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Less Expensive LV Options for 1st time visitors?

Late to the party here, but last time I visited (about 9 months ago), we had an inexpensive, enjoyable meal with great craft beer at a place called Tacos & Beer. It's not far from the Strip and sometimes they have a Groupon, making it even cheaper.

Between 2 of us, we tried something like 8 different types of tacos and didn't have a bad one in the bunch. The pork al pastor, puerco verde and beef adobada were my favorites.

The beer selection was better than comparable places - something like 20 taps, many of them options we don't have here in the Midwest.

Of course, I agree with many of the above reccos - just wanted to throw in another option. Have a great trip!

Jun 16, 2015
butterfli311 in Las Vegas

TR: Robuchon, LOS, MO Tea, Giada, and more (LONG) all sure do know how to make a gal's night! I truly appreciate the kind feedback. Glad I could provide some entertainment and spur the enjoyment of a cocktail or brew for some of you. :)

uhockey - Giada's was surprisingly good. Apologies for not stating that earlier. Worth the spend? I've wavering on that one. If we had gotten a great table with a view, I'd probably say yes without hesitation. It's definitely worth checking out once. We likely won't be back, but mostly because there are still so many places around that same price point we've yet to try.

Dave - I highly recommend the Laundry Room. If you can move past the ridiculous reservation policy it's certainly worth a visit. I never ordered off a menu, as Dan made it a point to walk through spirits and flavor profiles, noting our likes/dislikes before creating the drinks. For example, I normally don't care for the taste of juniper, therefore I tend to stay away from most of the gin-based cocktails. However, Dan assured me I'd change my mind, and one of my favorite drinks of the night was a variation of the Clover Club.

Thank you all again...three more days until some LOS is in my belly. Will report back soon :)

Oct 21, 2014
butterfli311 in Las Vegas

Vegas with boring old farts...

I've had nice experiences at Joe's, and not just with the crab. For a (small) chain, it's been a good choice when we go with a group that isn't made up of adventurous eaters. I think you've made a wise choice, manku.

Oct 18, 2014
butterfli311 in Las Vegas

Cleo at The SLS - bold but balanced, sleek yet sophisticated

Thank you for this. As an FYI, there is a special at Cleo next Sunday 10/26 for those who join the SLS Vegas free loyalty program (CODE).
Per the email I received: "3 Cities. 3 Restaurants. 50% Off. Each month, we’ll announce three sbe restaurants in three different cities, where only CODE members can receive 50% off their bill. Cleo at the new SLS Las Vegas — Sunday, October 26th. Must show proof of CODE membership or this email to your server upon being seated."

Oct 18, 2014
butterfli311 in Las Vegas

TR: Robuchon, LOS, MO Tea, Giada, and more (LONG)

My trip was actually in August, but it took me this long to get over my post-Vegas funk and get to the business of rehashing. Plus, I talked my husband into a last minute getaway for my bday next week, so the funk has officially been lifted).

To give you a quick overview: This trip was taken by my husband and I, a couple in our mid-30s with one kiddo who both work full-time and truly enjoy dining, craft beer & cocktails. So when we get the opportunity to get away sans kid, we try to enjoy as much of that as we can and sometimes end up regretting it because it doesn’t ever feel like we’ve relaxed had much of a “vacation.” You’d think at some point we’d learn, but such is life.


Lunch: Our tradition is to have our very first meal in Vegas at Public House in the Venetian. We love their craft beer selection – the best on the Strip, in our opinion (not the largest, but the best). Knowing that we had dinner reservations that evening, we decided to just sit at the bar and have one of our favorites, an order of the duck poutine (w/the fried egg on top) and the Cicerone’s flight. Our bartenders were very personable and allowed us to try many samples, which is always appreciated.

Dinner: 9pm reservation at Giada. I’ll put the disclaimer out there now that neither my husband nor I are necessarily Giada fans and we don’t normally gravitate toward celebrity chef venues. But a couple of our friends had eaten here during opening week and truly enjoyed their meal, so we decided to keep the reservation. I had booked the table nearly two months prior, and had requested a window table on the terrace, mentioning we’d be celebrating our anniversary.

