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VegasChatter 2014 Awards / VegasChatter Awards / The Mirage / Bazaar Meat / SLS Las Vegas / Japanese Cuisine By Omae / Absinthe / Caesars Palace / ShowStoppers / Wynn Las Vegas / Encore / 3535 Bar / The LINQ Hotel / Zombie Burlesque / Miracle Mile / Lion's Share / MGM Grand / Jeff Civillico / Vegas Nocturne / The Cosmopolitan / The High Roller / → All Tags
Thanks for joining us on the last day of the fifth annual VegasChatter Awards.
While all of our awards are based on our personal experiences, we would be nothing without all the Vegas visitors, lovers and locals who send us tips, share personal stories, dish on gossip, ask us questions, and most of all, who comment -- whether they agree with us or not. You always keep us entertained and on our toes and we hope it's a two-way street. Keep it up in 2015!
No matter where you stay, what you do or who you see, we wanna know how you spent your time in Vegas. Here's how to fill us in:
VegasChatter 2014 Awards / VegasChatter Awards / Shows / Entertainment / Absinthe / Caesars Palace / ShowStoppers / Wynn / Encore / The Strip / → All Tags
It's time for the fifth annual VegasChatter Awards! Today, we begin bringing you the best and worst of the year. All of our picks are based on what we've personally experienced in Vegas over 2014 -- the good, the bad and the mind-boggling.
Can a show set in the ever-changing landscape of Las Vegas performing for today's immediate gratification and 'what have you done for me lately' crowd really land a Best Show award for the fourth year in a row? A year ago we thought another Spiegelworld production would at least give Absinthe a run for its money, but the demise of the super but short-lived Vegas Nocturne eliminated that debate.
VegasChatter revisited the tent long-term parked in front of Caesars Palace this month in the interest of fairness and to ensure Absinthe wasn't resting on its
lack of competition laurels at this point. Was Absinthe still fresh or had it gotten stale?
VegasChatter Reviews / ShowStoppers / The Strip / Wynn Las Vegas / Encore / Shows / Openings / Entertainment / → All Tags
Vegas is a world where “really good but not awesome” seldom flies. With the number of competing shows (and the typically high ticket price), a headlining production better be top notch or it (usually) won’t get that 'can’t miss' allure or much-needed word of mouth. While its talented cast excels at certain numbers, Steve Wynn’s ShowStoppers doesn’t quite live up to its lofty name.
Yes, most of the individual numbers may have been showstoppers in their respective productions, but that doesn’t mean a group of them strung together into a 75-minute(ish) production will create that same showstopping feeling. This is not to say the talent isn’t there, because it is. For instance, the vocals in “Anything You Can Do” and “Everything’s Coming Up Roses” will be some of the best you hear in town. Unfortunately, the whole isn’t really greater than the sum of its parts. Most of the vignettes are strong yet the show is begging for more of a story arc or perhaps a celebrity host to tie things together.
Events / Big Game / Super Bowl / Gilley's / Treasure Island / Surrender / Encore / Twin Peaks / Harmon Corner / The Strip / Football / → All Tags
After weeks of fielding queries, we finally have a roundup of Super Bowl -- sorry, BIG GAME -- parties in Las Vegas to share. Due to high demand, we're launching our annual guide now. Make sure to bookmark this page as we'll add events as they're uncovered/revealed. The newest parties will always be listed first so you won't have to do any unnecessary scanning. If you see one we don't have listed yet, email us the deets at firstname.lastname@example.org! Know that an event is sold out? We want to hear that, too!
Also, make sure to follow our friends and party experts, @VegasBigGame, on Twitter. If you've got a question about a party, they have an answer. Operated by a group of friends who've traveled to Vegas to view the Super Bowl for 17 years now (2015 will mark year #18), their Twitter account is an unmatched resource. They've already created this awesome infographic reviewing the parties of 2014.
Shows / Entertainment / Showstoppers / Wynn Las Vegas / Encore / Openings / → All Tags
Openings / Shows / Entertainment / Wynn Las Vegas / Encore / Steve Wynn / → All Tags
Steve Wynn, the gaming mogul who brought us Bellagio, The Mirage, Treasure Island, Wynn and Encore here in Las Vegas, is about to introduce another showstopper to the Vegas Strip. In fact, make that showstoppers, plural. And, with a capital "s."
Entertainment / Vegas Rumors / Wynn Las Vegas / Encore / Frank Sinatra / Sinatra / Shows / → All Tags
Performers are excitedly reporting to Wynn this week for what a casting call described earlier this year as a 'Broadway-style' production. Wynn ID badges are now being proudly shared on social as the cast assembles ahead of the show's debut.
Actress/singer Lauren Molina -- who has been seen on Broadway in Sweeney Todd and Rock of Ages, according to Wikipedia, and is known for her role in The Skivvies (best explained by watching the video below) -- has been sharing her enthusiasm for being part of the production on social, describing it as featuring "4 other fabulous singers, 28 dancers, a 30 piece orchestra and so much sparkly jewelry that there will need to be strobe warnings." Even more interesting is that her commitment seems to only be six months, indicating the show will likely boast a revolving cast of featured singers.
