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Great Restaurants near the Mandalay?

You can take the tram to Excalibur and then cross the street to MGM. L'Atelier and Craftsteak in MGM are both excellent. I don't hear much about it on CH, but Rick Moonen's RM Seafood in Mandalay Bay is great and their tasting menu is a value. For lunch I like Border Grill (near pool at Mandalay) and Burger Bar (walkway between Mandalay and Luxor). I've never been to Aureole but hear it's good. The rest of the MB restaurants I wouldn't both with (China Grill, Stripsteak, Red Square, Lupo, Fleur de Lys are all overpriced and/or mediocre IMO). The cafe at THEhotel does a great (expensive) breakfast, but that's the only meal I've had there. Sunset drinks at Mix are a must, but I'd find a different spot for dinner.

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Border Grill
3950 Las Vegas Blvd South, Las Vegas, NV 89119

Red Square
Las Vegas, NV, Las Vegas, NV

Rick Moonen's RM Seafood
Mandalay Place 3930 Las Vegas Blvd. South S, Las Vegas, NV 89119

Jul 21, 2010
SE_ME in Las Vegas

Business dinner quandary - steak&potatoes vs the vegetarian

Better late than never on the update? Hope so!

I ended up going with Sage. I love Craftsteak too, but it was just too expensive for the group menu. The space was perfect; they have a nice room for big groups at the back of the restaurant and the decor was trendy yet comfortable. I thought the service at Sage was great (being the organizer and the bill payer, that is not a surprise), but afterward several of my customers were complaining about not get drinks frequently enough.

Gnocchi was the vegetarian dish and while delicious it was minuscule in size. Let's just say it wasn't the only dinner I bought that night. No one around me got the third option, the roasted chicken, so I can't comment on that. The kobe flat iron steak was the most popular item. I thought it strange that they didn't ask for a temperature preference on the order. Sure enough, lots of unhappiness over temps. I prefer my meats MR to rare, and received a well done. A dining companion prefers well done, and wouldn't you know it he got the lovely bloody steak. If he had been sitting closer to me I would've swapped, but alas he was at the other end of the 30 person table.

Even though my steak was not cooked to my preference, it was still really good. I usually send back well or even medium-well steaks but this remained very tender and juicy even without the pink. I heard the same from several other people. I think the biggest complaint was portion size, lots of folks were still hungry when we left the restaurant.

Large group dining is always a challenge, but overall I was pleased with Sage.

Jul 21, 2010
SE_ME in Las Vegas

Just moved near City Park...Anything good around??

Welcome to the neighborhood! I'm in the middle of Congress Park, just a few blocks west. The post has covered almost everything (Solera and Phoenician Kabob top my list). I am embarrassed to say I've never even considered the Indian place across from Snooze, I'll be sure to check it out.

Some additional places that haven't been mentioned, but I still consider close....Table 6, Barolo, and Fruition for nice meals (Potager has potential but can be hit or miss. I usually wind up at Table 6 instead). Cherry Cricket, while also inconsistent on the food side, is a fun dive bar and capable of serving the best burger you've ever had. Plus they have a great selection of beers. Also in Cherry Creek are Piatti for good Italian that's cheaper than Barolo, and Ondo's a fairly new tapas bar. While the food at Ondo's didn't blow me away, they had great happy hour specials,a nice space, and good service. Oh and for breakfast in Cherry Creek, Crepes & Crepes is always fun. And Elway's for brunch...surprisingly affordable hearty portions of quality food.

If you find good Mexican, let me know. I almost cried when they closed down 3 Potrillos at the corner of Colorado & I-70, best darn carne asada ever. 2 years later, still seeking a suitable replacement. We're covered on burritos and tacos, plenty of those joints around. But no carne asada.

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Table 6
609 Corona St., Denver, CO 80218

Crepes & Crepes
2816 E 3rd Ave, Denver, CO 80206

Elway's Restaurant
2500 E 1st Ave Ste B101, Denver, CO 80206

Jul 21, 2010
SE_ME in Mountain States

Business dinner quandary - steak&potatoes vs the vegetarian

Thanks for the feedback. I'll add Sage back on the list and will check out Michael Mina. I am being selfish and steering the selection to places I haven't tried before, hence the omission of Mesa Grill.

