My SO and I just returned from four days in Vegas. We carefully selected many of our dining establishments based on the reviews posted here. So in return here is a summary of our experience.
Our first dinning experience was a real disappointment. We went to the Paris buffet for a late lunch and we were not impressed. The salad bar was very basic and not that fresh. The beef bourguignon was deep and flavourful but the beef was so fatty that I could not eat it. The desserts were just okay.
Our second day we headed to Bouchon for breakfast. Yummy! My SO and I both had the brioche style french toast plus a side order of bacon. We loved the food, coffee and service.
Later that night was dinner a Picasso. I must say, we were underwhelmed. First, let me say that the service was top-notch. But we were placed at the first table you see when entering the restaurant so we were subject to many people running by us. We opted for the four course dinner with wine pairings. I had the poached oysters and SO had the quail. Both were fabulous. Our second course was Boudin of Fresh Lobster, Shrimp and Scallops, essentially a sausage stuffed with the seafood and one shrimp on the side. I cant say I really enjoyed this course. We both opted for the Fallow Deer for the main. Having had venison on several occasions, this version was not spectacular. It was enjoyable but not memorable. I cant even remember what dessert was, chocolate of some sort. Also worth mentioning was that while we didnt feel rushed, we found the food was served very quickly (something we seemed to experience often in Vegas). We wanted to have a long leisurely meal, but we were in and out within two hours. Overall, Picasso was a pleasant experience but I doubt we would go back.
The next day was lunch at Commanders Palace. We really enjoyed this place. The 25 cent martinis are a huge bargain (they contained more alcohol than some $10 martinis!). SO had the turtle soup to start while I had the trio of soup. Demi cups filled with a heavenly crawfish/shrimp soup, smoky pulled pork gumbo, and the spicy turtle soup with sherry. All were amazing. We then had the poboy sandwiches with sweet potato fries. Half with fried oysters and half with shrimp. My mouth is still watering. We ended up sharing the beignets with chocolate sauce for dessert. Everything about this meal was memorable, including the service.
Later that night we went to Spago for a late night muchie (11 p.m.) even though they were closing soon, the staff were very welcoming. We shared an order of perfectly done calamari and a wonderful pizza with Portobello mushrooms and caramelized onions.
Next is a late breakfast at Bellagios buffet. Lots of choice and food was fresh and yummy. The pastries were really flaky and buttery. We hung around to check out the lunch buffet which also looked really good.
Our final meal worth mentioning is dinner at Bouchon. Once again, service is wonderful. Professional yet relaxed and not stuffy. We couldnt decide on wine so our server brought us three samples to select from. The food was fabulous. We started with a sweet garlic soup that at first taste seemed a little too sweet but with each mouthful became more and more delightful. SO had the seabass special and said it was flaky and moist and had a nice sauce that complimented it. I had the salmon that was perfectly cooked and served on sautéed leeks. The accompanying sauce was addictive. If I wasnt so full I would have lapped it up with the crusty bread provided. Dessert was a trio of brownies for me and beignets filled with cream for SO.
The only thing that ruined this experience was that we had the unfortunate luck of having two of the restaurants hostesses seated next to us. Apparently it was the 21st birthday for one of them and the restaurant was treating them to dinner. It seemed that every member of the restaurant staff came over to talk and linger (completely unaware they were disturbing the guests on either side). At one point I counted five staff surrounding their small table right beside ours. Considering the girls worked for the restaurant we found them to be inconsiderate of those around them, talking and giggling loudly. It was difficult for SO and I to have a conversation over their voices.
Overall, we had a wonderful culinary experience in Vegas and look forward to going back. However, we found that the strip lacked late night dining venues. Many times we wanted to have something to eat at 11 p.m. and found our options were very limited. Hopefully this will change.
Thanks chowhounds for all your help!