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Firefly v. Julian Serrano

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I'm updating a recent post to pose a more specific question: Should a medium-sized group of 20-something guys who want to have a nice dinner in a festive atmosphere but not break the bank go to Firefly or Julian Serrano? It seems Firefly is cheaper but is Serrano so good as to justify the higher cost? We will be staying at the Rio so obviously a taxi ride comes into play for Firefly. Also we have a vegetarian in tow; would either restaurant be more suited to accommodate him?

I'd love some candid opinions about value, atmosphere, and specific dishes to seek out/avoid.

Thanks so much.

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  1. I was there last Sunday night- I thought it was not only a beautiful restaurant but the food was delicious. I had the lamb chop,with sauteed spinach that had raisins and pine nite and the mushroom rissotto which was fantastic! To drink I ordered the white sangira which was good but next time will get the red... Albert- ( the manager) I believe that was his name- he wears black glasses-wonderful and brought me a delicious desert- some kind of light fried donut with small cop of warn chocolate that had a red chili in it.. delicious! I really enjoyed my dinner- I saw several groups with pitchers of sangria as well as couples and then me! I hope your enjoy it- the risotto was my favorite

    1 Reply
    1. re: Johnette

      Are you referring to Julian Serrano or Firefly?

    2. Haven't been to Firefly, but Serrano was very good and the vegetarian options are pretty expensive (especially if your friend eats fish? If so they can pretty much eat anything off the menu). The design of the restaurant is also very cool, I think it would be well suited to your group.

      I'm 99% sure that Johnette is talking about Serrano, as I also had the mushroom risotto, the white sangria, and the churros and agree that all were outstanding.

      1 Reply
      1. re: baderin

        Dammit, I just realized that I typed expensive instead of extensive. That's what I meant - there are a lot of vegetarian options. They're priced in line with everything else there. Just in case you check back on this.

      2. We just ate dinner at Firefly earlier this week. While we enjoyed the food overall (the stuffed dates are truly delicious), and had a "primo" view of Fremont Street and the light show (highly over-rated), I would give Julian Serrano a try. Firefly is in the Plaza Hotel downtown. I wish there was some way to get to the restaurant without having to enter the hotel - it's dirty, smells bad, and the elevator was nasty. The Firefly itself is fine, but when I saw Julian Serrano and the gorgeous surroundings, it made me wish we had gone there for our tapas dinner. Just one humble opinion.

        Firefly did have several veggie options (we tried the artichoke toast which was tasty).

        1 Reply
        1. re: STL James

          Just to add that Firefly's other location, on Paradise Rd., is away from the hustle and bustle of the Strip or downtown. I haven't ever eaten at Julian Serrano or for eons at Firefly, so this isn't a recommendation, just another alternative.