I was disappointed when we were seated inside, in the furthest north corner of the restaurant so I politely asked if there was anything more central, but (without returning to the hostess stand to look) was told by the hostess that there wasn’t. Granted, there was a window near us, so I guess it was considered a window seat. But, I suppose when you’re turning tables at a rapid-fire pace the way they were that night, it doesn’t really matter how far out reservations were made.

I forced myself to shake off the seating disappointment and focus on enjoying the evening. The cocktails were quite good. I had the Giada Cocktail (Kappa Pisco, pineapple gomme syrup, lime, apricot preserves, egg whites, Angostura bitters) and my husband chose the Barbarella (Tanqueray #10, orange spice ginger beer, fresh lemon, basil foam).

We did not opt for the tasting menu, instead choosing to share three small plates (burrata with balsamic-salt; fresh ricotta w/honey, lemon & pink peppercorn and arugula w/candied lemon, crispy pancetta & parmigiano-reggiano) paired with the wonderful bread service, and one entrée (veal chop saltimbocca milanese style – quite enough for two people).

Too full for dessert, we graciously accepted two of the lemon ricotta cookies as a “happy anniversary” token. Meal was just over $180 inc tax/tip.

We finished the night with some craft beers at TAG, a video poker bar in the Quad. We probably would never have stepped foot in there if it hadn’t been for a post I’d seen on TripAdvisor that mentioned the great beer selection. Glad we did, as it had many options not readily available to us in the Midwest.


Breakfast: When I made the 10am breakfast reservation at Verandah, it didn’t dawn on me that we might be going to bed at 4am (smacks self in head). But it was off to the Four Seasons we headed, both with a bit more of a headache than either of us cared to admit.

We were seated outside by the pool per our request. I chose the build-your-own omelet option with fresh crab, mushroom and cheese, and my husband opted for the always-stellar huevos rancheros. The food was delicious, but the service was quite poor. Our server, Louis, could not have been any less interested in us. We had to ask for refills on coffee/water, and he never came by after our food was delivered to see if everything came out correctly. We were only one of three tables in his section, so I’m not sure what the issue was…very strange. We’ll definitely return on our next trip for another round of huevos rancheros. Maybe even Sunday brunch this time. Yum!

Tea: Next stop was Mandarin Oriental for tea service. I had made 1pm reservations so that we’d have the best chance at a window seat. We were given the perfect table and even though I think my husband was a bit skeptical about “tea in Vegas,” it was a fantastic experience that I’d highly recommend (and he would too). I had the Mandarin Orange Blend and my husband had the Pu-Erh Tou Cha. The savory and sweet items that came with the tea service were wonderful. We shared one order and had plenty, although our server did bring us each one additional warm scone. They were melt-in-your-mouth amazing. My other favorite was the lavash goat cheese tartlet with apricot jelly.

When we were almost finished, she also brought over a complimentary chocolate cupcake for our anniversary. It was a welcome and unexpected added touch that made this experience even more enjoyable.

Dinner: The limo from Joël Robuchon picked us up at 8:15pm for our 8:45 reservation. The driver was very nice and took a few pictures for us before we departed. We took the Strip route to the MGM since it was a Tuesday and there wasn’t much traffic. I know it’s cheesy, but it’s probably the only time we’ll ever ride in a limo on the Strip so I soaked it up. We conversed with him quite a bit about his transfers and where guests of the Mansion liked to go (outside of the Mansion, of course) and he said one of the most common stops he makes is Prime at the Bellagio. We have yet to dine there, so it may have to go on my list.

So we get to the Mansion and step out into the atrium area and take it all in for a moment. I realize this type of thing is old hat to some folks, but for us it’s once-in-a-lifetime, so again, we savored the moment. We took some more pictures, tipped our driver and were then escorted inside by a nice young lady named Brianna. She walked us through the Mansion’s gaming area and then into the lounge area of Robuchon, where, yes, I took a picture of the cart containing cognacs that cost more by the glass than my mortgage payment. We waited there for about 15 minutes, just long enough to order a martini and glass of wine. We were then seated in the main dining room, which was completely full.

