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Southwest Steakhouse

Simon Kitchen & Bar, SW Steakhouse, N9NE, etc. 8-5 to 8-7

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Simon Kitchen & Bar, SW Steakhouse, N9NE, etc. 8-5 to 8-7

Budser1228 | Aug 30, 2005 12:20 PM

Went to the Hard Rock for my dinner at Simon Kitchen and Bar. I go check in and they don't have my reservation * * * they don't receive the reservation information from Vegas.com but the reservation tells you to take the e-mail and your id with you when you check in at the restaurant so it was no problem. They seat me with a nice view of the open kitchen area. It's still a little early and they are not busy so I get to see how the waiters, chefs, etc. are joking with each other. Don’t like Vegas tap water so they serve me Fuji water, excellent service. Have the blue fin tuna tartare, excellent blend of flavors, the sea bass, good, but not outstanding and had room for a tiny bit of dessert which was a black berry and nectarine cobbler with a cream cheese pastry crust and vanilla ice cream, very good with excellent ice cream.

Go to Bellagio and check out Jean Phillipe Patisserie for breakfast, have the dulche de leche pastry and hot chocolate, the pastry was very good, lots of dulche de leche and the hot chocolate was dissapointing for a pastry shop that looks like it specializes in chocolate - a little bland.

Decide to eat at Mesa Grill for lunch. They are serving brunch which is a limited menu but I had heard that the burger was good so I order that medium. It was great, with the southwest fries which are good. The restaurant is not busy and I eat at the bar and have a good time talking with the guys behind the bar. One of the guys is dating the pastry chef so I have to have dessert even though I am not hungry – I get the peach sorbet with mixed fruit. It comes in a big bowl with one scoop of sorbet and these huge blackberries, raspberries, mango, etc. It was delicious, I would have licked the bowl if I had any room in my stomach.

Dinner, N9NE Steakhouse at the Palms. It is a hip place, very loud, with a center bar you can dine at that looks like it would be fun. I get the rock shrimp appetizer since I have heard great things about it – excellent, just got a little salty at the end. The hot dipping sauce is very hot! I tried tiny bits of it three times, very good flavor, just hot. I ordered the filet with the lobster mashed potatoes, it was good but not great. I had a slight problem at this point, my waiter gave me my food then disappeared for about half an hour, I don’t know what he was doing, he didn’t explain, he just vanished. It was a good thing there was no problem with the meal, it just wasn’t great. No dessert, no room for it though it did look good in passing, especially the smores. I would eat here again, just not on my list for must do as soon as possible.

Brunch at Commander’s Palace – have the 1-1-1 with the gumbo, turtle and a black bean soup; salad, with chicken, feta cheese, spiced pecans and then the bread pudding souffle. It was very good but the souffle was super sweet, I would choose something else next time. I ate at the bar and it was fun because the bartender was making oodles of bloody marys and mimosas and just a few other drinks so he was busy, busy, busy.

SW Steakhouse at Wynn. I had requested outdoor seating but they didn’t have the outdoor seating available when I checked in – no one was sitting out there – maybe they weren’t busy enough, maybe it was too hot, I don’t know, I didn’t bother asking. I was offered several tables to sit at and chose the corner right by the kitchen so I could see all of the food coming out of the kitchen. The chef, Eric Klein came out a few times and talked with various people in the restaurant, there seemed to be no rhyme or reason, he just wandered around asking how things were going, etc. He took someone on staff to task (very quietly but firmly) because a customer’s wife was feeling sick so it was something like - he would be making her a special dish of soup or whatever to help her out and the server should have offered this service.

I order the lobster roll and the blue crab salad for my appetizers, both were very good, for my entrée I got the filet (yes there is a theme) with the mashed potatoes. The filet was the best steak I have ever had, it was only seasoned with salt and pepper and it was awesome ($42.00) I would definitely order this again. I was writing away in my little notebook about my trip so I wouldn’t forget some of the details and one of the hosts came up to tell me that I was making them nervous, I laughed and told him I just make notes for my trip reports, nothing to worry about. The chef came out a few times and from what he said to me and others I was very impressed. He was with Wolfgang Puck at Spago Beverly Hills. He is French, from near the border with Germany and he believes that you should season food as little as possible to let the essence of the food come out, that’s why only salt and pepper on the steak, etc. Service very similar to Delmonico – three people to take care of your every need, very well done.

Ate at R Bar Cafe in Mandaly Place (one of Rick Moonen's restaurants). It was kind of funny, I had planned on eating lunch there but they stopped serving lunch about a month before I went to Vegas. It is a seafood restaurant and I wasn't super hungry so I was planning on just getting an entree. When I was seated at the restaurant they were dealing with a problem with the rolling door to the patio area (right beside the escalator up to the Mandalay Place shops, etc.) It had rolled down all on its own and they had mechanical people there checking it out, etc. for about 20 minutes. They made sure that no one was seated right beside the door in case it decided to go back up unexpectedly. They seemed to figure out the problem and the door went back up and had no other problems while I was there. I chose the garlic shrimp which were good with the tarter mashed potatoes, it had onions and capers in it and it was very fun to try, very good flavor combination. There were also several breads served with the entree, one of which was cornbread, one was a biscuit that was super good - it made me want to come back and try one of the specialities, seafood with biscuits and gravy.

Also ate at Mr. Lucky's at the Hard Rock right before I went to the airport - had a chicken sandwich with bbq sauce and fries. It was good, the sauce was just okay, the fries were nice and hot.

My next trip is in December, with a group of people that think buffets are the way to go so I may post a review of just buffets.

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