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The Revenge of...My Upcoming Las Vegas Vacation

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Well, I'm back...In mid January it looks like I'll be taking another one of my week long Vegas trips. Eight days actually, but who is counting? ;-)

Of course since its so early, nothing is finalized yet, but that will start in the next couple weeks(fight, hotel, etc...)

Of course, the most important part is the food!!! Here are the restaurants I know I HAVE to go to.

First, E...No brainer on that one. How early should I e-mail them for a reservation? Three months?

Second, LOS...I might go there a couple times for lunch instead of dinner. Since most of the restaurants I want to go are only open for dinner, I figure this is a good opportunity to fit in two great places in one day.

Third, Raku...I figure thats three no brainers in a row...

Fourth, Sage...I've seen alot of talk on here and other places about this restaurant, have to give it a try...

Fifth, Bouchon...Been to this place everytime I'm in Vegas and love it. Me being me, was even thinking about going there for breakfast/lunch at least 4-5 times just to try a bunch of different dishes. Ditto the remarks about LOS and fitting in two places in one day...

Sixth, Burger Bar...Need to go and get that Rossini burger again. Still think about it four years later. I'll probably end up here late night, not necessarily a main dinner, more of an amazing late night snack...

Pretty good so far, no?

Ok thats the MUST list, here are the other main contenders I'm thinking about: Twist, RM Seafood(upstairs), Botero, Bartolotta, Carnevino, Comme Ca, Todd's Unique(would love to go here but not sure I'd be able to fit in going out of the way for it), M. Mina, was maybe even thinking about trying Hot&Juicy Crawfish and In&Out...

Some days I might even be able to fit in three places if I have lunch, an early dinner and then an around midnight snack. So I need LOTS of great options...

I'll keep you all updated on everything both before(the restaurant reservations) and after(the results)...

Any thoughts would be much appreciated, Thanks!!!

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  1. Yes to Twist. Yes to Comme Ca (for brunch of lunch - though it may be redundant with Bouchon in the list.) Carnevino IF you like aged meats, otherwise CUT will have Japanese A5 Wagyu back on the menu by then.

    I got in to e on 1.5 months notice. We shall see how it is. Andres has yet to 'wow' me, though I generally find his food to be good.

    I don't think you can go wrong with Robuchon or Savoy (provided you have the financial means) and would definitely not skip Sage or Raku.

    http://endoedibles.com

    7 Replies
    1. re: uhockey

      The only problem I have with a Robuchon or Savoy, since I'll most likely be alone and because they're more formal, I thought it might be a bit much to sit in a place like that for 2-3 hours. That's why in past trips I've alwys ended up at L'atelier instead of Robuchon itself .

      Am I wrong about that? Has anyone out there gone to either one alone and had the tasting menu? If so would love to hear about it...

      Looking forward to hear what you think about e, Its the one meal I'm REALLY looking forward to and always like to hear different opinions...

      OK on Twist and Comme Ca, I'll star those two on my list here. Don't worry about redundancy, if its good food, its worth the repetition ;-)

      As much as I'd love to try the Japanese A5, my last steak at CUT was so salty I could barely eat it. Yes it was four years ago, but still gets me a little nervous about it happening again. Especially since others on here have reported the same oversalting problem. Probably go with Carnevino, but still can be convinced otherwise...

      1. re: LongIslandChef

        See the blog - there are links here on the board as well - have done Savoy, Robuchon, and Twist 3+ hours each solo.

        http://endoedibles.com

        1. re: LongIslandChef

          I've dined solo at Joel Robuchon twice, and at Guy Savoy twice. Meals took three to four hours, and the time didn't drag. On one occasion, I ended up talking to diners at the neighboring table. However, you need to be comfortable just sitting there between courses.

          If that might be a problem, bring a journal to record details of the meal, or bring something to read. Bringing a book might seem strange, but it's really OK. At Twist, the maître d' went so far as to provide me with reading material.

          As to e by Jose Andres, I thought it was excellent. If there were such a thing as objective food ratings, e would surely rate below Robuchon and Savoy. However, it was so much fun that it was my favorite meal among Las Vegas restaurants that are still open.

          1. re: Larry

            I forgot about that at Twist - they gave me Gagnaire's cookbook to read between courses. A bit large/cumbersome, but I ended up buying it when I returned home. Can't cook anything out of it, but it is beautiful.

            http://endoedibles.com

            1. re: uhockey

              Wow, now that's something!!! I never imagined they'd provide reading material between courses or to bring it along.
              Would be even better if I had some chatty people around me like Larry mentioned. I've had that a few times in the past, definitey makes the meal more enjoyable when you're alone...
              Guess I have quite a bit more thinking and planning to do!!!!

              1. re: LongIslandChef

                Lots of solo or 'gastro tourists" in Vegas, so lots of friendly people to meet n' eat with - at Savoy tables are too widely spaced, but the servers are so damned friendly you can chat them up for sure. I might be heading up there in January for a weekend, depending, but will definitely report back on my end of September trip to help ya out.

                Going to e, Robuchon, Twist, and Nobhill Tavern for dinners. +/- Savoy or L'Atelier, depending.

                http://endoedibles.com

                1. re: uhockey

                  Sounds like my kinda trip!!! Looking forward to the report.

