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VegasChatter Reviews / The Scintas / Entertainment / Shows / The D Hotel / Downtown / Downtown Vegas / → All Tags
Welcome to the cruise ship D. With an overhauled new look, the D Hotel goes old style with the return of former Vegas showroom regulars The Scintas in a decidedly, and admittedly, un-modern production.
Noted for their residency in Detroit at Joe Vicari’s Andiamo Italian restaurant and showroom (this chain is also now at the D), The Scintas are dinner theater showbiz. Or, a cruise ship act. Two brothers, a live band and, currently, a guest female singer. Professionally and sonically, the band is tight and taut. The act has clearly performed thousands of times and still endeavor to mix it up. But, this is not a show ever truly destined for the Strip. Or, ever was. Off Strip or Downtown is where it belongs.
VegasChatter Reviews / Golf / Golfing / Golf Courses / Primm / Primm Valley Golf Course / Off Strip / Adventure Vegas / Active Vegas / → All Tags
A 40-minute ride south on the I-15, before the elevation begins to rise and the driver becomes subject to the laws of California, lies Primm, Nevada. A dusty locale situated in the Mohave Desert, Primm signifies both beginning and end -- the commencement of an action-packed weekend in Las Vegas for those commuting from California, the final stop on the ride south for those departing Nevada.
To call Primm a city would be akin to designating the MGM Grand a sovereign state. The 2000 census population for Primm was just 436 people. It's more of a rest stop than a city, but it's a rest stop with plenty of attractions and, in typical Southern Nevada tradition, plenty of excitement.
We made the trek down to Primm under the guise of a round of golf at the Primm Valley Golf Club, but with an 8:00 a.m. tee time, there were plenty of hours left in the day for us to explore the various attractions the city has to offer.
VegasChatter Reviews / Bagatelle / Pools / Pool Scenes / Adult Pools / Bagatelle Beach / Tropicana / → All Tags
With nightclubs and day clubs, Las Vegas is a 24-7 party. Day clubs (some with pools, some without) make it easy for you to get your daytime debauchery on. You’re in Vegas, after all. Why wait ‘til the sun goes down to start drinking and dancing?
Recently, we were invited to visit one of the newer additions to the day and pool club scene, Bagatelle Beach at Tropicana, for some al fresco fun. Our party had a great time, but not without a few downsides. Here's the pros and cons:
VegasChatter Reviews / Mandalay Bay / Michael Jackson ONE / Cirque du Soleil / Michael Jackson / → All Tags
You won't be bored. Cirque du Soleil previewed four Michael Jackson ONE production numbers to the press, opening the doors of their Mandalay Bay theater for the first time since December 2011. Four songs and lots and lots of stuff going on. And, lots to review.
We personally forgot what we had already told you: Michael Jackson ONE plots "four misfits" on a "transformative adventure." Took us a minute to work out the roles of the three geeky dudes and a teenage girl on the stage. But, then it all made sense. Last month, we were first to show you artist renderings of the production. And, they looked exactly the same as the scenes unveiled before our very eyes. But, with more lights and lasers. Lots more. This might be brightest show we've ever seen.
The show's premise is rooted in the "spirit and energy" of Jackson and, pondering the notion, if you possessed the spirit of his hat, his glove or his shoes what could you do? Could you fly? (We thought sell them on eBay, but...)
The preview began with paparazzi characters running through the audience and harassing spectators with lights, cameras and microphones. If you've never warmed to Cirque clowns approaching you, these camera guys make perfect sense. We then watched four numbers choreographed to Jackson's songs. These numbers are played all the way thorough. No 60 second K-Tel greatest hits commercial edits.
"Tabloid Junkie" faces head-on the Jackson newsprint rumor factory. Headlines projected on the walls write of his attempt to buy the "Elephant Man's bones" and Joseph Merrick's skeleton stands there on the stage. Michael's supposed oxygen chamber is also wheeled across the stage. "Stranger in Moscow" spotlights a flown-in crescent moon lady and an aerialist. Behind him drifts snow and ghostly images of Liz Taylor, Michael and Diana Ross. "Bad" is a more literal re-imaging of the music video, with a kind of street gang, a New York subway backdrop and graffiti and B-Boy stances. And, you'll also learn the correct spelling of Cha'mone. "Smooth Criminal" includes a group synchronized leaning you'll be puzzling over for days.
When Gordon Ramsay Steak opened at Paris Las Vegas last year, it was the toughest table in town but garnered pretty darn good reviews from the fortunate early-goers. Another VegasChatter writer gambled on the menu's higher prices and walked away with one of his top five steaks of the year.
With Ramsay expanding his restaurant empire seemingly into any space with a heartbeat over the past year, we wondered how his Vegas first held up under his ever diversifying attention. When the occasion recently arose to splurge on a unique dining experience, this writer took the plunge for his first visit to GR Steak.
VegasChatter Reviews / Events / Downtown / Downtown Vegas / Fremont Country Club / Music / → All Tags
Hoping that downtown's newest live music venue just suffered from opening night jitters, we headed back recently to see Alkaline Trio, Bayside, and Off With Their Heads. As soon as we got out of the El Cortez parking lot, we saw the line of concert goers snaking around the block. Not ones for waiting in lines, we sauntered over to Park on Fremont for their incredible shot and a beer special. Sitting in the sun on their gorgeous patio while sipping on a Stiegl Grapefruit Radler started the night off perfectly. We left with a slight buzz and ready to rock out.
