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Feb 11, 2000 02:39 PM

Las Vegas recommendations

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Just returned from a trip to Vegas and was pleased, though not overly so, with Hugo's Cellar at the Four Queens. Twenty-three years ago, it was spectacular; last week it was quite good, though lacking in those flourishes of service and presentation. Dinner at Lilly Langtry's (Golden Nugget) was delightful, and a lunch at Florida (Howard Johnson's on the Strip) was a delicious bargain. Marinated roast pork with grilled onions, black beans & rice, avocado salad. A couple of Mexican beers to go with the Cuban cuisine...all for about $10.

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    There are many hidden treasures in Las Vegas's biggest hotels. Margarita's, at the New Frontier, has excellent fajitas for two, for under $20 (with tip, tax and drinks!). For those looking for less frills, there is a little food court at Caesars Palace with good pizza.

    On the other end of the scale, my absoulte favorite (for service, food and ambiance, which in my opinion is a lost art) is Jasmine's at Bellagio. The decor is breath-taking and when you dine with the fountains out the windows, WOW!

    I try to avoid the Studio Cafe at MGM, it is crowded and the food is not very good. For cafes, I liked Cafe Caribe at Mirage, yummie!