Friday, June 22, 2012

Eating our Way Through Vegas - Update

I originally published this list back in October 2009 after our last trip to Vegas.  It's hard to believe we waited 2.5 years to return.  I thought it would be nice to update this list with the new places we tried while we were there.  Updates are shown in red.  I've listed out all the restaurants where I've eaten so far, my thoughts on them, and then a few places I 'd still like to try in the future.

Fine Dining:
  • Capital Grille (Fashion Show Mall) - It is a chain, but a darn good one!  Jon and I both had fish that was excellent.  Get the truffle fries, they are great!
  • Enoteca San Marco (Grand Canal Shoppes at the Venetian) - The menu was somewhat limited and so much was in Italian we had to ask what everything meant.  Get the risotto balls, they are tasty!
  • Fiamma Trattoria and Bar (MGM) -  This was my one disappointing fine dining restaurant I've eaten at in Vegas.  Nothing about the meal was memorable.  We wanted to eat off the tasting menu and they seemed to look down on us for that.  The meal was very expensive and it definitely didn't live up to the cost.
  • Joe's Stone Crab (Forum Shops at Caesar's) - I've not known anyone to have a bad meal here.  The steaks and the seafood were both high quality.  When I went we sat in the bar area and the service was great.
  • Kokomo's (Mirage) - Tried this on a whim this trip and were not disappointed!  The tasting menu was reasonably priced especially for the portions.  We had Filet and Sea Bass and both were great and we will go back for another time.
  • Mesa Grill (Caesar's Palace) - I've never had a full meal here but the Shrimp Tamale appetizer is reason enough to go there on its own.  The drinks are expensive but they are amazing and if you make it through 3 you will be under the table passed out! 
  • Spago (Forum Shops at Caesar's) - I did an entire write up on this visit. It as great and I'd love to go back.  The tasting menu allowed us to try all of their specials which was incredible.   
Casual Dining:
  • Blondie's Sports Bar & Grill (Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood) - Typical sports bar food that is good for a quick bite.
  • Broadway Burger Bar (New York New York) - Aside from Spago, I would say this was my favorite meal in Vegas.  We had the Southwestern and the Cowboy and split fries and rings.  All of it was great!
  • Chin Chin Cafe (New York New York) - This was a great find.  The entrees are huge like a normal Chinese restaurant so 2 people can easily split an appetizer and an entree and get out of there for $30, even at dinner.  
  • Greenburg's Deli (New York New York) - A true New York deli. Sandwiches were really good and it wasn't super expensive.
  • La Salsa Cantina (Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood) - La Salsa was just ok.  I'm sure there are much better Mexican restaurants on the strip.
  •  New York New York Pizzeria (New York New York) - Good new york style pizza but expensive for just a slice and a pop.  Think a more authentic Sbarro.
  • Nine Fine Irishmen (New York New York) - Traditional Irish fare.  It was pricey for lunch but the servings are really large and the cheese dip was awesome.
  • Ocean One Bar & Grill (Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood) - Their lunch menu is super cheap as far as Vegas standards with items, such as a fish or chicken sandwich, starting at $5.99.  The food was good but not really memorable.
  • Oyster Bay Seafood (Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood) - This is located next door to Ocean One.  The food is a better quality but the prices are also higher.  They serve a lot of fresh fish but do have a great sounding brunch menu.  We both ended up with lunch.  Try the Cajun fries.
  • Pampas Churrascaria Brazillian (Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood) - Typical Brazillian Steakhouse with unlimited meat off the "sword."  I've heard it doesn't come close to Fogo though.
  • Planet Dailies (Planet Hollywood) - Good for a late night snack since it is open 24/7.  The food is good but is expensive for a normal breakfast or lunch place.
  • Spice Market Buffet (Planet Hollywood) - This buffet is great.  It isn't the cheapest (brunch ~$23 and dinner ~$30) but it is all encompassing.  We went for brunch and aside from the traditional breakfast trade, they had seafood, salad, soup, Italian, Asian, American, Middle Eastern and Mexican stations.  The buffalo shrimp, shrimp tempura and Asian won tons should not be missed!  I think I've eaten here at least 4 times now.
  • The Buffet (Hilton Las Vegas) - Due to my Hilton Honors, brunch was free.  Definitely good for free but I wouldn't pay $20 for it.
  • The Buffet - Bellagio (Bellagio) - We had always heard this, along with the Wynn, were the best buffets in Vegas.  I have to say, the food here was good but wasn't great. I'd take The Spice Market over Bellagio's buffet any day.
  • 'Wichcraft (MGM) -  This is Tom Colicchio's take on sandwiches. We had been to his restaurant in Napa which we had really enjoyed.  The sandwiches were definitely gourmet and our food was good but I wouldn't call it great and probably not worth the extra cost. 
  • Pink's Hot Dog Stand (Planet Hollywood) - They were good hot dogs.  Great for a quick dinner like we needed before seeing O.  Darren got some crazy concoction of 2 hot dogs in a burrito with cheese, chili and onions.  I had 2 bites and had heartburn, but it was tasty. 
  • Serendipity 3 (Caesar's Palace) -  We had a frozen hot chocolate as seen on Oprah.  It was really good but tasted like a rich chocolate milk shake.  Darren was not that impressed and definitely not that impressed with the price.  Everything at the restaurant seemed really expensive, even at the to-go window.
Must Try:
  • Delmonico Steakhouse (Grand Canal Shoppes at the Venetian)
  • B & B Ristorante (Grand Canal Shoppes at the Venetian)
  • Eiffel Tower Restaurant (Paris) - My brother was told the food there was as good as you can get in Paris.  Darren's sister and brother-in-law also thought the food was amazing.  Where do I sign up?
  • Yellowtail (Bellagio) - Taylor Swift said it was the best meal of her life... Let's see what all her fuss was about!

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