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Vegas Trip Report

An excellent report -- thank you. Based on your comments, I'm going to have to give the Public House a try, as well as make a return visit to Sage.
I thought I was alone in my disappointment in Bouchon's coffee -- it's weak and flavorless. A real misstep in a place of that caliber, and I find it hard to return for brunch because of it.
Thanks again for the great write-up.

Mar 25, 2013
bocomo in Las Vegas

Las Vegas Steakhouses with great fresh vegetables and side dishes

I would recommend Charlie Palmer Steak, at the Four Seasons in the Mandalay Bay complex at the south end of the Strip. Superb food and a lovely place to celebrate your mom's milestone birthday. The menu offers something for everyone; I've enjoyed steak, lobster and other seafood there many times. Be sure to make a reservation, and enjoy!

Aug 24, 2012
bocomo in Las Vegas

Diners and Pho in LV

As Dave Feldman said, the recommended Hash House is NOT the chain that has a branch at the Imperial Palace.
The one he (and I) recommend is often referred to as "Mary's Hash House" on South Decatur. It's a true independently run diner that's excellent in all respects. The only downside for you is its location. Still, I would avoid the corporate Hash House A Go Go chain at all costs, even if it is conveniently located. Uninspired food and not a true diner experience, in my book.
I would second the recommendation of the Black Bear Diner on Tropicana as well. Very good waffles, pancakes and chicken fried steak and real hash browns to boot.

Jul 03, 2012
bocomo in Las Vegas

restaurants in Strasbourg and Colmar

My husband and I visited these two lovely cities in February so have some recent recommendations for you. In Strasbourg, we had a long lunch at Tire Bouchon. I had a special of the day; my husband had the choucroute, which he proclaimed was the best he'd had, anywhere. We had local beer as an aperitif, then an Alsatian pinot gris with the meal. Reasonably priced; charming atmosphere; good service.
In Colmar, where we spent more time, I can recommend La Cocotte de Grand-Mere on Place de l'Ecole, and, in particular, the Sezanne Bistrot -- a small restaurant on the top floor of a cheese and wine shop on Le Grand Rue. The menu is on a chalkboard and changes daily, and the proprietors are charming and helpful and oh so talented. We had lunch there two days in a row.
We dined outside of those two cities while we were touring the Route des Vins, but memorable meals were had at these two places, and I'd highly recommend both.
Enjoy your trip!

Jul 03, 2012
bocomo in France

Bank Atcharawan of LoS to Open Chada Thai and Wine in Las Vegas

Any idea yet of the location for Chada Thai and Wine? I'll be in Vegas in late August and would love to check out the new place if it's open.

Jun 18, 2012
bocomo in Las Vegas

Byob in NYC

I recommend La Sirene, a true BYOB with quite good French bistro fare. It's on Broome Street near Varick, in SoHo -- not too far from your Greenwich Village base.

Apr 10, 2012
bocomo in Manhattan

Maria's in Scotch Plains

Agreed on all counts -- Maria's really is a local gem. I know Mike, the hardworking owner, is struggling right now, and he really deserves the business. His portions are more than generous, the prices very reasonable and the food very, very solid. As for parking, there's a big lot just behind Maria's and John's Meat Market -- between the rear of that strip of Park Avenue shops and the Scotch Plains Public Library. From Park Avenue, turn onto Bartle Avenue and the lot is right there. Parking is never a problem.

Aug 05, 2011
bocomo in New Jersey

Table 34...what do you think?

Todd's is our favorite restaurant when visiting Vegas; sorry you're going to miss it this time around. (By the way, Todd's isn't closed for the entire month of August -- I think they're on vacation for the first three weeks of the month, for those who will be in Vegas later in August.)
We've enjoyed all our meals at Table 34. It's not as creative as Todd's but is still a solid, enjoyable choice with lots of variety on the menu, and the service has always been very good.
As I recall, the bar at Table 34 is small, with seats face away from the dining room (unless they've reconfigured). You might want to consider getting a table rather than have your heart set on bar seating. But I would recommend it as an independently owned, off-the-Strip alternative.

Table 34
600 E Warm Springs Rd Ste 180, Las Vegas, NV 89119

Jul 29, 2011
bocomo in Las Vegas

Spectacular dinner at The Modern

Many thanks for the detailed review, as well as the link to your blog. The recap of your lovely meal has moved the Modern high up on my list of restaurants to try. I've eaten several times in the Bar Room, but now am inspired to try the Dining Room as soon as possible. (And thanks also for the tip on requesting a table over a banquette.)
I must ask: Did you skip the cheese trolley? I don't think I could resist a good cheese selection, even if it meant scaling back on the sweets to come.
Thanks again for posting your thoughts!