                  Now that you two have talked up Robuchon and Guy Savoy so much, I think I'll have to add one of them to my list. Not sure I'd be able to do both and still get in everything else I want to do...

                  I'm kinda leaning towards Guy Savoy since I've never been to one of his places and I have been to L'Atelier multiple times...

                  So as of now, here is my list...

                  Lunch/Late night: Bouchon, Comme Ca, LOS, Burger Bar

                  Dinner: Sage, Twist, Guy Savoy, Raku, e, Carnevino

                  Might need another dinner or two, but a great start so far

      2. I tried one of your "maybes", Bartolotta, on a whim walking by. I only had salad and pasta since I'd had a big lunch, but both were excellent, and the fresh fish in the ice box that they bring by the table looked great. I can't really say how it compares to any of the others from your contenders list though. Beautiful restaurant too.

        5 Replies
        1. re: jenndee

          Every trip I've made to Vegas, Bartolotta JUST missed the cut. The menu always sounds very good, just might have to give it a go this trip.

          1. re: LongIslandChef

            Bartolotta is by far one of the best places in LV. Many people dismiss it as over the top expensive for boring food. But when taken in context (minus the extrodinarily high prices) I would contend it does what it does better than any other restaurant. There are few places in the US that could stand side by side with the quality, freshness, and diversity of the seafood. Not to mention some absolutely outstanding pasta. If $ were no object I would eat there every trip. If you can afford, go.

            1. re: LVI

              Wow, now THAT"S an endorsement!!!!! Not sure I'd say that price is no object, but considering what I'll probably be spending on most of the other meals, seems like it could fit right in.

              1. re: LongIslandChef

                Well, it is up there if you "do it right". Last time we were there we spent $400pp, tax tip all in. Had plenty of food but did not feel stuffed. Again, VERY simple preparations of pristine Mediterranean fish (this is where many of the complaints come from....bland and so forth. Personally a good olive oil and salt on a grilled fish I find amazing). And DO NOT over look the fresh pastas (rags YUM YUM) as they are some of the best in LV. Would I do it again? On my own dime no way. However if it is on the casinos dime (won a big parlay) then yes, no question. Probably THE place I will go next week if I win.

                1. re: LVI

                  I'm not sure I'd even be able to get to the fish. The pasta dishes on the menu sound so good. Since they do say appetizer size, I might have to order five or six(or seven lol) of them. Do a kind of pasta tasting menu

        2. Update...Three months to go, the hotel is booked, so it looks more and more as if the trip is on. Here is my current list or shall I say lists? One for Brunch/Lunch/Late Night and the other Dinner...

          Brunch/Lunch/Late: Bouchon,LOS, Burger Bar, Comme Ca, Border Grill?, Delmonico?, Public House?, Table 10, Hidden Pizza place?...

          Dinner: Sage, Raku, e, Carnevino, Guy Savoy, Bartolotta, Twist(still a maybe, not sure why), Nob Hill?(been there before, loved it), Cut/Delmonico/other?(need more steak reccs), Fiamma?, Robuchon(a maybe, the menu doesn't seem to thrill me for some reason)

          BTW, the reason there are so many options now, I upped the days/nights of the trip from 8 to 9, so I really need lots of great places to eat!!!

          14 Replies
          1. re: LongIslandChef

            Great options! I'd skip Border Grill unless someone has a more recent and more positive experience. We were there a couple of years ago and found it very tired. The servers seemed disinterested, disengaged, and slow. The food was uninspired and only passable. It also wasn't crowded, so frankly I'm surprised they are still open. On a trip in April, we absolutely loved e and LOS, so I'm glad to hear those are making your final cut.

            1. re: LongIslandChef

              Do Delmonico at lunch - much better deal and same food. If there is something you really want from the dinner menu at Carnevino they can probably do that up for you at lunch, as well.

              Good list but I'd skip Border Grill, as well.

              http://endoedibles.com

              1. re: uhockey

                Ok, after those two responses, Border Grill is definitely off the list...
                Sounds like Delmonico is a must for lunch, I'll be trying it for sure...
                Things are starting to come into focus now, I like it :-)

                1. re: LongIslandChef

                  We had lunch at Delmonico during restaurant week. It was excellent, both the food and the service. I had a delicious butternut squash ravioli in a brown butter sage sauce and the grilled salmon. We were both very happy with the everything .

                  1. re: rednyellow

                    The more I hear about Delmonico, the more excited i am to try it. Might even have to go there for my first meal of the trip.. I should be able to get there by 1-1:15pm, just in time for lunch.

                    1. re: LongIslandChef

                      The bread pudding is killer.

                      http://endoedibles.com

                      1. re: uhockey

                        Sold!!!....I'm a sucker for a good bread pudding. Yet another reason I can't wait to finally try Bouchons french toast which many compare to bread pudding.

                        1. re: LongIslandChef

                          Their French Toast is good - not mind blowing, imo. The Chicken and Waffles is where it is at with Bouchon.

                          http://endoedibles.com

                          1. re: uhockey

                            Oh trust me, I'll be there Satuday and Sunday for bruch just for those chicken and waffles!!! Really looking forward to that...

                            1. re: LongIslandChef

                              I'm looking at Christmas Day Brunch or Dinner there this year.

