Hot (& Not) Spots

Olives at The Bellagio Offers Sophisticated “Mediterranean Contemporary” Menu

Saturday, December 6th, 2008
Chef Todd English's "Olives" at The Bellagio is a good bet for lunch.

Chef Todd English's "Olives" at The Bellagio is a great bet for lunch.

Don’t be fooled by the location or first impression of Olives at The Bellagio, Las Vegas.  It’s open to the walkway through the tony shopping arcade and at first glance appears trendy-casual. And while it is marketed as one of the resort’s casual eateries, Olives at The Bellagio is actually a paragon of culinary consistency and excellence.

Once inside, it’s also pretty nifty looking with rich, dark hues, luxurious furnishings and over-sized arched windows leading out to a lovely patio overlooking the fountain.

The briskly professional staff sweeps to the table with water, menus and the most seductive bread service ever. An artisinal assortment is accompanied by both mellow, satiny black and green olive tapenades and glistening, giant whole olives. Warning — don’t overdo — the dishes that follow are equally spectacular.  (more…)

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Bouchon at The Venetian Beguiles with Perfect Bistro Cuisine

Friday, November 14th, 2008
Bouchon Las Vegas

Bouchon Las Vegas at The Venetian serves French bistro favorites with quality and precision.

Our favorite restaurant reviewer visits Bouchon at The Venetian —

Bouchon is an odd but worthy bird. Perched far away from the hubbub of The Venetian’s casino and shops, this brain-child of chef Thomas Keller is a shining example of “The Disneyland Effect”. That phenomenon is the re-working of a familiar entity, like New Orleans’s French Quarter, which ends up far grander, glossier and more polished than the real thing ever was.

In this case, the restaurant designer has taken the notion of a Parisian bistro and blown it up into an idealized, sanitized, over-sized and utterly beguiling stage set. Minus the nicotine stained walls and crusty old waiters, Bouchon is all the right stuff writ large — (more…)

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Top-Notch Ingredients Make BLT Burger Las Vegas a Sure Bet

Friday, October 31st, 2008

The Mirage's juicy entry into The Strip's upscale burger joints - BLT Burger - wins praise from our reviewer.

This is the first in our series of restaurant reviews where we’ll tell you if a place — new or old, glam or down-home — is worth your cash.  We’re so lucky here at RoyallyFlushed to have highly-experienced, well-respected guest writers who contribute terrific articles like this one.  C.C.

On the Strip, even fast food is flashy. Witness BLT Burger at The Mirage. Its part of Chef Laurent Tourondel’s high-profile restaurant group and if that long, shallow space feels familiar, well, it used to be the resort’s white tiger habitat.

Open to a busy corridor and with an ever-present wait line outside peering in, diners can feel much like the tigers must have. The darkish interior, dominated by a huge black and white photomural of the barren Nevada desert, is eerily cave-like. Customers with less than 20/20 vision must scamper outside to read the menu. No need to hurry back, though, while service is chipper, its tortoise slow.

Once things get going, it’s happy-time. This is rightfully uncomplicated food, but the ingredients are top-notch and everything is meticulously prepared.  For a purist delight, it’s hard to beat the American Kobe burger. Not cheap at $22, but the intensely beefy taste and texture coupled with a good bun makes it worth every penny. A Mediterranean-spiced lamb burger with puckery yogurt sauce is a fun walk on the wild side and the rare tuna burger is, well, so meaty you might just consider going for the less expensive regular burger.

If you’re not a carnivore, that’s okay, decent salads are available or, you could fill up on super-appealing sides like the addictive fried pickle slices, crispy sweet potato fries and sturdily-crusted onion rings.

Or, just skip straight to some of the most stupendous ice cream shakes ever shakerized. Granted, there are weird options. If you want such a thing, there is a “Twinkie Boy” for instance (don’t ask). But the chocolate is true flavored and the strawberry tastes like real right-out-of-the-patch strawberries rather than artificial flavoring. Better still, there are alcohol-fortified options (plus a full and inventive cocktail list).

BLT Burger doesn’t have quite the retro-cool vibe that Burger Bar at Mandalay Bay does, but it’s a great option for soaking up last night’s hangover or getting a good start on tomorrow’s.
BLT Burger (Mirage) on Urbanspoon

Location:  The Mirage

Hours:  Sunday, Tuesday, & Wednesday:11:00 a.m. – 2:00 a.m.
              Monday, Thursday – Saturday:11:00 a.m. – 4:00 a.m.

Dress:  Casual

Info:  702.792.7888


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