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Four dinners in Vegas, already done "the big three" - suggestions?

uhockey Oct 12, 2010 05:06 PM

Hello all - headed back to Vegas for four days before Christmas this year with the family. Have already been to Alex, Robuchon, and Savoy (along with many others including MiX, Le Cirque, Craftsteak, Carnevino, Raku, Enoteca San Marco, Sensi, Bartolotta, Nero, etc)

Already have booked meals at Twist, Picasso, and L'Atellier - trying to decide on one last choice. I'd love to try Wing Lei, but the fact that they restrict their tastings to two persons turns me off as I'll be dining alone.

Considerations for now include Andre's, Alize, Aureole, Fleur de Lys (reopening under a new concept,) BarMasa, and Sage. Anyone I'm overlooking? We're stuck on the strip without a car and I don't really want to take an overpriced taxi for Rosemary's (the cab price will push it up to strip price, anyhow.)

Any overwhelming thoughts or opinions? Thanks in advance.

http://uhockey.blogspot.com

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Alize
4321 W Flamingo Rd, Las Vegas, NV 89103

Enoteca San Marco
3355 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89109

Wing Lei
3131 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89109

Le Cirque
Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89109

  1. k
    kevin25 Nov 20, 2010 09:43 AM

    great reviews by the way but you make me LOL, stuck on the strip without a car? cars are cheap in vegas and taxis not that bad. with all the money you obviously spend on food that seems like a drop in the bucket for you. oh yea JAMA favorite book read? come on you can do better than that(residents talk like that). ps L'OEUF , LES HUITRES and LE RIS DEVEAU are all excellent at L'ATELIER.

    1 Reply
    1. re: kevin25
      k
      kevin25 Nov 20, 2010 09:47 AM

      ps drive back over to Pittsburgh if you want to see good hockey. and try Davios its (BYOB)

    2. uhockey Oct 13, 2010 04:40 PM

      Not sure how I can resist such strong recommendations over and over for the same place - I guess I'll book it. :-)

      http://uhockey.blogspot.com

      1 Reply
      1. re: uhockey
        chowmcd Nov 19, 2010 04:43 PM

        We went to Sage in October based on this thread, and I was a underwhelmed in light of the praise. The "Milan to Manhattan" cocktail was fine, but we are admittedly spoiled by a mixologist in Richmond, VA who makes craft cocktails from scratch. I was surprised that a restaurant and bar with this reputation is using standard tonic water with high fructose corn syrup instead of Fever Tree or Q Tonic products.

        I ordered the Sunchoke and Mushroom Risotto with Butternut Squash, Pumpkin Seeds, and Lobster Mushrooms, which was okay but not memorable; a similar response was exchanged with my fellow diner about his steak entree and the same was true in regards to our soup course. Highlights were the service (friendly and informative) and delicious bread (though I don't usually pay attention, it was especially flavorful). The two desserts we enjoyed were above par.

        It looks like the menu has expanded some since our visit, maybe we just didn't choose wisely. I would recommend following specific dish recommendations from other commenters or arranging a chef's tasting based on your preferences to avoid a disappointing experience.

      2. q
        QAW Oct 12, 2010 05:42 PM

        Some quick off the cuff thoughts - given the three choices that are locked in, not sure that Andre's or Alize are a great fit; they will be B+ versions, at best, of what you will have already done. There is a preference to Sage over BarMasa, largely because the price point at the latter unfortunately becomes part of the experience (which does not happen at places like Robuchon or Savoy, for instance). But perhaps time to revisit a place from one of your past experiences - Raku is now doing a full Kaiseki evening, which brings a tear to our eyes as we fondly recall the short but sublime Bar Charlie days. Given what your other choices are, that type of experience might really balance the trip well, since it takes you in a very different direction and might enhance the enjoyment of the others.

        13 Replies
        1. re: QAW
          uhockey Oct 12, 2010 06:03 PM

          Good info - but I tend not to repeat until I've hit every place "on my list" for a given location. Bouchon for Brunch is my "once every trip" place in Vegas - aside from that, my only repeats in 3 years of travel/dining are Griddle Cafe for breakfast in LA and Alinea.

