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Score summer deals now at MGM resorts in Vegas

Monday, July 9th, 2012
Mandalay Bay Casino and Resort Las Vegas

Dine, dance, play on the beach — it’s all there when you book a special summer room rate at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas!

 

This has been one hot summer!  Instead of complaining, why not spend the time enjoying yourself at the cool pools of ARIA, the sumptuous restaurants of Mandalay Bay or the smoking blackjack tables and thrilling nightclubs of MGM Grand Las Vegas?  Las Vegas room rates plunge as the temperatures rise so now is the time to take advantage of all this fabulous vacation destination has to offer.

New this week:  (Click on the links for more information and to use the promo code!)

ARIA “Food & Beverage Credit – Limited Time Offer” *Reserve your luxurious two night stay at ARIA and receive Up to 20% off rates, and a $100 Food & Beverage Credit during your stay (*See site for additional details and restrictions). Promotion Runs: Jun 28, 2012 – Jan 31, 2013. Promo Code: ARFBLTOA (Exp 7/31/12)

MGM Grand “$75 Food & Beverage Credit” *Take advantage of this exclusive limited time offer – Book now (2nt Min) and get your $75 Dining Credit(*See site for additional details and restrictions). Promotion Runs: Jul 3, 2012 – Jan 31, 2013. Promo Code: ZFBC12 (Exp 7/31/12)

Mandalay Bay “Exclusive Offer” *MGM Resorts International would like to invite you to take advantage of an exclusive offer – Book now (2nt Min)and receive up to $75 Food & Beverage Credit (*See site for additional details). Promotion Runs: Jul 2, 2012 – Jan 31, 2013. Promo Code: ZFBC12 (Exp 7/31/12)

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FIRST it’s hard to find and FIRST it’s worth the effort

Thursday, January 27th, 2011
First Food Bar's cupid's arrow drink

Lindeman's and Guinness Stout combine to make the Cupid's Arrow at First Food & Bar, Las Vegas.

Have we told you how much we *heart* FIRST Food and Bar at The Palazzo?  No?  Then let us count the ways:

  1. FIRST feels like one of those secret out-of-the-way joints that only “insiders” know about.  Really.  To get there, you have to go to the second floor of the retail shopping area connecting the Venetian to the Palazzo; hang a right at Barney’s New York; and then make your way down the corridor to the barely-marked restaurant.  (We had a hard time just getting past the shoe display in Barneys’ windows.)
  2. It’s open late — ’til 1 a.m. during the week and even later on weekends.
  3. The front-of-the-house manager stops by — more than once — to check on your food, drinks, service, etc.  On our last visit, we felt like “regulars” by the end of the meal.
  4. The food:  big yummy portions of amped-up diner food.  Burgers to blackened steak, pasta to pizza: this is comfort food meant to help banish your hangover (or get you poised to work on a new one.)
  5. Brunch sandwich at First Food Bar Las Vegas.

    Hearty breakfast sammie with Tater Tots at First Food Bar at the Palazzo, Vegas.

    Sunday brunch (11 a.m. – 4 p.m.) — A traveling Bloody Mary bar complete with a cute mixologist ready to make it your way.  (Our way?  Extra Tabasco and black pepper plus enough green olives to mimic a salad bar.)  A $10 per person all-you-can-drink champagne deal.  This may not be Krug or Cristal but face it, there’s something abnormally fun and decadent about washing down your corned beef hash or chicken and waffles with a glass or two — or eight — of bubbly.  Try the Breakfast Mini-Burgers with cheese, bacon, Hollandaise sauce and a side of Tater Tots.

  6. The Cupid’s Arrow — Just like drinking an alcoholic dark chocolate truffle.  Take a bottle of Guinness Stout and a bottle of Lindeman’s Framboise Ale then pour them — simultaneously — into an iced schooner.  Drink.  Drink.  Burp.  Drink.
  7. Strip view.  Grab a spot near the windows and gaze out onto Treasure Island and, if the sun has set, the pirate battle show.

First (Palazzo) on Urbanspoon

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Chocolate creations delight at new Jean-Philippe Patisserie at Aria Las Vegas

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010
Chocolate bonsair tree at Jean Pilippe Las Vegas

A bonsai tree constructed from chocolate holds a beautiful cake creation from Jean Philippe Patisserie at Aria Las Vegas.

