Recommendations from Chows experienced with Vegas
We're arriving from London UK on Thursday March 18 & would appreciate some 'tasty bites'. We're not looking for glamour, glitz or being 'ripped off', but we do appreciate innovative & tasty food selections, and money is not a problem.
I've read mixed reviews of Okada, Wing Lee, Bradley Ogden, CUT, Prime .... and would appreciate some feedback.
We'd like to experience 'modern American', some steak or prime rib, Asian fusion and perhaps a great Italian.
Also, any comments about the accommodation and restaurants at the new Mandarin Oriental gratefully received.
I know I am in the minority, but I have eaten at many LV steakhouses and I am not a fan of CUT. I love Wolfgang Puck restaurants, but CUT was disappointing for me. Speaking of Wolfgang, you should try Spago for lunch or dinner. It doesn't get as much press anymore, but it is easily my favorite restaurant in LV. For steak you should consider Prime, Stripsteak or Charlie Palmer Steak.
Charlie Palmer Steak
3960 Las Vegas Blvd. South, Las Vegas, NV 89119
I agree elizabean. Have eaten at numerous LV steakhouses and Cut 2x and was disappointed both times. For 'true American Steakhouse' I recommend Vic & Anthony's. It's not on the strip and its location in Golden Nugget could turn some off... but great steak, great wine list - and don't miss the au gratin potatoes!
For the true "American Steak House" I would do CUT. I'm a beef eater and the best steak I have had has been at CUT with a close second to CowboyStar in San Diego. Also if you do not take my word do a search with such people as Kevineats or others. Also I would try to squeeze in L'Atelier if you have not experienced Joel Rubuchon abroad.
Without wandering too far afield of the restaurant area, we did stop in for drinks at the new MO this weekend on our way to Sage. The hotel is beautiful, service appeared top notch, and the bar is lovely (albeit expensive).
Although I will post a more extensive review on Sage, I would highly recommend it to you for your "Modern American" dinner. It was terrific and I think would admirably fill the bill for you. The food was great: I had the foie gras brulee to start, and it was wonderful, and then had the slow poached egg, and the skirt steak appetizer. All very good. They had an excellent green garlic soup with horseradish and crab that was a really wonderful seasonal item. The room is very comfortable and the tables are spaced far enough apart to allow for a reasonable noise level. Service throughout was top notch.
They also have a tasting menu, but it is not written and your server needs to describe it to you. It sounded interesting but I think you will find much off the daily menu to enjoy.
We also had dinner at Sinatra at the Encore this weekend; I'm not sure I'd say it was great Italian, but it was very solid. The room is interesting and if you are a Sinatra fan, I think you would enjoy it.
By the way, you should have spectacular weather this week. :)
I'd second the recommendation for Sage. Also second the recommendation for the poached egg. The crispy sweetbreads were quite good too. Skip the mushroom salad.
The night we were there, the tasting menu was 5 courses off the regular menu.
They've got a good selection of beer especially for a Las Vegas place and also a selection of absynthes if you're into that kind of thing.
OK, here are some ideas:
Modern American- Both Bradley Ogden and Aureole are top notch picks, and both are innovative and tasty without any "rip off" risk.
Asian Fusion- Nobu is good for high-end grub, but I have a feeling you'll probably like Raku even more.
Italian- Sinatra and Ago are two of my faves... And if you don't mind going WAY off Strip, Marinelli's at The M is one of our Henderson hidden gems along with Settebello at GVR (awesome pizza!).
In Vegas, there is quite a bit of "innovative and tasty" although glam and glitz will often be part of the package. Come with an open mind and you'll find that it lends to the "Vegas appeal". Some can't get over this; you know who you are.
I'm concerned about your comment about being "ripped off". There are few deals on the Strip which it seems like you are staying and likely concentrating you dining on. Many who come to Vegas expecting the $7.99 prime rib special and end up at CUT will likely feel "ripped off" despite the fact that they've probably just dined on one of the best steaks in town. Come to Vegas with realistic expectations and you'll be rewarded. Come expecting deals and you will likely leave feeling "ripped off".
For steak, I'm a big fan of CUT. They have a great selection of steaks ranging from dry-aged Prime beef to true Japanese Wagyu. There is obviously quite a range of prices here with the cheapest being quite expensive. If you don't have an understanding and experience with Japanese Wagyu you may want to resist the temptation to order it no matter how much you are ahead at the tables. You'll likely feel "ripped off" despite the fact that you've again just eaten one of the best steaks money can buy.
Bradley Ogden is an excellent choice. I've had a few very nice meals there and their menu is varied and well-executed. It doesn't get much love on this site which I don't quite understand. Although it's up there with the top-tier Vegas restaurants (Alex, Guy Savoy, Joel Robuchon, Trotter and maybe Twist) it's definitely up there with the next tier which I believe includes Picasso, Aureole, L'atelier, etc. They even have a 3-course prix fixe menu for around $60 which is a great value and far from a ripoff.
I'd highly recommend Carnevino for it is both great steak and great Italian courtesy of Mario Batali. A prix fixe is also available there if you dine prior to 6:30.
Restaurant and Bar Charlie epitomize "innovative and tasty". It's unique for Vegas. There has been much written on this site about Bar Charlie which deserves all the accolades it receives. Restaurant Charlie is also in the ballpark of the best in Vegas but does not get much love on this site and is often overshadowed by Bar Charlie next door. It has many of the same offerings of Bar Charlie just in a more traditional format. Expect no deals at either choice.
Okada is quite good, but try Raku a little ways off the Strip. No glamour or glitz here. Food is innovative and tasty and you will most definitely not feel "ripped off".
I have not stayed at the Mandarin Oriental but I'm sure the brand name speaks for itself. Twist is on my list for next trip to Vegas.
Eric ... thank you for your comment. Point about accommodation .. accepted and understood.
Price range ... happy to pay up to $ 200 per head inc service if the food items 'warrant' such a cost ie that the quality, innovation & preparation are on a par with top European chefs.
Equally, happy with $ 50 per head if Asian Fusion is served in an unknown setting by an unknown chef.
We enjoy our meal to take around 2 hours, so we're not looking for cafeteria style; certainly no buffets; we do NOT want a 3 to 4 hour 'drawn out performance', nor do we want a quick 'in & out' in just over an hour.
We have not organised a car. We can rent a car if appropriate or arrange a taxi.