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You didn't mention where in Vegas you were getting married, but while I was at the Mandalay Bay last year, there were quite a few wedding happenings.

Mandaly Bay:

****Start at the Red Square for a drink first...over a 100 different vodkas.

If you want presentation with great food then Aureole is your choice. It is famous for its' 3/4 story wine cellar and wine angels. The wine is a little overpriced though and a little too pretentious for me. ***

If you want a party with good food. The Rumjungle is perfect. The food (Red meat, chicken, and fish) is served on flaming skewers and carved before you. Ask for the fish first. I found the wait staff to be alot of fun and the wine list is decent too. ****


Emiril Lagasse has a restaurant that is wonderful and has a decent wine list. The customer is number one at this place. If spice is what you like, then this is your place. ***


Although I have never eaten at the RIO, the buffetts are supposed to be the best. They also have the worlds largest wine cellar/lounge where you walk in and can order ANYTHING by the glass.

[Big Grin] [Big Grin] [Big Grin]
Here are a few suggestions I have that are often overlooked and over-shadowed by the big names(Aureole, Pinot Brasserie, Lutece)

Venetian (on the strip):
Delmonico's/ reservations necessary
Another Lagasse establishment. A New Orleans style steakhouse with a better than average wine list (pricey). The bone-in rib eye is not to be missed by any steak lover. Generous portions. I love the Creme Brulee with a Cafe Delmonico for dessert.

Harrah's (on the strip):
The Range/ reservations suggested
One of my personal favorites. A cozy romantic atmosphere with great ambiance. This is an upscale steakhouse and offers the standard seafood fare (Lobster, Crab etc). A nice wine list with emphasis on CA Cabs.

The Rio (Flamingo Road, off the strip)
Fiore's Steakhouse/ reservations necessary
Fiore's was previously marketed as a "gourmet room" which is old-time Vegas speak for "not a buffet or a coffee shop". In the last year Fiore's has revamped and is now a very elegant dining establishment serving excellent steaks and an assortment of fresh seafood. A very diverse wine list is available and if you can't find it on the wine list, your captain can check The Cellar (as mentioned in WineO's post) for a specific vintage or wine and will gladly have it brought up.(discuss $ before it is brought up!). The Lobster Bisque and the daily souffle are fabulous.

Buzio's / reservations suggested
A bistro type seafood restaurant with a vast menu.
I love the Clam's Casino. Also some great seafood-pasta entrees. Not a great wine list but it is adequate. This restaurant is open for lunch and recently added a Champagne Sunday Brunch. ($50?)

American Grill/ reservations suggested
My husband's personal favorite. A steakhouse with fantastic steaks and prime rib. This is a very popular restaurant and depending on the hour you are dining, can be very crowded. Not a great wine list but for me, I usually opt for a cold Amstel Light with my Onion Loaf appetizer.

And yes, the Buffets at the Rio are great. The Carnival World Buffet is huge. My niece calls it adult-disneyland. The seafood Buffet is also very good although pricey for a buffet(approx$30). Get in line early for this one.

Las Vegas has so many great dining choices, not only in the casinos but many nation-wide chains are available (Lawry's, Ruth's Chris, Mortons). Wherever you are in Sin City, you won't be far from something fabulous. Have a great trip.

[ 04-23-2002, 05:34 PM: Message edited by: Pinot Envy ]
havent been in 2 or 3 years but hugo's cellar is always a good stop. a little of the beaten path (read downtown in the basment of the four queens) decent wine list but the food is the star here. great lamb chops. another favorite is pampamous (spelling could be wrong) good service good food but once again wine list is adequate at best.

will work for wine
I was in Vegas about a year and a half ago, and since I'm not a real gambler the focus of my trip, as everything else in my life, was eating and drinking. Highlights:

The best meal I had was in Napa at the Rio, but since my visit the chef (Jean Louis Pallidan(sp?)) died of cancer.

The second best was at Emeril's seafood place in the MGM Grand. I was pretty leary of his talents considering his act, antics, and followers, but was stunned by how vibrant the combinations were and how perfectly everything was cooked.

I thought that Picasso in the Bellagio was a little over-rated. I found the food too subdued for my tastes, and the service didn't shine - cold food, etc.

Reguarding wine lists - I didn't eat anywhere that had a disappointing list.

Hope this helps a little.
i would have to suggest mon ami gabi at the paris, las vegas. it is a casual restaurant, with a area to dine outside on the strip, and not to expensive. i have only been to a hand full of restaurants in las vegas, but it has great food, and desserts. if you can get a seat outside about 30-45 minutes before sunset, by the time you get your main course, the sun will be down, the lights on the strip will be on, and you will have a perfect view of the fountain show at the bellagio for dinner and dessert. combining the food, price, atmosphere, wine (reserve list by request) it was probably my favorite restaurant.
at the paris, for steak and seafood, you could try la rotiessiere (sp?)---also very good, a little more expensive.
have a good trip, and congratulations!
Alas, the best damn steakhouse in Vegas is gone. The Charcoal Room at the (blown up) Hacienda, where Mandalay Bay now sits. Anyone else remember this place? It was a 50's/60's kinda place, dark interior with intimate red leather booths. The kind of place you could picture Frank, Sammy, or Dean eating at. Oh, well. No place I have dined at since has come close.