You know from past posts how much we love desserts and sweets and pastries (oh my!) so we were pretty excited to visit famed pastry chef Jean-Philippe Maury’s newest location.  His fabulous new shop is inside ARIA Resort & Casino at CityCenter.   Located in a prime casino-side spot, this new cafe/patisserie features all the yummy desserts we love from the Bellagio pastry shop as well as lots of gourmet sandwich, salad and beverage choices.  A huge gelato case tempts with a number of flavors both traditional and offbeat.  There is plenty of seating available and the cafeteria-style line moves quickly.

In addition to the cafe, the spot features a retail shop selling Jean-Philippe’s exquisite line of custom chocolates, chocolate sauces, handmade marshmallows plus many other goodies perfect to take home as gifts — or as a sweet reminder of your trip!

Not to miss: A number of Chef Maury’s amazing cake creations plus a dazzling array of chocolate flowers in a glass-enclosed display case are highlights of the cafe’s fun decor.

Stay at ARIA for less when you use this link and promo code! ARIA “7 Day Sale” Rates from $103.20/nt. *Receive 20% off our Room and Suite rates, on select dates (*See site for additional details and restrictions). Jul 6 – Sep 30, 2010. Promo Code: ARLO720 (Exp 7/12/10)

Chocolate flowers on display at Aria Las Vegas

Luscious daisies made from dark, milk and white chocolate at Jean-Philippe.

Pastry case at Jean-Philippe Las Vegas

Picture-perfect pastries at Jean-Philippe at ARIA Las Vegas.

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CityCenter Las Vegas and Strip Construction Update

Sunday, August 16th, 2009
The Crystals in Las Vegas will open its doors to shoppers on December 3.  (Photo/content property of www.RoyallyFlushed.com)

The Crystals in Las Vegas will open its doors to shoppers on December 3. (Photo/content property of www.RoyallyFlushed.com)

So much has happened since our January report on the happenings at MGM Mirage’s CityCenter Las Vegas that what we’ve decided to do is post our newest CityCenter photos and then give some highlights of the project along with a list of websites/articles you can go to for more info.

Aria Resort & Casino

Scheduled to open December 16, Aria is taking room reservations now at their new website. Click around the ARIA Home Page and you’ll find photos of the rooms, a section on some of the chefs and restaurants planned plus info on the new “Elvis” show at Aria which, to quote the website, comes from the “creative geniuses at Cirque du Soleil® (who) have created a new show exclusively for ARIA. The production pays tribute to Elvis’ music and life, fusing dance and acrobatics, live music and iconic tracks, nostalgia and modernity, high technology and raw emotion. In short, the show will be in Elvis’ image: powerful, sexy, whimsical and truly unique.

Mandarin Oriental Hotel Las Vegas

This 47-story non-gaming hotel features 227 residences plus 392 Adam D. Tihany-designed rooms and suites with contemporary decor and “subtle oriental touches.”  The 23rd-floor Sky Lobby is just one of the luxurious design elements guests will encounter when staying at the new hotel.  Check out the Mandarin Oriental Hotel website for artist’s renderings of the rooms, the soaring lobby and an exclusive online brochure.  Opening date is currently scheduled for December 4th and the hotel will begin taking reservations on August 17th. (more…)

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Masterful cooking stars at Keller’s Fleur de Lys at Mandalay Bay Las Vegas

Wednesday, August 5th, 2009

A dedicated wine room overlooks the main dining area at the contemporary French gem, Fleur de Lys at Mandalay Bay Las Vegas.  (All photos and content property of www.royallyflushed.com)

A dedicated wine room overlooks the main dining area at the contemporary French gem, Fleur de Lys at Mandalay Bay Las Vegas. (All photos and content property of www.royallyflushed.com)

In honor of this week’s episode of “Top Chef Masters” on Bravo TV, we give you our review of chef/competitor Hubert Keller’s splendid Fleur de Lys at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. (Warning: gushing ahead!)