We did not do the 16 course tasting, as we wanted to have wine and stay within a budget, so we did the 6 course (4 selections plus the amuse bouche/bread cart/mignardises) and had a wonderful meal. We were served by a team, but the standout was definitely William Moss, the sommelier. He was fantastic and spent a nice amount of time at our table discussing the wine selections. Hunt had suggested we go with the pairings instead of ordering a bottle, which was definitely right for us. The wine pairings were priced $250 and up (they didn’t tell us how far up because we didn't need to worry about that – ha!) so we went with the lowest tier. With the flat fee of $250, were were both given pairing selections, which I thought was really nice. Normally it's a per person charge, but apparently this fee was for the table. We ended up right around $800 after tax/tip. Sure it took me three shifts of overtime to pay for the meal, and many would probably find that laughable, but it was worth every penny. I wish we could afford to eat here every time we’re in Vegas, if only for the bread and mignardises carts alone, but alas…

Our food/wine pairings are as follows. My selections are listed first and my husband’s follow:

Amuse-Bouche – Chilled pea soup with smoked duck, mint marshmallows and pistachios
Finished my pre-dinner glass of Patient Cottat Sancerre Anciennes Vignes, Loire 2010

1. Le Crabe Royale – Alaskan King Crab, salad of avocado and tomato in a heart of romaine and olive oil
Champagne Bruno Paillard, Premier Cuvée, MV

2. L’Asperge Verte – Green asparagus velouté with ricotta and herb tortellini, virgin vegetal oil
Blanc Pouilly de Fume, Domaine Daganeau, Burgundy 2011

3. Le Bar – Pan seared sea bass in salted butter with baby artichoke sauce
Nuits-Saint-Georges 1er Cru Les Bourdon Domaine Mongret Mugneret, Burgundy 2010

4. L’Abricot – Sugar pearl filled with apricots and panna cotta, cubes of seasonal fruit gelée with verbena
Selection Grains Noble Pinot Gris, Domaine Zind-Humbrecht, Alsace 2007

1. L’Oursin - Sea Urchin with spiny lobster and cauliflower on top of vinegar gelée and seaweed
Riesling, Cuvee Fredric Emile, Domaine Trimbach, Alsace 2006

2. L’Oeuf de Poule - Deep-fried soft boiled egg in light Comte cheese sauce with Iberico de Bellota ham

3. Le Veau - Roasted veal chop in its natural jus, crisp thin porcini ravioli
Margaux du Château Margaux, Margaux, Bordeaux 2009

4. Le Rubis – Raspberry dome on mascarpone with red fruit coulis and Calpico jelly

Every bite was delicious, but the standouts for me were the L’Oeuf de Poule and Le Rubis (both from my husband's selections). And I’d be a liar if I said I didn’t eat every bite of those amazing Robuchon potatoes and then considered asking for seconds.

After dinner, we took the limo to the Cosmopolitan and enjoyed drinks at Chandelier bar. We have always had good luck there with drinks and service and tonight was no exception.


Breakfast in bed courtesy of Joël Robuchon. The lemon pound cake we were given as a takeaway gift at the end of our meal was a perfect morning treat.

Lunch: After dragging myself out of bed, we headed to my long-anticipated first lunch at Lotus of Siam. I’ve been reading about LOS for years on this board (Thanks Dave Feldman, QAW, LVI, et al), so I had a good idea in my head about what I wanted to order, but once I opened the menu, it all went out the window and I just went with what sounded good. We ended up splitting 3 appetizers (Mee Krob, Spicy Chicken Wings, Nam Kao Tod), 1 entrée (Khao Soi with beef), and mango sticky rice for dessert. All were fantastic and can’t wait to return and sample more items.

Snack/Dinner: We’d been driving around most of the day shopping for beer to take home with us, so when I realized I was getting a little hungry, we decided to stop by Culinary Dropout at the HRH to try the pretzel and provolone fondue. We sat at the bar, enjoyed the appetizer, a couple rounds of drinks and some live music. I would definitely go back for those little bites of love again. YUM!

Headed back to the Wynn to relax for a bit and muster up the motivation to get ready for the night. Finally got ready and headed to Parasol Down so we could enjoy the lake show and a drink. I had the Berry Pisco and husband had the Sinatra Smash. Both were nice and refreshing on the warm summer night.

