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Aug 19, 2012 05:57 PM

Reservations in Vegas? Recs for mid-range, less formal, but interesting dining?

Hi Vegas Chowhounds!

The quick question is: how critical is it to get reservations for restaurants in Vegas, and how far in advance do you have to plan?

The longer story is:
I'm coming to LV THIS WEEKEND (Aug 23-26) for my brother's bachelor party, but think of it as the least stereotypical bachelor party you can imagine (I'm his sister and the "best person:, and the rest of our group is composed of another woman and two gay men). We are all foodies from San Francisco and New York, and looking forward to the restaurant scene while we're there. However, none of us has spent any time in Vegas and we haven't planned all that well, so no reservations as of yet.

We are interested in the following:
- Lotus of Siam
- Charlie Parker (a steakhouse seems necessary in Vegas, no?)
- Buffet at Bellagio, Wynn or Wicked Spoon (again, one buffet seems necessary in Vegas..)
- Raku or Kabuto
- Happy hour at Mundo
- Barrymore

As you can see, more on the mid-range side of things (we have access to lots of chef-driven high-end food in SF and NY, so we didn't feel the need to go to celeb chef spots). Do we need reservations at any of these places?

Also, are we missing anything really worthwhile from this list?

And finally, if you've read this far, are there any excellent cocktail bars in Vegas?

Thanks for any help!

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  1. Don't sue me if I steer you wrong, but my observations:

    I'd make reservations for dinner at Raku, Kabuto, or Lotus of Siam. Raku I find highly unpredictable in when it will be crowded. I've been able to waltz in at unlikely times (8:00 p.m. on a Saturday) and found it busy later on a weeknight. A Thursday reservation at Lotus probably isn't necessary, although there's a chance you might have to wait.

    Reservations are probably a good idea at Charlie Palmer's (I'm assuming that was a jazz typo!).

    Buffets don't take reservations except occasionally for bigger parties than you'll have.

    No need to make reservations for Mundo happy hour.

    Sorry, I haven't been to Barrymore's.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Dave Feldman

      Barrymores is not that large and was completely booked when I was there on a Sunday a few weeks ago, so I'd reccomend a reservation there, as well.

      1. re: zook

        The Barrymore is a relatively small place and only releases a couple tables each night online through opentable, so if you try booking through there and there is no avaiability, try giving them a call. Or stop in the lounge for a drink and make a reservation in person. I did that once and they squeezed my party of four in even though they were already booked for the evening.

    2. You might want to consider the Capital Grille for your steak night. They are offering a "Generous Pour" for $25/person. There are around 10 wines to choose from and you can mix and match, drink all you would like for the same price. This provides a much wider variety than you receive with Charlie Palmers Cut of the Week; ableit at a higher price point. If you do end up at CP's they are offering a free bottle of wine with each pair of entrees. I am sure it isn't top shelf wine, but CP will always serve a decent wine and the price is right!

      2 Replies
      1. re: Philber

        Is this different from the Capital Grille chain, owned by Olive Garden?

        1. re: cocktailhour

          Darden restaurants owns both, along with many others. They are at different ends of the dining spectrum for certain! For what it's worth, I have dined at both CP and CG several times and overall have preferred the dining at CG.