January 5, 2010

So many choices, so little time

I'm talking food. Sweet delicious glorious food. We ate really well in 2009, here at home, and on vacation. I intend for that to continue this year. There are many more restaurants I want to try despite making a good dent last year. We tried a number of places, some new, and others were simply new to us:

Fleur De Lys, Aureole, Tender, DJT, Circo, Andre’s, Yellowtail, Rao’s, Simon, Switch, Aquaknox, Rosemary’s, Shibuya, Morels, Mantra Masala, Raku, Three Angry Wives, Yard House, Cadillac Ranch, Firefly, John Cutter, The Griddle, Siena Bistro, Casa Don Juan, Khoury’s Mediterranean, Bonjour Bakery, Cheeburger Cheeburger, Silverado Steakhouse, Seasons and Studio B Buffets.

We also returned to our favorites:

Amore, Fat Greek, Siena Deli, Archi’s Thai, Original Pancake House, Maple Tree, Cracked Egg, Omelet House, Hash House a Go Go, BJ’s Brewhouse, Gordon Biersch, Fuddruckers, Prime Rib Loft, Grand Lux, Stack, Stratta Seablue, Fiamma and Nobhill.

Last year, I made a note to myself regarding a top restaurant listing made by Eating Las Vegas. We have crossed a number off the list, but there are still plenty more to try. Those in bold are places we've dined. See what I mean?

The Best of the Best – when price is no object:
1) Joel Robuchon
2) Guy Savoy
3) Restaurant Charlie
4) Michael Mina
5) Picasso
7) Le Cirque
8) RM Seafood
9) Bartolotta Ristorante di Mare
10) Valentino
11) Spago
12) CUT Steakhouse
13) Bradley Ogden
14) Shibuya
15) Wing Lei
16) Nobu

Great eats at (sometimes slightly, sometimes greatly) lower prices:
Lotus of Siam
L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon
Daniel Boulud Brasserie
Fleur de Lys
Cafe at Spago
Cafe at RM Seafood
NobHill Tavern
Shanghai Lilly

Border Grill
Cafe Giorgio

Payard Bistro and Patisserie
Enoteca San Marco
Mon Ami Gabi

Mesa Grill
Emeril’s Fish House
B & B Ristorante

Top Local/Off-Strip Restaurants:
Lotus of Siam
Vintner Grill

Todd’s Unique Dining
Sen of Japan
Nora’s Wine Bar
Marche Bacchus
Mimmo Ferraro’s
The Fat Greek

Best Beef Eatin’:
SW Steakhouse

Country Club Grill
Charlie Palmer Steak
Strip House

Capital Grille
Smith and Wollensky

Good and cheap and mostly Asian:
Dong Ting Spring
Yunnan Garden
China MaMa
Emperor’s Garden Szechuan
Nhu Lan
Hue Thai’s Famous French Sandwiches (That are neither Thai nor French, nor all that famous)
Pho Saigon #8
Tofu Hut
Mother’s Korean Grill
Los Molcajetes
El Sombrero
Los Tacos
Samosa Factory
India Oven
Kan’s Hong Kong Kitchen
Korean Garden Barbecue
Ping Pang Pong
Noodle Palace
Capital Seafood
Penang Malaysian

Not unless they pry my knife and fork from my cold, dead fingers (A short list of the most overrated places in town):
Andre’s at Monte Carlo

From that list, I have to disagree with Andre's being overrated. We really enjoyed it and have been talking of a return visit very soon. Instead, I think Rosemary's, Craftsteak or Carnevino could earn that honor. Talk about some disappointing meals. Oh well, those just make you appreciate the good ones that much more.

Here's to another year of great eats, cheers!


Dave P. said...

Wow! Those are great lists. Definite benefit of living in Las Vegas - time to visit many of these places. It would take me a lot of trips out to even make a dent.

Can't help you with any that you haven't already tried. Smith & Wolensky is the only one I've been to, but that was in NYC. That belongs on the somewhat overrated list.

And thanks for the tip on Google Reader. I hadn't tried that before. Nice site!

Kellee said...

As a visitor it would be incredibly tough to make a dent in the Vegas dining scene.

That's one of the reasons I enjoy sharing our experiences. I always hope to help someone narrow down their options by giving an idea of what can be expected.

We get out quite a bit, but it is an endless battle. New places are always coming onboard, and old ones keep us coming back. At least, Restaurant Week helps us knock out a bunch. Can I just say I'm already looking forward to September.

I've heard that before about Smith & Wolensky. So, it hasn't been high on my list to try. I thought Ruth's Chris and Capital Grille were both overrated and it seems like S & W is similar.

Hurricane Mikey said...

I agree with you about Andre's at Monte Carlo. I really enjoyed it. But I disagree with you about Craftsteak--that was one of the better meals I had in the past five years. But then again, we did the whole Kobe tasting menue with the 'premium wine experience', so that was a little different than the regular offerings.

Of that list, the ones I really want to knock off are Bradley Ogden and Michael Mina.

Kellee said...

I wasn't thrilled with Craftsteak the first time, we sampled a couple steaks and sides. After so many praises, I gave it another shot with the seasonal tasting menu. It was better, but not even the complimentary wine pairing convinced me to love the place.

I imagine it is likely different when splurging for the best they offer.

Michael Mina and Le Cirque are at the top of my list. I'll pick one for my birthday.

I'm a big fan of Michael Mina. It wasn't until recently I've learned to really enjoy seafood. Now, I feel like I can appreciate his joint at Bellagio. I also drooled over his menu at American Fish inside Aria.