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First, Belagio Buffet - Don't. I'm no buffet snob (god no :( :( ) but I was not happy here.

 

 

well, it is better than the round table buffet at the excalibur, i can promise you. though the wine-list presentation is striking: it is plunged into a stone slab which is hauled to your table. if you can remove it from the stone you get to order some fine white zin. good times.

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Now, Burger Bar - I know Evelyn likes it, and maybe I got it on a bad day, but I was not very impressed with this place. I did really like the pickled beets, which are like 50 cents, such a deal and the green tomatoes were very good too. What was just OK was the Angus burger. I spied to confirm this, but the grill jockeys were pressing the heck out of the burgers, so even at medium rare it was dry. Much worse were the fries. I was highly surprised that BB used a frozen french fry product. My (very good) waiter said that they originally cut the potatoes themselves, but found this too much of a hassle. I really expected better.

Rob

 

I can't vouch for the angus...but I will say the Kobe beef burger, rare on ciabbatta has been a great burger every time I've had it...including the one I ate yesterday :( ...fries...I don't eat enough to comment. I go for the onion rings.

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The only time I visited the Boulud place in the Wynn, they had a West Coast version of the foie/short ribs/truffle sauce db bistro moderne burger on the menu. It probably is a permanent item. I wonder if anybody has tasted it.

 

I'm curious about The Bathhouse at Thehotel (it's something like that) at Mandalay Bay. A lot of recent write-ups in travel/lifestyle type magazines about that spa.

 

I don't think buffets are compatible with good food. :(

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I just came back from a two day stint in Vegas. I did Burger Bar, Bouchon, Shintaro at the Bellagio and Alex at the Wynn.

Burger Bar was mediocre, an overpriced sports bar with uninviting light and a schizophrenic soundtrack, (must I really watch sports and listen to the 80's in order to eat a hamburger?) whose relatively redeeming quality was the cumin scented lamb burger and the surprise white anchovies I received as a side for my Ceasar salad. Three burgers (including the lamb and the anchovy side) Ceasar and three beers about $80.

 

Bouchon for brunch was fabulous. We got up too late for the breakfast menu, but started with half dozen each of Miyagi and Malpeques along with a half carafe of Sancerre. Then roquefort and bacon quiche, eggs Florentine with house smoked salmon, a beautiful charcuite plate and three cheeses well chosen by our server that included a blue d'auvergne, a Spanish sheep and a French goat - the last two whose names escape me entirely. We also had a bottle of Treana Marsanne Viognier which was just perfect with the quiche and cheeses. Finished with darkly chocolate popovers - kind of like flourless chocolate brownie bites but lighter in texture. I had a glass of zinfandel port and my friend a Banyuls with the dessert. This was really a perfect meal and a great way to start the day. About $240, not including tip.

 

Shintaro at the Bellagio, while not a great sushi bar, is visually stunning due to the three panels of exquisitely lit jellyfish floating on invisible currents behind the bar. Somewhat limited in their offerings (no ankimo for example) they specialize in those fancy geegaw sushi rolls that cost an arm and a leg and frat boy big spenders love so well. Since we were still pretty full from brunch it was just snacks- toro of course, spanish mackerel sashimi, snapper with yuzu... and a simple wood tray of some of the freshest uni that was absolutely delicious washed down with cold sake...$170 for three people. We probably wouldn't have eaten there except for some quick table earnings at blackjack and the alluringly hypnotic effect of lavender, yellow, and red undulating jellyfish.

 

We finished off Saturday at Alex at the Wynn. An richly layered room, I was with two design whores who were losing their cookies over the entrance staircase, the chandeliers, the taffeta draperies - people Look Good in this room. My favorite gesture? A small upholstered foot stool/chair upon which to rest your purse.

We had the four course prix fixe tasting meal at $120 per person, not including wine. The amuses were lovely - little arancini stuffed with lamb, prosciutto with breadstick and a basil palmier with anchovy emulsion.

Next a rabbit rillette that was delicious, tho at this point I can't remember what else came with it. Appetisers for the three of us were quail terrine, frogs legs, and sweetbreads. My sweatbread dish was the winner -a fricasse with porcini mushrooms topping a duck egg ravioli. Unbelievably sublime. Entrees were rack of lamb, short ribs and squab. The squab was the winner here - topped off with a lobe of seared foie the flavor was just gamey rich and sweet enough that a bite was wonderfully satisfying. Can't remember what it was served with because my friend would barely yield off her plate. We chose a Qupe Syrah Los Olivos Cuvee, because we'd had it with a squab pairing at WD-50, and it worked just as well here. The short ribs and lamb were excellent although not as exciting compared to our earlier appetisers.

Desserts were gilding the lily - I always feel a bit sorry for the pastry chef who has to entice glutton's stomachs begining to stretch taut... I actually would like to eat my dessert first, because sweet always makes me want savory but anyway beignets with raspberry sauce and the I don't get icemilk (which always tastes like the milk got too cold in the back of the fridge) and lemon curd something with strawberries, rhubarb and maybe a hint of lavender? Or maybe it was lavender in the madeleines...No dessert for R, just black coffee and a snifter of 20 year old Pappy Van Winkles ( he was headed back to the tables). Including two preprandial campari cocktails it was $450 for three people.

 

Let me point out here that none of this would have been possible without the fierce blackjack skills of my dear friend K, for whom all gambling winnings equals free money to be spent as she pleases. Fortunately she is as well skilled at eating as she is at gambling, and we did very well on all accounts. Bouchon I would have gladly done on my own but I might have to think about Alex if I was playing with real money.

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Unless they changed the menu in the last two weeks the squab comes with pineapple and rhubarb...

As far as I'm concerned, Alex is the best restaurant here in Las Vegas...period.

