Tag: VegasChatter Reviews

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Why BARDOT Brasserie Is A Game Changer

Where: 89158
February 27, 2015 at 4:08 PM | by | Comments (3)

The culture of dining in Vegas is mercurial. A trend in restaurants can come and go with a quarterly budget, but sometimes there are upsets that have been brewing underneath the surface, breaking through the zeitgeist and shifting the impetus of future new restaurants. In shorter words, a game changer. That is what BARDOT is.

Many months ago, it seemed a puzzling news item that Michael Mina would re-brand an already running fish restaurant into a French concept at Aria. Then, the doors flung open to a wondrous surprise. A beautiful, classic bar pulled out of the finest brasseries of the "Belle Époque," a dining room decked out in lacquer, gold and tons of marble. The kind of place that would (and can) inspire writers and artists alike with great beauty and traditional aesthetic. For lovers of that kind of timelessness, this could be the most gorgeous dining room in town.

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Menopause Is Fun (The Musical, That Is)

Where: 89109
February 26, 2015 at 11:38 AM | by | Comments (0)

I had a chance to see Menopause The Musical years ago, but I couldn’t get any friends to go with me, even the menopausal ones! I took that as a sign it was a show I could skip. When I realized the show has been running for nine years (after stops at Luxor and the Hilton before that), I figured it was time to put stigma aside and visit the production's newest home, Harrah’s, to see what it was all about.

The showroom where it takes place is wide and not very deep so there’s a good view from most seats. It was clear from the very start this show would be a funny one. A goofy, pun-filled show that's geared to a certain demographic," yes; but, funny, too. If you’re unfamiliar and can’t guess from the name, this is a musical about women (four in particular from different walks of life) who are going through menopause. You might think this is an odd subject for a musical. You’d be right; but, somehow, it works.

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Westgate Brings Vegas A New Kind Of 'Sexxy'... Or Does It?

Where: 3000 Paradise Road [map], 89109
February 10, 2015 at 8:46 PM | by | Comments (6)

Westgate Las Vegas (most recently known as LVH and the Las Vegas Hilton) unveiled its newest show to the media February 4 with the grand opening of topless revue, Sexxy. The 65-minute show featured producer and choreographer Jennifer Romas who is also a dancer in Westgate’s Purple Reign production and has a long list of dancing credits on her resume.

Since it was a media night, the tiny Shimmer Cabaret theatre where the show takes place was packed to capacity. I had high hopes and was optimistic for this show since it's received a lot of local buzz. It only took two numbers for that optimism to diminish. I am not on #TeamSexxy.

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A First Taste Of 8 Noodle Bar

February 9, 2015 at 2:30 PM | by | Comments (4)

Last year, Red Rock Resort conducted a major refreshment of its dining options including Mercadito and Hearthstone Kitchen. While some changes could simply be seen as the replacement of old dining concepts, 8 Noodle Bar was an entirely new experience. 8 Noodle Bar is a welcome addition to a casino which was without any kind of real Asian dining until last December. (I don’t care what you say Panda Express is not any kind of real Asian food).

Adjacent to the cafe, 8 Noodle is small with seating for less than 100. The bar is a great option for solo diners or those just looking for a quick dine and dash. Service in the main restaurant is fast, too, but it’s a meal enjoyed at a bit more of a casual speed.

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Our First Thoughts On Venetian's Yardbird

Where: 3355 Las Vegas Boulevard South [map], 89109
January 30, 2015 at 8:41 PM | by | Comments (4)

If you’re a southern transplant like myself or just love that style of food, Yardbird at Venetian should satisfy your cravings. After attending an evening media event and a Sunday brunch, this writer got a taste of what all the clucking’s been about. I’m happy to report most of the dishes sampled lived up to the hype. The second branch of the Miami-based restaurant has gotten high praise from the likes of Bon Appetit, James Beard Foundation and Southern Living, plus awards for its bourbon selection.

When VegasChatter stopped in for brunch, we were greeted promptly but the ensuing service was quite slow. Presented with a prix fixe experience, dishes came out in a very random order (read: in reverse) or were not ours at all (we were offered another table's dishes at several points during our meal). Though we were told brunch would be served tapas style with things coming out when they were ready, the randomness of it all was a little frustrating. (Especially since we weren't told it would be shared plates until each of us had ordered our own thing, and several of us had already gravitated to the same choices. The good news is that brunch is normally a la carte, although still meant to be shared.) Hopefully, our experience can be attributed to the growing pains of a new restaurant. (They also ran out of coffee cups and ramekins during our visit.) These kinks will likely be worked out with a little more practice (and surplus).

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At Aria, A First Taste Of BARDOT Brasserie

Where: 3730 Las Vegas Blvd. S. [map], 89158
January 27, 2015 at 1:57 PM | by | Comments (5)

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!

