Tag: VegasChatter Reviews

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Classic Magic At The Riviera With Illusions

Where: 2901 Las Vegas Boulevard South [map], 89109
April 23, 2014 at 1:47 PM | by | Comments (0)

Recently, we told you of our affection for the Riviera. We’ve appreciated its old-school charm and vintage-Vegas vibe enough to stay there three more times since January. Even if you prefer to stay elsewhere you should still drop in to experience one of their best offerings, Jan Rouven’s Illusions.

These days, it’s tough for aging Vegas properties to remain appealing. Shiny facelifts will only take you so far (cough...Tropicana... cough) and you can throw just so much at the wall, hoping for something to stick. Downtown’s Plaza has been the worst at that approach, with their mini-golf nightspot Swinger's Club and lingerie-themed Exposed Salon both gone and forgotten. And, that three-month-old Bier Garten has barely caused a ripple.

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We Experienced Riviera's Men And We Liked It

Where: 2901 Las Vegas Blvd. [map], 89109
April 22, 2014 at 5:54 PM | by | Comments (2)

The new male revue at Riviera is certainly an experience. Men the Experience doesn’t vary much from other Las Vegas male revues but what it lacks in originality, it makes up for in earnestness.

The five dancers that make up the cast all look like they really want to be there. Granted we went on media night when they were likely to be on their best behavior, but the perma-smiles and enthusiastic crowd interaction (read: they will find you even if you are hiding behind your friends) makes it appear like they really are having as much fun as the audience. With their synchronized dance moves, they look like a finely oiled machine. They are fine and, most certainly, oiled.

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We Honestly Love You, Olivia... And Your New Show, Too!

Where: 3555 S Las Vegas Blvd [map], 89109
April 16, 2014 at 3:08 PM | by | Comments (3)

Everyone seems to adore Olivia Newton-John. Her image and personality are as treasured as the songs she’s shared. Through decades of stardom (and bouncing back from numerous personal tragedies), Olivia continues to hold a place in our hearts. That was clear on the opening night of her Summer Nights residency at Flamingo.

Olivia Newton-John has been eyeing the Donny and Marie Showroom for quite some time. A previously announced April 2013 opening date was postponed after another sad event in her life. But finally on April 8 last week, she triumphantly strolled onstage with elegance and a voice that has never been stronger. For anyone who’s ever enjoyed an Olivia Newton-John song, Summer Nights will be a perfect evening of entertainment.

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You Should So Go To Monte Carlo For Yusho

Where: 3770 Las Vegas Boulevard South [map], 89109
April 14, 2014 at 2:45 PM | by | Comments (2)

Last week ended with a sneak peek at the newest restaurant at Monte Carlo. More specifically, a look at six draught cocktails from Yusho, a Strip-side, Japanese street-style food joint by way of Chicago. We'll get to the food in a moment. First, which of those $13 concoctions were our favorite?

This writer isn't a fan of gin at all (or tonic for that matter), but keeps searching for a gin-based cocktail that may change his mind. Yusho's Gin & Tonic has come the closest to turning my opinion, to date. The navy strength gin and housemade tonic combines for a rusty color that goes down fairly smooth and is a gin drink I'd return to. My favorite by far, however, was the Chuhai (Sudachi Shochu, Jasmine Tea, Citrus). Push aside your favorite summertime mojito, sangria and lemonade cocktail because the Chuhai is that perfect light-and-refreshing outdoor drink. It holds its own indoors as well.

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$500 Challenge: Wynn Golf Club vs. Shadow Creek

Where: 3131 South Las Vegas Boulevard [map], 89109
April 11, 2014 at 3:49 PM | by | Comments (0)

Nestled behind the Wynn and Encore resorts, intersected by fish-filled streams and ponds and surrounded by enough plant life to provide an intimate and private setting resides Wynn Golf Club (WGC), one of the few American golfing destinations brazen enough to carry a $500 price tag.

