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Visiting soon...Sweets Raku and other questions

Made the res with kabuto to sit in front of Gen San. Will wait it out at Sweets as the menu looks great.

Oct 12, 2013
Desertdoc in Las Vegas

Visiting soon...Sweets Raku and other questions

Going to be in town next weekend for a meeting.

Any updates on Sweets? Are reservations necessary/possible?

Was thinking of eating at either Monta or Kabuto and then heading over for dessert...

Other options for pre-dessert were Chada Thai or Ichiza?

Thx for your help.

Oct 10, 2013
Desertdoc in Las Vegas

Is Le Cirque closing?

The impression I got from the articles is that Bellagio will be running the restaurant with their own internal team and that Sirio will visit a few times a year. Mario will no longer be involved.

Sep 02, 2013
Desertdoc in Las Vegas

Scottsdale resto recs for a chef and her friends

While Phoenix may not be the center of the food universe (Spain, apparently), we have some places where you can get some really good food in a relaxed environment. Please check to make sure that none of the following are on a break for the summer...it gets hot here :)

Here are some places where I point visitors

Breakfast- Matt's Big Breakfast, Vovomeena, Gallo Blanco, Daily Dose, Dottie's True Blue (SF Transplant)

Lunch- The House, Andreoli's Italian Grocery

Dinner- Citizen Public House, FnB, Posh, Shinbay, Binkley's, Petite Maison, Crudo, Noca, Bourbon Steak (now that Chris Curtiss is cooking)

If you are looking for only in Arizona experiences, you can check out Kai for formal native american. For extremely less formal, Los Reyes De La Torte or Tacos Atoyac. You could also head out to the reservation to The Stand (Alma School Rd just south of Indian School Rd, not the taco and burger joint in Phoenix).

Also, you might want to check out Sweet Republic for ice cream or Pizzeria Bianco for our most famous local pizza (lines much shorter now that there are 2 locations and they are open for lunch).

May 06, 2013
Desertdoc in Phoenix

Best solo dinner sitting at the bar?

Have had some great pastas at the bar at Bartolotta.

Mar 22, 2013
Desertdoc in Las Vegas

Late night options

Ok, chowhounds...need some help.

Going to be in Vegas on a Friday night for an event at MGM Grand and need to find good food to eat after 11:30pm. Will be with my father who is not a very adventurous eater. I will have a car, so off-Strip (Raku, Chada Thai) are options but the food might be out of his comfort zone. Was really hoping to avoid Peppermill and find something a bit higher-end. Would have loved to take him to craftsteak or nobhill, but both are closed by that time.

Any thoughts on higher end but not-too adventurous food on or off strip that is open late?

Thanks,
Desertdoc

Feb 22, 2013
Desertdoc in Las Vegas

Bank Atcharawan's Chada Thai To Open on October 12

The sea bass was amazing. Great piece of fish and the chili paste had nice heat, but not too crazy. The green papaya salad had some nice flavor as well. Interestingly, the pad thai was also really good.

Oct 21, 2012
Desertdoc in Las Vegas

Bank Atcharawan's Chada Thai To Open on October 12

Went tonight and had an excellent meal. Too many empty tables. This place should not be under the radar. They are making excellent food and it is byob right now(ie. screaming deal). This place deserves Monta/Raku/LoS volume.

Oct 19, 2012
Desertdoc in Las Vegas

visiting in late June...1 night only...suggestiions?

My wife and I are going to be visiting on a Saturday in late June. Had been hoping to check out Momofuko Ko, but unfortunately they are closed for vacation. Was wondering where to eat on our one night in the city. Was thinking EMP, WD-50 or Per Se. Am interested in great/innovative food without stuffy atmosphere. No limitations in terms of type of cuisine. Am planning on picking hotel based on location of restaurant.

Thanks for your thoughts.

May 08, 2012
Desertdoc in Manhattan

Pizzeria Bianco‎ - wait?

Went last weekend during lunch and waited 20 minutes. Pizza and apps all up to par from previous visits, although it wasn't as fun without the line and the anticipation...

May 24, 2011
Desertdoc in Phoenix

Litchfields at the Wigwam.

Have been a couple of times, was holding off on a review as they are still working things out...

Good farm to table food, although kind of conservative with flavors. Large portions, good bar.

Went once with our kids and they enjoyed it, although the pace of the meal was a little slow for them.

