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November weekend trip

Hi- My wife and I are travelling to Vegas the weekend of 11/22. We are going to be staying at Vdara, near Aria. We arrive at 10:10 am on Friday and depart at noon on Sunday. After researching the board and other resources, I've settled on going to the following places:

Dinner- Charlie Palmer steakhouse (cut of the week)
Dinner- Scarpetta
Lunch- Olives (my friend told me to get there early and get a table outside for the fountains)
Lunch- Public House
Brunch- Bouchon
Show- Ka

So I think I have the pieces I just need to arrange them optimally. My rough draft is:

Friday- Early lunch at Olives, Dinner at Charlie Palmers, drinks at Cosmo

Saturday- Lunch at Public House, 7 pm show at Ka, 9:30 dinner at Scarpetta

Sunday- Brunch at Bouchon

I'm concerned that we won't have enough time on Sunday. Alternatively I was thinking we could do a light lunch at Public House and then do oysters at Bouchon since they are right near each other. Please forward and comment regarding my picks or how they are scheduled. Thanks.

Sep 11, 2013
cstiv in Las Vegas

corkage fees in Vegas

How is the Pinot brasserie? That is a great deal to not have corkage. I was planning on going to bouchon one night but I might not based on that, and go to this Pinot instead. I am not sure I want to have French brasserie fare both nights in Vegas ( as much as I like it)

May 24, 2013
cstiv in Las Vegas

Babymoon in Vegas

Thanks for the good tip. I'm not used to eating that early, but it's interesting idea and certainly a money saver. Can you get in at 3:00 and just hang out and have drinks and then go get your food a couple hours later?

May 20, 2013
cstiv in Las Vegas

Babymoon in Vegas

My wife and I are due to have our second child in about a week and I have booked a trip to Vegas in November as our first opportunity to get away together. We are going the weekend after Thanksgiving and staying that Friday and Saturday. I learned later (to my dismay) that it only gets up into the low 60s that time of year and so we will be probably not spending time at the pool and instead spending our time eating and drinking. It's my wife's first time to Vegas and only my second. The first time for me was a bachelor party and we didn't do much in the way of fine dining so I have come to this board to sharpen my focus. We both love fine dining and would go to e or Guy Savoy or Joel Robuchen if we could afford it, but we really can't. I was looking for guidance on the best values for fine dining. I'd like to spend no more than $300 for dinner one night and $200 the other night, and that is with a couple bottles of wine and cocktails. We were also looking at going to at least one show. I was leaning towards Ka and she kind of wants to see Love. We are staying at Vdara next to Aria so I was leaning towards restaurants in walking distance. I was thinking Sage for my more expensive night, and Wicked Spoon or the Bellagio buffet the other night. I also saw a post for Charlie Palmer's cut of the week deal and that looked promising. The other restaurants I was considering were Bouchon and the Public House (I brew my own beer). We like all types of food and are looking for a good meal and a fun time. We are in our early 30s. Any help is appreciated.

May 16, 2013
cstiv in Las Vegas

Charleston Fine Dining (values?)

So my trip is rapidly approaching (Nov 10-13), and after revisiting my dining selections (McCrady's, Amen St, High Cotton), I'm having some second thoughts. The first thing is that FIG seems to have almost universally good reviews. I cross-referenced the feedback on this site with Yelp and there were some things in there about McCrady's and Amen St that were making me reconsider. Specifically, indifferent service (both places), poor execution (Amen St), oversalted, over-priced, and under-portioned (McCrady's). So my new plan is to go to Pearlz our first night. We get in at 4:30 and I read a lot about what a great happy hour they have, so I thought that would be a good fit for the first night since we will be looking for something to do around 5. My wife and I are in our early 30s and like a lively bar scene so it sounded up our alley. Also, we have two other somewhat expensive dinners in FIG and High Cotton, so I'm looking for some relief for my wallet. I'm probably overthinking this, as there seem to be a lot of good options to fit into a 3 day weekend. We are going to need lunch on Friday, and I think we will get brunch on Sunday (our flight is at 4), so any suggestions you have are very much appreciated. Thanks.