          I get the same feeling as you mention about BarMasa - I just get the feeling I'll walk out hungry thinking "did I just drop $300 on 20 slices of raw fish?"

          http://uhockey.blogspot.com

          -----
          Bouchon
          3355 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89109

          1. re: uhockey
            q
            QAW Oct 12, 2010 06:35 PM

            You do have another wild card that can be in play, but unfortunately no way to plan this far in advance - the Cosmopolitan keeps confirming that opening day will be December 15th. Whether or not the restaurants will be ready to go by that time, or even by your trip, is another matter, but that does potentially bring Jaleo and China Poblano (both from Jose Andres), Scarpetta, and Estiatoria Milos into the equation. Of course, even if they are open it is a gamble in terms of how well the service staff will get up to speed. But some food for thought, literally.

            1. re: QAW
              uhockey Oct 12, 2010 06:48 PM

              Saw that - did Jaleo in DC and wasn't terribly impressed (though Zaytinya and The Bazarre were both excellent) and Scarpetta is some of the best Italian I've had anywhere (the original in NYC when Conant was still in the kitchen.)

              Estiatoria looks interesting, though I've oddly never heard of it in NYC and China Poblano sounds so bizarre I'd definitely consider checking it out. If Comme Ca is open for brunch I'll be all about that, and Conant's casual Pizza place sounds interesting.

              Thanks for the notes - I'll probably decide between the new Fleur de Lys and Sage, so far.

              http://uhockey.blogspot.com

              1. re: uhockey
                SDGourmand Oct 13, 2010 09:28 AM

                Strongly recommend sage. One of the best meals I've had in Vegas.

                1. re: SDGourmand
                  uhockey Oct 13, 2010 09:42 AM

                  It is looking that way - the brulee and sweetbreads alone are calling my name.

                  Interestingly, as many times as I've been to Chicago I've not yet gone to any of McClain's places there - I need to remedy that.

                  http://uhockey.blogspot.com

                  1. re: uhockey
                    q
                    QAW Oct 13, 2010 10:50 AM

                    Have to concur with Sage, and just a little tidbit - if you go, also ask to see the "Lounge Menu" in addition to the regular items. The Fig & Blue Cheese Tart (with black pepper honey) and the Slow Poached Farm Egg (with smoked potato and guanciale) are among several options not on the Dinner Menu that help to showcase McClain's flair.

                    1. re: QAW
                      r
                      raider Oct 13, 2010 02:10 PM

                      another vote for sage. get the fois gras creme brulee. and, if you like cocktails, the "milan to manhattan".

                    2. re: uhockey
                      d
                      dhyasama Nov 23, 2010 05:07 AM

                      I love, love, love the brulee and still talk about it six months after eating there. The sweetbreads didn't do it for me though. They were too much like sweet and sour chicken from a takeout joint.

                2. re: QAW
                  atdleft Nov 23, 2010 01:18 PM

                  It looks like all the Cosmo restaurants will start taking reservations for December 16.

                  I'll be in OC for the holidays, but I'm hoping to try Scarpetta when I return.

                  1. re: atdleft
                    uhockey Nov 23, 2010 01:39 PM

                    Been to Scarpetta in NYC when Conant was there - excellent - and booked DOCG for my visit.

                    http://uhockey.blogspot.com

                    1. re: atdleft
                      SDGourmand Nov 23, 2010 02:29 PM

                      I'm looking forward to China Poblano and Jaleo.. I want to try scarpetta as well but will probably go to the Beverly Hills location..

                      1. re: SDGourmand
                        uhockey Nov 23, 2010 02:31 PM

                        Jaleo is vastly overrated - by far the worst Andres (been to Bazaar, Jaleo, Cafe Atlantico, Zaytinya) spot. Poblano will likely be a lunch on the trip.

                        http://uhockey.blogspot.com

                  2. re: uhockey
                    d
                    dhyasama Nov 23, 2010 05:06 AM

                    I "discovered" Bouchon last time I was in Vegas and traveled the length of the strip three mornings in a row to eat there! Food, service, and atmosphere are all wonderful.

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                    Bouchon
                    3355 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89109

                3. skaboy Oct 12, 2010 05:37 PM

                  Julian Serrano at Aria, I've read good things...haven't tried it yet.

                  1. c
                    capprexy Oct 12, 2010 05:34 PM

                    We have tried many of the places you mentioned. Were very disappointed in Wing Lei earlier this year but it was just after the big chef change so I would not want to discount it too much. The tastings for 2 do present a problem for a single.

                    We tried Sage last July and are going back in about a week. Really outstanding. Food, service and presentation.

                    -----
                    Wing Lei
                    3131 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89109

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: capprexy
                      d
                      dhyasama Nov 23, 2010 05:04 AM

                      Ditto for Sage. Awesome food, super friendly service. I'm going back in April and can't wait.

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