I can tell you where not to go, however. Andre's at (I think) the Monte Carlo. They absolutely will not let you bring in your own bottle, and will charge you through the nose for one of theirs. And the portions...remember that Wendy's commercial where Dave goes to some fru-fru place and the waiter sets a plate before him with a snow pea, garnish, and a little spritz of sauce? That must have been Andre's. Our party of 4 had dinner with 3 mediocre bottles (I can't remember what they were, this was a couple years ago). The tab came to over $600; and we left the place hungry!!! If we were investment bankers, we would have been fired!
Was there last week and went to The Steakhouse @ Circus Circus. This is a great bargain, all steak is dry aged 21 days in the restaurant. The steaks average around $30 including salad, potato, and vegetable. Typical Steakhouse decor nothing extravegant but good steak. Wine list was weak and didn't include vintages but prices werent bad most were around 2x or less.

Also ate at Spago, which has a pretty good but pricey wine list. Excellent Fish and Seafood dishes and appetizers. Aureole had outstanding food and presentation 3 course price fix $55 or 9 course tasting menu for $95 with wine option for $45 for the 5 main courses. I really enjoyed Aureole, very cool computerized wine list but was pricey. China Grill I really enjoyed this alot all the food is brought out Family style to share had excellent scallops, chilean sea bass, and shrimp dishes. China Grill wine list was good and I thought pretty reasonable especially since somewhat of an asian theme went with white wines better had Caymus Conundrum for around $50.

I ate at Emerils Fish house last visit and was not impressed with waiter constantly saying "bam" and let "me kick that up a notch" very touristy and not my thing. I actually heard that another hidden gem is a place called Drais which is in the basement of the Barnaby Coast.
Since you like steak then I will have to second Pinot Envy's vote for Delmonico's. Absolutely fantastic steaks and yes call right now if you want to get in for dinner. Also my favorite restaurant is Aureole at Madalay Bay. Food, wine and service are all top notch at both of these restaurants. The biggest problem with many of the noveaux Vegas restaurants is although they have great food and wine the service at many is completely unprofessional.
On the seafood front, if you are a sushi fan and have never been to one of the Nobu locations, hit the one at Hard Rock. The sushi is outstanding, but the real stars are the japanese (non-sushi) dishes. Be sure to try the lobster/****ake salad, the popcorn shrimp with ponzu and the BENTO BOX desert. Fantastic!
CSB: Been to NOBU in NYC. Food is excellent, BUT.
a. Wayyy OverPriced.
b. Service is Awful, unless your name is Robert DeNiro, Howard Stern, or likes...
c. Waiters are Rude.
d. Stuffy as all-hell.
e. Arrogant.
f. Portions are, well, a Microscope will do in that place.

You see where I am going with this. But, all that being said, the FOOD is Excellent.

P.S. One man's review...

I actually had the same reaction to the Nobu NYC experience. It's a pretty sharp contrast however, to the experience I've had in Malibu and Vegas. I think it must be the Malibu attitude, but the place is relaxed and the food is excellent. Don't get me wrong however, it doesn't measure up to the flagship Matsuhisa in LA.

Being out there on the east coast, have you made it down to Morimoto in Philly? Great sushi from what I hear, although a bit tough to get in there these days.

One final note. Went to a favorite sushi place out here in LA on Friday and brought in a "Golden Port" from Prager ( It was a fantastic compliment to the meal. If you are a sushi fan, I'd suggest giving it a try with the meal.


Then, we both agree on the NOBU NYC experience. Don't get me wrong, the Sushi is NOBU is Great, right up there. The atmosphere, I question (in my opinion). I LOVE Sushi, used to be an obsession of mine. I have a few Sushi places in my area that are Great. Going to Philly is a little out of the way from me. But, may be 1 day as I do have friends in Philly.

j bembry:

Will talk on Saturday about NOBU.
The place I would recommend for steak and seafood in Vegas (and big portions) is The Palm. Although it's a chain, they do an exceptional job there.

Emeril's is quite disappointing. It's a shame.

Drai's is excellent for drinks, but the food is just ok and the wine list is not that impressive.

Aureole has an exceptional wine list and we found the food to be excellent. They've recently transferred their wine inventory on a "hand held" device that's rather innovative as well.