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At Portofino, The Hype Is Deserved

Where: 89109
January 16, 2015 at 8:24 PM | by | Comments (6)

Chicken Rollatini Parmesan.

Did you know Mirage had a tasty (we mean really tasty) Italian restaurant? We had no idea until a recent public relations push for Portofino. After Onda closed, Portofino made its quiet entrance into the Las Vegas dining scene and is now gaining speed along with positive reviews. That $100 lasagna stunt didn’t hurt, either.

Though that delicious dish ended in December, the restaurant is certainly worth your time. Chef Michael LaPlaca puts a modern spin on traditional Italian cuisine. While he was eager to be inventive with the menu, this is still a casino restaurant and thus the menu must appeal to middle America. The masses want chicken parm but Chef LaPlaca instead does a Chicken Rollatini Parmesan ($35) featuring a chicken breast stuffed with ground dark meat chicken for a rich and unique flavor that gives you the crispy-coated chicken you were expecting along with a surprise inside. The dish is served with a tasty marinara sauce, plenty of cheese and delicious spinach.

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At Tropicana, 'Illusions' Is Bigger And Better

Where: 3801 Las Vegas Blvd. South, Las Vegas, NV [map], 89109
January 13, 2015 at 3:17 PM | by | Comments (0)

He’s dark, mysterious and speaks in a distinct accent. Known for Goth eye makeup, wild hairstyles, frequent shirtlessness and making things (and himself) disappear, he surrounds himself with sexy dancers and often performs on TV. His magic show at the south end of the Strip is pretty terrific (so you know it's not performed at Luxor). He’s Jan Rouven, the handsome master illusionist from Germany. And, his New Illusions show at Tropicana is taking on Criss Angel head to head. Or, wand-to-wand, if you will.

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Dishing Our Thoughts On Excalibur's New Breakfast Buffet

Where: 3850 Las Vegas Boulevard South [map], 89109
January 9, 2015 at 1:32 PM | by | Comments (11)

In the past few years, Strip casino buffets have separated themselves into two distinct categories: 1) so pricey they may as well be fine dining establishments, or 2) affordable, but with the likelihood of spoiling your appetite. Excalibur’s infamously awful Round Table Buffet once fit squarely into the latter category, but a pricey three-month renovation (along with a generic renaming) revealed an entirely new dining experience last month. Is The Buffet at Excalibur worth a visit to the Castle?

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You'll Laugh Your Socks Off At The Penny Pibbets Show

Where: 1025 South 1st Street #145 [map], 89104
December 24, 2014 at 3:46 PM | by | Comment (1)

If you’ve seen Absinthe, you’ve likely fallen under the spell of the quirky and wonderfully irreverent Penny Pibbets. If you haven’t seen Absinthe, GO SEE ABSINTHE! It’s consistently ranked one of the top shows on the Strip and Penny is a big reason behind that. Her raunchy sock puppet routine is unlike anything you’ll ever see.

When we heard she was putting on her own show, The Penny Pibbets Show, downtown at Art Square, we were excited. After checking out the show, we definitely think she shines the brightest in her role in Absinthe, but her entertaining solo show is a fun and dirty romp. If you thought Absinthe wasn’t PC, hold on to your codpieces because Penny’s show is even raunchier. Let’s just say we never thought of using a canister of baby powder for that.

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ShowStoppers Isn't Quite Greater Than The Sum Of Its Parts

Where: 3131 Las Vegas Blvd. South [map], 89109
December 22, 2014 at 7:03 PM | by | Comments (6)

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.

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Can't Help Falling In Love With Spirit Of The King

Where: 202 Fremont Street [map], 89101
December 16, 2014 at 12:00 PM | by | Comment (1)

Shows in Downtown Vegas often seem to close faster than the time it takes to get from the ticket window to your seat. For the ever-changing 9 p.m. roster at Four Queens, that hasn't necessarily been something to cry over. We’ve endured some real disasters there for the sake of our readers (exhibit A and exhibit B). The current late-evening offering is an Elvis tribute, Spirit of the King, starring Steve Connolly. Will it make you want to stick around after the 7 p.m. Mike Hammer Comedy Magic show? You bet your blue suede shoes.

Tribute artists rarely receive the praise they deserve. In an era where some Vegas performers can get away with lip-synching and stumbling their way through a hit residency, the lowly celebrity impersonator has to wow you with genuine musical or comedy talents while simultaneously trying to convince you they’re somebody else. Even when impersonators use pre-recorded audio tracks (as is the norm for drag performances), they’re sometimes more entertaining than the real deal. If you doubt that, check out Derrick Barry’s stunningly convincing Britney Spears impersonation at Divas Las Vegas or Share Nightclub.

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