We decided to head Downtown that night, as we had reservations at the Laundry Room at midnight. I can’t say enough good things about this place. If you are at all a fan of craft cocktails, or just want to enjoy a well-made drink in a really neat location, you should consider trying it. The reservation process is a little strange, and would normally be off-putting to me, but I’d heard enough good things that I went through the motions to get us in. We were originally seated at a table, but ended up moving to the bar once it cleared out a bit.

The gentleman behind the bar, Dan, was superb. He truly knew as much about mixology as anyone I’ve encountered, even at Little Branch, Death & Co., or Pegu Club in NYC. In addition to spirits, he was studying for his cicerone test, so he was quite knowledgeable about beer as well (although there is no beer served there, we were just able to discuss it at length).

I tried to make reservations for our upcoming trip next weekend, but they are "closed for a private party" Fri, Sat and Sun. I know the Life is Beautiful music festival is going on, but seriously, all three nights? Grr...

On our way back to the hotel, we stopped for a late-night snack (i.e. dinner) at the Peppermill. We’d never been there before, but had heard it was one-of-a-kind. And that it was…while the food wasn’t anything special, the chicken fingers and sliders fit the bill for what we needed that night.


Lunch: We had two free buffet passes at the Wynn so we decided to put them to use. Ended up paying the $7.50 each to get a line pass and avoid the 30 min wait. We’re not really buffet people, but the price was right and the food was fine. Nothing truly stood out, except for perhaps the sheer selection of desserts. None were fantastic, but the ones we tried were fairly good. Years ago, this would have been my buffet of choice, but I definitely wouldn’t pay to eat here now.

Dinner: That night we had tickets to a show at Brooklyn Bowl, so we decided to check out the LINQ area beforehand. We ate in the F.A.M.E. area and had a surprisingly good, albeit, hodgepodge of a meal. The Pad Thai from one of the stands was pretty darn good, and an order of Jazz Fries from another stand was my favorite. Both of us were stuffed for under $30, which was a nice change of pace.

From there, we attempted to go to the Blvd Drink Co, but they were closed for renovations, so we stopped by Sprinkles for a cupcake. I had chocolate marshmallow and was very unimpressed – very dry and not much flavor. They were all very pretty, but a bit of a letdown.


Always the worst…waking up and knowing it’s over. After checking out of the Wynn, we headed to the Aria, where we had some slices at Five50 Pizza. I had the Forager (white sauce, mushrooms, bacon, whipped ricotta and spinach) and my husband had the Gotham (pepperoni, sausage, salami, mozzarella and grana padano). Both were perfectly prepared and as close to a slice of authentic NYC pie as we’ve had. For dessert, we went to Jean Philippe. I had the chocolate crepe and my husband had the Forrest. Both were good, however we could have split one and been totally satisfied.

Overall, an awesome trip, but as usual, I over-planned for us and ended up wishing we’d just done more “nothing” stuff like the pool or maybe an afternoon at the spa. Luckily we’re headed back on 10/24 so I’m looking forward to under-planning and relaxing. Thanks for reading and thanks to everyone whose thoughts and opinions have helped create such great dining experiences for me!

Oct 18, 2014
butterfli311 in Las Vegas

Anything decent in the Paris Hotel?

I was pleasantly surprised by the creperie in the Paris on my last visit. It's just a take-out window sort of place, but their savory selections were quite tasty (can't speak to the sweet as I didn't try).
As already stated, Mon Ami Gabi is another option. Last time I was there I recall enjoying the goat cheese appetizer and steak frites.

Jun 27, 2014
butterfli311 in Las Vegas

Cocktail Bars?

I can't personally vouch for any of these, but in my own research for an upcoming trip, I have found a few, which I’ve listed below w/small write-ups copied from websites.

These are all off-strip. If you do happen to be on-strip, Chandelier Bar at Cosmo makes really great craft cocktails, and there’s a fairly large variety. I also see that Blvd Cocktail Company has opened in the Linq and while small, their menu is intriguing. They have the same owners as Laundry Room/Commonwealth listed below.

Velveteen Rabbit: Located in Vegas's downtown arts district, a dark, whimsical bar & lounge decorated with unique Victorian-styled furniture (from Vegas), serving up serious cocktails and nice craft beers. http://velveteenrabbitlasvegas.blogsp...