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Michael Mina Restaurant
3600 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89109

Mesa Grill
3570 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89109

Jun 03, 2010
SE_ME in Las Vegas

Business dinner quandary - steak&potatoes vs the vegetarian

I am trying to select a restaurant for a business dinner in Vegas the end of this month, approximately 35 people. Most of the attendees are your typical steak & potatoes guys, they don't like seafood. Not even the smell of it. Nor ethnic foods. Or what they consider "fussy" restaurants like L'Atelier, Daniel Boulud, Sage, etc....all the places I favor. I would select CUT, SW Steak, N9NE, or Charlie Palmer and be done with it. But....

The lone vegetarian isn't comfortable in steakhouses. He is very pleasant and undemanding about it, he just declines to participate.

So with that said, is there a nice, fairly priced restaurant that would satisfy my steak-lovers without alienating the vegetarian? I was hoping for a steakhouse that included at least one vegetarion entree. Not an special request or a grouping of sides, but a legitimate vegetarian option. I'm failing to find anything, Carnevino seems like the closest option. Nobhill Tavern (no vegetarian entrees, but more varied) and Bradley Ogden (does this border fussy?) are also contenders.

Though I guess we'll be required to arrange a prix fixe menu in advance, so that would probably circumvent the need for a tableside special request. But the spirit of the question remains...a quality vegetarian entree along with great steaks.

Thanks in advance!

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Bradley Ogden
3570 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89109

Jun 03, 2010
SE_ME in Las Vegas

Oh Denver, we're hungry.

Yes I've tried the buffalo burger at City Grille...not the best buffalo burger I've had. They do beef burgers better at City Grille, though I prefer a good Cherry Cricket w/ smoked cheddar. Just wish the Cricket could be more consistent....seems they have one temperature regardless of what you order, so I'm less than thrilled on med-well nights.

As a side note, I once had an amazing plate of green chile cheese fries at City Grille. Subsequent visits not nearly as good, but with crossed fingers we still order them every time.

Oct 08, 2009
SE_ME in Mountain States

Fiammetta in Rome closed for Renovations

We just returned from a trip to Italy, was sad to learn that Fiammetta was closed for renovations. Didn't see a sign indicating when it would re-open. Just a heads up, we blew a cab fare and about 30 minutes getting to that part of town and then back over to our alternate. We were in Rome Sept 22 - 24, then returned to fly out of FCO on Sept 30 and it was still closed.

Oct 03, 2009
SE_ME in Italy

Best Pizza in Rome, Italy. Any advise?

We had pizza at Da Baffetto on our recent trip and thoroughly enjoyed it, that line moves pretty fast. Mostly due to the brusque and efficient service, which we didn't consider rude and awful as previous comments have suggested. Not sure about the alternatives that are listed, didn't try any of those.

Oct 03, 2009
SE_ME in Italy

Venice for 3 nights

We just got back from Italy, dined at Alla Testiere, Il Refolo, and Il Ridotto while in Venice. I can recommend all three. Alla Testiere was one of my favorite dinners of the entire trip, and the cookbook one of my favorite souvenirs.

Alla Testiere: For starters, I ordered the porcini mushroom soup w/ caramelized sea bass, my husband ordered the spinach ravioli. Both excellent, though we ended up swapping. For entrees, I had the seared tuna with balsamic vinegar and husband had the grilled monkfish with lemon & wine sauce. We both preferred the tuna w/ balsamic. Overall, a wonderful dinner.

Il Refolo: We were traveling without a computer, wished we had looked up its location before we left. Absolutely delightful lunch, the peaceful patio was such a nice respite...and the second best pizza we had on the trip. I ordered the special, Fiorellino, white pizza with anchovies, zucchini, and zucchini flowers. Husband had mushroom and proscuitto calzone. The red sauce served with the calzone was unbelievable. It was fairly empty at lunch, only 3 other tables occupied on their large patio.

Il Ridotto: I guess it was luck, we got seated at the table with a view into the kitchen. It was a lot of fun watching them prepare the meals. I can provide more details on the specific dishes if you're interested.

