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3 Days in Las Vegas (long report)

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3 Days in Las Vegas (long report)

Anya L | Jul 1, 2005 04:58 PM

My husband and I just spent 3 days in Las Vegas and had some pretty good chow, so I thought I'd share my findings.

Sunday night: Burger Bar (Mandalay Place)
I had the Ridgefield Farm beef burger with bacon, guac, and cheddar. Hubby had Black Angus Beef with caramelized onions, blue cheese, and avocado. Both burgers were perfectly cooked and flavorful, toppings were good quality. We shared fat fries and onion rings. Fat fries were not crispy enough (maybe the skinny fries are better?), but the rings were great. Hubby got a tasty cocktail. I wanted a shake but was too full. Pricey for burgers (well, maybe it was the cocktails too) but fun and generally quite good.

Monday breakfast: Lenotre Patisserie (Paris)
We got a bear claw (is this French?), pain aux raisins, raspberry chausson, and coffees. Quality was not nearly as good as the real Lenotre, but OK for Vegas. Coffee was fine, not great.

Monday snack: Gelato at Jean Philippe Patisserie (Bellagio), pretty good.

Monday dinner: Fleur de Lys (Mandalay Bay)
We got the 4-course menu and hubby got the wine pairing. Overall, everything was absolutely fabulous and service was impeccable. I got ocean "baeckeoffe", halibut, squab, and cheese. Hubby got foie gras, lobster, beef ribs, and cheese. They also served us an amuse bouche, and then after dinner, 4 mignardises *plus* fresh madeleines with chocolate sauce when they brought the check. Wine pairings were very well selected. Sadly, the restaurant was mostly empty and I worry that it won't be around much longer. Hubert Keller was there and went around to the tables making sure all was OK.

Tuesday breakfast: Il Fornaio (New York, New York)
We got a decent bran muffin, so-so cherry cheese danish, and OK ham & cheese croissant (toasted in the panini press, which strangely did not manage to melt the cheese). The breads looked good. Coffee again was fine, not great. I think this would be my top pick for breads/muffins/pastries in Vegas though.

Tuesday snack: Gelato at Giorgio Caffe (Mandalay Place), also pretty good. I don't think either gelato place was as good as my favorites in SF (where I'm from), but with 100 degree heat, they were possibly more appreciated :)

Tuesday dinner: Bouchon (Venetian)
I got spinach salad and gnocchi parisienne. Hubby got tomato salad and braised pork rib. We split a 500-ml carafe of well-priced Cotes du Rhone and a banana pot de creme. Everything was to die for! I could eat here every night. Our waiter was great too. My only regret is that they don't have a retail bakery like in Yountville, but our waiter said they are planning to open one later on.

Wednesday breakfast: Jean Philippe Patisserie (Bellagio)
We got a cheese danish, sticky bun, and coffee. The pastries were probably a little better than at Lenotre or Il Fornaio but they were more expensive too. Coffee was about the same quality but more expensive. They don't have free ice water like Lenotre and Il Fornaio. What is it with $3 bottled water in Vegas anyway?? I would come back here, although I think Il Fornaio is a better value.

Wednesday lunch: Wynn Buffet
At $19.95, it is probably the most expensive lunch buffet. I would say the quality is about the same as Bellagio (my perennial favorite) and the dining room is a bit nicer (the chairs are covered with ostrich leather). The line was not too long at 1:00 pm and service was very efficient; we never had to wait for our plates to be cleared or for drink refills. Unsurprisingly, the "ethnic" dishes were the worst. Salads and cold seafood were very good, and most non-ethnic hot dishes were at least decent (note: we never bother eating the pizza/pasta at the buffets). There were several good desserts (plus some mediocre ones) and lots of fresh fruit too. I would recommend trying this buffet if you like Bellagio's. Note that it does not have cook-to-order stations, at least not at lunch.

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