Vegas Trip Summary

As you know it was a trade show that brought me to Las Vegas on Saturday morning for a stay until Wednesday. The weekend was Greg and Gaby’s 15th anniversary, and perversely, they invited me and Austri to spend it with them.

We met up with them around 5pm Saturday for an early dinner at Daniel Boulud’s Brasserie at the Wynn. I’ll take credit for the pick — mostly because the menu looked good. Gaby and Greg were sceptical of the place because she isn’t a fan of anything French. I had reasonable expectations as did Austri. To sum it up, this was one of the best meals we’ve ever had. We all agree. In fact, it may be the second best meal I’ve ever eaten. The food portions were reasonable — not that art over edibility crap — and the flavours were distinct yet excitingly blended. The food was succulent, tender, moist, firm, and every other texture all at once. We all shared each other’s food (me skipping Gaby’s mussels as I don’t do shellfish) and they were all excellent beyond measure. The deserts were just as good. Although overpriced like most Las Vegas restaurants, we still came in at just under $100 per person with alcohol included. I cannot recommend this restaurant enough. On a scale of 1 to 10, it’s at least a 15 and possibly a 20. Go eat here. Really.

Next up was the Wayne Brady show at the Venetian. It was funny. Good but not great. As an “improv” variety show parts were good and parts weren’t. But when something fell flat, he didn’t let it go. I wouldn’t go back, but I didn’t hate it.

Sunday was walk-around day, leaving Greg and Gaby to their own devices. Austri went home today because she had work early Monday morning, so it was just the three of us for the 7pm Jersey Boys at the Palazzo. Gaby really wanted to see this but neither Greg nor I did. It’s the story, in case you don’t know, of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. Gaby enjoyed herself. Greg and I were pleasantly surprised. This was a GREAT play. And unlike most plays in Vegas, it wasn’t a shortened, dumbed-down version of the Broadway play: this was the whole enchilada. The music, was of course, fantastic. But the play, which Greg and I thought would be dull and un-interesting sprang to life. It was a fantastic show and I’d even see it again.

After that Gaby booked us at Table 10 the new Emeril Lagasse restaurant at the Palazzo. We went in with extraordinarily high hopes — after all his Delmonico’s at the Venetian remains the finest meal I have ever eaten in my life. What a let-down. The service was the best part of the meal. The food was okay, but not spectacular. The ambiance was all right, but the food lacked the certain je ne sais quoi that makes a great restaurant a legend. Almost as pricey as Boulud’s but not even half as good.

A word about the Palazzo while I’m on it. I’ve stayed at the Venetian twice before both as a paying customer and invited guest. Great hotel. The Palazzo is the sister property in the back and they’re connected. It was designed to be a second Venetian — same standards. The hotel is new, only a few months old.

Upon check in, I noticed the room was warm. I called maintenance who eventually came and fixed the AC, which was broken. He was unable to fix the burnt-out bulbs as he didn’t have any with him and promised he’d send someone up — indeed he called down while we were there. For two days nobody came to fix that burnt out bulb (my reading light over the bed, dammit). The clock was wrong when we checked in (about 5-1/4 hours off). Sounds simple enough. I was unable to figure it out. The alarm was easy enough, but not the time. I called down to ask how to fix it. They said you need a screwdriver to take it apart to set the time! Really! So, they had to send someone to fix it. Nobody showed up, so the aforementioned AC repair guy fixed it for us after he called for instructions because he couldn’t figure it out. That earned him a nice tip 🙂 Walking over to the blinds to look out at the view, I noticed a few moths flying around inside the sheer Roman curtain. Looking down, there were dead ones. Not that I care, but I was there from Saturday until Monday. They were never cleaned up. Further, and again I don’t care, but the buttons on the couch in the room were coming off. I picked one off the floor and left it on the table. Another was missing. For that amount of money, these problems are inexcusable especially in a new hotel. Oh, and video check-out doesn’t let you type in your fax and/or e-mail to get a copy of your receipt. You have to stand in line at the counter to get one defeating the purpose of video checkout. Never again.

Ah well. Monday was a boring day and I didn’t do much. Switched over to Planet Hollywood (formerly the Aladdin) which I am sad to report has a great casino but the rooms now suck. I won’t be back. Half the room was broken. That evening I had dinner with a friend from LA who flew up. Arrived at 4, we ate at Kokomo’s at around 6, and he left at 8. Turns out Greg’s evening plans were cancelled so I sat with him while he ate some stuff and then we gambled.

Tuesday was the fastener show. The show was a big waste. I was surprised as the show’s usually good. So much for that and I’ll skip boring you with the details. That evening we saw Louie Anderson at the Excalibur. Very funny but for $60 you think he’d go longer than 70+ minutes. We gambled more. I got up at 345am and flew home, arriving at 130pm followed by my luggage at 230pm. Then, trooper that I am, I went to work.

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