                              http://endoedibles.com

                              1. re: uhockey

                                That sounds like a great Christmas Day/Night plan. I was actually thinking about booking my trip that week, but opted for a week in January where not much really seemed to be going on. And then they book a huge convention at the Venetian that basically doubled the hotel prices in that area. Knew I should've booked the room in August when I first saw the cheap prices, big mistake on my part...

                                1. re: LongIslandChef

                                  The week before and after Christmas is the slowest time of the year for tourism in Las Vegas. Of course, all bets are off when New Years Eve comes near.

                                  1. re: Dave Feldman

                                    Interesting, I never would've guessed that. I always figured the weeks around Christmas are a big vacation time for most regular people so Vegas would be packed.

                2. re: uhockey

                  Had many great dinners at Delmonico's and didn't know they were opened for lunch.
                  Great to know.

              2. Another place I was wondering about for a quick lunch when I first get into town, but don't see much written about, is Taqueria Canonita. Any recent visits by anyone out there? Leaning towards Table 10 that afternoon, but this is another option I was considering

                4 Replies
                1. re: LongIslandChef

                  Having just moved to the area (from the beach cities outside of LA) I recently had a similar post. All I can say is emphatic yes to "e", Raku, Savoy, Robuchon, and Bouchon. Heared mixed reviews on Twist, but as a chef I'm sure you will get something out of it. I must also mention La Cirque, people rave. If you need a dining partner I can start saving up now lol.

                  1. re: rachel12

                    Le Cirque is fine. It is backed by a vocal minority. Clearly the price point is right compared to the Savoy, Robuchon, and Twists (as well as e) and it is definitely better than Picasso but it is not a "destination meal" in a city where many exist.

                    http://endoedibles.com

                    1. re: rachel12

                      Thanks for the rec's rachel. Not sure about Le Cirque, not that there's anything wrong with it, but trying to go to places I can't really go to in NY. Or at least that's the plan on this trip, but it could change, especially if the itch to go back to B&B hits me lol
                      As fo the dining partner part, you never know!!! :-)

                      1. re: LongIslandChef

                        Well lemme know what you find. As a So Cal girl In n Out isn't too interesting, but I'd love any of your input.

                  2. If Burger Bar and In & Out are on your list, I think Gordon Ramsay's burger place at Planet Hollywood is supposed to open in mid-December.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: That Don Guy

                      Burger Bar I'll be going to for sure. In&Out is one of those places I always mean to go to but don't end up getting there, will probably be the same this trip. I didn't know that Gordon Ramsay was opening a burger place too, but might have to check it out. It seems like these "gourmet" burger places are popping up all over Vegas now.

                    2. Looks like I have secured a reservation at e and I'm really excited about it,.. One down, many more to go!!!

                      1. I will second (or third or fourth) Delmonico, been numerous times, going again next month and it is the one place I will not skip on any LV trip. Consistently great across the board, I LOVE this place and that ribeye is something I actually dream about. Lunch dinner who cares it all and always been great.

                        So much burger love is showered on IN&OUT as a long time Angeleno wheres the love for original Tommys?? ( if you don't see the shack take it back!!) Their breakfast sandwich is worth the short drive as it is really delicious, no really, really delicious as are the chili cheese fries BUT do not let them wrap the fries as the steam will soften the crisp fries, make sure they leave them open and dig in its critical that the fries remain crisp. Enjoy!!

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Kevin C

                          Thanks Kevin, I'll definitely be going to Delmonico. Still not sure if it'll be lunch or dinner, but certainly one, maybe both.
                          Not sure why, but I've been going crazy trying to plan everything I want with this trip. The only dinner reservation I still have is e. Not sure I'll have time for many 2 to 4 hour dinners, so it cuts out a few of the options I was considering. I know Bouchon for sure on Saturday and Sunday for brunch, and that I'll most likely be going to Table 10 for lunch the morning/afternoon I get there. Still working on the rest...

                          I don't know a thing about original Tommy's, never heard of it. But you can bet I'll be looking it up as soon as I finish this reply!!! Always interesting in something local foodies love!!!!

                        2. Nice thread. Looking for some ideas for our mid Jan trip as well.
                          One thing I dont get is the Delmonico comment that its the same food for lunch as it looks different enought to me. The main draw are the steaks which are not available for lunch according to their site. With that said, I havent eaten there in over 10 years

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: Ziggy41

                            Good point Ziggy, the two menu's do look quite a bit different. Perhaps they meant its the same top quality?
                            Am also kind of surprised about the lack of steak on the lunch menu. Maybe they offer certain steaks as specials? I sure hope so, because if I go there for lunch, I might want a steak, even a small one if possible.

                            1. re: Ziggy41

                              Well things have gotten squirrely as the economy has eroded and having just visited the site I see what you mean about the lunch menu, it USED to be the same. I have had many rib-eyes in the afternoon and they were exactly the same as the dinner menu version and they were clearly printed on the lunchtime menu. Looks like Delmonico is a dinner only option these days, got one coming up in a couple of weeks. Thanks for the heads up.

                            2. LIC did you decide where to go? I've exhasted all my research time on New Orleans so I'm just gonna cheat here.

                              Any opinions on the early bird tasting at Sage..
                              http://www.arialasvegas.com/sites/def...