You can check out the menus here http://www.wigwamresort.com/restauran...

May 24, 2011
Desertdoc in Phoenix

Trip Report: Ma Peche, Maialino (breakfast), Sushi Yasuda, Lincoln

First off, I wanted to thank ellenost and the rest of the nyc hounds for their help with my planning. Chowhound has really become a perfect resource when looking for food when traveling.

Some brief comments...

Ma Peche: Interesting flavors, unusual room (very tall, kind of modern, great music). Staff was very young and a little awkward. Not rude or unhelpful, just not very polished. Had a good meal, although I wouldn't describe it as life-changing. Had been planning on Ko on a future trip, now not so sure. Great brussel sprouts. Crack pie alright.

Maialino: Read some great reviews regarding the breakfast and was not let down. An Italian breakfast place is kind of silly as most of my Italian friends don't eat very much breakfast (coffee and cigarettes mainly). So, maybe this is what Italians would eat if they did eat breakfast. Very relaxing space (airy, nice views of gramercy park) with excellent staff (Meyer still has the customer service thing figured out). The food was great and the coffee even better. Would highly recommend the eggs with pecorino and black pepper.

Sushi Yasuda: Was worried that the staff would be rude based on the reviews. They were very specific that I show up on time and that I would only be able to sit at the bar for 90 minutes. Not a great start when making the reservation, however it ended up being a great meal. The chef I had preparing my omakase was very communicative and the quality of the fish was amazing. If someone is looking for fusion (foie gras and truffles on their sushi) or americanized rolls (avocado and inside out rolls) this is the wrong place. Highlights were the scallop and the uni. The experience of eating sushi that is prepared with just the right amount of wasabi on a perfect pad of rice painted with the in house made soy sauce was very special.

Lincoln: Sort of conflicted about this place. The location is amazing, the restaurant beautiful, and the food expertly prepared. The gnocci were transcendent. However, I left feeling like it could have been better. Maybe Italian doesn't match well with the space or the chef. I associate pasta with love and comfort, not with a grass roofed glass box filled with modern furniture. The portion sizes were right on, the wine list was great (if a little top heavy), even the pastry chef was on...it just felt a little sterile. They also have to figure out how to keep the pre-theater crowd (likely a large part of their business) and the per se crowd happy. One wants a 1hr meal, the other a 3 hour dining experience. I guess it is still a work in progress.

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Sushi Yasuda
204 E 43rd St, New York, NY 10017

Maialino
2 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10010

Ma Peche
15 W 56th St, New York, NY 10019

Lincoln
142 W 65th St, New York, NY 10023

Apr 06, 2011
Desertdoc in Manhattan

solo diner sunday night near UN

Sounds great...thanks for the advice...will report back after the trip. If you are ever in the phoenix area and need some chow help, feel free to drop me a line.

Mar 31, 2011
Desertdoc in Manhattan

solo diner sunday night near UN

The other place I was thinking was Minetta Tavern...thought Ma Peche would be closer.

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Ma Peche
15 W 56th St, New York, NY 10019

Mar 31, 2011
Desertdoc in Manhattan

solo diner sunday night near UN

Already have yasuda omakase planned for monday night, going to Lincoln with family on Tuesday...needed something interesting for Sunday. Was thinking maybe Ma Peche?

Thoughts, suggestions?

Thanks for your help, chowhound has yet to send me astray...

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Ma Peche
15 W 56th St, New York, NY 10019

Mar 31, 2011
Desertdoc in Manhattan

Trip Report: Willamette Valley (Thistle, Farm to Fork, The Painted Lady, Crescent Cafe)

Sorry about the late reply...back at home in Phoenix and spending more time on our local board.

We visited the following wineries

Archery Summit
Domaine Serene
Cristom
Beaux Freres
Bergstrom
Trisaetum

We had a great time at all of the wineries...such a change of pace from Napa. Archery Summit and Domaine Serene are big corporate operations but make great, though expensive, wine. Cristom, Bergstrom and Trisaetum are more small family operations. Beaux Freres is by reservation only and a great intro to biodynamic wine production. Everyone we met was friendly and excited about the wine. If I had to recommend one place to go, head to Cristom...its off the main drag and they make great pinot.

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Domaine Serene
6555 NE Hilltop Ln, Dayton, OR

Oct 09, 2010
Desertdoc in Pacific Northwest

First time in Vegas. My line-up and need some recs

Would strongly consider heading off the strip for Lotus of Siam or Raku for the post-show meal.

