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Dec 23, 2009 04:45 PM

Slightly disappointing Vegas trip - want suggestions for next time

Hey guys, just got back from a couple days in Vegas. Hitting the great restaurants Vegas has (and now it has TREMENDOUS restaurants) is always a highlight, but I missed the mark this time for some reason.

BLT Burger - I love Burger Bar but hadn't tried BLT Burger. On this one, I fall into the Burger Bar camp. Perhaps I just like adding my own toppings in my own order, etc., but even though both are very good, I'm giving Burger Bar the edge. The burger at BLT Burger was cooked perfectly (medium rare, thank you), and the milkshakes are FAR better and more creative at BLT Burger, but in a close race, I'm sticking with Burger Bar. (Plus, I get room comps at Mandalay Bay and I NEVER get comps at Mirage. Eh, such is life...)

Carnevino - I had intended to go to Cut (my friend wanted to try a steakhouse), but the Garth Brooks show ran long - hell of a show, check it out - and Cut was closed. But Carnevino was open late (and I'm a HUGE fan of B&B in Vegas), so we headed into Carnevino and had a GREAT meal. I was totally impressed with their gnocchi and the wine recommended to go with it fit perfectly. However, the gelati dessert provided one of the worst desserts I've ever had. Three of the four gelati were great, but the eggnog gelati was "off." Not just something I didn't like, but something was definitely wrong with it as it had a metallic taste. I pointed it out to our server, who said he would inform the pastry chef, but didn't offer to remove the dessert from the bill (as i thought he should).

Mesa Grill - Pretty good lunch place for the price, although I think I'd prefer a traditional Cuban sandwich to their intepretation. Great blue corn cornbread. But something odd - the menu marquee outside the restaurant didn't match the menu presented in the restaurant (I noticed a soup I wanted on the marquee that wasn't available in the restaurant). When I pointed this out to the server, he told me that Caesar's wouldn't allow them to change the menu without permission. I said, "They would rather you have an incorrect menu?" He said, "Yeah, they are hard to work with sometimes." I think the manager of that location must be pretty lazy to not only allow an incorrect marquee, but talso to have a server who would tell a customer the landlord REQUIRES it. Just odd (didn't make the restaurant any worse).

FIAMMA - a true disappointment. I LOVE Italian food, and I love ravioli, and I even have loved FIAMMA. It was average, at best. I've been there before and never been disappointed - heck, I even loved that location when it was Olio. But this meal was bad enough that I won't go back. Nothing inedible, just a very disappointing ravioli, and with so many other great places in Las Vegas in that price range, I'll take my business elsewhere.

So where should I go next time (which will be in about 6 weeks)?

I like great Italian, I like higher-end American, steakhouses are OK, I love good Mexican, and anything with a Southern flair is perfect for me. Good wine lists with bottles or glasses that pair with the food are positives. I also wanted to go to Raku, but they were closed on a Sunday, so I'll hit them next time. Of course I love Lotus of Siam, but it was closed while I was there (as was Bubble Bar, and a few other places I considered).

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  1. We had dinner last night at Nora's Wine Bar...which admittedly is WAY off strip (on Rampart near Charleston in Summerlin). A few quibbles: the wine list is very good, but also very expensive. I think that irritated my father, especially since my stepmother wanted to order an expensive wine off the list :-) Also, it was a little noisy...and I could do without the Christmas music turned up high. But I have to say, they do have an extensive list of wines by the glass, and that might be the way to go for the best bang on your wine dollar....and I enjoyed my meal a lot. I had butternut squash gnocchi...they were light and delicious! Its Italian, and sharing of dishes is encouraged...also there is an interesting selection of small plates. You might check it out....