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Ziggy41

                                I'm still trying to figure everything out, but I'll be going to Sage for sure. Probably won't be the early bird, most likely one of the tasting menu's.
                                I can't believe its only six weeks away and I still have so much to figure out. I only have one dinner booked and three shows so far. In other words, I'm WAY behind my normal schedule for this kind of trip. Thankfully, I'm off this Thursday, so lots of plans will be made then...

                                Also thinking about doing some of the reviews in real time during the meals. I just bought a new phone which would make it very easy to do. Obviously, to do that during a full tasting menu might not be possible,but a regular lunch/dinner just might be.

                                Plus, this time I should be able to add some pictures to the reviews...

                              2. Ok, so this is what I have booked so far...I have dinner reservations at Bartolotta, Sage, Scarpetta, Delmonico and e. BTW, how long should I expect the meal at e to be? 2 hours? 2.5 hours?
                                Still trying to figure out Raku, Mix and Guy Savoy. However, Mix and Savoy would mess up the fact that every other restaurant I've booked ends in a vowel. Just realized that as I typed it out lol.
                                LOS for lunch for sure, Bouchon for Brunch on Sat and Sun...
                                Thinking about changing Delmonico with Carnevino(great, more vowels)...
                                Why is it you can't book a dinner reservation at Bouchon for one on opentable? I noticed that weird quirk.
                                Still more work to do, but I'm starting to get it together...

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: LongIslandChef

                                  A lot of spots don't allow singles to book via OT.

                                  I head up to LV in 6 hours.

                                  Will hopefully get SOME reports back before you go.

                                  http://endoedibles.com

                                  1. re: uhockey

                                    You all have a great time eating and drinking in LV!
                                    I'm jealous..
                                    ; )

                                    1. re: uhockey

                                      First of all, have a great trip, I can't wait to hear about the meals on here. And trust me, I'll still be reading the board when I'm there and have the time.
                                      Second, I didn't know that about OT, guess I'll have to call Bouchon if I want to make the reservation. Now you have me looking on OT at the difference between tables for one and two. You're absolutely right, there are like 40+ restaurants available for tables of 2 that aren't for 1...

                                  2. Really taking shape here now. I have Delmonico(still unsure about this one), Sage, E, Bouchon, Scarpetta, Bartolotta, Gordon Ramsay Steak(really unsure about this one too) all booked for dinner. I'm thinking about Raku on my last night, finish the trip on a high note. Leaves one more night that could end up being my Burger Bar fix. However, with so many dinner options, It might be better to do that during the day instead, leaving another night open.

                                    Really want to fit in Guy Savoy, but its not looking good. The reservation times just don't seem to match up to my other plans. The only way is if the meal could take like one and a half hours. Is that possible? even doing a tasting menu?

                                    Lunch/brunch: Table 10, LOS, Bouchon(brunch for sure x 2), Delmonico(maybe), Burger Bar(if not dinner, lunch for sure)

                                    That's where I stand right now. Further updates to come. Still would appreciate any input....

                                    6 Replies
                                    1. re: LongIslandChef

                                      ...I'd suggest skipping Gordon Ramsay. I did not eat there, but I have good reason to stand by my opinion.

                                      E is a must. Even at the hiked price (white truffles aplenty) it was just a whole hell of a lot of fun. The $300 or $500 wine pairing is insane imo (and no, I did not order either) but even without booze it was stellar.

                                      Twist remains, IMO, the best food in Vegas and a great deal compared to Robuchon/Savoy. The foie on the new winter menu is a top-5 all time prep.

                                      Robuchon was a disappointment. Yes, everything was perfect, but it no longer has that "personal" feel it once did - it feels opulent and you pay for that opulence, period. It is every bit Michelin 3* but not the same Michelin 3* you get at Alinea, Per Se, TFL if you know what I mean. It was NOT fun, just delicious and then done.....remarkable technique, but not 'special.'

                                      Kabuto should not be overlooked. It is a steal and the fish is outstanding.

                                      If you're looking for a unique lunch that is fun and shockingly good then I suggest taking a look at Public House at The Venetian - especially if you are into beer.

                                      If you can get off Strip Honey Salt for Brunch was (imo) better than Bouchon at a lower price point and Pura Vida is an absolute hidden gem. Eat is also a standout in the breakfast scene.

                                      Lotus of Siam DEFINITELY justifies the hype.

                                      Bread and Butter is Excellent. Chocolate and Spice is okay. Patisserie Manon was a disaster.

                                      Due Forni - no lie - possibly the best pizza I've had outside of Bianco and Lucali.

                                      http://endoedibles.com

                                      1. re: uhockey

                                        Excellent report!

                                        Did you go to LOS for lunch or dinner..what did you have?

                                        1. re: Beach Chick

                                          Lunch. Hour wait.

                                          Had:
                                          TOD MUN PLAR
                                          KOONG SARONG
                                          NAM KAO TOD
                                          BEEF BALLS NOODLE SOUP
                                          CRISPY MUSSEL OMELET
                                          HOH MOK SEAFOOD
                                          CRISPY DUCK AND DRUNKEN NOODLES

                                          http://endoedibles.com

                                        2. re: uhockey

                                          Wow great report!!! Here I thought I was almost done, now I have more work to do. Looks like I'll drop gordon ramsay and add twist on there. It'll take some shuffling around, but sounds worth it.