The Lady Sylvia: A place that is uniquely built to give satisfaction to people from all walks of life, Lady Silvia provides a charismatic, old-world charm and fascination to the public. Inspired by Prague's Strahov Monastery Library, this new lounge flaunts dazzling furniture situated on its black and white checkerboard floor, invoking an English-style library and cocktail bar ambiance.

Herbs & Rye: Pre-Prohibition-style cocktail bar and late-night lounge plus a cozy, Old Vegas dining experience. Bartenders including owner Nectaly Mendoza mix up classic cocktails amid the velvet wallpapered dining rooms and bar, black leather booths and twinkling chandeliers.

Laundry Room: A very small semi-secret speakeasy within the Commonwealth bar downtown. Named as such as it was formerly the laundry room of the El Cortez. For reservations, you must text your request up to one week in advance to get instructions for entry. Cocktails run $15 ea. Check their facebook page for details.

Side note: My favorite drink is the Pisco Sour, which was not easy to source on my Vegas trip last year. I ended up finding one at Jean Georges that was just so-so. I see that a couple of the places below offer pisco, and the other ingredients are simple, so I’m hoping to have more than one this trip.


Jun 17, 2014
butterfli311 in Las Vegas

Dinner tonight...

Strip: I always enjoy Public House at the Venetian. Not too expensive, res not needed (although easily available on open table), casual attire. Circo at Bellagio is always tasty as well.
Last time we were downtown we had a surprisingly decent and affordable meal at the Flame inside El Cortez. Haven't been off-strip with past two visits so I don't have much to offer in that direction.

May 30, 2014
butterfli311 in Las Vegas

A & K CHINESE RESTAURANT, anybody been?

I’ll be interested to hear reports on this as well. Husband and I are visiting in August and we always try to eat XLB while in town as we don’t have any viable options here in Kansas City.

In our past visits we haven’t had a car, so we’ve just taken the convenient, albeit pricier, route of Beijing Noodle No. 9 at Caesars. This trip, we plan to rent a car for one day so that we’re able to visit some craft beer locations and have our first LOS experience (hooray!).

So far, I’ve gathered the following regarding XLB:
• 1900 Asian: BRB reported was theirs were flavorless

• Wing Lei: uhockey enjoyed XLB during their Year of the Horse brunch earlier this year, but they are not listed on the current (April 2014) menu. We are staying at the Wynn so I will certainly stop by and inquire on the off-chance they might be available.

• China Mama: LVI, you had mentioned awhile back that their XLB weren’t anything special. At $11 for order of 8, I’d probably just as soon go to Beijing Noodle.

• Bacchanal Buffet at Caesars Palace: Dave Feldman mentioned that they have XLB, although it’s not clear from their website whether it’s an everyday offering.

• Since New Shanghai and Three Villages are both closed, Noodle Pot and Chang’s Hong Kong seem to be the only other options I’ve found besides A & K.

Looking forward to any new XLB info anyone can offer. :)

May 24, 2014
butterfli311 in Las Vegas

Grocery stores near the strip

You'll be very close to Whole Foods, which has already been mentioned below. My husband and I are craft beer fans, so during our last Vegas trip we took the bus from the strip to Whole Foods and were very pleased with their selection. Needless to say we got some strange looks boarding the bus with 20+ bottles of beer.
As mentioned, the produce at WF is some of the best you'll find and there are plenty of bulk options as well. Enjoy!

May 21, 2014
butterfli311 in Las Vegas

Dinner Suggestions or Confirmation

2nd Bartolotta at Wynn for seafood -- had an excellent experience and definitely want to return on my next trip. I requested a cabana, and while it certainly isn't a must-have, it added to the overall experience.

Feb 15, 2014
butterfli311 in Las Vegas

Best Restaurant With A View

Agree with uhockey re: Mix. Last time I was there, food was good and view was even better. Visited Nove last year and wasn't overly impressed. Did have a great experience at Alize a few years ago. Haven't been since so not sure if things have changed. Here's a link to my experience:

Feb 15, 2014
butterfli311 in Las Vegas

2 Suggestions Needed for Tampa & Surrounding Area

Ahhh...Peg's was on my list but I crossed it off due to time constraints. It appears Cycle and Peg's are owned by the same folks, yes? Is the food at Peg's worth making the time? Perhaps making the trip through St Pete instead of CCotB?
Rusty Bellies does look good -- anyone else think it's better than going to one of the Greek places?

