Just spent a long weekend in Vegas and have to say thanks again to this board for some great recommendations. First and foremost, of course, was Lotus of Siam, widely praised here and elsewhere. I "dragged" 6 others along with me and called Bill early in the day to request that he put together a meal for us (that's what scared off the other 2 couples). Without going into too much detail, the food was truly memorable, with everyone at the table swooning and saying best Thai they'd ever had. The frog legs made me forget just how infrequently these live up to their billing. Bill C. was stuck in the kitchen for most of our meal, because of 2 of his cooks being out that night. But he did come out at the end of the evening, and apologized for not being able to spend more time at our table (and for running out of catfish). Then, he started pouring us all tastes of different German wines, as well as his fave dessert wine, a delicious (and cheap, according to him) Moscato d'Asti. Wow! I'll be back. Too bad more people in the industry aren't as caring and sweet as that man is! - (dave f. - he spoke your praise and pointed out your picture on the wall to me).
Also had a great lunch at Lindo Michoacan, pretty darn good ribs, links, and pulled pork at Memphis Championship Barbecue - the one on E. Warm Springs Rd. (being here in NYC, I'll take any good 'cue, but Mike Mills knows what he's doing). I can't wait for Blue Smoke to open in Manhattan! The only meal we ate in a Strip hotel restaurant was an early lunch at Spago Cafe in Caesar's. Big portions, good, nice fresh food...just what I expected, no more, no less.
As for downtown, I've been to Hugo's Cellar in the Four Queens before, and went again. I just dig what I envision to be the old-time Vegas'y atmosphere...great martinis...nice salad, and a pretty decent steak at a reasonable price. And I like to gamble at Binion's, which is right across the street!!
Three nights is just about right...glad to be back in NYC, and thanks again, chowhounders.