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McCrady's Restaurant
2 Unity Alley, Charleston, SC 29401

Oct 24, 2011
cstiv in Southeast

Charleston Fine Dining (values?)

So I made my reservations; McCrady's on Thursday night, Amen St on Friday, and High Cotton on Saturday. It was a hard choice because FIG sounded pretty good, but I guess that will give me a reason to come back. Thanks for all the suggestions. I will try to remember to post a report 2.5 months from now when I go.

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McCrady's Restaurant
2 Unity Alley, Charleston, SC 29401

Aug 31, 2011
cstiv in Southeast

Charleston Fine Dining (values?)

So which dinner should I take out? I wanted to go to high cotton bc I read that it had live jazz and it had a good menu. Should I go to fig instead of mccrady's? I like their 3 course menu for $45

Aug 29, 2011
cstiv in Southeast

Charleston Fine Dining (values?)

My wife and I are going on a 3 day babymoon in November to Charleston (we had our first child in June). We are staying at the Anchorage Inn downtown. I've read most of the recent posts so I am somewhat familiar with the restaurants that are popular on this board. My initial plan was McCrady's the first night, Amen St or Pearlz the second night, and Charleston Grill for our last night. I'm obviously going to spend a lot of money between dinner 1 and dinner 3. I was looking at the menu at High Cotton and they seem to have a little better pricing than Charleston Grill and they also have live jazz, so I was thinking about swapping those two. So I'm wondering what you guys think are the best values in Charleston fine dining. I'm not necessarily looking for cheap prices or big portions, but apples to apples what are best values? Also, we were looking for seafood / raw bar for one night and I narrowed it down to Amen St or Pearlz. Any other suggestions for that dinner. I've read some recs for Fleet Landing, but some other comments describing it as mediocre or lackluster. Is it really mediocre or is it just not novel or nouveau? In other words, does it do simple seafood dishes well? We are looking for fun places with good atmospheres, and live music is a plus. Thanks!

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McCrady's Restaurant
2 Unity Alley, Charleston, SC 29401

Charleston Grill
224 King Street, Charleston, SC 29401

Fleet Landing Restaurant & Bar
186 Concord Street, Charleston, SC 29401

Aug 29, 2011
cstiv in Southeast

1st Anniversary dinner- North Pond or Cafe des Architectes?

Thanks everyone for your help. I will try to remember to give an update on how it went. I think I'm going to go with North Pond. I have a friend who just went there and had a great meal. The Everest option is interesting but I can't fathom eating that early. I'm used to eating between 8:30 - 9. I wouldn't know what to do with myself after dinner.

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North Pond
2610 North Cannon Drive, Chicago, IL 60614

Apr 07, 2010
cstiv in Chicago Area

1st Anniversary dinner- North Pond or Cafe des Architectes?

That being said, I think I only have one fancy meal in the budget, and it sounds like North Pond might be a little more memorable experience, so I think I am going to go with that.

As I said in my original post, I'm staying at the Westin on Michigan Ave. We are getting in late Friday afternoon and going home Sunday, so I was thinking maybe we could find a more casual place to go to that was within walking distance on Friday night. Any good rec's?

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North Pond
2610 North Cannon Drive, Chicago, IL 60614

Apr 07, 2010
cstiv in Chicago Area

1st Anniversary dinner- North Pond or Cafe des Architectes?

That is a pretty good idea. Do you think that CdA fits the bill for a romantic, special occasion dinner?

Apr 07, 2010
cstiv in Chicago Area

1st Anniversary dinner- North Pond or Cafe des Architectes?

Thanks for the reply. It was your enthusiastic reviews of Cafe des Architectes that I was referring to in my post. If you had to guess, how much will dinner run me at North Pond, assuming a round of cocktails and $50 bottle of wine? I'm guessing around $200-250 after tip.

