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Apr 8, 2012 09:20 AM

Restaurants Around Mandalay Bay & MGM Grand (Review Our List)

My family (myself, my wife, and daughters ages 10 and 5) will be in Vegas for 5 nights and staying in Mandalay Bay and MGM Grand. I've used my American Express Membership Rewards points to get gift cards for the Lettuce Entertain You restaurant group and the B.R. Guest restaurant group (is there a law that restaurant groups must be puns?!), which cover these restaurants on the strip:

Lettuce Entertain You:

Eiffel Tower Restaurant (Paris Las Vegas)
El Segundo Sol (Fashion Show Mall near Wynn)
Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab (The Forum Shops at Ceasars)
Mon Ami Gabi (Paris Las Vegas)
Stripburger (Fashion Show Mall near Wynn)

B.R. Guest:

Fiamma Trattoria (MGM Grand)
Strip House (Planet Hollywood)

We also have the following:

$50 Gift Certificate to Fleur by Hubert Keller
$50 Gift Certificate to STRIPSTEAK

And we should receive these upon check-in:

$65 Food and Beverage Credit at Mandalay Bay
$65 Food and Beverage Credit at MGM Grand

Based on the above, I think our dining choices have pretty much been dictated for the trip. My questions to Chowhound LV are if we should avoid any of the above restaurants (I can't imagine any restaurant on the strip could be awful enough to warrant full avoidance, but I dunno), and if there are any other restaurants that you would recommend we try within walking distance of our two hotels. We are a family of foodies, so we'd want to go to places that we wouldn't normally find near us (L.A.), but we still need to try to keep things affordable if possible.

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  1. Having eaten at both steakhouses on your list, I prefer STRIPSTEAK. I had an excellent meal at Strip House, but I think the other is a bit better . . . . plus you can't beat the free and delicious duck fat fries.

    Border Grill at Mandalay is a solid spot for casual, tasty Mexican. I've also eaten at RM seafood. I ate at the fancier upstairs area and had a great/innovative tasting menu meal. The more casual downstairs area is well thought of as well.

    I'm also partial to the banana cream pie at Emeril's in MGM. The restaurant itself is good, but I often stop by and just grab a piece of pie at the bar or take it to go.

    1 Reply
    1. re: freshlycured

      I had heard about the duck fat fries so STRIPSTEAK, so that's a given. Thanks for the other recs. We live near the original Border Grill so we'll probably skip that. The banana cream pie idea is great!

    2. I've eaten at Fleur both in its previous incarnation (as Fleur de Lys) and once again back in January of this year. Both meals left me completely cold. You've already got the gift certificate, but with a party of four you can burn through $50 pretty quickly, so maybe stopping in for an appetizer and a couple of drinks before having dinner elsewhere might be better than committing to a full meal there.

      Do post a report when you return - I'm especially curious about Fiamma and Eiffel Tower.

      3 Replies
      1. re: rcurtism

        Thanks, I have read similarly neutral-to-negative reviews about Fleur. Doesn't it have a Michelin star? Seems strange the poor reviews. We may not go there. The gc requires $100 min. purchase and only cost me $4 or something so I don't mind skipping it.

        I'll definitely write a report of the restaurants we try. Thanks!

        1. re: PeterCC

          The Michelin star was in its previous incarnation as Fleur de Lys in 2006.

          Aureole is one of my favorite places in Las Vegas. They're on too.

          I like Stripsteak except for the location. I don't like that big window onto the walkway.

          Fiamma was good too but it was about two years ago that we last ate there.
          I don't like the tables on the walkway there either.

          1. re: zippyh

            I'll write a more thorough review at a later time, but just quickly, we had STRIPSTEAK last night for a late dinner after arriving in Vegas, and Fleur this evening for an early dinner.

