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Is e worth it?

hi,
I've secured a seating at e for our upcoming trip to LV. We love great, memorable meals (EMP, Babbo, Scarpetta a few of our faves), and would love to add another memorable meal to our foodie experience list.

I'm just having some sticker shock, but have read that e offers an experience like no other.

Anyone have any thoughts?

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  1. It is certainly worth it. I've been there twice and am heading back for the third time next week.

    It is very different to the restaurants you mentioned. To me é is modernist cuisine at its best. If you open to that kind of food, you will love it.

    1. I've dined at EMP a number of times, and have also dined at Scarpetta in LV only (even though I live in NYC). I dined at e last year, and it was one of my favorite dining experiences anywhere. I will probably return to e on my next visit to LV.

      1. I will agree wholeheartedly that e is unlike any other dining experience in Las Vegas. But only you can answer if it is worth it for you. At $400+pp I would have a very hard time justifying it. BUT, that is because I have already dined there. There are some fairly spectacular flavors and the whole experience from checking in to your final bite is truly memorable. But put it another way...Id rather eat at Sage&LoS&Raku for the same cost as 1 dinner at e. But I am also the type of person who can justify paying $500 for one round of golf at the Wynn.

        So what I am trying to say is that I am no help!

        1. In answer to your question, "NO!"

          8 Replies
            1. re: BackBite

              Cut and pasted from an earlier post...

              I chose not to spend money at really expensive places because deep down inside the prices offend me and make me ashamed to admit that I needed to spend 500Eu+ for dinner. I'd rather enjoy what my wife could put together from the open air market and tell all my friends what a great cook she is. I'm not cheap; I think conspicuous consumption is a sin. After an evening in a really expensive restaurant as a party guest or host I feel bad about what that money would do if we just ate at a 50Eu place John Talbott recommended and gave the balance to any of hundreds of excellent charities.

              1. re: hychka

                Actually, hychka, I would be more ashamed at dining at the Wynn buffet (see your other post) and the gluttony and food waste that ensues there than any individually prepared, small portion sized meal. However, I digress.

                If your wife is spinning down essence of pea in your kitchen centrifuge, then you, sir, have truly arrived. Unfortunately, we common folk have jobs. My wife and I work and have no time to be wandering around open air markets looking for fresh morels or the perfect white truffle. No, I have 2 kids to feed. I am lucky if I find a palatable tomato at my local grocery store (welcome to the USA). Even if I was able to procure said provisions, and even if I had a science lab that rivaled Biogen in my kitchen, I have no time to be spinning the stuff in centrifuges and creating 'foam of chicken nugget' for the children. No, places like 'e' are completely 'worth it'. They offer an escape and a gastronomical journey that I cannot replicate. If your wife has the equipment, knowledge and will to prepare these meals for you, then I truly envy you. I, however, have no shame in my little escape. Other people buy baseball or football tickets, I dine.

                Besides, if you really stick to the menu, and avoid the overpriced wine, you can shave a significant amount off the final bill, and still have the experience. In the end, it won't be significantly more than a $75pp place but the journey will be so much more. So in that sense, it is, and will be, worth it.

                :) I also give most of my money to charity - the US government.

                1. re: drtechno

                  A very eloquent reply, drtechno that really illustrates my thoughts on dining as entertainment.

                  We're in similar circumstances (I'm growing tasty tomatoes in my garden though...). And, as a Canadian I embrace taxes as a duty, rather than as a charitable act.

                  e is booked. Unless I chicken out, we're in!

                  Thanks all.

                  1. re: molly32d

                    Heh, Molly. We have some nice tomatoes in our garden coming soon I hope :)

                    I would also add that there is nothing "conspicuous" about eating at an out-of-sight table that is not visible and not advertised with 6 other people. Nor is eating at a random no-name strip mall (Raku) nor some random house in the middle of nowhere (Alinea, Chicago). I can't see how any of these would be considered 'conspicuous consumption'.

                  2. re: drtechno

                    Amen! (although I wouldn't skip the terrific beverage pairings) :)

                  3. re: hychka

                    I will chime in with drtechno here. Yes, when dining out with my husband we have both stated quite a few times that we could make the same thing at home and enjoy it just as much. However, there is something to be said for sitting in Muriel's in New Orleans with the ambiance and enjoying the crawfish crepes there. Yes, they are just as tasty when I make them at home, but...

                    Dining at e' is an experience, not just about the food. My husband and I enjoyed our meal and both agreed it was probably the best meal we've ever had, anywhere. Yes, I paid for that experience, but I also ate every single morsel that was placed in front of me and the cooks didn't make extra to account for waste. There was nothing conspicuous about our dinner, and we even splurged on the wine paring.

                    Think about what the charities could do with all the food that is wasted at a buffet.

                    1. re: BackBite

                      Well...thats what they do with a lot of the food that they do not use. They donate to food banks.

              2. Absolutely. One of my favorite all-time meals.

                1. Having eaten there last night, I'd say that if you're going to spend money in Vegas, this might be one of your better options, despite the price (most expensive meal in my life to date, after $195 for meal, and $130 for alcohol parings . . . then tax, tip). Very creative, and not sure how many other places in Vegas you can experience molecular gastronomy. I would say that it paled in comparison to my recent meal at Next (El Bulli menu) in Chicago, but it was still very good (and desserts really shined). I hate the $$$ spent but I'm glad I dined there.

