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Top of the World is Gimmicky, But Worth It

Where: 2000 Las Vegas Boulevard South [map], 89104
May 7, 2009 at 11:48 AM | by | ()

Back before we’d tried it, the idea of Top of the World, the rotating restaurant on top of the Stratosphere Tower, frankly didn’t have a lot of appeal. After all, the Strat’s very silhouette screams kitsch, its clientele isn’t known for being particularly discriminating and an unfortunate walk through the Tower Shops “mall” proved it to be nothing more than a vortex for the convergence of tacky crap.

Admittedly, assumptions were made that Top of the World couldn’t possibly be anything more than pure gimmickry, luring the gullible with a promise of a spectacular view, only to serve them overpriced, barely edible food.

As it turns out, the s-l-o-w-l-y rotating restaurant isn’t exactly cheap – you’ll pay anywhere from $30-$90 for dinner before drinks – but the food’s of surprisingly high quality.

You can indulge in sophisticated starters like Lobster Bisque and Duck Ravioli Confit with Foie Gras before moving on to classic entrees like a 20-ounce ribeye, Chilean sea bass or Colorado rack of lamb. For dessert, you might opt for the gimmicky-but-delish-sounding Chocolate Stratosphere Tower, finished with raspberry mousse and vanilla sauce. Dinner reservations are required, and the evening attire is requested (although something tells us simply refraining from wearing ratty jeans and throwing on a collared shirt will suffice).

Top of the World is also open midday, when prices are considerably lower ($15-$30 per person). We enjoy taking first-time visitors there straight from the airport. It’s fun to point out all the city’s must-sees over the course of a leisurely lunch, and then help them formulate their plan of attack. Reservations are recommended for lunch and casual dress is a-okay.

And the view really is remarkable. In the span of somewhere between 60 and 90 minutes, you’ll make a complete 360 and get a glittering view of the entire Las Vegas valley. You may even catch sight of one of the Stratosphere's thrill rides and its lunatic passengers dangling outside the window. Better them than you.

Top of the World is open for lunch from 11 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. daily and for dinner from 4:30 p.m. until 10:30 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

[Photo: Markyboy81/Mark Hardie]

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