Both Alla Testiere and Il Refolo are tucked out of the way, give yourself a little extra time to find them. Overall, we preferred our restaurant selections from the Slow Food book over the Michelin red guide. I usually enjoy more elaborate dinners, but in Italy we found the simple places were consistently better.

Oct 03, 2009
SE_ME in Italy

What would you do? Three nights in Lucignano Tuscany, endless possibilities

Thanks all for the input. We'll be sure to try the white truffle dish and La Rocca in Lucignano (many thanks Jeremy for finding the name...I like the thought of dinners close to home).

I thought Orvieto looked lovely (plus I really wanted to try I Sette Consoli), but I'm beginning to realize that the trek to Deruta for ceramics followed by Orvieto for food is probably not worth it. I'll look for some recs closer to home base, plus I'll have another chance for ceramics shopping in Positano.

I feel better about the outdated book...so many of the entries have been around for generations, pretty good chance they can maintain quality for 3 more years.

Sep 04, 2009
SE_ME in Italy

What would you do? Three nights in Lucignano Tuscany, endless possibilities

Shoot, I didn't realize there was a new guide out, mine was printed in October 2006. I am terribly saddened, do you think the recommendations in the 2006 guide still be valid? Lucignano is not included.

If you do recall the name please let me know, it sounds delicious.

Sep 02, 2009
SE_ME in Italy

What would you do? Three nights in Lucignano Tuscany, endless possibilities

I LOVE the picture on the website, thanks for sharing! I wanted to have at least one really excellent bistecca fiorentina during the trip, reviews lead me to believe this is the place. Vidanto, do you recommend anything specific for first course? Is it still necessary to reserve in advance?

Sep 02, 2009
SE_ME in Italy

What would you do? Three nights in Lucignano Tuscany, endless possibilities

My husband and I are heading to Italy for our first anniversary; in the middle of our September trip we'll spend 3 nights in a villa outside of Lucignano. I've read TuscanLover's praise for nearby Da Toto so we'll likely have a dinner there. I've also booked a winery tour and lunch at Poggio Antico, but so far that's it. I’ve compiled a long list of CH recommended restaurants for each of the popular towns and I’m armed with both Italia Red Guide and SlowFood Osteria guide….we know we can eat well wherever we happen to be when hunger strikes. We’re willing to spend high if warranted and have no dietary restrictions. CH has Florence well covered so we are set there.

With that in mind, what is your favorite Tuscan culinary experience? Something worthy of planning around, even driving out of your way to reach, that is beyond the typical Lucca-Siena-San Gimignano circuit?

Best romantic dinner? I've heard San Gimignano is better than Siena at night, but most posters seem to agree that particular after-dinner drive is too far….so anything special closer to Lucignano? Locanda dell'Amarosa seemed to fit the bill perfectly, but alas, nothing but mediocre reviews for their food. Hosteria la Vecchia Rota is the nearest Slow Food establishment, has anyone been there?

For an Umbria day trip, which town would be better for a leisurely lunch... Perugia (detour into Gubbio for Taverna del Lupo) or Orvieta? We're thinking about doing that loop for ceramics shopping in Deruta and site seeing in Orvieto. Should we re-consider this piece for more time in Tuscany?

Thanks for your feedback (if anyone makes it through this long post)!

Sep 02, 2009
SE_ME in Italy

12 Day trip To Italy: Venice, Verona, Florence, Rome, Positano/Sorrento, Capri. Where do I start???

Thanks glbtrtr. In order to use our frequent flyer miles, we're now flying into Milan and out of Rome....the saved $ allowed us to extend our stay in Italy. But I will save your recs for future reference because we do intend to make it back to Switzerland next year! I do love pizza and our new itnerary affords us some time in Naples

Jul 18, 2009
SE_ME in Italy

12 Day trip To Italy: Venice, Verona, Florence, Rome, Positano/Sorrento, Capri. Where do I start???

My husband and I are planning a similar trip for September, with an additional 3 nights at the beginning in Switzerland (fly into Geneva or Zurich). I'll be sure to borrow the restaurant recs from this post, they all sound excellent.