                  1. We are curious if somebody who has already dined at e could comment on the pace of the tasting menu. Since they have two seatings we heard from many people we spoke to that the whole experience feels very rushed (and you can read it in many reviews). We have no problems spending the money but our biggest disappointment in any restaurant is that restaurants in the US tend to serve tasting menus too fast (and we had many discussion with GMs at places, like Robuchon, Sage, Saam, Melisse, French Laundry etc. to get it down to a reasonable speed for us). Is it for example possible to get lower pacing at the second seating ? 16 courses in two hours sounds like very, very rushed.

                    11 Replies
                    1. re: honkman

                      Hmm, while I didn't feel rushed, or a feeling like they wanted to get us out of there as quickly as possible, the pacing was definitely quick for the most part. But it sort of made sense, because it's as much of a show as it is a dinner, and a lull in the action to slow the pace down would have felt weird. We were at the second seating and I have heard that seating is a bit less rushed.

                      1. re: honkman

                        I did the first seating last year. The first few courses did feel a bit rushed, but the later courses slowed down a bit. The only reason that I remember the pacing is that I had too many glasses from the non-alcoholic pairings at my area of the counter (was a bit concerned that I'd knock one of them over--I didn't). BTW, I loved the non-alcoholic pairings. Dinner lasted about 2 1/2 hours.

                        1. re: honkman

                          I was at the second seating Sunday night and never felt rushed, and I found a number of opportunities to get to know my fellow diners. There were a couple of courses where they asked you not to get up and go to the bathroom because components of a course would not hold up, but those moments were few and far between. Overall, I thought the approximate 2.5 hours were well paced. Of course, I would understand that with the 5:30 seating, they know they have a later seating, need to get certain courses prepared, and have a limited time so I could imagine how it could be perhaps slightly more rushed.

                          1. re: honkman

                            I dined during the first seating and did not feel rushed at all. It was paced perfectly and we were done in 2.5 hours. Someone in our seating had to use the restroom during the meal and plating was halted until that person returned, so they're definitely not in a rush. Some of us chatted a bit while the chefs were wiping down the plating area and setting up for the next service. Even after all that, there were still 15 minutes before the next group's seating. There was enough time for me to ask to peek into the kitchen (which is the size of a modest walk-in-closet) and spend a couple minutes thanking the chefs.

                            1. re: honkman

                              We did not feel rushed, but to be fair, it was the first extensive tasting menu we'd done. Some of the courses were, literally, one bite. If you have food allergies or preferences let them know! I personally am not a huge fan of olives, but would never claim to be allergic. I told them as much on our reservation form. When everyone else at our table had an olive-based item, I was given a lovely little cone of foie' gras. I think I 'won' on that course :)

                              1. re: BackBite

                                I also really dislike olives, but I didn't know there would be an olive course. I often wonder what I would have been given instead of the olive. Now I really wish I had mentioned it.

                                The olive dish is actually a very significant dish. It's a tribute to Chef Andres' mentor, Ferran Adria, and elBulli (now no longer a restaurant). It was an elBulli signature dish and essentially started the whole "molecular gastronomy" trend. Here is Chef Adria making his olive (with Chef Andres translating): http://youtu.be/gKWgmx0kc1A

                                1. re: ah6tyfour

                                  I detest olives (never met an olive that I've liked--not even the one at e). Next time I go to e, I'll be sure to note that on the reservation form; would much prefer a foie gras alternative. Don't care that the dish is in honor of Ferran Adria--probably would have hated that dish too (if I was so lucky to have gone to el Bulli or Next in Chicago that did a tribute menu to el Bulli).

                                  1. re: ellenost

                                    Yea, same here. I only ate the one at e because it would have been impolite to the hard-working chefs if I didn't eat it. Plus I figured, how bad could an olive be? Well, that dish was the most olive-y olive I have ever tasted. Good thing the bar had just brought my next drink pairing.

                                    1. re: ellenost

                                      I can't promise that the replacement will be foie gras! :) However, since my dislike of olives is quite strong, I did put it on the reservation form. I think I had read a review on someone's blog where they had mentioned a food aversion while the chefs were setting up and they got a different course than the rest of the seating. Makes sense to me! I'm sure the chefs would much rather create and serve you a dish you'll remember because you loved it, not because it was full of a taste that you dislike.

                                  2. re: BackBite

                                    Thanks everybody for the helpful responses to get some more accurate numbers - It might be that everybody's standards are different but 2.5 hours for such a tasting menu sounds really rushed. We had another tasting menu at a similar restaurant (within a restaurant, Saam) from Andres (which is also the reason why we are really interested in e) and it took more than five hours (but with a few more courses) which turned out to be perfect timing. Hard to imagine to do similar in 2.5 hours. I guess we will pass on e.

                                    1. re: honkman

                                      e is just not your typical tasting menu experience. Given the intimate nature of the room, and the ongoing conversation with the chefs who are preparing the food inches in front of you, the meal flows smoothly. At pretty much anywhere else, sure, a 15+ course tasting might feel rushed in that amount of time. But I would offer that the average time spent by people should not be your reason to skip such an awesome, awesome meal.