Feb 11, 2014
butterfli311 in Florida

2 Suggestions Needed for Tampa & Surrounding Area

Thank you so much -- that helps solidify CCotB for lunch. Bread pudding and crawfish...yum!
We'll just go wherever the night takes us in Tarpon Springs. :)
Thank you again for the advice. Will report back in a few weeks to let you know how everything was.

Feb 08, 2014
butterfli311 in Florida

2 Suggestions Needed for Tampa & Surrounding Area

Deet -- is there a reason you didn't suggest Hellas in Tarpon Springs? We'll probably do Mykanos but just wondering if you'd had a bad experience at Hellas.

The key lime Berliner weisse sounds aweomse! Which also reminds me I'll need to get my key lime pie fix while I'm there. Argh! So much to eat, so little time! :)

Feb 07, 2014
butterfli311 in Florida

2 Suggestions Needed for Tampa & Surrounding Area

Thanks so much, everyone! After looking into Willard's I noticed they recommended a place called Cajun Café on the Bayou. My husband loves Cajun food and we only have one place here at home (that truthfully isn't very good) so I'm considering lunch there Saturday instead of TBBC. Anyone been there?
We'll definitely hit up Willard's as well.

As for Friday, we'll probably eat in Tarpon Springs just for the "experience" and have some wings later that night at DB. Glad to have the Chinese and Vietnamese reccos in our back pocket at well.

Thanks again and keep the ideas coming :)

Feb 07, 2014
butterfli311 in Florida

2 Suggestions Needed for Tampa & Surrounding Area

Thanks, Kempshark. Glad to hear Rapp is a solid choice. With such limited time, and knowing so little about the area, my brewery picks were sort of a shot in the dark.
We love Vietnamese and have a few good places here in KC, but always interested in local variations. Since we'll be dining later in the evening (after 8 or 9) we'll have to take that into consideration too. Thanks again for the info.

Feb 04, 2014
butterfli311 in Florida

Best Chinese in KC area

Realize this thread is nearly a year old but thought it was worth adding on.
+1 the Princess Garden recco--Sam (the owner I believe) and his staff always willing to make off-menu items that are authentic.
We live nearby and eat there often on weekends, and several times have noticed Chinese wedding receptions taking place. The food being served definitely didn't look like it came off the menu. Much more authentic...the smells alone were amazing.
Best of luck in your search!

Feb 04, 2014
butterfli311 in Great Plains

2 Suggestions Needed for Tampa & Surrounding Area

Hi Tampa area Hounds – have a couple of questions but want to provide some background first.
My husband and I will be visiting Tampa from Kansas City later this month for 3 nights. We’re staying downtown, will have a car and will be driving quite a bit during our stay. We’re big craft beer people so we’re going to spend Friday & Saturday touring/tasting. Just need a little help filling in holes for our meals. Already have the following reserved:

Thursday night: Bern’s for dinner and dessert, nightcap at Ciro’s (we also enjoy craft cocktails)
Friday lunch: Columbia (Ybor location)

We’ve got a 1pm tour/tasting @Cigar City Brewery, then we’ll be driving to Tarpon Springs for the 6-8pm tasting at Saint Somewhere Brewing Co. From there, we plan to drive to Dunedin and hit 7venth Sun, Dunedin House of Beer and Dunedin Brewery.

Question 1: Should we stay in Tarpon Springs for dinner (Hellas, Rusty Bellies, Mykonos?) or drive on to Dunedin for dinner there? We have plenty of Greek food options here in KC, but looks like the addition of fresh seafood makes for a much more exciting menu than what we’re used to.
Have heard the food at Dunedin Brewery is good, and Kelly’s seems to get a lot of love on the board. We wouldn’t be dressed for Black Pearl, although it looks great, and Sea Sea Riders closes at 9 so we’d be cutting it close. Would like to stay under $100 inc tax/tip. No preferences on food type, although we’d rather stay away from chains (local franchises OK).

