Hi all, just to let you know, long report ahead, could also be repetitive for those familiar with Vegas.
1st night, got in at around 6pm, went to MESA GRILL (Caesars Palace casino floor), and we were seated immediately. My meal:
1) spicy tuna tartar and duck pancake appetizers split with 2 friends, both having a great variety of flavors and punch but too small to split 3 ways
2) New Mexico spice rubbed pork tenderloin, best non-Chinese pork I've ever had and cooked medium-rare, melts in your mouth. Generous portions, and the tamale complimented the pork very nicely
3) glass of 2001 Pinot Noir (I think) to go with it all, also recommended by waiter, very light and refreshing with entree
Too full for dessert, but the meal was great all the way EXCEPT for the bread basket, which while containing good breads, was never fresh. Warm, fresh bread makes such a difference. Total, with tax + tip: $68
My friends both got the New York steak, which came recommended by the waiter as the best steak he's ever had. I tried some of their steak and was unimpressed. Overcooked and bland, relative to our appetizers and my pork. The waiter was spot on with everything else, so not sure what the deal with the steak was.
Afterward, joined rest of our group at MON AMI GABI, in the front of Paris. We were seated at a great long table by the windows facing the Bellagio fountains, so the atmosphere was incredible. Friends got steak dinners while those of us that ate earlier got desserts. The strawberry crepe was large and filling but not fresh and the crepe pancake was tasteless. A fun way to finish the evening food-wise, but neither the crepe nor their coffee blew me away. Total: $15
My friends tried some of the different steaks, including New York, hangar steak and filet, and none of them was that impressed. Again, large, filling portions but nothing spectacular.
However, they had a great wine, some late 90s Bordeaux recommended by the waiter, I think.
2nd day, in anticipation of a buffet dinner, we just grabbed lunch at the Cypress food court on the Caesars casino floor, cheap and quick. I had a mediterranean style chicken wrap and a Gatorade to rehydrate. Total: $13
BUFFET DINNER at WYNN, the new and unnecessarily opulent mega-resort in Vegas. First, the weaknesses, which were few but important. The newness of the resort led to problems that are rare at these upscale hotels: 1) waitstaff scrambling to find enough silverware (we were given tea spoons for soup!) and glasses for replacement drinks, 2) understaffed kitchen and waitstaff leading to the strange combination of a 45-minute line with most tables empty, and 3) neither their crepe station nor their ice cream machine was working, especially tantalizing because they had already laid out over 10 different ice cream toppings and various crepe fruit fillings!
Now to the food! The non-dessert food was the best Vegas buffet food I've had (comparing to Bellagio, Paris, Mandalay Bay and Rio). Highlights: grilled jumbo shrimp (with shell, head and legs all intact), sweet, juicy flank steak and some spice rubbed roast lamb at the carving station, crab legs, scallop ceviche, spicy clams and various kabobs. Their desserts were limited and felt like they were from a mediocre bakery, but fresh fruit selection was decent. Total (w/o alcohol): $33
Finally, today for lunch, we tried to go to Lotus of Siam only to find it was closed on weekends for lunch. We ended up going to Canter's Deli at Treasure Island. The deli is the Vegas branch of the famous LA deli of the same name. Had a corned beef sandwich with swiss and a little bit of sweet and spicy mustard. Not as good as in LA, but hit the spot after a long night out. Also got a half dozen chocolate chip rugulas. Total: $17
I saw that Carnegie Deli, a NY institution, has a branch open in the Mirage now, but being an LA boy, I had to go with Canter's. Unfortunately, this Canter's isn't open 24 hours like it is in LA.
All in all, it was a great weekend for food. Only thing I regret is not trying another place or two for late night, post-partying food. Oh well, next time!