Categories: "Las Vegas, NV" or "Caesar's Palace" or "Mandalay" or "Mirage" or "New York New York" or "Venetian"

Neros - Las Vegas, NV

May 18th, 2007

This steakhouse is located within Caesar's Palace and is not contained in the Forum Shops. We have eaten many times in the Forum Shops and wanted to try something "local" to the casino.

I had obtained a reservation for 7:30pm through the toll-free number provided by Caesar's to reach any restaurant in the casino. After wasting time sitting at the bar we were finally taken to our table shortly after 8:15pm! We were basically ignored and had to constantly ask when our table would be ready. I can be as cool and care-free as the next guy, but this was a business dinner, so I thought the wait was excessive. (To be fair, they eventually did get the manager who came to us and offered to buy the round of drinks we had in front of us. This was a kind gesture, but we wished we had ordered cocktails instead of the round of Cokes. And to that, we would have just preferred our table.)

I would like to say that once we were seated our experience improved, but I cannot. I have been to nice restaurants when there is an understanding that it will be a long meal and you may as well get comfortable. Neros is not that type of a place, but our meal took forever. They may have been understaffed, but it was impossible to get ahold of our server.

I started my meal with a bowl of the Lobster Bisque, which was the only highlight of the night. To credit Neros, it might be the best Bisque I have had in Las Vegas and was certainly one of the best I have ever had.

I had my "go-to" bone-in ribeye for dinner. I was very glad that it was served with the house steak sauce because the steak was dry. That is the restaurant's fault. What is not necessarily its fault was the fact that my steak was just a bad cut. I happened to get a piece that was replete with "bad spots" that were too tough to cut through and certainly not edible. That happens and I may have said something if the service had been better or if that hadn't been futile once before in Las Vegas.

I spoke with a few other people who had eaten there and their feelings were better than mine but lukewarm overall. I cannot see any reason why this would not be my ONLY dinner at Neros. There are too many good restaurants in Las Vegas to go back to one where you have had a negative experience.

Burger Bar - Las Vegas, NV

October 25th, 2006

I am sure you are all familiar with the traditional salad-bar concept. You walk up to a selection of ingredients and fix yourself a personalized salad. Burger Bar takes that idea and steals it on behalf of carnivores everywhere (but primarily in Las Vegas!). There is no need for a sneeze guard at Burger Bar since all of the available ingredients, or burger toppings if you will, are listed on the menu. They do offer pre-designed burgers that range from reasonable to not-so-reasonable price-wise, but the fun as far as I am concerned is in building my own burger.

For eaters more adventurous than I, which basically means everyone, Burger Bar is one of the few places in Las Vegas where I would suggest you go to frequently. With so many restaurants in Las Vegas it is hard to go someplace you have been before at the expense of trying somewhere new, but I try to apply that concept to dinner more than I do for lunch. Burger Bar, though a fantastic dinner spot, works well for lunch too. Each time you go, you can create a new burger blueprint like one you have never had before. There are enough options to keep you entertained visit after visit. And even though I basically get the same thing everytime, it hasn't gotten old yet.

Angus Beef + Sesame seed roll + Bacon + Cheddar cheese + Fried egg = Bliss. Add their Brown gravy and you'll wonder why anyone puts ketchup on a burger (and it's GREAT on their skinny fries).

When, not if, you go looking for Burger Bar, you'll find it in Mandalay Bay in the Mandalay Place.

AquaKnox - Las Vegas, NV

March 21st, 2006
AquaKnox - Global Water Cuisine

AquaKnox's fresh colors reflect the vibrancy of the cool ocean waters. Experience an environment designed to entertain your every sense, highlighted by a water encased walk-in wine cellar and a state of the art open kitchen. Celebrated Chef Tom Moloney attains a new standard of culinary excellence, boasting global seafood flown in daily.

AquaKnox, located in The Venetian Resort Hotel & Casino, is, as I am told, one of the area's premier seafood restaurants. I am not one who enjoys fish, so I perused the menu for an alternative. On that, or any menu, a steak suits me just fine.

It is fish that I can live without, but I do like shrimp, crab and lobster. Fitting with that, I and my business travel companion shared the Seafood Trio appetizer: sweet shrimp, lobster and jumbo crab served with AquaKnox cocktail sauce. The name is rather misleading as only the shrimp comes with the cocktail sauce. Each of the three meats comes plated with its own unique sauce. Of the three, though I liked them all, the crab was my least favorite.