VegasChatter Reviews / Dining / Downtown / Downtown Vegas / Fremont East / Park on Fremont / Drinking / Bars / Openings / → All Tags
Park on Fremont pretty much has it all. A super cute (if overly thought out) design, a prime location in Fremont East (just beyond, or depending on how you're approaching, before the Fremont Street Experience canopy), and friendly service. Unfortunately, the one thing we bemoaned about sister bar Commonwealth just down the street is the one thing we could have done without here. The food. (Commonwealth only serves drinks and, we found, that's probably a good thing.)
But, let's start at the beginning. We parked it at Park on a Sunday night right around sunset and had our choice of seating options. The newly opened venue offers patio seating right on Fremont Street (really, you're right up against the sidewalk), inside at the bar (bar top or booth style, with fun pop-out walls offering views outside), and the star attraction out back, a 'park'-inspired patio with a centerpiece tree, shrubbery, flowers, loads of chotskies and twinkling lights. With a perfect spring night ahead of us, we chose the latter and were lead to a two-top table which offered one wrought iron chair and a cement landscaping wall as the other seat. That didn't bother us, but others might not be as accepting.
At Park for conversation, drinks and eats, we didn't waste any time ordering up cocktails. This writer went with The Unicorn ($8), Ketel One Citron Vodka, lemon juice, simple syrup, mint, ginger beer (you know how VC loves it some ginger beer) and a lemon wedge; while our companion chose the Hunting Season ($10) Bloody Mary, with Asolut Mango Vodka, diced mangos, Bloody Mary mix, and dehydrated mango. Both served in mason jars, the former was refreshingly crisp (if not stiff) while the Bloody Mary was voted one of the best in town.
From there, we perused a
limited select dining menu while enjoying a 'backyard' jammed a wee bit too much with visual kitsch, from the painting of a horse being mounted and shoes thrown over electrical wires to a wall of dishes and a "fucking beautiful" photo op. (See what we mean in the gallery below.)
This Chatter'er has a confession to make. I have a total girl crush on Claire Sinclair. Unlike some of her artificially enhanced, bleach blonde, spray tanned breast friends, she’s a brunette breath of fresh air. Like a hottie hybrid of Jessica Rabbit and Bettie Page.
So, you can imagine my excitement to see this angel in a centerfold come to life on stage in PIN UP at the Strat. (Aside: I used to think she was only innocently cute, at most. A fabulous Bettie Page spokesperson, but Playmate of the Year? Really? But, then I saw her naked in Playboy, and YOWZA. Those doe eyes, that body and her playful sex appeal. Girrrrrrl. Oh, and those are real! NSFW link, here.)
If actor Gary Busey were to describe a stay at the newly opened Nobu Hotel within Caesars Palace, our guess is he would state Nobu stands for Nourishing Our Bodies Undoubtedly. Unfortunately, VegasChatter can't pull off a Busey-ism so we best describe our recent stay the only way we know how -- with images and text that hopefully don't make you go hmmm.
PoshBurger Bistro / Burger Joints / Off Strip / Summerlin / Eating / Dining / Restaurants / Openings / VegasChatter Reviews / → All Tags
The gourmet burger trend seems to be slowing with less new places popping up so we're always curious when a new one debuts. PoshBurger Bistro by Conrad Gallagher just opened in Summerlin so we figured we'd check it out with a couple of our burger buddies. Gallagher is a Michelin Star recipient so he must be able to make a good burger. And, that burger better be good when it costs between $15 and $30 as it does at PoshBurger.
VegasChatter Reviews / Openings / Vic Moea / Vic's / Restaurants / Dining / → All Tags
Our first peek into Vic's food brain was pre-Network Star thanks to his work on the Addiction menu at Rumor Resort. Almost three years later and those Bacon Belgian Waffles with Peanut Butter and Butterfinger Pancakes with Mascarpone still give us goosebumps worth waking up for. Post-Network Star, he hadn't lost a step blowing our tastebuds away with Enoki Mushroom and Horseradish Puree dishes.
Needless to say, when news of his namesake Vic's reached our desks, we hopped in the car without even a peek at the menu. Where is Vic's located you ask? Great question and the answer is on a country club amongst the rolling hills of Anthem. Crickets? We admit we had to grab our GPS before heading out. Anyone who has ventured down to Green Valley Ranch from The Strip can reference Vic's as one exit closer. From there, it's just a right, left, veer left, up the hill, another right, one last right and boom you've arrived.
Openings / VegasChatter Reviews / Discovery Children's Museum / Downtown / Downtown Vegas / Kids In Vegas / → All Tags
Making our first trip to the new Discovery Children's Museum in Downtown Vegas during Spring Break probably wasn't our finest decision. But, in retrospective, we're thankful for the 20 minutes lined up outside its facade for the moments of stillness it provided. As, once we paid our way and had our hands stamped with Oh Myyy as proof, it was non-stop go, go, go for close to two hours. Up and down, down and up three flights of stairs to three floors of kid paradise. With, what felt like, just about every child in Vegas. While trying and, we're not ashamed to admit, failing at times to keep track of a five year old so excited that he could barely play in one center before sprinting to another.
For kids, there really was no way this place could not impress. One more floor than the old museum space, lots of new exhibits to explore. Our pint-sized critic drawn immediately to The Summit, a spiraling, 70-foot, wire-enclosed tower that rises just steps off the lobby straight up to the ceiling. (A warning. You will lose your child here. We lost ours twice. He didn't care. Still doesn't.)
The Summit is an experience within itself with oversized steps and different platforms offering different learning opportunities as you climb higher and higher. If your child reaches the top (at this point, you'll likely just wave them on), they'll be able to peer out windows at the surrounding cityscape. That section was still under construction during our visit. Quite the disappoint to our tyke.