This last trip to Las Vegas was memorable for a number of reasons not the least of which was not only did we enjoy a superb dinner at contemporary French restaurant, Fleur de Lys, but also because we had the unique opportunity to meet the chef. (We have been fans of Chef Hubert Keller’s food for years after having dined at his original San Francisco outpost several times over the years so meeting him was a real treat.)

But, more on that later: first, we’ll highlight the food and atmosphere of  Fleur De Lys at Mandalay Bay. (By the way, we used one of our fav dining discounts – a $25 certificate (our cost $5) from Restaurant.com toward our check. See details at the end of the post.)

The space: This is a romantic Las Vegas restaurant perfect for couples and it seems especially designed for those celebrating special occasions. In addition to the low-lighting, lush smoky velvet drapes, widely-spaced tables and hushed atmosphere, the compact space somehow fits in several private, curtained tables for the ultimate in cozy dining. Although compact in floor-space, the room is easily two or more stories high and features a second-floor wine room overlooking the main dining area. (The night of our visit, a private table for two was in use in the glass-fronted, candle-lit space so you may be able to book a table there in advance.)

The focal point of the room is a huge leaf-shaped wall sculpture made entirely of hundreds of fresh peachy-pink rosebuds. When we remarked on it, our server shared that a local floral company came in daily to replace any spent blossoms.

The food: For a chef who has been re-interpreting French classics for decades, Chef Keller’s dishes are as fresh and imaginative as they were twenty years ago. While looking over the inventive wine list – a menu of specialty cocktails is also available – the kitchen sent out an amuse bouche of a tiny bite of cod paired with a creamy smidge of warm potato salad and a spicy aioli sauce.

Tender monkfish, clams and mussels served atop flavorful barley is a winning entree.

Tender monkfish, clams and mussels served atop flavorful barley is a winning entree.

Having settled on a bottle of the Duckhorn Vineyards Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc ($75,) we indulged in the chewy pretzel bread while deciding on the night’s meal. We began the meal by splitting a light salad of organic greens and heirloom tomatoes in a perky herb vinaigrette.

For entrees, we chose the citrus-glazed monkfish ($43) with clams, mussels and chorizo sausage and the “gently heated” Alaskan King salmon filet ($39.) The generous monkfish plate was a riot of color, flavors and textures with the lobster-like sweetness and meatiness of the fish playing off the briny taste of petite mussels and clams and all set off by a risotto-like side of creamy barley festooned with bits of oven-roasted tomatoes, baby broccoli florets and a smoky dice of chorizo.

Though simpler in presentation and number of ingredients, the Alaskan King salmon filet was a master’s example of how to treat a scrumptious piece of fresh fish. Oven-roasted at just 200 degrees, the fish emerges from cooking with a silky, melt-in-your-mouth tenderness and clean, smooth flavor. The accompanying julienne of beets and surprisingly mellow apple rosemary puree and horseradish chive bouillon served to accent rather than overwhelm the pearly filets. We would most definitely order both dishes should they be on the menu on our next trip.

Even though both entrees were more than generous, we specifically went light on the first course so that we could indulge in something sweet post-entrees.  While chocolate and Grand Marnier soufflés are available (order early in the evening to ensure ample time for prep) and we saw several tables sharing the airy confections, we chose the appealing carrot cake ice cream sandwich ($12) and finished every bite. Luscious cream cheese-flavored ice cream was fitted between two slabs of moist carrot cake, the whole sprinkled with candied walnuts and served with a decadent scoop of pineapple coconut ice cream.

Fleur de Lys (Mandalay Bay) on Urbanspoon

The service:  Excellent service with attentive yet non-intrusive servers.

Back to meeting the chef: While we were sipping our wine and relaxing before the first course, out from behind the long velvet drapes that line the front of the restaurant, pops Chef Keller himself – sort of like a culinary Wizard of Oz.  It was so cool to see him in Las Vegas and according to our server, he visits Mandalay Bay for at least one week each month.  Table to table he went, greeting diners and making small talk. Once he reached our table we couldn’t help but ask about his “Top Chef Masters’” experience (he enjoyed it immensely) and compliment him on the many dinners we’ve enjoyed throughout the years at his restaurants.  (For a “foodie” like me, meeting Chef Keller is like coming face-to-face with a rock star you’ve listened to for years!)