I ordered their Bone-In Ribeye, though the menu online shows "Bisteca (32 oz. Prime Double Cut Porterhouse)." I cannot say if that is new to the menu or if the ribeye is instead. What I can tell you is that the competition in my search for the best steak in Las Vegas just got a little tougher. The ribeye came over root vegetables. I feel bad saying that the ribeye at AquaKnox is one of the best steaks in 'Vegas if it is not even an option anymore. I cannot speak to the porterhouse, though I would be tempted to try a "serves two" steak alone!

The prices were not outrageous, though I had expected them to be. Most main dishes were around $30. If you need to find it, the restaurant is located outside the Blue Man Group Theatre.

AquaKnox has not converted me to the ways of seafood, but through steak they have helped me recommend this restaurant to you. There are so many restaurants in Las Vegas I do not know if I will ever go back to AquaKnox, but it was worth going once for me. And if the situation arose, I would not hesitate to go back.

Grand Lux Cafe - Las Vegas, NV

September 13th, 2005

The idea for Grand Lux Cafe came to life when The Venetian Resort, Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas asked David Overton, Founder of The Cheesecake Factory Restaurants, to create an upscale casual restaurant concept for their property.

Located right in the casino at The Venetian, Grand Lux Cafe is easy to find. There are even signs posted directing you to the door. Once you are there, seating options are inside the restaurant or at one of the tables that is out in the casino.

My only complaint from the trip was what I imagine to be the only complaint I would ever have with the Grand Lux, the iced tea was not very good. My dissatisfaction goes no further. In fact, from there my satisfaction actually grows rapidly.

I believe on the menu it is listed as Creamy Spinach and Cheese Dip...though more commonly Spinach and Artichoke dip...and it just might be the best I have ever had. The dip is served with plenty of tortilla chips, so you never have to worry about running out of things to dip, a problem I frequently encounter at other restaurants.

If you are familiar with the menus at The Cheesecake Factory, then you understand how overwhelmed you can feel at Grand Lux Cafe as well. So many items on the menu and they all sound good. There just aren't enough hours in the day for a menu like that, but you have to start somewhere.

I ordered the Fried Chicken. The meal I anticipated, a breast/thigh/leg with a side of mashed potatoes, would have been right for how hungry I was. The meal I got, a veritable mountain of chicken strips with a side of mashed potatoes, was a bit more than I could handle. I think the chicken was like $13-14. You cannot beat that.

Grand Lux has locations in Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Dallas, Houston and Chicago with two future locations of Garden City, NY and Sunrise, FL. At least in the cities where there are currently locations, there are so many restaurants and I always try to not go to the same place twice when I travel since there are so many options. I will have to fight to stick to that when I have the option to go back to Grand Lux Cafe. The place is even open 24 hours (in Las Vegas)!

Gallagher's Steakhouse - Las Vegas, NV

March 24th, 2005

Gallagher's Steakhouse is located in the New York-New York Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.

A steakhouse that was highly praised on a few occasions to my boss; we were set to have dinner there Monday night. Seating was quick once the table was ready for our reservation. Staff was nice for the most part.

They recommend their dry aged new york strip and their filet. I asked if she would talk me out of the king cut prime rib. After looking at the menu online before heading to the restaurant, I was excited for the prime rib. It is not an item offered everywhere and I try to get it when the option exists. Unless, of course, she was going to suggest something else. She said she would not talk me out of it, and I ordered it thusly.

I had a terrible piece of meat. It was riddled with fat that the waitress tried to tell me was "marbling". Excuse me, I am one of the few steak eaters who actually enjoys the true marbling. This was not the good stuff. She told me I had to get to the center of the steak to find the good part. I had cut all the way through to the center and was still unhappy. I suggested that either I had a very dull steak knife or my steak was a bad cut. She said they did have very dull knives at the restaurant. Yeah, I bet they do. Why would you want sharp steak knives at a steakhouse?

She came back after a few minutes and offered me a small cut of something else if I wanted it but I was too disgusted with my current meal to want any more.

The other entrée ordered was the cowboy cut bone-in ribeye (what I should have gotten) and that was said to be good. Not the best, but nothing to complain about.

We had an order of beer-battered onion rings that were very good though they only gave you four on a plate. Their calamari was average and they give you a half a loaf of a sesame bread that was probably the highlight of the meal for me.

As long as I have the choice, I will not go back to Gallagher's.