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North Pond
2610 North Cannon Drive, Chicago, IL 60614

Cafe des Architectes
20 East Chestnut Street, Chicago, IL 60611

Apr 07, 2010
cstiv in Chicago Area

1st Anniversary dinner- North Pond or Cafe des Architectes?

I'm spending the weekend in Chicago with my wife of soon to be 1 year and I'd like to pick a special place for dinner. We are staying at the Westin on Michigan Ave, and based on that location and some enthusiastic reviews, I am leaning towards Cafe des Architectes. My wife and I both like fine dining but usually when we go to the most high-end places we end up ordering a bunch of appetizers and the cheapest bottle of wine on the wine list all the while stressing out over what the total is going to end up as. So in addition to the location, I was attracted to the $42 prix-fixe menu at Cafe des Architectes. All that being said, after doing a little more chowhound research I read a little about North Pond and it sounds like it has a one of a kind setting that might be more appropriate for the occasion. It looks like North Pond is a little pricier though. Any input would be greatly appreciated.

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North Pond
2610 North Cannon Drive, Chicago, IL 60614

Cafe des Architectes
20 East Chestnut Street, Chicago, IL 60611

Apr 06, 2010
cstiv in Chicago Area

Saltwater at MGM Detroit

Anyone have any feedback on this lately? I have been wanting to go to this since it opened and won Restaurant of the Year, and the opportunity has finally arisen. I looked at the menu online and it didn't look like the one I looked at a year ago, and after reading more about it I see that they have restructured it to better suit the economic climate. So, has anyone been there lately? Any updated reviews? I read a particularly bad review recently on TripAdvisor and I don't want to ask my parents to shell out $200+ for a mediocre dinner. My other option was Roast which I think I am leaning more towards after reading more about Saltwater.

Nov 10, 2009
cstiv in Great Lakes

3 Nights in Strasbourg

Thanks. Unfortunately, I won't have a car, so I really am looking for places within walking distance of the old city. Any suggestions to that?

Jan 23, 2008
cstiv in France

3 Nights in Strasbourg

I'm going to be in Strasbourg next week and I was wondering if anyone can recommend any new interesting restaurants in the city centre. I usually go a couple times a year for business (this will be my sixth trip) and I am pretty familiar with the city, although I suppose I always end up at the more touristy, crowded places near the Cathedral, or the well known Michelin-starred restaurants (Crocodile & Beureisal). I did eat at a very nice, small restaurant in Petite France that I can't remember the name of. It had a white facade and was run by a couple with only about 8 tables, I think it was on the Rue des Dentelles. So my question is two-fold: any good recommendations of new or over-looked places and does anyone know the name of the place I described?

Jan 23, 2008
cstiv in France

Best Detroit area BBQ ribs?

Yeah, I know what a smoke ring looks like, I do a lot of my own barbecueing. The brisket was obviously cooked to hot, because it was just gray and dry inside, and I needed a steak knife to cut it. The pulled pork I referred to in an earlier post was actually underdone (it was translucent). But I don't want to pile on poor Slow's. What I really want to find is some good barbecue in the Metro area. I am looking forward to trying Lazybones.

Jan 15, 2008
cstiv in Great Lakes

Best Detroit area BBQ ribs?

I wasn't planning on eating at either of those places but I did read about Lazybones in a seperate thread. It is pretty close and I can't believe this is the first I heard of it. As far as the meat at Slow's goes, the name is false advertising. If they actually cooked their ribs or brisket low and slow enough, they would not have arrived on my plate like they did.

Jan 15, 2008
cstiv in Great Lakes

Best Detroit area BBQ ribs?