Opened to the public in 2005 on the site that used to house the old Desert Inn Golf Course, WGC is the second collaboration between casino mogul Steve Wynn and world-renowned golf course architect Tom Fazio. The first partnership between the duo resulted in the 1989 opening of Las Vegas' Shadow Creek, the city's top-ranked golf course and a track many believe serves as Fazio's greatest achievement in the sport.

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The New Jubilee Has Us Missing The Old Jubilee

Where: 3645 Las Vegas Boulevard South [map], 89109
April 10, 2014 at 1:23 PM | by | Comments (4)

Las Vegas staple Jubilee has been a mainstay on The Strip for over 30 years and has undergone many facelifts. The most recent, under the guidance of new director and choreographer Frank Gaston Jr., leaves this writer missing the good old days.

Many of the iconic elements including dozens of showgirls in ornately feathered headdresses, the Titanic bit and the Sampson and Delilah scene are still there, but the newer elements don’t add enough value to earn their worth.

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The Time We TAP'd That Thang At MGM Grand

Where: 3799 Las Vegas Boulevard South [map], 89109
April 8, 2014 at 8:01 PM | by | Comments (3)

TAP at MGM Grand is exactly as advertised. It's a sports pub directly across from the sportsbook with a good selection of beer, both on tap and in bottles.

Sixty plus TVs are spread throughout the restaurant and, while there isn’t a seat at TAP without at least one TV in sight, the gigantic screen featuring multiple games across the back wall is the real winner. If you’re in the mood to watch the game, you’re going to want a seat looking at the wall. This writer had a chair at a cocktail table facing 90 degrees away from the spectacular wall so I “only” had a line of sight to the "normal" HDTV screens (which were still huge). It was okay since this was an afternoon with just a couple baseball games on, but if it was a Saturday or Sunday with countless football games on I may have thrown a hissy fit.

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At Rumor, Our Addiction Has Waned

Where: 455 East Harmon Avenue [map], 89169
April 8, 2014 at 6:07 PM | by | Comments (5)

Editor's Note: Once upon a time, we were totally addicted to the fare of Addiction, the restaurant at the off Strip Rumor hotel. But, several years and the loss of a Vegas Vic later, would we still feel the same? Our 3brothers dropped by to find out.

Before dining at Addiction, we called two hours in advance to ask if we needed reservations for a Saturday night. We were told yes and gave our name to secure a spot. Upon arrival, the restaurant was completely empty and the hostess nowhere in sight. After waiting around ten minutes and thinking the restaurant was closed, we were finally greeted and sat.

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Chewing Over Our Dinner At Flour & Barley

Where: 3545 Las Vegas Boulevard [map], 89109
April 2, 2014 at 3:36 PM | by | Comments (14)

It wasn't long ago that finding a decent slice of pie on the Las Vegas Strip was considered one of the city's greatest food challenges. Fast forward to today's pizza landscape and, between the Strip and downtown, pie shops are getting as ubiquitous as burger joints. Flour and Barley at the Linq is the latest entry to throw their sauce into the ring. That is until this Friday, when Monte Carlo fires up their ovens to 800 Degrees.

Flour and Barley offers indoor dining under the Brooklyn Bowl, outdoor dining in the shadow of the High Roller and a takeout window to create your own view on the run. The takeout experience, by design, is a different one from dining in. Not just due to the obvious, but also due to the separate food and drink menus. Slices to go outside, full pies inside. Frozen cocktails to go outside, crafted cocktails inside. We'll step back up to the takeout window later, but first let's take a look at the restaurant itself.


While not all immediately apparent, there is a lot of interesting detail that's been injected into the dining atmosphere. The brick oven and exposed brick walls are likely the first aspects that will stand out. Then, maybe the four flat screen TVs; two in the restaurant, two over the bar. Eventually, diners' eyes will wander to a back wall covered in blue-bricked advertising. Turns out this is a nod to an old-school Las Vegas business once run by one of the owner's families. Look for the Fremont Street address and the company's original phone number. On a nearby wall is an American flag made from baseballs and bats.

