Category: "Venetian"

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)!