For lunch, Country Club at the Wynn...

Sounds like a great trip...

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Lotus of Siam
953 E Sahara Ave Ste A5, Las Vegas, NV 89104

Oct 04, 2010
Desertdoc in Las Vegas

Willamette Wine Adventure

Whirlwind Tour...some brief notes

Archery Summit - Beautiful facility, great wines, expensive though. Friendly staff, but winery very corporate feeling.

Domaine Serene - Faux Tuscan wine tasting room, beautiful facility but a little out of place in Oregon. Expensive wines, but very high quality.

Cristom - Worth the trip (30 minute drive from Dundee AVA). Excellent wines for the price. Friendly staff.

Winter's Hill - Family owned winery, friendly accessible winemaker. Lower price point. Also make great dessert wines

Bergstrom - Family owned winery, beautiful view from tasting room, nice selection being poured.

Trisaetum - Road to winery is still gravel, beautiful tasting room showing off the owner/winemakers modern art. Nice patio overlooking their still young vines at the site. Excellent riesling (a nice change of pace if you are tired of pinot)

Beaux Freres - High end family owned winery (Robert Parker, Jr is one of the partners). Small operation, biodynamic farming.

Jun 27, 2010
Desertdoc in Wine

Trip Report: Willamette Valley (Thistle, Farm to Fork, The Painted Lady, Crescent Cafe)

Wife (DessertDoc) and I travelled to Wine Country to get out of the heat, try some wines and check out the local food scene... (some brief notes)

Thistle - Recommended by a bunch of people before we arrived. Small restaurant in McMinnville, concentrating on fresh locally sourced ingredients. Wonderful flavors and nice wine selection as well. We had a great meal and enjoyed speaking with the chef. We found out later that he was recently involved in an altercation with some other local chefs regarding the provenance of a pig in a pig contest (I promise I am not making this up!). Some highlights from the meal were the beet salad and the black cod.

Farm to Fork - Part of the Inn at Red Hills, right on 99 in Dayton. The restaurant makes a nice breakfast in a comfortable but not very scenic setting. There is indoor as well as outdoor seating on a patio. The smoked trout scrambled eggs were great.

The Painted Lady - Formal dining in Newberg. Four course tasting menu in a renovated home. Highlights were the foie gras, the rabbit, and the pork two ways. Wine list is extensive with some great cellared local wines. Definitely occasion dining with a quieter room and a lot of romantic couples.

Crescent Cafe - Small (very small) breakfast and lunch spot in McMinnville. Arrived right as they opened at 8am and there was already a line for the classic breakfast food made with locally sourced ingredients. Highlights were coffee cake, ham/egg/cheese/grilled onion sandwich and the omelet of the day (avocado, bacon, scallion, jack cheese). Great coffee too! No reservations, but you can sit faster if you are willing to sit at a community table.

DessertDoc loved the chocolate chip cookies at Farm to Fork. She felt the desserts at Thistle didn't match the quality of the apps/mains.

Thistle
http://www.thistlerestaurant.com/

Farm to Fork
http://farmtoforkdundee.com/

The Painted Lady
http://www.thepaintedladyrestaurant.com/

Crescent Cafe
No web site as far as I can tell. Open 7am-130pm during the week, 8am till 130pm on the weekends.

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Painted Lady
201 S College St, Newberg, OR 97132

FARM to FORK Events
, Ashland, OR 97520

Jun 27, 2010
Desertdoc in Pacific Northwest

Where to take a wine connoisseur to dinner in Phoenix?

Would second the recommendation for NOCA or Tarbell's. Both have excellent wine programs. They both have also recently been supplementing their btg selections with some higher end choices. They also have good half bottle selections.

The list at Cowboy Ciao can be a bit overwhelming and hard to navigate unless you know what you want.

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Cowboy Ciao
7133 East Stetson Drive, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

May 20, 2010
Desertdoc in Phoenix

5 days in Vegas - suggestions, advice?

Would definitely second the Raku recommendation. Excellent food at a great price point. I would also consider doing LoS for a lunch. The cab fare for either place will be small in relation to the savings from the cost of food. The restaurants on the strip are mostly over-priced.

May 07, 2010
Desertdoc in Las Vegas

Trip Report - Twist, Bouchon, Bubble Bar, Raku, MOzen Bistro

Fun weekend in vegas...

