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 Where shall we dine in Vegas???

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GinaMylano
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PostSubject: Where shall we dine in Vegas???   Fri Feb 12, 2010 9:29 pm

Hey Y'all,

I did some snoopin' around this morning and have come up with a few places that look like they might be pretty good for our Friday Nite group dinner.

One place that is very intriguing is called Maggiano's Little italy. It gets lots of good reviews for both food and price and is very into the whole banquet/group thing. They seem to encourage large groups, and you can get a full 3 course meal w/ salad & sides for around forty bux. They have a very nice sounding Banquet Patio, as well as a few other rooms, just off of their bar area, so we'd get plenty of "showin' off" time in (sort of like Chang's) as well as an elegant place where we can all dine as a "family". They serve things "family style" which for you non italians in the house basically means that they bring out huge dishes of food and everyone just puts what they want on their plate. Just like a big family dinner.

Here is a review of Maggiano's...

"There is a lot to like about this handsome restaurant on the second level of the Fashion Show mall, including dazzling views of Strip resorts. Maggiano’s decor features dark woods, crystal chandeliers and walls adorned with framed New Yorker cartoons. Parties are seated in lavish banquet rooms and a 14-seat wine room. Loyal diners return for good-value, bountiful Southern Italian specialties such as jumbo lump crab cakes with mustard sauce; veal and mushroom ravioli; and chicken and spinach manicotti. One of our favorites is the rigatoni "D" tossed with herb roasted chicken in a creamy Marsala sauce. A 19-ounce veal chop with sausage, roasted potatoes and peppers is hearty, as are beef medallions accompanied by portobello mushrooms and garlic mashed potatoes. Family-style lunches and dinners feature three courses to be shared among the table. Desserts are tiramisu with chocolate cigarettes and Nonna's toasted pound cake with caramelized bananas, hot fudge sauce and vanilla bean ice cream. Serene background music---mostly Sinatra---plays during lunch, while a pianist entertains in the lounge during dinner."

Click here for Maggiano's Yelp Page

I like the idea of having a nice view, and how perfect is a place that's in the FASHION SHOW MALL for a WildSider (we are all about the fashion!) The downside is that they have a banquet menu with like 15 different selections per course, but we can only choose two items from each course. So I'm worried that someone might not get something they really wanted. And Tricia brought up a great point that if we are going to go dance our asses off at Piranha afterwards, who wants to be full of pasta and yummy goodness. So I'm toying with the idea (if we decide on Maggiano's) to swap Mondays dinner with Fridays, so we'd do Maggiano's as our big welcome to VWS feast and the lil bit lighter fare of Chang's on Friday before hitting Piranha.

**Again, all these are just suggestions at this point and your input is most valued.**

Another place on my radar is called the Studio Cafe and that's in MGM. It's billed as an "American" restaurant with a VERY extensive menu and decent prices. I couldn't find a menu with actual price listings, but everything I've read suggests that a meal would run in the twenty-five to fifty buck range.

Here is a review of The Studio Cafe...

"Amidst the sleeplessness and constant action of Las Vegas, a 24-hour restaurant can become a necessity. Luckily, nighthawks and day trippers alike need look no further than Studio Cafe in the MGM Grand, featuring Executive Chef Timothy Radigan’s sophisticated twists on classic American diner cuisine in gargantuan portions at all hours of the day or night. Whether seeking a hearty breakfast, a satisfying midday family meal, or fuel for the night, Studio Cafe is sure to satisfy a multitude of cravings and conquer any size appetite.

Studio Cafe’s decor balances the casual accessibility of a favorite neighborhood diner with Art Deco elegance suggestive of the golden era of Hollywood. Expansive circular booths, wood accents and artsy ad prints establish a comfortably stylish ambiance for diners and infuse the space with MGM-worthy class.

A typical meal at Studio Cafe is anything but typical with gargantuan portions, staggering salads, and surprising gourmet touches astounding and confounding expectations. While this may not be a run of the mill diner, it still manages to bring the same comfort, value, and familiarity of this American culinary classic."



Click here for The Studio Cafe Yelp Page

The downside to this place is that it's basically a walk in kind of place (reservations not required) and I'm not sure how equipped they'd be to handle a large group. It is also billed as a "casual, upscale diner/cafe" and I'm not sure that is really what is befitting the WildSide! But then again, this is a place we could do our Monday night welcome feast, and since Studio 54 is in the same place, we wouldn't have far to travel from restaurant to club. (and no cabs involved cause MGM is right across the street from The Trop!)