                                          I like that you mentioned public house. I've been wondering about it for months. The menu looks good and can't go wrong with the beer selection. I think I'll have to give it a try, especially since I'm staying right next to the Venetian.
                                          By the way, about how long was your meal at e?

                                          1. re: LongIslandChef

                                            2:45 at e. Twist was 2:30. Robuchon 3:15. Kabuto 1:45.

                                            My buddy is a big beer guy - I dig gastro-pub food when done well - Public House was a hit for both of us, plus they were happy to turn on ANY NFL Game for us on Sunday, the bartenders are knowledgeable and personable, and the waitstaff is quite easy on the eyes.

                                            We had the foie, the poached egg, the charcuterie (rillets and pate,) and the Bread Pudding - all were good, and I had a killer wine cocktail that was served warm after being boiled with a cinnamon stick. Awesome stuff.

                                            http://endoedibles.com

                                            1. re: uhockey

                                              2 hours 45 minutes huh? That would be cutting it REAL close to make the 9 pm show I was thinking about. Might have to rethink the show part of the night, glad I didn't buy the ticket yet. Twist being that long is ok, I booked it for my last night in town, so a nice leisurely dinner will be welcome.
                                              Its nice to see someone finally talk about Public House and such a glowing review!!! how could I not check it out? You had me at great food, great beer, BREAD PUDDING!!! and especially since its open for lunch and late night. I always seem to spend so much time in and around the Venetian its nice to know there's another great option available.

                                      2. My golden ticket arrived!!!!

                                         
                                        1. Here is my (almost) final lineup for this trip:

                                          Dinner: Bartolotta, E, Nobhill, Sage, Stripsteak, Scarpetta, Twist, and CUT(I'll give it one more shot) Not looking like I'll be able to get to Raku, however I dol have one open night, so its still possible.

                                          Lunch/Brunch: Bouchon, LOS,, Table 10, Public House, Burger Bar. rest I think I'll pick on the fly...

                                          4 Replies
                                          1. re: LongIslandChef

                                            Do the Milos Lunch for just over $20 on the prix fix.... cannot go wrong.

                                            1. re: Porto

                                              I second Milos. Here is a link to my trip last week. It also pans Gordon Ramsay Steak - just in case you have second thoughts about going there. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/884811

                                              1. re: kagemusha49

                                                I read your reviews Kagemusha, really enjoyed them. In fact it was after I read your review that I knew for sure not to bother with Gordon Ramsay Steak, because I was having second thoughts about it.
                                                I'll have to check out the menu again for Milos. The bad thing about going to a place like that, I'm allergic to eggplant. So that, from what I remember, would cut down on alot of the options

                                                1. re: LongIslandChef

                                                  My rundown here:

                                                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/885209

                                                  http://endoedibles.com

                                          2. Still torn on my first nights dinner. I'm thinking somthing like Delmonico, Julian Serrano, Comme ca, Cut (and change my reservation for a few days later), or keeping it simple and going to a place like Burger Bar.
                                            There always seems to be just one more decision to make...

                                            12 Replies
                                            1. re: LongIslandChef

                                              Not Serrano.

                                              http://endoedibles.com

                                              1. re: uhockey

                                                yeah? its bad? Shame, the menu looked pretty interesting.

                                                Is Jaleo any better? the menu there looked interesting as well...

                                                1. re: LongIslandChef

                                                  Food was okay. Service, a disaster at Serrano.

                                                  Only been to Jaleo DC and really enjoyed the food.

                                                  http://endoedibles.com

                                                  1. re: uhockey

                                                    I really like the idea of small plates for that first night. After such a long day, not sure just how hungry I'll be, and if I am, can just get a couple more plates. Sounds more like Jaleo might be the right call.

                                                    1. re: LongIslandChef

                                                      Booked a family dinner at Jaleo on Thurs 1/17. I looked at the menu & there seems to be enough variety to please all. When we had dinner at e last year, we got to see a lot of the dishes at Jaleo while we were at the bar waiting. They all looked & smelled great, especially the giant pans of paella. Hope Jose Andres doesn't disappoint!

                                                      1. re: LongIslandChef

                                                        Why not DOCG? Small plates Italian by Scott Conant.

                                                        http://endoedibles.com

                                                        1. re: uhockey

                                                          Didn't realize that was a small plate concept as well. I'll have to check out the menu right now. Sounds like a perfect fit for me, I do love great Italian food.

                                                          Thank you for the tip!!!

                                                          1. re: LongIslandChef

                                                            The menu looks good, but of course so do the menu's of Jaleo, Comme Ca and even Blue Ribbon. Now I'm thinking about ordering one dish from each on that night. Trying the best of each.

                                                            Any ideas for just one dish from each restaurant? Comme Ca, I was thinking about the Bone Marrow or foie gras. From DOCG, the Pici sounds excellent, Jaleo I have no idea(the Iberico ham maybe?) and Blue Ribbon the Honoo and/or the Fried Chicken....

                                                            1. re: LongIslandChef

                                                              I can't resist any longer....what is the golden ticket for??