Twist- Beautiful room which was modern and warm. Decent noise level. Friendly waitstaff, professional but not too formal. Food was interesting with combinations of flavors that were out of the ordinary. Winners - Langoustine 5 ways, Canapes at start of meal. Losers- Crazy expensive wine list with many off year choices, too many plates on the table made everything seem disorganized.

Bouchon- Our fifth trip back for breakfast. The quiche and the boudin blanc were excellent. The beignets came out cold. It felt like the staff was a little in the weeds and not getting the food out in a timely fashion. Still a great breakfast, but not as good as they have been in the past.

Bubble Bar- Located at the end of a long hall and up a flight of stairs from the lobby, Savoy is worth the challenge to find. The bubble bar is a unique way to check out the food from the main dining room without the cost. If you avoid the bubbles ($30-$65/glass for champagne), you can get a few small courses for $25-$40 per person. If you have the chance to taste his artichoke and black truffle soup, I highly recommend it!

Raku- Off the strip ($15 cab ride), we had some of the best Japanese food you can imagine. In-house made tofu, robata kobe beef with fresh wasabi, cold udon with foie gras custard. They are open until 3am and the prices are amazing. Make sure you ask for the prices for the specials. The sashimi special was the most expensive thing we had all night. They also have a good sake selection. Along with Lotus of Siam, this is another must visit off the strip.

MOzen Bistro- Inside the Mandarin Oriental. Expensive, but reminded me of breakfast at Tableau. They also have some indian and asian specialties. Incredibly friendly waitstaff, quality food, beautiful room.

Overall, I was most excited by Raku and Bubble Bar. We'll definitely check out the main dining room at Savoy based on our introduction at BB. And, Raku is a must visit, although next time we want to go with friends so we can try more things. We left Twist slightly disappointed that it wasn't perfect. Bouchon was just having a bad day, MOzen is definitely not a destination type restaurant, but it is a beautiful place to have a meal.

Also, Dessertdoc (my wife) highly recommends the cheesecake at Raku...

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Bouchon
3355 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89109

Lotus of Siam
953 E Sahara Ave Ste A5, Las Vegas, NV 89104

May 04, 2010
Desertdoc in Las Vegas

Posh's website Hokey???(PHX)

Wife and I had a wonderful meal at Posh this evening. Definitely shades of Binkley's or L'Atelier, although with a Japanese flair, rather than French. The concept is going to be a bit of a hard sell with there being no set menu (note: you can alter the menu to remove things you will not or cannot eat). i am hoping the restaurant gets some more love from the hounds here in the phoenix area because the chef and his team are making some great food.

In regards to the website, they could definitely give you a better idea of some of the recent items served, as well as publish their wine list. It would be nice to also have some bios on the staff.

Apr 18, 2009
Desertdoc in Phoenix

Mandalay Bay Recs?

Heading up to TheHotel for the weekend.

Wanted to go out for nice dinner for 4.

Wondering if anyone has been to Mix, Fleur, Aureole, or Stripsteak recently?

We ate at Aureole several years ago and thought the original (New York) was much better.

Thanks in advance for any help.

Sep 22, 2008
Desertdoc in Southwest

Road trip: Phx to Las Vegas - best road food

Agree completely regarding Eat at Joe's...We stop there for lunch on the way to Vegas and then pick up some beef jerky on the way home. They apparently have good live music at night, although we've never been there for dinner to hear it.

Aug 11, 2008
Desertdoc in Southwest

Binkley's vs. Kai

Had dinner last week at Binkley's for my birthday and they continue to produce meals that are on par with French Laundry and Trotter for about half the cost. My wife and I are waiting for a special occasion (anniversary, etc) to go to Kai. It seems from what I've read here on the chow that Kai is more of a special occasion restaurant whereas Binkley's is a place that you could potentially eat on any occasion and have some of the best food in the country.

Aug 11, 2008
Desertdoc in Southwest

NOCA Sunday Dinner

Decided to try out NOCA for the 3 course Sunday meal.

Service was already operating above the norm. It is hard to believe this was the opening weekend.

The food was excellent and ,for the quality, a definite bargain.

My wife and I were wondering why so many great phoenix restaurants are also located in strip malls...

We can't wait to go back and check out the full menu.

Aug 04, 2008
Desertdoc in Southwest