Jun 21, 2011
bocomo in Manhattan

Vegas Report: Juian Serrano

Four of us had an outstanding meal at Julian Serrano a few weeks ago. Highlights were the chorizo on a bed of creamy mashed potatoes (so good we ordered a second plate); the octopus/ potato/smoked paprika dish; the piquillo peppers stuffed with goat cheese; the risotto with wild mushrooms and manchego (took creaminess to new heights); and the Valenciana paella. The sommelier helped us pair a couple of reasonable (by Strip prices) bottles of red (one Spanish; one Argentinean) with the meal.
All of us agreed that it was a stellar experience all the way around, and a decent value for the amount and quality of food. As an added bonus, Jose Serrano himself was sitting at the bar the night we were there (a Monday).
Highly recommended!

Jan 28, 2011
bocomo in Las Vegas

Best Indian in Union County These Days?

I second the recommendation of Red Pepper on Route 22 East in Scotch Plains. It's run by two brothers, and the food is consistently excellent and the service gracious. (I've never had the lunch buffet, only dinner.)

Oct 18, 2010
bocomo in New Jersey

Rosemary's, I hate to say it but.....

You are not alone. We, too, used to love Rosemary's and looked forward to our visits each time we were in Las Vegas. But after the past three dinners, we left commenting on how both the quality of the food, the balance of the dishes and, yes, the service had steeply declined. We have another trip coming up at the end of October, and for the first time in years, Rosemary's won't be on the itinerary.
Todd's Unique has replaced Rosemary's as our go-to dining spot -- and it has never let us down.
You're right: There are too many excellent options in Vegas now to keep returning to a place that has become consistently disappointing.

Oct 18, 2010
bocomo in Las Vegas

Coffee in the theatre district

The Little Pie Company on 43rd Street just west of Ninth Avenue is a quiet, civilized place for coffee. And their desserts ain't too bad, either.

Little Pie Company
424 W 43rd St, New York, NY 10036

Sep 22, 2010
bocomo in Manhattan

Help for Solo Dining in Kansas City

Another option, and an easy cab ride from Crown Center, is Le Fou Frog, a lovely family-run French restaurant on the northern edge of downtown. I was on a solo trip to Kansas City in June and had a fantastic meal there on a Sunday evening. In fact, I think because I was a solo diner I got some thoughtful extras from my server, including a flight of three Rhone wines (instead of the one glass of Rhone I'd ordered) with my steak frites as well as an after-dinner drink. Along with the regular menu the chef also offers extensive specials bases on the market and season.
As for the restaurants you mentioned, I've eaten at Michael Smith and found the room to be rather cramped and loud. The food was good but not particularly memorable. The wine list, however, is very well chosen.
You can't go wrong at Bluestem. I would suggest eating at "the pass," a counter in front of the kitchen in the main dining room, not in the more casual lounge next door, for a true Bluestem experience.
Enjoy your trip to Kansas City, and bon appetit!

900 Westport Road, Kansas City, MO 64111

Le Fou Frog
400 East 5th Street, Kansas City, MO 64106

Michael Smith
1900 Main, Kansas City, MO 64108

Aug 24, 2010
bocomo in Great Plains

Seablue, Sage, or Aureole for restaurant week?

I realize you were specifically looking for reports on Seablue, but I can say that I had an excellent meal at Sage in late March. Service was top-notch, the room was lovely and not in the least bit loud and the market-driven food was exceptional. We let our waiter guide us on what to order since they had just switched over to a spring menu. I won't comment on specific dishes because I imagine their fall menu will be completely different than what was available in the spring. But each of our courses were excellent.
One thing to watch for: We asked our waiter to pair wines with two of our courses, and though we enjoyed his selections, we neglected to ask the prices before the glasses were poured. When we got the bill we noticed that the four pours were $18 each -- $72 worth of wine. We fully realize the onus was on us to ask the price beforehand, so when we return (and we will) we'll probably order a bottle rather than go the by-the-glass route.

Seablue Restaurant
3799 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89109

Aug 24, 2010
bocomo in Las Vegas

New Restaurant Fusion 22 French Asian

Regarding the corkage fee: Someone must have had a talk with the management at Fusion on 22 because I specifically asked our server about it before we opened our two bottles of wine at dinner on Sunday night. He said, no, there was no corkage charge. I didn't press for an explanation of past practice, and indeed there was no added fee when we got our bill.
And for what it's worth, we enjoyed an excellent meal (chili chicken dry as an appetizer, Mongolian lamb and a seafood medley as mains and fried bananas with vanilla ice cream for dessert). This was our fourth or fifth time at Fusion on 22, and it's on our keeper list.
Especially since their misguided idea to try to implement a corkage charge has been ditched.

Aug 24, 2010
bocomo in New Jersey