What restaurants should I not miss?
I will be staying at the Venetian for a week of meetings. What restaurants are not to be missed? I would love lunch and dinner suggestions. Thanks so much for your help!
In the Venetian complex itself, my favorites are Bouchon and CUT (which is a steakhouse, but has other options). I enjoy B&B but if you are from NYC, you can go to Batali restaurants there.
If you are willing to venture off strip, Raku is great. For great and different sushi, Kabuto (in the same strip mall as Raku) is terrific. Lotus of Siam is great Thai food and a lesser known but also great new place, Chadda Thai, has a killer $15 lunch special (soup, salad, entree, and a glass of wine). For all of those, cab rides will be necessary.
On the strip, you should definitely head down to City Center; I'd consider Scarpetta and Jaleo in the Cosmopolitan, and Sage in Aria.
Assuming that you stay at the Venetian/Palazzo (since this is your first trip to Vegas) you have several fine choices.
Lots of people like Bouchon particularly for breakfast. There are 3 places that specialize in different variations of steak:- Delmonico's. CUT and Carnevino. NoodleAsia is an acceptable Chinese/noodle bar. I like Sushi Samba - not for the Sushi choices but for the Brazilian/Portuguese dishes. Valentino's is an excellent upscale Italian place - it will close later this year but don't let that discourage you. Even the coffee shop - the Grand Luxe Cafe is reasonably good. Then there is the Pinot Brasserie, which has been getting good reviews lately. Naturally, you can always find better deals if you are adventurous and venture off the strip - that means either hoofing it in the heat or cabbing or renting a car - the Spring Mountain corridor West of the freeway is loaded with all kinds of interesting Asian choices.
One of the nice things about the Venetian/Palazzo complex is that you can do a quick tour of the specials boards for that particular night before making a decision. And you can also mix-and-match rather conveniently - perhaps appetizers at one spot, an entree somewhere else, and save a third for dessert (especially at the "restaurant row" that connects the two properties, or Otto, Canaletto and Postrio side-by-side on the square in the Canal Shoppes). That is a particularly interesting way to play it now that the summer produce is showing up on the menu's (folks like Keller, Lagasse, Batali and Puck do a pretty darn good job of sourcing). I know this does not help to narrow your options, but a nice stroll around that property also helps to build an appetite.
Let me start with steak....usually a safe bet for, at least, one dinner. Getting a great steak in Vegas is usually not a big issue...the key is "how do you want to eat?" The vast majority of steakhouses...chains like Smith & Wollensky, Ruth Chris and longtime ones like The Palm are places with solid meat selection where you EAT. The difference with Prime at The Bellagio is that you DINE. The tables are set apart and not on top of each other, service is exceptional and is not geared to turning over the table multiple times in one night, and...yes....the steaks and sides are wonderful.
For a slightly more "touristy venue"..but with great food, I would recommend SW at The Wynn....and sit out near the waterfall for the "show" and ambiance. When Steve Wynn opened this venue, he got David Walzog from Michael Jordan's in NYC to come out and run the show. David does marvelous steaks and runs a superior kitchen. The ambiance is what separates SW from others in Vegas and can be worth a night out....
Just a quick lunch suggestion....Go across the Strip to the Fashion Show Mall and have lunch at The Capital Grille (a great chain)...secure a nice table overlooking the Strip and have their wonderful Capital Grille Cobb Salad with a nice Pinot Noir....