                                                              1. re: Quattrociocchi

                                                                e by Jose Andres

                                                                http://endoedibles.com

                                                              2. re: LongIslandChef

                                                                Comme Ca - Chacuterie
                                                                Blue Ribbon - Fried Chicken
                                                                DOCG - 1/2 order Pici and the Filone
                                                                Jaleo - whatever he is doing with Iberico or Salt Cod

                                                                http://endoedibles.com

                                                                1. re: uhockey

                                                                  That's not a bad combo uhockey. Sounds like a well rounded meal.

                                                2. Finally back from my trip. The reviews will begin soon, probably tonight. Unfortunately I didn't get to a bunch of the places I expected to. Why? because I ended up getting sick for a few days and destroyed a whole bunch of plans.
                                                  Thankfully, it didn't mess up my reservations at E, Scarpetta or Twist.
                                                  However, anything I missed will be made up in April, when I'm planning to go back for some interviews out there.

                                                  First two reviews will be: Valentino for lunch, B&B regional tasting menu for dinner.....

                                                  3 Replies
                                                  1. re: LongIslandChef

                                                    I got back on Sunday. Had some hits and misses. Visited Bouchon, Julian Serrano, P.U.B, Comme Ca, Milos, (gulp) Wynn Buffet, and the a porn convention. Boy are my arms tired...

                                                    I'll do some write-ups as well

                                                    1. re: Ziggy41

                                                      I checked out that convention as well, was certainly interesting. Probably walked right past each other and didn't even know it. Also had the hits and misses, sometimes even by the same restaurant one day apart(Bouchon)....

                                                      1. re: LongIslandChef

                                                        Bouchon was the biggest miss. NY Strip cooked well but dry and flavorless, tasted like a filet mignon. The best part of the meal by far was the bread.

                                                  2. Lets get this party started...

                                                    Day 1 Lunch: Valentino
                                                    After arriving I walked over to the Venetian for some lunch. Wasn't quite sure where I wanted to eat, but because of the SHOT convention, most places seemed to have quite a wait. I tried to get into Public House and was told at least a half hour but probably much longer. I decided to try some place else.
                                                    Next, I walked by Valentino, took a quick look at the menu and decided to give it a shot. I was seated at the bar, The bartender(forgot her name) was very sweet and attentive.
                                                    I started with the Fried Calamari. It was very good. A nice thin crispy crust on the outside and still nice and tender on the inside. A little fresh squeezed lemon, some spicy marinara and I was off to a good start, ate the whole plate of it and as it turned out, I'm glad I did..
                                                    For the main dish I ordered the rigatoni with sausage and broccoli rabe. The first couple of bites were ok, but all the sudden this strong scorched or burned taste started to come through. Just not pleasant at all.
                                                    Grade: C+

                                                    Day 1 Dinner: B&B Alto Adige tasting menu
                                                    Was a long day of travelling and I wasn't sure what I wanted to eat. I kept walking by Cut, but I just didn't want a steak and the rest of the menu just didn't excite me that night. After the pasta fiasco, I started thinking I'd get my pasta fix and go to B&B. I went there completely expecting to get the pasta tasting menu. Upon being seated, my waiter was telling me about the regional tasting menu and it sounded so interesting that I had to go for it.
                                                    They started off with the same chickpea crostini as they used to. Simple, little, but tasty. A nice start to get your taste buds going.
                                                    First course: Insalata di Vitello with Grilled Rye and Lardo
                                                    A delicious start. The veal is lightly pickled, the lardo is slathered on top of the grilled rye, some microgreen salad and beets to tie it all together.I'm usually not a fan of beets, but these were perfect in the dish.

                                                    Second course: Canederli in Brodo
                                                    The canerdli are a kind of bread dumplings. Not too heavy, but I certainly wouldn't call them light either. A nice full flavored broth which they sat in. Really liked this dish as well.

                                                    Third course: Radicchio Ravioli with Calf's Brain and Vin Cotto.
                                                    I couldn't wait for this dish and yes I liked it, but I felt like the ravioli needed more filling. Even the way they looked on the plate was kind of sad. I've never really seen a ravioli that doesn't bulge at all, just flat from top to bottom. The radicchio ribbons were lightly sauteed so they still had lots of flavor. Good dish, but should've been a great one.

                                                    Fourth Course:Braised Oxtail with Parsnips
                                                    I love braised dished that have big flavors. This one wasn't quite that dish. It was tasty, but maybe they need to flavor the braising iiquid more or maybe marinate the meat in a more full flavored marinade. The parsnips were a great choice since they're flavor sponges as well, just wish there was more flavor for them to soak up.

                                                    Fifth Course: Alta Badia with Roasted Hazelnuts
                                                    Was starting to get full at this point, thankfully this was the last savory course. Wasn't too memorable either. I just ate a little of it and decided to same room for desert.

                                                    Sixth Course:Handrolled Pasta Sfoglia with Sage Pastry Cream
                                                    I was told, on thing this region in Italy is supposed to be known for is their amazing pastries. After trying these deserts, I just might have to go there. The crisp of the dough, the sage infused with the cream, the candied sage leaves. A great desert, never really thought about Sage as a desert ingredient until this.