Planning to have lunch at Tampa Bay Brewing Co (any positives or negatives on this place?), visit Florida Avenue Brewing Co., and then drive to Largo to visit Barley Mow Brewing. From there we’ll begin driving back towards Tampa with stops at Pair O’ Dice Brewing in Clearwater, Rapp Brewing in Seminole and Brewers’ Tasting Room in St. Pete.

Question 2: Are there any great spots for dinner on the drive between Largo, Clearwater, Seminole, St. Pete and Tampa? Since it will be late evening (after 8 probably) Ted Peters is out. We’ll be in casual clothing and again prefer to keep it under $100 inc tax/tip. Since we’ll have already had our “big meal” for the trip at Bern’s we’re not as interested in elegance/ambiance as we are just getting something tasty that we don’t have at home (mainly BBQ and steakhouses—with the exception of Bern’s, of course).

Apologies for the lengthy post and thanks in advance for your thoughts!

Feb 04, 2014
butterfli311 in Florida

21st birthday dinner - fun, good food, not stuffy?

I love Public House--and if any of your group enjoy craft beer, this place has a fantastic selection. The menu and list aren't large, but everything I've tried has been good.
It's not a "happening" atmosphere and no beer pong or anything like that, so might not be ideal for a 21st celebration.
I would definitely recommend though as a solid option for good food & great beer.

Aug 20, 2013
butterfli311 in Las Vegas

Vegas Trip Review - August

Thank you for the detailed post, S4D! My husband and I will be in LV in 2 weeks and made the Le Cirque decision based on factors similar to yours. It's always nice to get some affirmation close to our travel date :)
Glad you enjoyed your trip, and thank you again for the informative post!

Aug 10, 2013
butterfli311 in Las Vegas

Asking My Girlfriend to Marry Me Restaurant Choices.

I think you'll be very happy with your decision. My husband and I dined in a cabana at Bartolotta last July at 8pm and were very comfortable. The heat had died down (was still probably in the upper 90s) and they had cool mist blowing around the area. It was a truly romantic setting with impeccable service and food. Make sure to clue the restaurant in on your proposal plans ahead of time and I would imagine they'll ensure you're set up for success :)
Also my husband is not as adventurous of an eater as I am and he enjoyed every bite he took. I do remember hearing a man at the table next to us ask the server for something basic without seafood for his date and they prepared an off-menu pasta dish for her. Congrats and good luck!

Jul 17, 2013
butterfli311 in Las Vegas


Thanks, Dave--must be that journalism degree I never used. I always said if l could have any job, I'd be a food critic. Unfortunately when I graduated the market was crap, so I went back after a few years and became a nurse. Just finally mustered up the courage to put my words out there. I'll do my best to keep posting :)

Jun 26, 2013
butterfli311 in Las Vegas



I’m a board lurker, and have been for many years, but when I saw this inquiry, I had to respond. I agree that there isn’t much posted on Alizé, and since my husband and I had a nice experience, I thought I’d share. We dined in late December 2011—I realize this isn't recent, and I didn't take as many notes as I would've liked, but hopefully I can still provide a little insight.

To give you a little background, we’re from Kansas City and take annual trips to Las Vegas and NYC, sans child, for a few days of dining and drinking. It’s what keeps us sane, and I can’t thank all of the LV and NYC Hounds enough for the multitude of great suggestions. ellenost, you are my dining compass in both cities, and I’m sorry I haven’t thanked you sooner. :) That said, here is what I can recall from Alizé.

Had a Sunday night dinner at 8pm and arrived a bit early. Sat at the bar and had pleasant conversation with our bartender. I had a Razitini, husband had a French 56. Don't recall exact ingredients and can't find their cocktail menu online, but I do recall them being tasty and on-the-mark.

Service from arrival to exit was very good—needs were anticipated, crumbs were quickly swept, etc. We had many people come and go from the table, our favorite being one of the older Assistant Servers who was kind and soft-spoken, but always nearby.

I had made reservations approx 4 weeks prior (as I always try to do when we travel) and had noted we’d be celebrating our anniversary. We were given a wonderful window seat and the view was spectacular. The dining room was surprisingly full for a Sunday and it was nice to see nearly everyone in dressy attire (of course, I realize it’s Vegas and anything goes, but I guess I’m old school and really enjoy restaurants that try to maintain a dress code). We decided to select from the a la carte menu and asked the Sommelier for pairings.

