Author Neil Wolkodoff
Hot in Las Vegas is off the Strip!
In Las Vegas, all the strip properties have put in more restaurants, shopping, and entertainment. You have to walk through more things to get where you want to go, and rarely in a straight line. If you thought about Uber or a cab, think again. Las Vegas Blvd. is now so crowded that taking one of these during anything close to rush hour may take over an hour to just go five blocks.
WELL Spa Area at the Platinum.
So, consider staying off the strip, then commuting in when you want to see a show or restaurant. The Platinum Hotel & Spa is a boutique hotel, offering sophisticated comfort and convenience at just 1½ blocks off the strip. This casino-less hotel features unique suites which range from 950 to 2,200 sq. ft., their smallest suite is three times larger than the typical Las Vegas hotel room. The Platinum features a full-service concierge, complimentary valet, the indulgent WELL Spa, indoor and outdoor heated swimming pools open all year.
King Guest Room at the JW Marriott.
Northwest of the strip, The JW Marriott Las Vegas Resort & Spa is the ideal destination for golfers and those who want a little quieter LV experience, blending easy access to spectacular courses and still close to the strip. 15 minutes away from downtown in Summerlin, the “Scottsdale of Las Vegas,” the resort offers guests a multitude of shopping, nightlife, and outdoor recreation experiences. An elegant 50,000 square foot Vegas-style casino; 10 on-site dining options combine with the world-class Spa Aquae. The Shizen Japanese Restaurant is a gourmet alternative to the endless steak houses in Las Vegas.
What is Las Vegas without 3,970 dining options? At Giada’s in the Cromwell, the emphasis on comfortable seating with new takes on old Italian dishes. This is not classic Italian, but rather Giada’s creative take on dishes such as Branzini and a chocolate peanut butter torte in a setting like dining in her home.
If Sunday brunch is in the plans, the most creative approach is the Border Grill in the Mandalay Bay complex, was voted best small plate brunch in the Las Vegas area. The artisan selections, like the Serrano ham waffle, are made one at a time and delivered to your table. Like a buffet with someone else’s legs doing the work.
A little further south is Tommy Bahama, a welcome island relief from endless steak, burgers and pizza options. At the north end of the Town Center mall, you can cuddle up to island-inspired cuisine like a potent Mai Tai, coconut shrimp, and Hawaiian style miso cod.
View from the Eiffel Tower Restaurant.
If Paris is calling, then the Eiffel Tower restaurant inside the hotel of the same name is Chef Joho’s culinary baby. This is perfect French food with equal service. A must try for lunch is the Surf & Turf burger topped with crab legs and sweet potato gaufrettes, while for dinner opt for the Napoleon of Rabbit Loin. Most tables at the Eiffel Tower offer a great view of the strip.
Ensalada Mimmo at Ferraro’s.
Off the strip, Ferraro’s is THE standard for classic Italian cuisine in Las Vegas. Everything is made on the premises from mozzarella to pasta to sausage. This is old-school Italian done right with many items staying on the menu for over 30 years. Gino, the owner, notes that at many hotels “you are a number, here you are truly a guest.” From start to finish, everything is stellar. The simple Ensalada Mimmo, is a perfect blend of homemade mozzarella, avocado, red onion and tomato. Get your pasta on with the Papparadelle Mimmo, the chef’s special of long wide pasta with scallops, lobster, asparagus, butter, sage, and truffle. All the deserts are made in house, with a gold medal Pistachio Surprise Cake being the perfect finish.
Amy, Brewmaster at Big Dog’s.
Get local with Big Dog’s, a brewery and restaurant, about 19 minutes north of downtown. Their brews have won numerous awards, such as the GABF Bronze for their Triple Dog Dare. With Wisconsin roots, you can chomp down on some hearty dishes such as Pecan Crusted Walleye and made from scratch pizzas and sandwiches in a combined sports bar/restaurant setting.
Casa Fuente Bar Area.
Smoking is still allowed in casinos, and for the cigar lover, Casa Fuente is the premier cigar lounge on the strip. Open for over 11 years, this mix of bar, cigar lounge, outdoor-type smoking and humidor really pack it into a moderate space. If you are dropping someone off for shopping at the Forum Shops, and need to get your smoke on with a premium beverage, this is the place. Casa Fuente is home to Arturo Fuente brand cigars and sports two other exclusive cigar lines in the huge humidor. Regarding libations, this is the best spot in Las Vegas for mojitos, and CF boasts over 100 whiskeys on the spirits list.