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Eating / Dining / Fine Dining / BARDOT Brasserie / Aria / CityCenter / Michael Mina / VegasChatter Reviews / → All Tags
After much anticipation, Michael Mina’s newest creation BARDOT Brasserie officially opened its doors inside Aria January 16. We've already told you about what to expect at the new French restaurant and a little about some of the dishes. I was excited to receive a media invitation to try it out, but also, if I'm being honest, nervous.
I’ve eaten at my fair share of exquisite restaurants (I've even worked in a few), but there is something about Parisian cuisine that has always intimidated me. It’s classy and refined. Me? Not so much. Shake Shack is more my scene. But, when I'm given the chance to try something new, I’m in!
This time last year, almost to the day, Crystals was in the headlines not for its shopping, but for the potential of showtimes.
The high-end shopping mall grabbed the spotlight after MGM Resorts CEO Jim Murren confirmed a rumor that a luxury movie theater was on the way. A few weeks later, we stumbled upon just what chain was in talks to elevate the movie-going experience on the Strip, Cinetopia.
The Strip / Dining / Aria / CityCenter / Michael Mina / Openings / BARDOT Brasserie / Eating / Restaurants / → All Tags
If you’re counting down the days until you can get a modern take on the French brasserie experience, all without leaving ARIA, the wait is almost over. Michael Mina's BARDOT Brasserie is set to open January 16. We walked by last night and snapped the exposed entry (shown above, initial rendering below) which features some fun bright blue trim on the façade.
The hotel operator we spoke with stated doors officially open January 16 and that an earlier soft opening is not anticipated. In this final week leading up to the debut, it looks like the staff is putting the finishing touches on the design and lighting elements.
The Strip / Failed Vegas / Harmon Hotel / The Harmon / CityCenter / MGM Resorts International / → All Tags
That was fast! No we’re not talking about coming and going of a 4 p.m. show in downtown Vegas but rather the settlement of The Harmon lawsuit. MGM Resorts International’s ill-fated would-be crown jewel at CityCenter never got to open its doors due to construction defects.
The high rise was slated to be a non-gaming boutique hotel with residences as well. The main contractor was the Perini Corporation that hired various subcontractors. During the construction process in 2008, it was discovered that flaws in the steel rebar would render the building unsafe in the event of an earthquake. After 15 stories had been built with this flawed steel construction, the plans for the building were altered to scrap the condos and cut its height in half. Eventually it was decided the entire building would never be safe as it was and construction halted. Demolition of the building began this summer and is expected to continue through the middle of next year. We’ve been documenting its demise, if you would like to check out the progress here.
The Strip / LAMILL / CityCenter / Aria / MGM Resorts / Coffee / → All Tags
Aria has started using the boutique coffee brand, Wolfgang Puck single-use pouch in their room (oddly enough, no hotels in Vegas that have Wolfy's restaurants have his coffee), it's an uncommon thing for anyone to go whole hog in their coffee. There's even very few places in town one could get a Kopi Lewak coffee, the beans famous for making a detour to your cup through a southeast Asian tree weasel's digestive tract.
Poker / Poker Rooms / Aria / CityCenter / Global Poker Index / Gambling / → All Tags
Some poker players like to be recognized for having great skill while others would rather remain anonymous. it looks, however, as if there might be more people in the former category than the latter based on Aria's latest partnership.
Global Poker Index (GPI) has teamed up with the CityCenter resort to recognize its best players. A leaderboard now tracks the performances of the top players in the casino's poker room. GPI is poker’s ranking authority and owner of the world’s largest live poker database, The Hendon Mob. GPI will now track the results of daily tournaments hosted at Aria.
A piece of Las Vegas history is about to become... well... history. The Harmon Hotel -- that glossy, glassy blue structure at the forefront of the CityCenter project -- is finally coming down. And, those hoping for another spectacular Vegas-style implosion will be quite disappointed. The 29-story tower, also known as the world’s most expensive Cirque du Soleil billboard, is now being dismantled, piece by piece.
Pools / Pool Scenes / Aria / CityCenter / Drinking / → All Tags
Bottle service poolside is nothing new in Vegas, but usually those bottles aren't filled with wine.
Aria, however, is making sure there are no sour grapes with its pool guests and is now offering a poolside vino service. Order a bottle and have it delivered straight to your lounger. To combat the heat, the wine is presented in a carafe cradled in an eight-inch block of ice.
Construction / Sahara / SLS Las Vegas / Monte Carlo / New York-New York / Openings / CityCenter / Double Barrel Roadhouse / Vegas Transformations / → All Tags
On Las Vegas Boulevard, Bill's continues to turn into Gansevoort, slowly. And, as you know and as we've been documenting for months, it's not the only major construction project on The Strip. All the cause of motor and pedestrian traffic woes and, for some, sleepless nights as well. All, also due to end in 2014.
It won't be until fall 2014, though, until we see the bow of SLS Las Vegas, currently still gutting the Sahara. Or, at least that's the
stated plan. The photos in this post, courtesy VegasChatter friend Greg C., show the current state of things as of Thursday, September 12.
Greg relays that the gutted hole (shown in the photos above) where the old 1952 Sahara casino once stood is now being rapidly filled with new steel framework. Meantime, the Tunis tower has been "opened up like a sardine can, completely open to the sky," according to Greg. Meantime, the Presidential Suite atop the Alexandria tower is now just a gaping void.
The construction suggests to Greg that nightclubs or restaurants could be slated for some of these rooftops. More than $400 million is being spent to renovate the Sahara. Details of what's to come, as well as a rendering of the transformed property, can be viewed here.
Vegas Reveals / CityCenter / Crystals / James Turrell / Art / Exhibits / → All Tags
Utilizing the upscale mall's monorail entrance and the mezzanine below, the already faux-futurist setting means most folks won't notice the change or additions. But, stop for a moment, let the people walk by and watch the continually shifting hues fill the space. Head to the new windows and see Crystals from another angle. And, note the visual illusion of light cutting through a wall.
Vegas Observations / Excalibur / New York-New York / CityCenter / Twin Peaks / Mandarin Oriental / PRESS / Four Seasons Las Vegas / → All Tags
Every time we leave Vegas, we leave wishing we could have done more, eaten more, seen more and, in some cases, drunk more. Yet for all the things we end up doing and seeing (and eating and drinking), we're never without our trusty smart phone to capture the moments of our trip.
Here are nine things we saw last week during our stay at the south end of The Strip, i.e. home to many MGM resorts, where many of these photos are from. Enjoy and happy MDW, y'all!
The ground floor lobby of the Mandarin Oriental is a great space to have a zen moment away from the madness of The Strip.
These guys are playing this weekend!
CityCenter at night is pretty spectacular. (As seen from the third floor balcony at Twin Peaks also spectacular.)
Closings / The Crystals / CityCenter / Aria / Starbucks / Coffee / Roasted Bean / → All Tags
Recently, CityCenter debuted three new Starbucks and one was just a short escalator ride away from The Cup. (It replaced the closed Pods by Wolfgang Puck.) Another Starbucks opened inside Aria (where you can find the Roasted Bean as well) while a third now can be found alongside the Strip, just in front of Mandarin Oriental.
And, that's not counting the Starbucks you can find next door at Monte Carlo. Or, the coffee you can order up at the Jean Philippe Patisseries you can find inside both Aria and Bellagio. Or, the cup of Joe you can grab at Va Bene Caffe inside The Cosmo. Or...
(PHOTO: @daynaroselli on Twitter)