There's also a fairly good Mexican food place in the Mandalay that was very good.
We spend a week, that sometimes seems alot longer, every year, in Vegas. Aureole is a great place, very good service, and the prix fix diner is only $55 USD. Nobu will run close to $300 for two people, watch out. A very good Sushi Bar, with Habachi tables, is Shiba, corner of Flamingo and Decatur. This is a local place and the pricing is very right, family owned and operated. For something different, try Yollies, an Argentine beef rest., the rosemont Grills, yes, has a very good wine list, fair prices, and good sea food as well.
Never had a bad meal there either...but really dug Morton's. Yeah, its a chain I know. But I've been to LeCirque also and would go back to Morton's if I went back to either. Just be sure to watch the sunset one night on the Rio in the Voodoo Lounge...wear a collar (shirt, I mean). Don't take the flyers people hand out on the streets, nevermind its Vegas take them.
Tyee, I was on the MGM Web site a couple of weeks ago and it was not listed. Too bad. The last time I was there, they had a Sinatra impersonator who was fabulous. Even though he is no longer with us, I kept turning my head thinking it was Frankie...Jack Daniels and everything. I thing the impersonator was the same guy selling fake I.D.'s in the movie "Vegas Vacation". [Cool]
I go to Vegas every year and look forward to the fine dining and excellent, albeit expensive, wine list the city provides. I've been to Aureole, Lupo, Le Cirque, Morton's, Smith and Wolensky, and a few others. The place I go to every year and will continue to go to is Delmonico's in the Venetian. The steaks are perfect, the service is top notch and the wine list has some reasonable offerings.
If you decide to dine at Delmonico's @ The Venetian, don't fret the reservations too much or let it discourage you in any way. We will be in Vegas next weekend and today, the 5th I telephoned the Venetian central reservation system (877)883-6423 (toll free in the U.S... hopefully for you also) and I made a reservation for next Saturday the 11th...7:45 p.m.; prime time..not a problem!
We went to Aureole one night. Their wine system was very interesting. I liked this restaurant and if I remember correctly we had a 10:45 reservation, later then most others could seat us. I also ate at Mark Millers Coyote Cafe in the MGM and thought it was very good as well. There is not very much good Southwestern food in Washington. I was with a large group most for most of the 3 nights so it was hard to agree on places to eat. We did eat some good Middle Eastern falfel salad, hummus, tabouli and Baba at a place off the strip called the Hookah Lounge. I brought a case of wine down and couldn't bring myself to opening most of the bottles because my palate was so thrashed from all of the free beers I had been drinking. I bet on the Kings in the final game [Eek!] [Frown] [Confused] , but it was a good game. [Cool] I like being able to walk around a city with my favourite bottle of wine and my favourite Reidel in either hand, although I left my $40 Burgandy reidel at a random blackjack table the first night [Frown] . I got a lot of comments with that glass.
I go to Vegas 2-3 times a year and my favorite restaurants if price is no object are Renoir at the Mirage and Picasso at the Bellagio. Both have wonderful (and pricy) tasting menus -- the artwork and ambiance is wonderful.

I generally stay at the Rio, and many of the suggestions further up this string are on target. The restaurants are very good and get overlooked compared to the more hyped restaurants on the strip.

And don't forget In-n-Out Burger for lunch!!!
I always stay at the Rio. Far enough away from the hubbub to get some rest and really, really nice rooms for the average person (i.e., you don't have to be a high roller). The pool has a white sand beach - no kidding.

I can't top the dinner recommendations. But for after dinner or late night munchies, you can't beat the Allegro Jazz Lounge in Bellagio. Tapas and good music.

Or The Champagne Bar at Napoleons, in Paris. Good live jazz and yummy selections.

You should have a really fun time. It's a blast there. The whole city is truly an adult amusement park.
I have been to Michael's; I concur that the food and service is excellent. Almost too good. Everything was so wonderful I overate.
I do have one weird quibble about the service, though. There is a point at which service, however good, becomes obtrusive. This was the case at Michael's where, as I recall, there were about 3 staff per table. My friend and I could literally not set down an olive pit for 10 seconds without one of them reaching around with sugar tongs to pluck it from the table. It became almost impossible to ignore them long enough to have a candid conversation and enjoy ourselves with them hovering nearby.
I vote for Picasso in the Bellagio as the experience not to miss. If you like fine food, fine wine, and fine art, this is the place for you. The atmosphere is relaxed enough to get up from your table, mid meal, and wander around, wine glass in hand, gazing at all the ORIGINAL Picasso's. This is THE place in town, in my opinion, now that Napa is closed.

I would have also recommended Hamilton's in NY,NY, but it's closed. It was an intimate, cool (temperature & atmosphere), jazz combo filled, martini-drinking experience. I don't think a cocktail lounge like it has opened in town yet. It's a big gap in the town's offerings.

[ 09-29-2002, 02:10 PM: Message edited by: LilacWine ]

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