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Sep 1, 2012 11:19 PM

The Revenge of...My Upcoming Las Vegas Vacation

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.

    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.

        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 maƮtre 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.


            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.


                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.


              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: 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.


                          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.


                              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.


                    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.