                                                    Seventh Course: Local Apple and Almond Strudel with Pomegranate-Apple Molasses
                                                    I was SO full at this point. I didn't know how I could eat anymore. When they put the strudel down, I somehow found a way to eat some ;-) You would think by the description it would be super sweet, I didn't find it to be. Has come tart, some sweet, some creamy, great balance.
                                                    The whole meal I was drinking an Italian micro-brewed beer called Friska. Has the taste of orange and spices. Was a great recommendation by the waiter. I need to find it here as soon as I can.

                                                    Overall grade: B+

                                                    Next up will be Public House. For Lunch and Dinner, yes went twice on the same day.

                                                    4 Replies
                                                    1. re: LongIslandChef

                                                      Thanks for the great report, Chef. I know the city, Alta Badia, but what is the dish of that name? A pasta? I'm a little surprised you gave the restaurant such a high grade when this and especially the braised oxtails were disappointments.

                                                      1. re: Dave Feldman

                                                        It definitely wasn't a pasta, i'm trying to remember if it was pork or fish, Keep in mind, at this point is was after 11:30pm, which since it was my first night, means for me it was feeling like 2:30 in the morning.

                                                        The reason i gave it a higher grade than the food indicates is because the service was top notch. The waiters were very knowledgeable on the dishes being served and didn't try the old Vegas up sell of the most expensive items on the menu. Also, the less memorable dishes weren't bad, just didn't wow like the others. Plus, I was getting full lol. Hadn't eaten a big multi course meal like that in a long time.

                                                        edit: Thinking more about the grade now, you're right, maybe B+ was a bit generous. Probably more of a B than B+.

                                                        1. re: LongIslandChef

                                                          What was the final bill at B&B? That sounds like a great amount of food.

                                                          1. re: fuisu98

                                                            The tasting menu was 110, the beers were 14 each(i think) and I had two or three of them. With tax and tip, it was about 200...

                                                    2. Day 2 Lunch: Public House

                                                      The place was packed. Once again because of the SHOT convention going on. I was told it would be about a 30 minute wait, I decided to put my name down and walk around a little.
                                                      About 30 minutes later I was walking back past the restaurant and my phone rang, they had a table.
                                                      Was put at a booth in the middle of the room, pretty comfy actually. I looked over the menu and decided on the roasted bone marrow and the quail and waffles for my main dish

                                                      The bone marrow was one bone split in two, exposing all that buttery goodness in the middle. It came along with some caramelized onions and some nice crusty bread. But it was almost too crusty, the kind of crusty where if you aren't careful you can destroy the roof of your mouth. I didn't, but I've learned from experience in these matters.
                                                      Was a very good starter, satisfying and tasty, what more can you ask for? If there was one bad part, could've used one more half a bone for the amount of bread and onions given,
                                                      So they clear the plate about 15 seconds after I finish and immediately the main dish is put in front of me. Really? that fast? they couldn't give me a couple minutes to digest the app?

                                                      The quail was, for lack of a better word, disgusting. The whole thing, batter and all, was loaded with grease. As if they fried it in a fryer that wasn't up to the proper temp. The waffles with the "moose drool" sauce were good. The greens were very bitter and just weren't worth eating.

                                                      Overall grade: C/C-

                                                      Day 2 Dinner: Public House

                                                      So after I left lunch and the disappointment over the quail, I felt as if I'd give them a chance to redeem themselves. Since they were so crazy busy, it didn't seem a true representation of what they could really do. So I decided to make a late reservation.
                                                      This time, there was a wait at the podium, but since i had a reservation, I was showed right in. Good start
                                                      I decided on the lighter side tasting plank of beers and they were brought out quickly. Always nice to have fresh beer from the tap, especially those you don't get on tap often, if at all.
                                                      For food, I started with the Fois Gras app and the short rib for the main.

                                                      The Fois Gras was very good. A nice chunk, perfectly seared with the sweet/tart rhubarb and creamy tasting almonds were a great match.
                                                      However, once again as soon as I finished my app, they were slapping the main in front of me. Didn't like that.
                                                      The Short Rib was also very good. Tender, not dry at all. The sauce had a bit of a coffee flavor to it. I liked how they gave me a little carafe of the sauce, so I could control the distribution myself, especially over the mashed potatoes. I always appreciate these little details...
                                                      I was WAY too stuffed for desert, which was a shame, they sounded pretty good...Very happy that I gave them another chance

                                                      Grade: B/B+

                                                      Next up will be Taqueria Canonita and E(not going to tell too much because I don't want to ruin peoples surprise, but will tell about some highlights for me)

                                                      1. Day 3 Lunch: Taqueria Canonita

                                                        I knew that I didn't want a big lunch, because of the dinner that was to come. I tried to get into Public House but it was too long a wait. I took a lap around the Venetian Shops and decided to stop in here for a bite.
                                                        I didn't order much, The chips, salsa, guacamole and queso fundito with chorizo and jalapenos.
                                                        First of all, I was sitting at the bar which doesn't leave much space. They brought it all out at the same time. So I had about 15 plates(an exagerration but not by much) in front of me at the same time. The guac was ok, I make it much better. There were some nice chunks of avocado in there but could've used some more jalapeno and cilantro.
                                                        The salsa had a nice kick to it, so it kind of made up for the lack of Jalapeno in the guac.
                                                        The queso fundito was good, but could've used more chorizo and jalapeno that I ordered as add ins. The soft flour tortillas were ok, came out nice and warm. This was the first time I've ever had this dish, so I have nothing to compare it to, but I would order it again.