I cannot recall our amuse-bouche or the intermezzo, but I’m sure they were as delicious as the rest of our meal. I started with the lobster bisque, which was paired with a Monchhof Riesling. My husband had the French onion soup with Flora Springs Chard. I remember both soups being quite tasty and enjoying the sweet pieces of lobster claw in mine with my wine.

My entrée was the Dover Sole with Veronique preparation—melt-in-your-mouth fantastic. The sauce was not too heavy and the grapes were a fresh, sweet addition. It was paired with a Puligny-Montrachet (I wish I had written down the producer and vintage…grr…I believe it was a 2006). The Sommelier was very attentive and informative, always speaking at our level (we aren’t wine experts) without being at all condescending. He was especially helpful with this pairing as it was much pricier than our others. He was very up-front about this, which we appreciated. My husband had the Rib Eye with a Pascual Toso Malbec . The meat was a perfect medium rare and quite tender for a fattier cut. He doesn’t often order steak while we’re on vacation since we live in the Midwest, but he was quite satisfied with his choice.

We selected a chocolate soufflé for dessert, which was good, but not outstanding (I must say, I’m REALLY looking forward to our upcoming meal at Le Cirque in August for their soufflé!). We were given additional truffles/candies after dessert for our anniversary, but by this time we were stuffed and took them to go. Bill was $300 before tip.

Overall, this was a good special occasion restaurant. The service, the food and the view were all wonderful and I’m glad we experienced it. If I lived in Vegas, I’d probably return to sample a different menu, but since there are still so many places I’d like to try and so few days to fit them all in, I doubt we’ll go back soon.

As I mentioned above, our upcoming trip will include Le Cirque, which I’d always passed over since I’d been to the NYC location. After reading the most recent posts about it, though, I changed my mind. We’ll also (finally!) be experiencing é—yay!. The highlight of our 2012 visit was Bartolotta—it was definitely a once-in-a-lifetime thing for us, but I’m so glad we did it.

Again, thank you all for your advice through the years. I hope to pay it forward after my next trip.

Jun 26, 2013
butterfli311 in Las Vegas

One foodie and one picky

Thanks so much to everyone for the suggestions! Many sound wonderful so I think we'll have to have a few "birthday meals." :)

I will post back with details!

May 08, 2008
butterfli311 in Manhattan

One foodie and one picky

After much research, and seeing how many wonderful places this city contains, I'm in a pickle.

I'm surprising my fiance with a trip to NYC in June for his bday and want to plan one special dinner to celebrate.

The issue: I'm a foodie, he's as picky as they come. No seafood, not a fan of veggies, his idea of ethnic cuisine is Italian or Chinese food, etc.

I lived in the city back in the sumer of 2000 so I was able to have some memorable meals at Le Cirque, Gotham Bar & Grill, Oceana, and others. I would like to have the experience of Babbo, Jean Georges or EMP on this trip, but they're just not for him and I think I'd be selfish to select a place in that vein when it's his bday.

I'd like to stay around $150pp with wine. We're midwesterners and steak is something we can easily get here, so I'd rather not do a steak house.

Location doesn't matter - I'm most familiar with the Village but willing to go to any area of Manhattan.

What about A Voce or Prune? Any recommendations are greatly appreciated.
Thank you!

May 06, 2008
butterfli311 in Manhattan

Pizza Bella in KC?

There is one I tried called BiancoVerde and it's white - SO delish! All ricotta/moz/pecorino romano w/arugala and truffle oil.

Has anyone tried The Red Snapper?

Have been there twice and truly enjoyed - favorite appetizer is their take on crab rangoon using salmon. Be prepared to spend a little more $ than a standard Asian restaurant, but it's worth it.

NY Style pizza in KC?

Agreed! I went to Pizza Bella on opening day a few weeks ago and was NOT disappointed. I had the pizza biancoverde...lots of ricotta, moz and pecorino, topped with arugala and truffle oil. To die for.

Oct 15, 2007
butterfli311 in Great Plains

Dinner for 12-15 on the Plaza (KC)

Second on the Melting Pot - delicious food and I think private rooms are available for large parties.