This short trip was with a friend who likes good food but is not a foodie, who had never dined off strip before, nor ventured too far from the Bellagio. Day 1 was a football Saturday, so where else to watch football but Lagasse's Stadium? They do require minimum expenditures for prime game days ($100pp in the comfy couch seats, $50pp for the perimeter high tops, and $25pp outdoors). Easy enough to do if you're a drinking crowd, a little tougher if not. Mt friend loved her burger, and my signature salad was fine. The sweet potato fries were really addictive, but the oysters were a major disappointment...super tiny and brineless with no flavor. I spoke with the waitress about them and she advised that others had also complained about them, yet that didn't cause her to issue a warning when we ordered them, nor was anything done when we complained. Too full from our late lunch, the casino prevailed over dinner.
Day two: breakfast brunch at the Verandah. The weather was spectacular. We really enjoyed our leisurely brunch outside, sampling most items between us. Mostly everything was good, a few things very good (frittata and huevos ranchos, pecan sticky bun, and rice pudding) and the chicken sausage awful.
Dinner was at Chada Thai. For the first time, I went without a reservation so had to wait. No problem....went next door to district One and had some really good craft cocktails. Didn't want to fill up so didn't get to try their food, but will definitely return as the menu items were yummy sounding. At Chada, Had my usual favorites, the raw oysters (outstanding as usual), soft shell crab and apple salad, mixed mushrooms, Brussels sprouts and taro root, drunken noddles with duck, and tried a seafood Marsala, which, while good, was the least favorite of the bunch.
Had to take my friend to the Peppermill for breakfast the next day.. The novelty has clearly worn off for me, but had a serviceable giant sized breakfast with not great service. Went to Red Rocks canyon afterwards. Beautiful as always but really windy and cold. From there, it was off to red rock casino for some gaming and dinner at Hearthstone. The hit of the night was their butternut squash with pistachios, maple chile glaze and marshmallows. Definitely going to show up on my future thanksgiving menu. Short ribs quite nice. Pizza and shellfish tower good, as well. Their peanut butter lava cake yummy as usual.
The final day was a Bellagio feast. Buffet Brunch on the breakfast/lunch cusp. Disappointing were the shrimp primarily because of the way they're displayed in ice (too watery/mushy). Excellent bacon, Vietnamese spring rolls, Apple mini crepes as well as virtually all their mussel dishes. The selections and service were very good. Desserts outstanding, as well, although their bread puddings were just okay and the brownie not that great. The seasonal pumpkin desserts were nice.
Dinner was at Le Cirque. Dinner and service were outstanding. This was my third time dining here and it was by far the best. My husband and I love Joel Robuchon, but after this meal, I think Le Cirque has eclipsed even our best meals at Robuchon and I can't wait to return in a few months to experience it again.
My only disappointment this trip (besides the Peppermill), was our lack of hunger/time to get to Gelatology and Other Mama. Next time.