More reviews at urbanspoon.

More info:  Save money while dining at some of the best spots in Las Vegas! Save 80% Off w/every $25 Gift Cert. order. Use code PORTION. Pay $2 thru 8/13/09 at Restaurant.com.

Mandalay Bay Resort is a fabulous place to stay while in Las Vegas (have you seen the extensive pool area and “beachside casino?”) plus you can’t beat the great online rates right now.  Check out  Special Online Promotions at Mandalay Bay Las Vegas

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“Taste of Wynn” offers special dining discounts this summer

Saturday, June 13th, 2009

Enjoy a special "Taste of Wynn" menu -- and price -- at Wazuzu at Encore this summer.

It’s not going out on much of a limb to say that the best Las Vegas restaurants — as a group — are found at Wynn Las Vegas and sister property Encore.  From the rarefied atmosphere of Alex at Wynn to the over-the-top “Muffy in Wonderland” decor of Society Café at Encore, Wynn restaurants are a “must-do” for any Vegas visitor.  So, when we heard about the “Taste of Wynn” dining promotion, we couldn’t wait to check out the menus, prices and all the details.

Here’s the deal:  Ten top restaurants are offering special signature menus this summer with prices starting at just $29 for pan-Asian stunner Wazuzu at Encore and ranging up to $95 for dinner at our absolute favorite Vegas restaurant, Alex.  Special times and days do apply and you have to mention the “Taste of Wynn” promotion when calling for reservations.

Currently on the menu at Alex, guests can choose from a starter of sea scallops or black truffle risotto; a main dish of beef tenderloin or Hawaiian onaga plus a choice of dessert with an agonizing decision between Vanilla Citrus Parfait with Toasted Marshmallow Creme or Crunchy Chocolate Caramel Bombe.  (Okay, I give up — just give me both!)

Another feature of the “Taste of Wynn” dining discount ties the special restaurant prices to a $25 discount on show tickets to Wynn resort’s aquatic spectacular, Le Rêve.

You can check out all the menus, prices, times and more on this fantastic Las Vegas dining deal at Wynn’s website.  Reservations for dining and/or show tickets can be made by calling (702) 770-DINE.  Be sure to mention “Taste of Wynn” to get the special pricing.

And for more great dining deals, don’t forget to check out 80% off of $25 Gift Certificates when you use code PRESENT. Pay just $2 thru 6/15/09 only at Restaurant.com.


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Payard Pâtisserie at Caesars Palace Showcases Chef’s Artistry

Monday, December 15th, 2008
The alluring pastry case at Payard Patisserie at Caesars Palace.

The alluring pastry case at Payard Patisserie at Caesars Palace.

Making a visit to Payard’s exquisite bakery at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas takes on Holy Grail-like overtones because this place is NOT easy to find.  My advice — save yourself a lot of time and shoe leather and just ask any hotel employee to point you in the right direction.  (It’s at the back of the resort near the Café Lago buffet.  Look for the caramel-toned lighting and chocolate-colored curlicues facing the walkway.)

Once you do find it, you’ll be presented with two options for dining – either the casual counter-service-only café or the adjacent tiny jewel box of a restaurant.  The timing may decide for you since the café is open from 6:30 a.m. until 3 p.m. while the bakery counter serves from 6:30 a.m. until 11 p.m.  Either way, you can rest assured that the fabulous pastries and desserts are on both menus.

And fabulous is not an overstatement when it comes to Monsieur Payard’s artistic pastries and sweets.  Winner of numerous “Best Pastry Chef” awards, Francois Payard proves his culinary mettle in every buttery croissant, velvety mousse and perfectly-constructed tart and gâteau on the menu.   Our favorites include the lush Maple Cheesecake with Blueberry Compote, the classic multi-layered Raspberry Napoleon and the sophisticated Vienne with its masterful blending of dark chocolate, orange and caramel. 

Dessert flavors extend to the decor at Payard with its caramel-toned lighting.

Dessert flavors extend to the decor at Payard with its caramel-toned lighting.

