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Las Vegas Dining Values — Top Chefs for Less

Creative sandwiches are on the menu at 'wichcraft, MGM Grand Las Vegas.

Creative gourmet sandwiches from "Top Chef" Tom Colicchio are on the menu at 'wichcraft at MGM Grand, Las Vegas.

Eating well in Las Vegas isn’t hard but eating well on a budget in Las Vegas?  That’s a little more tricky.

Let’s face it — we’re all watching our pennies and nickels and dimes (and, if we have any, dollars) these days and even if we are off on vacation, we still want the most bang for our buck — especially when it comes to dining. Did you know you can experience the cuisine of several of the best chefs in Las Vegas (actually in the country!) but for a lot less money? Sure, you can spend the big bucks at their “signature” restaurants, or, for a fraction of the cost, you can eat very well at their more casual Las Vegas eateries.

Here’s a sampling of some of the best Las Vegas restaurant values:

Stratta at Wynn Las Vegas – Alex Stratta of the ultra-expensive but totally worth it, AAA Five Diamond Mobil Five Stars-winning “Alex” at Wynn Las Vegas has a much less costly trattoria-style restaurant, “Stratta,” featuring thin and crispy pizzas, homemade pastas and simple grilled items. On a recent trip, I sat at the bar and before long was joined by another single diner, Donna, and we proceeded to share a fabulous whole-leaf Caesar salad and a spicy Bianca pizza with arugula, spinach, ricotta and prosciutto while trading Las Vegas stories. The meal was excellent and throughly lived up to Alex’s attention to detail and authenticity but at a much more palatable price.

‘wichCraft at MGM Grand – Tom Colicchio, the straight-shooting “Top Chef” judge, offers creative sandwiches and grilled paninis, salads and homey desserts just a stone’s throw from his popular CraftSteak restaurant. These aren’t cheap eats but the fillings like meatloaf with cheddar and bacon or the Sicilian tuna with fennel, black olives and a lemony dressing are first-class. Also, don’t miss the dinner-plate sized Whoopie Pie – two soft chocolate cake rounds stuffed with vanilla custard. It’s easily enough for two people.  Breakfast-style sandwiches such as steak and oyster mushrooms or egg, bacon and bleu cheese are also available all day.

Now Take 70% Off with every order of $25 Gift Certificates at restaurant.com. Use code FEAST and pay just $3 for $25 in dining dollars thru 4/20/09.

Tomorrow – Three more suggestions in the “Top Chefs for Less” category.

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