We're considering 3 nights Interlaken, 2 nights Venice, 3 nights Tuscany, 3 nights Rome, 3 nights Amalfi coast, fly out Naples. Like you, it's our first trip and something I've been dreaming about forever. Next time we go we'll probably have kids; we really want to hit the two romantic spots - Venice and Amalfi - while we're still solo. This is against the advice of my frequent traveling folks...and apparently everyone on this board!

I am very curious to hear how your trip goes and if the whirlwind tour of Italy allows you to adequately experience everything. Please, please report back, and have a fantastic trip (I know you will).

Jun 17, 2009
SE_ME in Italy

Help! Too many great Vegas spots, too litte time

Thank you! They are open on Sundays and apparently were featured on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives. Sounds perfect, we will give it a try.

Jun 10, 2009
SE_ME in Las Vegas

Help! Too many great Vegas spots, too litte time

I'm bummed that Lotus of Siam is closed for Sunday lunch. We're getting a car on Sunday to visit Hoover Dam, are there any great off-strip Sunday lunch spots? Or anything worthwhile between the Dam and Vegas?

If not, we can just lunch at whatever spot we didn't hit on Saturday. Thanks for the feedback!

Jun 09, 2009
SE_ME in Las Vegas

Help! Too many great Vegas spots, too litte time

Thanks Larry! Your input sealed the deal for Alex, I just made reservations.

Hoping to hear more feedback for a Saturday lunch, Mon Ami Gabi vs Mesa Grill vs Olives.

Jun 04, 2009
SE_ME in Las Vegas

DEN: Osteria Marco's must-orders

Their burrata cheese served with grilled ciabatta bread is heavenly, definitely recommend it. Haven't tried their pizza/sandwiches before

Jun 04, 2009
SE_ME in Mountain States

Help! Too many great Vegas spots, too litte time

My husband and I are heading to Vegas with a group of friends next weekend. I'm in Vegas several times a year, but usually business or friends constrain my ability to construct a perfect dining agenda. This time we get two days to ourselves (our first time in Vegas together) and I am having so much fun plotting my course. A little background....newlyweds barely 30, staying at the Venetian. I enjoy good food of all varieties and am comfortable in any environment, however, my husband is new to the chowhound ways. He's a trooper, willing to try just about anything, but formal, haute cuisine environments can make him uneasy at times. We live in Denver, not exactly a culinary mecca.

Friends have dictated our Thurs/Friday dining plans...Thursday night is Social House, Friday night is Craftsteak (best I could influence with budgetary and palate constraints).

Leaning towards Alex for pre-theater dinner (Phantom at 9:30) on Saturday. Also considered Guy Savoy, Charlie Bar, Bradley Ogden, and L'Atelier. Alex edged out because we're already dining at MGM one night, (though would repeat MGM for Joel Robuchon but unfortunately the budget is just not there), worried the hubby would be uncomfortable in Guy Savoy, and Bradley Ogden style is similar to some of Denver's finer restaurants. I am I missing candidates for our one over-the-top date night dinner? Availability might affect this decision, probably need to act soon.

Our free time is over the weekend. I'd like to hit Mesa Grill for Saturday lunch, specifically for Burger Bar comparison. And here's where my plan falls apart. I'd really like to try Mon Ami Gabi for the patio experience, but fear it will be too hot during the day. We could try it for Saturday breakfast, but we're already having such an early dinner I'm not sure I could eat three huge meals in one day. Plus I really want to try the steak frites, which would not pair nicely with Mesa Grill burger a few hours later. So if we do MAG for breakfast, I am considering apps at Olives instead of Mesa Grill. I am tentatively planning Bouchon for Sunday breakfast and Lotus of Siam for Sunday late lunch before we head to the airport at 4pm.

What's missing? What could be cut? Are the steak frites at Mon Ami Gabi really worth it? How early - or maybe how late, if things don’t go according to plan – do we arrive at MAG to be comfortable on the patio in June? Is relegating Bouchon to just breakfast a mistake? Should I forsake MAG and Mesa Grill /Olives for one proper early lunch at Bouchon? Please help! TIA (wow this is long, my apologies)

Jun 04, 2009
SE_ME in Las Vegas