A few quick Vegas notes
Spent last weekend at Mandalay Bay with a group of 12 celebrating a friend's milestone birthday. One night we had a party in my suite (small suite) with catered appetizers from Border Grill and cupcakes from Retro Bakery. I was a little concerned about planning a party from 300 miles away on less than one week's notice, but everything worked out great. The special events manager at Border Grill was super helpful with figuring out what quantities to order and which dishes would hold up best at room temperature. Everything we ordered was delicious (most of the items aren't on the regular dinner menu) and nicely plated on colorful plastic platters that we just had to return the next day. I aslo highly recommend Retro Bakery to anyone looking for celebratory cupcakes in Vegas (they do cakes as well). They delivered to the hotel at exactly the promised time, and the price was reasonable (less than one would pay for Sprinkles or Crumbs, even with the $20 delivery charge added on). My favorite flavor was the pistachio, followed closely by the raspberry/lemon. Butterscotch, apparently their most popular flavor, was a little one note (that note being sweet) even for frosting loving me. I didn't get to taste any of the chocolate varieties but the kids and chocoholic adults were very pleased with them.
We also had a late dinner at Lupo, Wolfgang Puck's Italian restaurant. It doesn't get mentioned here very often, but it worked well for our situation with a large group, some of whom wanted a multi-course meal and others more of a snack. Portion sizes are generous - individual pizzas too big for any one person to finish, giant plates of chicken Marsala and veal Milanese, big bowls of mussels, etc. Nothing earth-shattering, but well-prepared quality ingredients all around.
This is a valuable post, CM. There have been so many questions about bakery items delivered to the Strip over the years. I just went to Retro's website and they will deliver cakes, as well as cupcakes. I wouldn't have expected the cost to be less than Crumbs or Sprinkles -- I assume the quality was a little higher?
I assume that Border Grill will only deliver this kind of catering within Mandalay Bay?
re: Dave Feldman
Thanks for the positive feedback, Dave! My cupcake math may be a little fuzzy. Retro is $26/dozen plus a $20 delivery fee to the Strip. I believe Crumbs' cupcakes are $4+ each. Granted they are definitely bigger, but I am not a fan of the taste, Crumbs having the dubious distinction of making the only cupcake I've ever spit out after taking a bite (and I've tried several other flavors that were not worth a second bite). Sprinkles in Beverly Hills is $39/ dozen, plus the delivery charge to my house which about the same minutes' drive as Retro to the Strip is $35. I would never turn down a Sprinkles cupcake, but I definitely liked Retro more - moister cake with a better crumb, more of a homemade taste and appearance rather than factory-made.
I'm not sure about Border Grill delivering catering other than to Mandalay Bay. I would imagine they'd do it for a price - is it Vegas, right?