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3 nights in Vegas (including Thanksgiving)

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Hello All

I've been a frequent reader of chowhound for years, but this is my first post (so please go easy on me if I leave out any vital information).

My girlfriend and I will be driving into Las Vegas (from san diego) on the wednesday evening before thanksgiving. We'll be staying on the strip, though we haven't booked the hotel yet. We'll have a car, so we can drive, but we'd prefer not to have to deal with too many inconveniences/extra charges.

Here are my thoughts:
Classic Vegas for wednesday night. I'm not sure what time we'll be arriving, so I don't want to make reservations. Also, we may be slightly tired from the drive, so we won't be ready for "fine dining." This seems like the perfect opportunity to try out a classic (perhaps late night) spot. Do these types of places still exist? Any fun suggestions?

Thursday (thanksgiving) might be a good day for a buffet. This way, I figure we'll be able to get all traditional thanksgiving fare as well as whatever else we could possibly imagine. Plus we'll be able to eat to our heart's content just like at home.

Friday night we want to have a special night. We're fairly adventurous in our eating (we enjoy offal, game meats, fine french cuisine, peasant french, italian, asian.... pretty much everything), and so we'd like to find a truly unique dining experience. We're familiar with most of the celebrity chefs in vegas (through their cooking shows and game shows), but we don't want to limit ourselves to those restaurants alone. We'll be happy to pay for one of the best meals of our lives. Alternatively, I'd also like to know if there are some more casual places (and thus I've been overlooking them) that specialize in an incredible item (or two), and so it may be worth trying such a place instead.

I appreciate any help that you can give me. Please let me know if you have any other questions for me, and I'll try to answer them to the best of my ability. Thanks!

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  1. There are surprisingly few fine late night dining choices available at least on the Strip.
    Stratta in the Wynn has a limited late night menu.
    First Food in the Palazzo is open late. They're rather burger oriented though.
    There's any number of coffee shop and deli places of varying quality depending upon the Casino.

    Thanksgiving buffet lines are amazingly horrific. Most restaurants are open with a special t-day menu. I'd pick a place and make reservations.

    For your special night, there's the usual suspects of Robuchon, Alex, Guy Savoy, Twist.
    I liked Alex better than Robuchon. I also like L'Atelier. Sage is good too.

    -----
    Stratta
    3131 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89109

    1. For Thanksgiving you might want to consider Charlie Palmer. Their serving sizes are typically quite large so I doubt you would be leaving hungry! There menu is below:

      Thanksgiving Day

      Thursday, November 25th, 2010
      served 4:30pm to 9:30pm
      three course prix fixe

      First Course
      MAINE LOBSTER CHOWDER
      GOLDEN CHANTERELLES / PETIT FENNEL

      CHATEAU DE L'ECHARDERIE, QUARTS DE CHAUME, V.V. 1999

      Main Course
      SLOW ROASTED SONORA TURKEY
      TRADITIONAL ACCOMPANIMENTS / PAN GRAVY

      EMERITUS, PINOT NOIR, RUSSIAN RIVER VALLEY, 2007

      Sides (served family style)
      BRUSSELS SPROUTS WITH PANCETTA

      SPICED SWEET POTATO PUREE


      Dessert
      TASTE OF AUTUMN PUMPKIN
      PUMPKIN CHEESECAKE / SPICED PUMPKIN PIE WITH MERINGUE


      $65 per person
      Wine Pairing $25

      1. Thanks for your insight!

        It seems like we may simply try to do room service for our first night as we will have hotel dining credit. However, any other suggestions for a fun and unique late night dining experience would be very much appreciated.

        For Thanksgiving, we will definitely look at menus. Hopefully one will strike our fancy, and we'll make a reservation. My girlfriend has never been to Las Vegas before though, so she still would really like to experience a Vegas buffet. From what I've seen on the boards, competitors have come and gone, but it seems like the Bellagio is still the best. Would you agree?

        Finally, Robuchon is probably out of our price range. I've been reading great things about Alex and Sage all over these boards. It seems like we may be deciding between those two restaurants for Friday night. The idea that B&B is supposed to be like Babbo is intriguing, however it seems like they don't quite pull it off. We're still scouring these boards, and others, for reviews, and studying menus. Any more help would be great!

        Thanks again

        -----
        Bellagio
        3600 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV

        3 Replies
        1. re: riggle

          Where are you staying? Some of the casino 24hr coffee shops aren't too bad. If I were staying at Bellagio I'd eat at their coffee shop before room service. At the Venetian/Palazzo there's the Grand Luxe. I know they're just another flavor of Cheesecake Factory but in the 24hr context they're not too bad. If you're in the mood for a delightfully tacky Vegas experience, you might try the Peppermill.

          I forgot about Raku too. They're a current chowhound darling and they're open pretty late (or early as the case may be).

          We've been skipping the buffets in our trips the past year, but we usually hit the Wynn buffet.

          We've been to B&B three times. Once was ok, once was wonderful, and once was terrible. That's not a good average so we've given up on them.

          1. re: zippyh

            The first night, wednesday, we'll be staying at the MGM Signature. We found a nice deal that included a food credit, and we'll have a jacuzzi in the room! Thursday, friday, and saturday we'll be staying in a "GO" room at the Flamingo. I know the property isn't all that interesting, but people seem to be complimentary of their newly updated "GO" rooms. It was the most affordable, centrally located hotel we could find. This will allow us to spend a little more on food :)

            The Peppermill looks like a fun place to try for a late night/early morning experience. Also Raku looks like a great option to go with some friends who will also be in Vegas, but aren't planning to join us for the more extravagant (expensive) meal. There are a few yakitori places in the San Diego area (where I'm from), but I don't think they can find that kind of food in wisconsin (where they're from). I just hope they're feeling adventurous!

            It's too bad B&B isn't more consistent. I recently read Heat, where the author spends a few years in the Babbo kitchen (Batali plays a role in the book), and then he goes to Italy to learn pasta making and butchery. It inspired my girlfriend and me to make handmade ravioli and braised lamb shanks with polenta last weekend. At least our dinner was fabulous!
            .

          2. re: riggle

            Definitely have dinner at Alex for your special meal. It's my favorite restaurant in LV. I also preferred it to Robuchon. Didn't care too much for Twist.

          3. May I suggest the SUNCOAST? It's about 20 minutes from the strip in an upscale area but the rooms and restaurants are much more reasonably priced. Restaurants include TGI Friday's, the Sierra lounge for buffets. There is also a steak house, oyster bar, Mexican and Italian places as well as a family type restaurant that does classic American food (great meatloaf) and Chinese food.
            I will also be there then.

            1. Andre has posted both his Thanksgiving menus: http://andrelv.com/

              Andre's@Monte Carlo $75
              Alize@Palms $85