Since man cannot live by dessert alone (well, you could but probably shouldn’t) Payard Patisserie offers breakfast fare including omelets and quiches plus a lunch/light dinner menu of sandwiches and salads including a Tuna Nicoise salad that will remind you why this is one of France’s most beloved dishes.  For a heartier appetite, the Roast Beef Panini on authentic ciabatta with caramelized onions is robustly flavored while the accompanying house-made spicy potato chips are addictive. 

In addition to the café and bakery, there is a retail store stocked with boxes of luxurious handmade truffles and candies as well as Payard’s signature gift baskets to take home.

WhereCaesars Palace

Hours:  Breakfast: 6:30am to 11:30am
              Lunch: 11:30am to 3pm
Pastry Counter: 6:30am to 11:00pm
Retail Store: Tue-Fri 6:30am to 11:00pm
Retail Store: Sat-Mon 6:00am to 11:00pm

Reservations: Tel.  877-346-4642

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Best Places to People-Watch in Las Vegas

Friday, November 7th, 2008
Spago Las Vegas offers world-class people-watching opportunities.

Spago Las Vegas offers world-class people-watching opportunities.

If people-watching was ever named an Olympic sport, I would be the Michael Phelps of that competition.  Really.  No, seriously, I would take home all the gold medals every four years.  Just ask P.B. 

So what better place is there than Las Vegas to grab a drink and sit and watch a microcosm of the world pass by?  Hence, (I love that word – I think I was a lawyer in a past life!) I have compiled this list of Top Spots on The Strip for enjoying the “People Parade” in all its glorious diversity.

10.  Wolfgang Puck’s Spago at The Forum Shops at Caesars Palace.  Order a thin-crusted roasted mushroom pizza, a glass of red, sit back and enjoy.  Offers lots of passers-by as well as great views of shoppers trolling the goods at high-end spots like Christian Dior and Loro Piana.

9.  Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville near the Flamingo.  There’s a small outside stand-up balcony for watching the traffic — on foot and on wheels — go by while you sip, what else?, an ice-cold tequila concoction. (more…)

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Get Your “Dessert On” at Jean Philippe Patisserie at The Bellagio

Friday, October 17th, 2008

 

Exquisite pastries at Jean Philippe at The Bellagio.

Exquisite pastries at Jean Philippe at The Bellagio.

One of the best things about going on vacation is being “allowed” to suspend your diet for a few glorious days.  I can’t think of a better reason to do this than Jean Philippe Patisserie at The Bellagio.

If you’re like me – a desserts lover, sweets fanatic, pastry aficionado – then a visit to this shop will be an “OMG” moment for you.  Peer into the cases and try to choose just one dessert!  Should it be the fruit tarts sporting an array of seasonal gems or the nearby raspberry tarts with their pyramids of precariously perched ripe red specimens?  Even carrot cake – that most democratic of flavors – is redesigned in sexy orange fondant. 

Need more temptation?  There are chocolates and myriad other candies, cookies and croissants, Danish and brioche, gelato, made-to-order crepes, and several variations on chocolate-covered strawberries. (They also offer salads and sandwiches for those who think chocolate isn’t one of the four main food groups.)  And be sure to check out the intricate Willie Wonka-style fountain featuring an “only-in-Vegas” display of creamy milk, dark and white chocolate cascading over a variety of crystal shelves.

Jean Philippe's mesmerizing chocolate fountain.

Jean Philippe's mesmerizing chocolate fountain.

The shop is small so grab your goodies from the counter, exit the shop and take a right toward the back of the corridor.  There you can snag a table near the windows that look out over The Bellagio’s lush pool area.  It’s the perfect place to relax and enjoy a little people-watching while snacking on some truly outstanding sweets.

Location The Bellagio.  Go through the main reception/registration area of the hotel and take the hallway on the left, past the Conservatory & Botanical Gardens.  Jean Philippe will be on your right just across from the hotel’s gift shop.

Hours:  Monday to Thursday – 7 AM until 11 PM   Friday to Sunday – 7 AM until Midnight

The luscious Chocoban featuring - what else? - chocolate, caramelized banana and hazelnut.

The luscious Chocoban features chocolate, caramelized banana and hazelnut - perfect paired with a cappuccino.

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