Celebs in Vegas / Mindy Kaling / Vegas Hot / Sexy Ladies / Wynn / Encore / Andrea's / Society / The Beatles Love / Cirque du Soleil / The Mirage / LAVO / Venetian / Palazzo / Off Strip Adventures / Chanel / The High Roller / Gordon Ramsay Steak / Paris Las Vegas / → All Tags
The VegasChatter corporate offices went on high alert when actress/producer/writer Mindy Kaling indicated on social media that a Vegas trip was imminent. It's always interesting to see what a celebrity will do in Sin City and usually pretty (although, for most, unintentionally) entertaining, too.
While Prince Harry still holds the honor of cheekiest visit to date, Mindy kept fans enthralled through a constant stream of social media updates. After following (obsessively) along, here's a quick guide on how to do Vegas, Kaling style:
1. Pack the appropriate essentials.
Vegas dress? Check. Bling? Check. Multiple bathing suits? Check.
Restaurants / VegasChatter Questions / Eating / Dining / Wynn / Encore / Venetian / Palazzo / The Cosmopolitan / Caesars Palace / Bellagio / Paris / Mandalay Bay / → All Tags
It’s not just anywhere that you can sit outside and eat or drink the night away. Even though it can get chilly or sweltering hot in Las Vegas, when the sun goes down, almost any night can still feel like a beautiful evening to be outdoors. In the summer, sitting outside in the warmth of a 95 degree evening beats sitting inside in a sweater because casino air conditioning is too cold.
VegasChatter Reader Curtis B. likes to dine under the stars and tells us he had a delicious meal outside at SW Steakhouse. Now, he would like more ideas:
coming from the cold North (snow here again today) in a month and looking for new ideas (or just fresh ideas for me) for a nice higher end restaurant that has outside seating. We ate at SW at the Wynn last year, was very good, nice setting, food was great and so nice to eat outside at night in the warmth rather than in cold AC restaurant.
Well, ask and ye shall receive. There are a quite a a few restaurants that offer a similarly great meals, outdoors, on the Vegas Strip.
Gambling / Venetian / Palazzo / Blackjack / Wynn / Encore / Casino Royale / → All Tags
Poof! Some of the best and affordable blackjack on the Vegas Strip is gone!
Last week, Venetian and Palazzo changed the payouts for most of their blackjack games under $100. The majority of blackjack games now pay 6:5 for blackjack instead of 3:2. This affects about 50 blackjack games between the two casinos. The house advantage on a 6:5 blackjack game is 1.39% higher than a 3:2 blackjack game. That may not seem like a lot on the surface, but it adds up over time.
Before March Madness, Venetian and Palazzo had some of the best blackjack games you could find on the Vegas Strip for under $25. Today, they’re no better than most. You’ll still find a few games that pay 3:2 for blackjack at each casino. There are a few double deck, Super Fun 21 and video blackjack games under $100 that pay 3:2 for blackjack, but those are in the minority.
Drinking / Aria / Flamingo / Mandalay Bay / The D Hotel / Encore / Margaritaville Casino / El Cortez / Red Rock Resort / Palazzo / Drink Service / Vegas Observations / → All Tags
Besides friends -- new and old -- and good times, there's one thing that goes with a gambling session in the casino and that's a decent drink. Or, five. Recent sessions have reminded us that size matters when it comes to drink service. Bigger isn't always better. In fact, bigger usually isn't better when it comes to having a few cold ones.
Playing blackjack at Mandalay Bay recently reminded us how big that casino actually is. It struck us for two reasons: 1) It took us a while to find an open table with rules and minimums that fit the bill (3:2, $15) and 2) it took forever to get a drink. The slow drink service wasn't entirely the cocktail waitress' fault. She was the only waitress for a busy pit of tables. These things happen. It was a good thing that we just finished dinner with bottomless wine (!) at Charlie Palmer Steak and didn't really need more drinks.
Encore / Wynn / Andrea's / Restaurants / Dining / Fine Dining / VegasChatter Reviews / → All Tags
If you've heard of Andrea's, the newest dining destination at Wynn/Encore, you know at least two things. One, it's named after casino mogul Steve Wynn's wife and, two, it's her eyes that gaze upon diners.
What you may not know about Andrea's is that Nobu-trained Chef Joseph Elevado helms its menu. And, what you definitely don't know is that Elevado is one of the few chefs this writer gets geeked out about. And, apparently, embarrassingly so. For, as soon as he stopped by our table in greeting, this Chatter'er grabbed his arm and blurted out, "I love you." Yeah. Cool, lost. Thankfully, he took our gauche greeting in stride and, after a few more pleasantries, returned to the kitchen.
As our party of three waited for our courses to arrive, the "vibe" of dining at Andrea's began to sink in. First, as the pictures in this post show, the decor is beautifully feminine, the colors almost reminiscent of a blush pink champagne, with silver accents and crystal-clear teardrop light fixtures. The patrons that filled its spaces were part of the see-and-be-seen set. On our visit, young ladies in high heels and higher hemlines cocktail'd in its lounge while a noted Vegas food critic dined at one of its tables.