Trip Report (Long) - Bartalotta, Aureole, Mon Ami Gabbi, Lindos Michoacan, The Noodle House, Burger Bar
Started at Hubert Keller's Burger Bar. This was a fun place to eat. The food was fantastic. We enjoyed some deep fried macaroni, yam fires, regular fries, 6 kinds of dipping sauces for fries, and some very yummy sliders and burgers. All 6 of us gave it a thumbs up! We were too full to try the floats but want to go back.
The Noodle House in Mandalay Bay was really good. We just stopped in for some appetizers and had some dumplings and calamari which were great - made better by the enthusiastic server's advocation of a "saki bomb!" mmmm saki bomb... good way to get vegas rolling.
Mon Ami Gabbi was a lunch venue. The patio was great in the hot sun we liked watching the fountains and people watching on the strip. The Sangria is worth a mention. I also liked the French onion soup and Caesar salad. The duck confit was only okay as I didn't like the lentils and we did not enjoy the mozzarella in tomato - it was just not a well put together dish. This place is not really very "foodie" worthy but if you want a view have a soup and salad and carry on.
Lindos Michoacan is an off the strip venue. My friends joked that the cab ride was so long that I was actually taking them to Mexico (cost was about $12 bucks). On arrival they thought maybe I had taken them to Mexico as this place is very authentic for gringos like us. The food was the best Mexican I have ever had. The table side guacamole was worth the trip alone. The lime margaritas were fab! The chilli relenno was to die for and the fried ice cream reminded me of childhood visits to chi chi's. Then there was the bill... 6 adults ate and drank everything they could possibly consume and left a 20% tip and the bill STILL didn't break $200. Then, to top it all off, our wonderful hosts DROVE US BACK TO THE STRIP IN THE SHUTTLE! What a place. My whole group agreed we will be back EVERY trip to Vegas!
Aureole - the home of Cirque de Sommelier as the woman scales the 3 story high wine tower on a rope doing flips. This was entertaining. The dinner didn't go well., When we arrived we were told that our reservation was for March 16 not April 16. I called American Express who had made the reservation for me and their recorded phone conversation revealed that the restaurant had made the error and entered our booking in 1 month early. Hence our Swan Court request was impossible due to a private function. They did however fit us in without a big fuss. From there we ordered a tasting menu and I asked to have it slower than the usual brusque American pace at which tastings are always served. As such, i must have messed up their timing as they left us for 72 minutes between courses. We ate about 6 pieces of bread while we were waiting so then we weren't really hungry when the food finally came. I honestly was so underwhelmed I can't remember what we ate except that my friend's salad with a quail egg on top was worth remembering. I will say that at the end they did make a MAJOR adjustment to our bill so that was good. Overall rating - meh. Vegas has many great places why pay big bucks for meh?
Bartolotta - this was the BEST. We were given the absolute best table in the house out on the patio overlooking the pond. It was stellar. Our server, Mauricio, from Rome, was truly wonderful. I informed them that I had booked under Taste of Wynn (thanks Chow Hounders ... that was your tip to remind them) and I was told that it had been discontinued. Mauricio went off and came back with some "theatre menus" very similar to the Taste of Wynn. We went with those which was a 3 course tasting for $69 - worth every penny. Both the foodies and the non foodies said this was the best meal they have ever had. The portions were very large for tasting menu. The Cioppino was to die for and the spaghetti I ate was the best I have ever eaten - I can still remember its lingering fennel notes.