I work near Slow's and I've eaten there quite a bit, and I just don't think it's that good. I was excited about it when it opened because it was close, and hip, and I love barbecue. But I think my love of the concept and my sincere hope that it would be good forced me to keep giving it second chances. The last straw was a few months ago I ordered the beef brisket and it came so dry and leathery, it was like something from a school cafeteria. The first time I ate there the pulled pork was actually undercooked (pink and translucent) but I cut them some slack since they had just opened. Then I had ribs that I needed a steak knife to cut, and finally the brisket and I just can't take them as serious barbecue place. All that being said, the pulled pork and the mac and cheese are pretty good, the decor is cool, and I'm glad that they are there for the neighborhood's sake.

Jan 15, 2008
cstiv in Great Lakes

Birthday / Engagement dinner in Paris

ChefJune, was that 72 euros for one person or two?

Jan 10, 2008
cstiv in France

Birthday / Engagement dinner in Paris

Thanks again for the tips. I have a reservation at Chez Denise on Friday night and Maceo on Saturday night. I wrote to my hotel concierge asking them to make reservations for me for Friday night and I asked in order of preference: 1. Le Comptoir, 2. Chez l'Ami Jean, 3. Chez Denise. They wrote back that Comptoir was booked and that no one was home at Ami Jean, so they got me a reservation at Chez Denise. Do you think that it would be rude to ask for them to try again for l'Ami Jean? Also, does anyone know if there are any places left where you can smoke, post-ban?

Jan 10, 2008
cstiv in France

Birthday / Engagement dinner in Paris

Thanks for the advice. Is Le Comptoir open Sundays? Any good recs for Sunday? We leave on the 1930 train.

Nov 29, 2007
cstiv in France

Birthday / Engagement dinner in Paris

Thanks; it was your two previous recommendations that led me to it. What is your opinion of Le Comptoir? I keep seeing good things about it and it appears to be reasonably priced and nearby (I'm staying in the 5e).

While I have your attention, perhaps I can get a few more recommendations. We arrive on Friday noon and leave Sunday night for Strasbourg. My plan was to have steak Friday night at a good bistro. I am leaning towards Chez Denise, Chez Georges or Balzar.

Nov 29, 2007
cstiv in France

Birthday / Engagement dinner in Paris

I am taking my girlfriend to Paris for her first time this January. The trip is for her birthday but I am going to surprise her with a ring on Saturday night, at or around dinner. I am not particularly wealthy (especially after I buy the ring) but I do want to go somewhere special. I would like to keep the bill under 150e (with wine) but would consider stretching it 200. There seem to be some real experts on this board and I could use your advice.

(p.s. I was considering Le Maceo in Palais Royale)

Nov 29, 2007
cstiv in France

Paris Trip Reviews

I have dined at Relais de l'Entrecote (I think we are talking about the same place) and while it was kind of fun and new the first time the novelty had worn off after the second time. I didn't like being squeezed in a corner with the other Americans.

Nov 29, 2007
cstiv in France

Lavender Honey in Metro Detroit?

Thanks for the tips. I had originally ordered through Amazon.com and they screwed up and sent me "Flower Syrup." The company, Gourmet Country, handled it well, and told me to keep the syrup and next-day-aired me the lavender honey which I got Monday. Thanks for looking on the shelf, Jim!

Nov 28, 2007
cstiv in General Midwest Archive

Grocery Stores - Detroit Metro area

I started my own topic on this, but I'll try here as well... does anyone know where I can get lavender honey in Metro Detroit? I've looked all over and can't find it. I paid out of my nose ordering some through Amazon and it took about 3 wks and they sent me some "flower syrup" that was completely the wrong thing. It is a critical ingredient for a dinner I am putting on next weekend and I was hoping to find it locally without having to go through Amazon again. Thanks for any help.

Nov 23, 2007
cstiv in General Midwest Archive

Lavender Honey in Metro Detroit?

Does anyone know a place where I can get French specialty foods in Metro Detroit? Specifically, I am looking for Provencal lavender honey, and I have struck out all over town. So far I've tried Whole Foods, Papa Joe's, Farm's Market in GP, to no avail. Thanks for any help!

Nov 23, 2007
cstiv in General Midwest Archive