                                                        Overall: C/C-

                                                        Day 3 Dinner: E by Jose Andres

                                                        This was the night I couldn't wait for. First of all, this was my first time I had been to the Cosmo so I left myself plenty of time to get there. Typical of me, I got there WAY too early. I arrived at the restaurant about 4:45. They sat me at the bar and offered me some water.
                                                        About 5:15 I was asked about the different beverage options, I went with the non alcoholic option, I didn't want to be looped by 8pm.
                                                        About 5:30 we were led into the "bar" where the magic takes place. I was seated right in the middle in front of the chef.
                                                        We were immediately offered a cocktail made with liquid nitrogen. First time I had ever tried anything with liquid nitrogen before, it was like a grown up slushie, loved it.
                                                        Here are just a few of the highlights of the 24 courses:

                                                        Truffle Cotton Candy- Sounds odd right? It was absolutely delicious. An amazing blast of truffle flavor all through this gorgeous little ball of cotton candy

                                                        Lobster with Citrus and Jasmine air- This was one of the best dishes I've ever eaten. The jasmine air was such a perfect taste to balance the sweet/tart of the citrus and the sweet/ocean-y flavor of the lobster.

                                                        Turbot and Bone marrow- For me, this dish was all about the beautiful little deep fried tubes of bone marrow. Crunchy on the outside and liquid marrow in the middle. SO good!!!

                                                        Cava Sangria- A beautiful little globe of sangria on a spoon. You put it in your mouth and it explodes into a mouthful of sangria. A great palate cleanser in the middle of the meal.

                                                        Chickpea Stew with Iberico Ham- The best part of this dish were the "chickpeas" that were really a puree which was re-solidified into little spheres.

                                                        I LOVED this meal, from start to finish it was incredible. However, I do have one problem with it. It was too quick. We were in and out in 2 hours. Not kidding, 24 courses in two hours. Would've liked to slow it down a bit and had the chance to really let everything sink in before moving on to the next course.

                                                        Grade: A.....would've been an A+ if it wasn't rushed through

                                                        3 Replies
                                                        1. re: LongIslandChef

                                                          Thanks for the report. Must try e next time

                                                          1. re: Ziggy41

                                                            You definitely should, but maybe try the 8:30 seating instead of the 5:30. I'd think the meal would slow down without them having to worry about another seating immediately after

                                                            1. re: LongIslandChef

                                                              Nah - still a pretty quick tasting. Started at 8:30 and was back in MGM just after 11:00pm for a $325 tasting there.

                                                              http://endoedibles.com

                                                        2. Day 4 Lunch: Delmonico

                                                          Once again, the SHOT show people were taking up just about every restaurant in the Venetian. I walked by Delmonico, didn't look that busy, and figured what the heck.
                                                          From the second I walked in, the service was just perfect. Every little detail was taken care of.
                                                          I ordered the gumbo as an app and the burger(medium rare) to follow.
                                                          (As an aside, before my trip there was a discussion about whether or not there are steaks on the lunch menu. they offer a pretty good selection of steaks)

                                                          I loved the way the gumbo came out in a little silver pot with the rice on top, as they pour it out the rice ends up on the bottom of the bowl with everything else on top. It was a chicken and andouille sausage gumbo, but you wouldn't know it because the meat was so cooked out that it was void of flavor. I added some tabasco to it, because without it, the gumbo was flavorless.

                                                          Now to the burger. This was a great burger!!! In fact, it ended up being the best burger of the whole trip. Had nice full big thick slices of bacon on it, Thick slabs of cheddar melted just right The burger itself was real big and cooked perfectly medium rare. Just the right amount of salt to bring out the natural flavor of the meat.
                                                          Best of all, the fries were cooked well done, just as I requested. I can't stand when you ask for well done fries and they come out barely cooked
                                                          I was dying to order the bread pudding, but just couldn't fit it in.

                                                          Grade B/B- Pedestrian, boring, flavorless gumbo, but the Burger and Service were top notch

                                                          5 Replies
                                                          1. re: LongIslandChef

                                                            Wanted to add about the service and why I was so gushing. I was a walk in on a busy Thursday afternoon and yet everyone, from the woman who greeted me at the podium, to the captain, to the waiter, to the busboys, had me feeling like I was their number one customer.

                                                            1. re: LongIslandChef

                                                              The gumbo is surprisingly weak in all the Lagasse restaurants I've been to, including the eponymous restaurant in New Orleans. Not sure why.

                                                              1. re: Dave Feldman

                                                                That's surprising. I thought Delmonico would have a great rendition just based on the reputation of their food quality. It wasn't even an attractive/appetizing color.

                                                                1. re: LongIslandChef

                                                                  We love Delmonico's in Vegas and someone in our party had the gumbo..meh.
                                                                  Service and food is great and doesn't get the props it deserves.

                                                                  1. re: Beach Chick

                                                                    I agree with you Beach Chick, wouldn't hesitate to go back on my next trip, Loved the overall experience there.. I'll just make sure not to order the gumbo next time ;-)