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Eating / Dining / Restaurant Week / Restaurants / Fine Dining / Milos / The Cosmopolitan / Aquaknox / Venetian / Prime / Bellagio / Sage / Aria / → All Tags
Las Vegas' Restaurant Week is coming up shortly, and with it a chance for diners to loosen their belts a few notches. A spot out there you've been meaning to try? A dish you've been hearing so much about? Here are just a few of the best spots to make the most of this Restaurant Week now underway through August 28.
One of the best ways a Restaurant Week dining menu can benefit you is by putting a typically expensive restaurant back into your price range. For example, Estiatorio Milos at The Cosmopolitan is notoriously expensive, but their $50.14 three-course dinner is an incredible steal. Just the entree of grilled Mediterranean sea bass is knocking on the door of fifty, but with a salmon tartare and their famous grilled octopus as appetizers, this is a deal. A sommelier wine pairing with your courses is $30 more.
Bellagio / Buffets / Dining / Eating / Just One Dish / → All Tags
The very first buffet this writer ever went to in Las Vegas was a tough act to follow. It was Bellagio's and it was fabulous. I had forgotten about that first time until this past week when I was taking some visitors there. When I was a Vegas buffet virgin, I had a very atypical “first time.”
I had only been in Las Vegas a few months and had been on the hunt for a cut of meat I was used to finding in any grocery store on the east coast: flank steak. While this isn’t a necessarily great cut of meat, I had a family recipe marinade that made it quite scrumptious. I checked out several grocery chains and also some carnicerias and kept coming up dry. I don’t know if there was just a shortage that summer in Vegas or what, but I couldn’t find my beloved flank steak anywhere.
Fine Dining / Eating / Dining / Restaurants / Steakhouses / CarneVino / Palazzo / CUT / Prime / Bellagio / Delmonico Steakhouse / Venetian / StripSteak / Mandalay Bay / → All Tags
What defines the dining character of Vegas (more than buffets)? The all-American steakhouse, of course!
Steakhouses in Las Vegas run the gambit from classic ranch house-style (The Steakhouse at Circus Circus) and high-concept dining spots (Jean Georges Steakhouse at Aria, Gordon Ramsay Steak at Paris) to hip "clubstraunts" (STK at the Cosmopolitan). With the immense variety, it's easy to strike out on your own and hit a dud. Not all steakhouses are created equal, but there are a handful that really make their mark as "essential." There are many that serve up an amazing steak or have an amazing story to go along with them (Herbs & Rye among the best of both), but few are so egregious to miss as those below.
Eating / Dining / Buffets / The Cosmopolitan / Wicked Spoon / Caesars Palace / Bacchanal Buffet / Bellagio / → All Tags
If you ask most what the defining cuisine is for our lovely metropolis, you will start a fierce debate on whether that lofty crown goes to steakhouses or buffets. To the rest of the world, and for good reason, Las Vegas is the city of buffets.
In fact, the modern concept of an "all-you-can-eat" buffet is said to have been created in 1950s Las Vegas by Herbert "Herb" Cobb McDonald, a publicity and entertainment manager. He is also credited with cementing Vegas as a national convention destination, the key to early Vegas success. In the 1956 novel The Muses of Ruin, William Pearson wrote in apt words his feelings on the new phenomenon:
At midnight every self-respecting casino premičres its buffet — the eighth wonder of the world, the one true art form this androgynous harlot of cities has delivered herself of.... We marvel at the Great Pyramids, but they were built over decades; the midnight buffet is built daily. Crushed-ice castles and grottoes chill the shrimp and lobster. Sculptured aspic is scrolled with Paisley arabesques. They are, laid out with reverent artistry: hors d'oeuvres, relish, salads, and sauces; crab, herring oyster, sturgeon, octopus, and salmon; turkey, ham, roast beef, casseroles, fondues, and curries; cheeses, fruits and pastries. How many times you go through the line is a private matter between you and your capacity, and then between your capacity and the chef's evil eye.
Today, the Vegas buffet has evolved into a generally homogeneous entity, but there are a few that go above and beyond the norm.
VegasChatter Flashbacks / Hotels / Hotel Rooms / Bellagio / Room Renovations / Remodels / → All Tags
Way back in 2007, our sister site HotelChatter was not impressed with the rooms at Bellagio, one of the premier (obviously) hotels on The Strip. For all the talk about Bellagio being the best in town, we found the room decor to be nondescript, non sequential, and non-stylish. It was dominated by a massive brown armoire which overpowered the room. In the bathroom, we found some very questionable wallpaper. We also noticed a stain on the headboard. See for yourself just how "BLAH" this room was in 2007 in the video below.