A third option is a place in New York, New York called Il Fornaio. They also do banquets, (at about forty bux per person) but I'm not sure it's family style. They would seat us in the main dining room, and as Nikki, Franky, Lola and Wendi can attest, the food is very good. Again they have 3 set menus that we would have to choose from beforehand, so my same concerns about Maggiano's goes for Il Fornaio.

Here is a review of Il Fornaio...

"Everything about the Strip requires some suspension of disbelief. Dining inside New York-New York's Il Fornaio is no different. A slice of Little Italy it's not. In fact, the Italian restaurant is one in a successful California-based chain. But close your eyes and bite into one of its bakery-fresh breads (the olive's a favorite) dipped in virgin olive oil imported from Italy, and you'll believe you really did just stroll through Central Park to get there. This cheerful, spacious 250-seat restaurant, with its high ceilings, white marble and blonde wood, turns out savory Northern Italian cuisine in its gleaming open kitchen where copper pots and pans, and wicker baskets hang from the beams. The eight-seat counter affords diners a close-up view of the chefs at work. An attractive bar spans one wall in the lounge; the patio overlooks a landscaped stream bordering the resort’s Central Park casino.

The antipasto della casa for two or more offers a great sampling of the specialties---bruschetta pomodoro, goat cheese rolled in smoked salmon, insalata caprese, prosciutto with Tuscan melon, pancetta-wrapped scallops, eggplant salad and olives. Entrées include good pizzas, pastas (farfalle al salmone, lasagna ferrarese and ravioli di verdura), mesquite-grilled fish and rotisserie-roasted meats and poultry. We like the conchiglie al pollo---shell pasta with chicken breast, broccoli, sun-dried tomatoes, roasted garlic, Trebbiano wine and pecorino cheese. Mesquite-grilled lamb rack with fresh thyme and garlic sauce is served with fingerling potatoes and sauteed vegetables; bistecca alla Fiorentina---a grilled 22-ounce porterhouse---comes with cannelloni beans and sauteed organic spinach. Tiramisu and chocolate mousse with fresh raspberries and sponge cake soaked with triple sec served with orange creme anglaise are among sweet temptations."


Click here for Il Fornaio's Yelp Page

The downside of this place is that it's in the New York, New York casino, and it is one of the notoriously douchey places in Vegas when it comes to "unfriendly's". Just the four of us got A LOT of sideways looks and weird vibes there last year, so I'm wondering what would happen when a giant draggle of WildSiders storm the place.

I'm still searching, but these are three places that caught my eye. As I said before, your input is MOST VALUED, so if you have a place you think would work for a group of 30-50 hot trannies, PLEASE let me know!

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wendiwoman



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PostSubject: Re: Where shall we dine in Vegas???   Wed Feb 17, 2010 6:05 am

Hi Gina,

I've been to Maggiano's in San Jose a few times, and my opinion afterward has always been the same... huge amounts of mediocre food. Or to put it another way... it's not really "all you can eat", but more like "all you can stand."

Just my 2 cents...

All the best...
Wendi
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GinaMylano
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PostSubject: Re: Where shall we dine in Vegas???   Wed Feb 17, 2010 10:15 pm

Thanx for the feedback Wendi!! It's duly noted! Although I have to say that I've been hearing more positive things than negatives about Maggiano's.

Divinyl came up with another place to throw into the mix that I'm kinda groovin' on. It's called The Grand Lux Cafe . It's basically a classed up Cheesecake Factory. It's located inside the Venetian, so you know it will be swanky and as Divinyl put it..."Still one of the most beautiful and classy properties on the strip in My opinion and it now joins with Palazzo. Both of these are a cameraly wench's wet dream as far as photo ops." I like the fact that they have a huge menu to choose from, so that gives everyone an option, and the prices seem to be pretty reasonable ($15-25 per entree), so it's definitely going on the short list of places I may book for a group dinner!

Here is what Zagats has to say about The Grand Lux Cafe...
The folks behind the Cheesecake Factory "take the coffee shop concept to the next level" with this cavernous 24/7 chain outpost in the Venetian that satisfies any craving with gigantic portions of Eclectic fare including carb-loaded breakfasts that hit the hangover spot, tasty appetizers and a staggering array of desserts; prices are decent for Vegas, and though long waits are par for the course, guests are grateful that it takes longer to make up your mind than it does to get your order.

Here is the Grand Lux Cafe Yelp Page

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