Looking up, the theme all starts to come together. Are those metal bleachers? Indeed, they are. While providing an immediate industrial warehouse feel in a brand new space, the intent is to have diners feel as if they're under the bleachers of an old stadium. Think grabbing beers under the bleachers of Fenway Park.

Even the chairs dotting the bar have a purpose. Or, in fact, have been re-purposed. Each was made from a 55-gallon drum and bear logos such as John Deere and race car oils. Outside, red chairs get their inspiration from recycled Coke bottles. Back inside, bench seating is a brown leather courtesy of recycled baseball gloves.


The Flour focus of the menu is divided into:
· Appetizers ($8.50 for garlic cheese bread to $17 for an antipasti board)
· Salads ($12-$13.50)
· Entrees ($17 for the F&B Burger to $39 for Veal Milanesa)
· Pizzas, red or white sauce ($18.50 to $25 $14.50 to $21)

The Barley side of the menu offers large-format bottles broken down by ciders, pale ales, strong ales, IPAs, lagers and the like. Draft beers include a Firestone Walker Pale ($12), Big Sky Moose Drool ($9), Ballas Point Sculpin ($14) and Guinness ($9.50). Cask beer is also rotated daily and sells for $10 a glass. There are Italian imports priced from $9 to $14.

A cocktail menu is available with about a dozen drinks like "Margheritas," Negroni Bianco and Bellinis, all for $12. The house cocktail The Godfather is made of St. George Breaking & Entering Bourbon and Amaretto for $15. For groups willing to share (or the really thirsty), pitchers and bowls of sangria and punches are available for $40 to $46. Homemade Cellos can be found here, too: an ounce of citrus, watermelon or pomegranate for $8.

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'Men Of The Strip' Finally Live Up To Name

Where: 3950 Las Vegas Blvd. [map], 89109
March 31, 2014 at 4:27 PM | by | Comments (0)

The big event set for March 29 has finally come and gone. And, we don’t mean Earth Hour or the first rides on the High Roller, even though those little blips happened, too. No, we're referring to the Las Vegas premiere of Men Of The Strip. And, if that name doesn’t ring a bell, you must have missed our coverage here. And, here. And here, too. Yes, we’ve been following the show for awhile and now we can answer whether it was worth the hype.

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Raising A Glass At Bin 702

Where: 707 Fremont St., #1220 [map], 89101
March 28, 2014 at 12:45 PM | by | Comments (0)

A pleasant change of pace from the glitz of the Las Vegas Strip, Bin 702 is a repurposed shipping container with a modern bistro feel. Bin 702 is located within downtown's Container Park which is five miles north of The Strip and a few blocks east of Slotzilla in the revamped Fremont East district.

The Container Park has transformed the area from skid row to family friendly oasis. A giant fire-breathing praying mantis sculpture greets you at the entrance. Inside the park are selections of restaurants and retail outlets. The shining star for these VegasChatter contributors, however, was wine bar, Bin 702.

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Double Barrel Roadhouse Ain't No Dive, And That's Too Bad

Where: 3770 Las Vegas Boulevard South [map], 89109
March 21, 2014 at 5:17 PM | by | Comments (6)

As the resident VegasChatter expert on dive bars and flophouses, this writer perked up at the opening of Double Barrel Roadhouse (DBR) at Monte Carlo. Marketing materials boasted of “the first authentic Roadhouse experience on the Strip” which immediately took me back to the classic Patrick Swayze vehicle, Roadhouse. Images of dusty wooden floors, a band of old guys jammin' Texas blues, and cheap beer (and cheaper women) popped into my head. The fact that this place sits Strip-side on extremely valuable property should have made me realize that wasn’t going to happen, but the heart wants what the heart wants.

DBR is owned and operated by sbe, the LA-based empire run by Sam Nazarian (named Hotelier of the Year by our sister site, HotelChatter). I was certainly skeptical that the company behind Hyde Bellagio could produce a legit roadhouse experience.

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