Well, it took a few years, but Bellagio finally upgraded their guest rooms in 2011 and, boy, was it an improvement.
Room Service / Bellagio / Breakfast / Eating / Dining / → All Tags
Las Vegas does a lot of things right when it comes to food. There are great choices for fine dining, poolside dining, casual dining, and very casual dining. But, when it comes to room service, the food is often bland, uninspiring and, in some cases, cold.
VegasChatter Questions / Coffee / Starbucks / Sambalatte / The Roasted Bean / Palazzo / Palio / The Mirage / Monte Carlo / Bellagio / → All Tags
While many Vegas visitors are looking for the largest drinking vessel at the lowest price for alcoholic beverages, some just want a good cup of coffee. The goal is to still have a little left to spend at the tables. Starbucks are pretty much on every corner, with some hotels offering multiple locations, though VegasChatter reader Tom G. wanted to know where to get a decent cup of coffee on the Strip that’s actually affordable. The easy answer is you can get good coffee or cheap coffee, but not both. More often the easiest to find is moderately to expensively priced mediocre coffee. Most of the Starbucks on The Strip are even more pricey than their off-Strip incarnations.
The newest coffee shop on The Strip is one of the best. Though not what we would call cheap, Sambalatte on the plaza at Monte Carlo offers high-quality products and serves them with flair. Think fancy frothy designs in your cappuccino foam. You should ask them to try and recreate the Welcome to Las Vegas sign. Why not? You might get lucky. While coffee purists may not value the literal fluff, rest assured you are also getting a beverage that’s as delicious as it is beautiful. Personal favorites include the Nutella Latte and White Chocolate Mocha. For those not into the sweet stuff, a small coffee is $3.78 and a cappuccino is $4.86.
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.
Boxing / Floyd Mayweather / Aria / Bellagio / Monte Carlo / The Pub / The Mirage / Mandalay Bay / Hyde Bellagio / New York-New York / → All Tags
When there's a big pay-per-view boxing match in town, none of the casinos will show the fight for free in their sportsbook. In fact, the only casinos where you’ll find the fights being shown are affiliated with the host casino. Since either MGM Grand or Mandalay Bay host most of the pay-per-view boxing matches (occasionally Wynn will host a fight that takes place at the Thomas & Mack Center), you’ll usually find the fight showing in an MGM Resorts property.
Here are the viewing parties on the Vegas Strip where you can watch this Saturday's Floyd Mayweather vs. Marcos Maidana fight:
Aria: Bristlecon Ballroom viewing party is $75 general admission. Food and beverage is extra.
Eating / Dining / Restaurants / Bellagio / Vegas Rumors / Lago / Sensi / Circo / Julian Serrano / → All Tags
Word has it that Bellagio is about to shakeup its dining lineup.
We're told the center Strip resort is planning to add a new lake-side patio for dining. It's not clear yet if it would be a standalone concept or attached to a current or forthcoming restaurant, but we're all for having another gorgeous spot to enjoy the Vegas Strip.
Vegas Observations / Flamingo / Bellagio / Paris Las Vegas / Luxor / New York-New York / Drunk Vegas / → All Tags
The grandeur of Vegas can jade people pretty quickly, one thing after another raising the bar and making incredibly cool things seem mundane. But, nothing rekindles appreciation like a long night of drinking. Or, so we've heard. After indulging in a few during a recent bachelor party weekend, this writer found himself intoxicated
in with Vegas. Here were a few of my favorite sights:
Go-Go Dancers at Flamingo
Strolling past beautiful women in Vegas is nothing new, but for some reason, I couldn't resist the moving bodies I saw out of the corner of my eye while passing the Flamingo. Like a bug to a light, my shoulders turned, slowly closing the distance and stopping to stand in the entryway, my left shoulder on the edge of the doorway. Careful: Limit staring to five minutes, lest you draw attention from security or, worse, fall in love.
Exhibits / Openings / Art / Bellagio / Bellagio Gallery Of Fine Art / Events / Painting Women / → All Tags
Much like the changing of seasons at their Conservatory, Bellagio's Gallery of Fine Art has undergone another big transformation. And, while "Warhol Out West" had a lengthy stay in Sin City, Andy's pop-art collection has now been returned to its home in Pittsburgh.