My Las Vegas Reviews


Viva Las Vegas indeed, man this past new years there was nothing short of opulent, excessive and glamorous good times.  Vegas is one of those funny places that before going, you anxiously await the late nights, bright lights, decadent food and infinite shops, but once you're there, each day has a diminishing return.  The first day is always filled with awe, excitement and the need to do everything, the last day is usually accompanied by the statement "I can't wait to go home, it's so dry and smokey here."  I've always found it miraculous how my entire suitcase can smell like smoke, even if I don't really gamble or smoke.

I think it takes some sort of super human to live in Vegas because the air is so dry that your skin, nose and everything just starts drying out no matter how much water you drink.  My g/f's 40th birthday was definitely a rocking one, and the highlights of the entire weekend were the places we ate at.  Here's the list of restaurants, my take and links.

The Mix - The Hotel

Beautiful restaurant and amazing view of the strip from the lounge.  The restaurant portion has a entire cascade of glass bubbles that curtain around the center dining area.  The lounge area is almost decorated in a sea scape, but the view reminds me of being up at ghost bar at the palms.  The food was not quite as spectacular as the view and decor, but the best dishes were the Gnocchi and the scallops.  For the drinks at the lounge, be prepared to watch the bartender and tell him to add either more alcohol or mixers, they seem to like to go on the extreme heavy end or light end.

Tao - Venetian

Another grandeur restaurant, the most impressive aspect of this place is the club environment while dining.  It's definitely not the place to be if you're looking to have a quiet conversation.  I loved the electronica being played in the background and they make great drinks.  My beef is that despite having reservations, you have to wait in line to check in, then wait in the lounge while they prep your area.  My dish of choice here is always the Peking duck.  I'll never understand though why they charge for 2 people when I ask for 1 order, perhaps that's the default?  If that's the case they should just have a base price on the dish of $68, rather than $34 / person.  I always enjoy ordering the spicy tuna over crispy rice, but couldn't' find it in the menu this time.

Aureole - Mandalay Bay

I've seen this restaurant featured so many times on the Food NetworkStyle Network and more.  The center of attention is this GRAND scale wine center, where their "wine angel" is harnessed and suspends inside selecting your wine for you.  For the price point of the restaurant, some of the dishes were better than others.  The sliders were mediocre, but the Venison in this apple puree was so good that everyone thought it tasted like lamb, there was no gamey flavor at all.  Though I didn't try it, I was told that the clams were quite delish. Not sure if I'll go back, but it was definitely a nice place.  I wonder how such a large restaurant only has ONE mens bathroom.

Botero - Encore

HANDS DOWN MY FAVORITE!!! I cannot stress enough how good this restaurant is, and despite the high price point (expect to pay atleast 100 / person leaving, with no drinks!) it is sooo worth it.  The best value and taste are the scallops.  I swear these scallops were the size of my fist (though i have small hands), and the broth was amazing!!  The extras that go with the dishes are quite delectable as well.  My crave-worthy must try recommendations: The polenta cake and mushroom, truffle macaroni and cheese (though i couldn't have more than a bite due to my dairy allergies), the Bone Marrow and the french fries.  Although it's a steakhouse, this restaurant packs so many tasty goodies, in fact I think it's the one restaurant I would fly back to Vegas just to eat at.  It helps to that it's directly across from Hermes, so you can get some shopping done while waiting for your table.

The Buffet - Wynn

For a Las Vegas buffet, I was told this place was semi pricier than the rest, but it is so worth it.  I was mildly disappointed that they didn't have raw oysters or a better selection of sushi, but their other dishes made up for it.  I went back many times for the chicken salad wraps, Lamb, freshly made pasta and pumpkin Tortellini.  At $57 a person it's a good value.  Just be prepared to stay a while.

My friends and I were referred to the Wynn country club for one thing, their $10 hot dog!  I was thinking in my head, what ten bucks for a hot dog?  But man this is one of the best Hot Dogs I've ever had.  Most places focus their attention on the meat and neglect the bun, but the bun here was soft, warm and grilled on one side to perfection.  I ordered mine with grilled onions on top.  I wasn't too impressed with their other dishes though, the fries were huge steak fries that were overly seasoned and their Caesar salad dressing was a bit rich.  My friends ordered the burger and it looked good, so maybe next time :)

Mon Ami Gabi - Paris

I mostly love this place because of the view over looking the Bellagio dancing water show and the Las Vegas strip, but I've also become a fan of the simple tasty dishes and decent price points for lunch.  I ordered the Fish and Frites which didn't come out oily and their shoe string, chip like fries are just to die for!

Serendipity - Caesar's Palace

This place holds a little bit of sentimental value to me, even-though my awe is with the one in New York.  All of us ordered the frozen hot chocolate (mine in an adorable souvenir cup) and my girlfriend ordered the deep fried Oreos.  I will say that the frozen hot chocolate is sooo good, but I've been dying for 3 days because of my dairy allergies :( but I guess it was worth it.

We were really lucky because some of our treats in Vegas were taken care of, others were a bit pricey, and others great values but overall I think it was all worth it.  There was a lot of eating, a lot of shopping and a bit of celebration.  For now mes amis, I bid you adieu, but next time more details on my trip, pictures and more reviews on shopping.  I'm quite back blogged :)

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