 

edit to add...the pineapple and rhubarb are served sauteed.

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Unless they changed the menu in the last two weeks the squab comes with pineapple and rhubarb...

As far as I'm concerned, Alex is the best restaurant here in Las Vegas...period.

 

Ah thank you for reminding me! It WAS pineapple I manged to sneak a bite of - truly a fantastic dish.

Along with the sweetbreads - two of the best dishes I've tasted this year. One of the things I really like about Alex was the drama and elegance of the room - the space wears itself well without pretension while being extremely comfortable and beautiful and sexy. I loved that I didn't feel like I was in Vegas. It was very self contained and after all the casino madness I liked that very much.We ended up closing the place down and the staff treated us as though we were in our own living room (if my living room was hung with taffetta drapery and gun metal rosettes :( ) It was a fantastic way to end the meal and our night.

I loved it.

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robert40 -- :( :(

 

Charcoop -- Like the Paris restaurant, GS LV has a champagne carte with a large silver bowl containing the bottles of champagne. Selections differ form night to night, but, on the night in question, included up to 6-7 different champagne, including the (presumably) more reasonably priced Pommery Brut, Billecart Salmon Rose, etc. The champagne I picked was the most expensive (I guessed it would be $60+, which it was), even though the prices are not told to the diner at the time.

 

You are probably looking at at least $350-400/person all in. That's because $400/person is really $300/person in food and wine, given the need to tip and the tax. But there were some very reasonable appetizers, e.g., the oysters and the least expensive peas appetizer (which I coincidentally almost ordered, at maybe $35-45).

 

Be sure to spend some time in the bar/louge room where there is a very modern looking fireplace (it's so modern it can't be called a fireplace) and a white-colored mask of an animal that was kind of pleasing. Decor is nice, but the main dining room's "long" section looks onto a Chanel store sign. Minimalist in art, with a sort of neon-colored, yellowish/pinkish (?) "grill"-like piece of art below waist-level interrupting the other parts of the decor in the main room (non-private rooms).

 

 

Cabrales..thanks for the added info. From what you've said along with others it seems that we might as well order the tasting menu...the total cost seems to be pretty close when compared to a la carte. Am I correct in my thinking? Also, we'd probably opt for a less expensive glass of champagne pre-dinner and only 1 bottle of wine to share.

 

My own view is go, and be careful on the wine (including the champagne), if you want to spend less money. Order a la carte, because $295/person for the seven-course tasting brings you to $400 after tax and tips per person BEFORE wine. Sample the less expensive apps, like the oysters (which are good, although there is debate as to whether Marc Meneau really created it and got copied by G Savoy). The wine list is brought to the diner on a wood pedestal-like table (kind of pretentious), but has a number of reasonable items (for this type of restaurant) included. You are not guaranteed the table for the evening, but that could also be the case in the main restaurant for some tables. They are going for at least two seatings for many tables in LV.

 

I'd prefer (Guy Savoy + Burger Bar) to (Bradley Ogden or Picasso + one meal more expensive than Burger Bar). I haven't been to the Burger Bar, but that's where I would go if I wanted to save money on another meal.

 

 

Cabrales..didn't see this post before I wrote my last one. Well, we shall see. Yes, I'm keeping my reservation and we'll just figure it out when we get there.

 

We really only have 4 dinners to plan (going to parties the other two nights) and we might do Sensi at Bellagio (I've been/husband hasn't) for a less costly night. My husband LOVES Il Molino so we may go back there. Haven't been to Burger Bar...want to go..but didn't think it would be a good dinner choice??

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If you like eating amidst numerous TV screens and blaring music then I guess it's okay for dinner. We ended up eating at the back bar because the area up front was full and the booths were reserved for parties of five or larger. (We were three). I absolutely hate watching sports and tvs in bars make me nuts so this was not an optimum situation for me. :(

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If you like eating amidst numerous TV screens and blaring music then I guess it's okay for dinner. We ended up eating at the back bar because the area up front was full and the booths were reserved for parties of five or larger. (We were three). I absolutely hate watching sports and tvs in bars make me nuts so this was not an optimum situation for me. :(

 

 

Thanks for the warning....I think I'll skip it period.

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Hu?? do you mean bring your own wine? I'll be at Bartolotta in a few weeks and this would be great for the group I'm going with!

 

Not only Bartolotta, but also Alex, the last time I checked, were BYO with about $30 or under corkage. You should check with Bartolotta, though. I sampled a cigales de mer (it's in Italian on the menu, when available) dish (simply grilled with the shell protecting the flesh from the flame). They have an appropriate olive oil-based sauce that includes half or quartered cherry tomatoes and that does not sound like it could go with grilled seafood, but it does. This is a dish that is not always available, and it was expensive (and priced per pound). But cigales de mer actually from the Mediterranean are hard to come by in the US.

 

On Bartolotta, if both the Wynn shopping mall "main" entrance of the restaurant and the "lower level" are available, the "lower level" is nicer.

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Not only Bartolotta, but also Alex, the last time I checked, were BYO with about $30 or under corkage. You should check with Bartolotta, though. I sampled a cigales de mer (it's in Italian on the menu, when available) dish (simply grilled with the shell protecting the flesh from the flame). They have an appropriate olive oil-based sauce that includes half or quartered cherry tomatoes and that does not sound like it could go with grilled seafood, but it does. This is a dish that is not always available, and it was expensive (and priced per pound). But cigales de mer actually from the Mediterranean are hard to come by in the US.

 

On Bartolotta, if both the Wynn shopping mall "main" entrance of the restaurant and the "lower level" are available, the "lower level" is nicer.

 

 

***I agree with Cabrales..the lower level seemed nicer to me. And the fish...oh boy was it good. I can't remember exactly what we had...but it was fabulous.

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