countries represented that have only a few items. I'd hate to think of how many different distributors IMP has to deal with.