            @ STRIPSTEAK, we were served the duck fat fries as an appetizer, which were delicious. We had the aforementioned $50 gift certificate, and the only restriction that we had to order two entrées (anything from the Entrée menu, or from the Angus/Wagyu/Fish portion of the grill menu), so I ordered the Colorado lamb and my wife had the organic grilled chicken. I also ordered a side of the artichoke with goat cheese. Our older daughter had the hamachi sashimi and our little one shared all of our food. Everything was delicious, but nothing was absolutely outstanding.

            @ Fleur, we arrived just before dinner, so we were able to order from both the lunch and dinner menu. We also had the aforementioned $50 gift certificate, which required us to order a minimum of $100 in food, which was not a problem.

            We started with the burrata (delicious, but needed a few more pieces of crustini to eat with the cheese), onion soup shooter (glad that it wasn't just a single serving, as everyone loved it--apparently it was the only thing that made it from the Fleur de Lys menu), apple brie flambée (kids wanted it, but didn't care for it that much, and they do like brie).

            The kids split the steak frites from the lunch menu. The steak was ordered medium-rare, but served just barely under that, which was not a bad thing (the kids ate the whole thing up). The fries were good and even better dipped in the steak jus. My wife had the wild king salmon classically seasoned with dill; it was ordered "medium rare" but came more medium, which was actually perfect. I had the braised short ribs over the peking duck breast on the recommendation of the waiter. It was very good, and the warm potato salad was quite delicious.

            (I think I might have been happier with a dry-preparation dish like roasted peking duck breast rather than a braise, but I can't blame the waiter's recommendation, as the short ribs were truly excellent. I just should have listened to my palate.)

            For dessert, we shared the brownie lollipops (dark chocolate-covered brownies with chocolate mousse inside, served on top of a brushing of caramel), the vanilla crème brûlée (a well-executed standard), and the almond panna cotta (blackberry-kalamansi sorbet, strawberry-citrus soup, honey tuile). Everyone liked everything, but the sorbet was surprising the best part (for me).

            Hmm, if you couldn't tell by the lopsided recap, detail-wise, we much prefer Fleur to STRIPSTEAK, to our surprise (based on reading others' reviews of both restaurants on CH and elsewhere). I have to admit we were all a bit tired after our trip when eating at STRIPSTEAK last night, so that could definitely have influenced our perception of the food, which, again, not anywhere near negative.

      2. Just some advice, the food at Joe's in Caesars is not that great. I would get some stone crab claws and a slice of key lime pie. But the stone crab is stellar. Definitely grab some of thoses. PJ Clarkes right next door to Joe's has a really good burger.

        3 Replies
        1. re: A5 KOBE

          Thanks A5 KOBE. Hmm, I was looking forward to Joe's. Though I was leaning toward the stone crab anyway, so all's not lost. What items weren't particularly great in your opinion? Anything actually bad and should be avoided?

          1. re: PeterCC

            I absolutely loved the stone crab and some side of potatoes. I forgot the name but the waiter suggested it. I think potatoes were lyonaise but not 100% sure. I got a prime filet and it was straight up dry and tasteless. All the steaks and fish are better had elsewhere.

            1. re: A5 KOBE

              Phew, as long as the shellfish is still decent, we'll be fine, or at least I will. My wife remarked on wanting king crab the other day, so she can have that if she's not feeling the stone crab. Hopefully the kids will get tired of steak and not want any there. They do like scallops.


        2. We stayed at Mandalay Bay with our 9 and 6 year olds and ate at both STRIPSTEAK and Fleur. We really enjoyed both as did the kids. Fleur has a tapas style menu which works out well for the kids. There is a wide variety of small dishes so depending on what kind of eaters they are, they can have quite a few options. I thought the prices were fair too. Our kids really liked STRIPSTEAK but your $50 gift certificate will not go too far. There aren't quite as many kid friendly options, although ours loved the burger.

          1 Reply
          1. re: LisafromCalgary

            Thanks LisafromCalgary. We enjoyed both too, though Fleur more. See my review above.