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Eating My Way Through Aria... Suggestions?

Discussion in 'Restaurants & Buffets' started by thecarve, Sep 13, 2015.

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  1. thecarve

    thecarve Misanthrope

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    Like many VMBers lately, I've been the beneficiary of some Aria marketing largesse in the form of an offer for a Sky Suites stay with RFB and additional resort credit. :drunk: As I will be solo, it will actually take some work to take full advantage of the freebies. But I know VMB can help me expand my waistline to the fullest extent.

    I'm a Midwesterner at heart, so Jean Georges is a given for one dinner. I'm also a fan of Sage, so that's on the docket as well. I'm sure I will grab a pie at 550 at some point too. And while I was somewhat unimpressed with Serrano the only time I tried it, I'm sure I'll stop in for an afternoon snack during the course of my stay (perhaps JS fans could recommend their favorite dishes).

    What else do I need to eat? BARDOT is right in my wheelhouse. Should I do brunch there or dinner...or skip it altogether? How about Blossom? Bar Masa? Javier's? How about the buffet? What else?

    I've got four days worth of meals to cover and more comps/resort credit/EC's than I have room in my belly. So help me out, please. Breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, late night snacks...I'm all ears (or eyes, I suppose :rolleyes2:)!
     
  2. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Low-Roller

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    I'd stock my room with pastries from the patisserie and get some high end sushi at Bar Masa.
     
  3. alexanbo

    alexanbo High-Roller

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    If you need to burn through comps, Bar Masa has some of the best sushi I've had, though it's ridiculously overpriced.

    I'm looking forward to trying Carbone that should be open by the time you get there.

    I prefer Julian Serrano to Jaleo at this point, this last trip I was pretty drunk and had some good drunken snacks, the Fried Gamba, Jambon Croquettes and then the Black Rice is good. I had the Rabo de Toro at Christmas and that was great.

    For lunch I enjoy Lemongrass for something quick. I'm not a huge fan of Blossom, though I haven't been there since opening night.
     
  4. gpburdell

    gpburdell Tourist

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    We eat at Javiers and Lemongrass every time we stay at Aria. Jean Georges and Julian Serano are good too. I can't comment on Bar Masa, but I have read reviews that it might not be as good as it used too. I'm planning to try Bardot for brunch in a couple weeks. 550 is good for pizza as well.
     
  5. rscpa

    rscpa Low-Roller

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    Lemongrass, go on weekend for din sum, also be sure to get mango sticky rice for dessert.
     
  6. schmalen1

    schmalen1 Low-Roller

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    My to go restaurants at Aria are Jean Georges (wagyu ribeye tomahawk is a must - not on the menu), Lemongrass (curries and satee as starter), Blossom (peking duck!) and Tetsu (you can also get all sushi from barMasa there, but I'm not into sushi).
     
  7. kboltwkreations

    kboltwkreations Low-Roller

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    Javiers is great! Magaritas are excellent and not sweet at all, which is why I dont usually like margaritas.
    Favorite dishes at Serrano are spanish chicken croquetas, queso fresco, rabo de toro, spicy bomba, and the scallops are amazing but 1 per plate.
    Im not a fan of JG, but their oysters are on point.
    550 is always solid for a snack, and the cafe is decent if you need a quick bite.
    We also like the pub in between crystals and aria, but more for the atmosphere than the food.
     
  8. UKFanatic

    UKFanatic The Arbiter of Taste Caviar Kid

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    I like so many of the places the OP mentioned that it is easier to say what I would skip: the buffet (just not worth it; Bellagio next door is better, plus, when deciding between a buffet and the great restaurants the OP listed, pick the restaurant), Javiers (can't believe I am saying that, because it is good, just not nearly as good as the other restaurants listed), Blossom (just not that special to me)
     
  9. shokhead

    shokhead I'm no big spender!

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    Loved Lemongrass.
     
    Here we go again!
  10. thecarve

    thecarve Misanthrope

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    Thanks for the all the great suggestions, gang.

    I like the way you think, Mrs. K! I do love me some pastries. I'll make sure the room gets stocked. :thumbsup:

    In a somewhat related topic and since I'll probably have resort credits to burn...how's Alibi? Decent cocktails? Okay place to relax and people watch? Or...not so much?
     
  11. Bubbavegas

    Bubbavegas VIP Whale

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    Bardot no question, Serrano fav dishes, Bomba, Black Rice and Lobster Fideau.
     
    Cosmo Christmas
  12. TRN

    TRN High-Roller

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    Was going to say this. Great soup there too.
     
  13. thecarve

    thecarve Misanthrope

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    So, the new joints...Carbone and Herringbone - do we know anything about the opening dates other than the "Fall '15" and "Late '15" listed on the website?
     
  14. Bond

    Bond Tourist

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    Vegas.eater was reporting roughly October for Carbone and November for Herringbone. Not sure how firm those dates are.
     
  15. 44inarow

    44inarow VIP Whale

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    I was actually about to ask if anyone had been there recently and heard any updates on Carbone. I noticed that on the main Aria restaurants page, when you mouseover Carbone they've added the hours, where I believe it was either blank (like with Herringbone) or just said "Fall 2015". I also noticed that there are only a couple open listings for Carbone, which makes me think that either they've finished staffing (and thus getting close), or haven't started yet (and thus pretty far away, which would surprise me).
     
  16. mattcloss

    mattcloss Tourist

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    Regular visitor to Aria, but havent been since they opened the Pressed Juicery. Any reviews of this place? Also wondering if I can charge to the room there...and more importantly if I can use my $50 daily food credit there...I know in the past they have had some exceptions...
     
  17. thecarve

    thecarve Misanthrope

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    Thanks for the info, guys. :thumbsup: Might have to give Carbone a go if it's open when I'm there late Oct/early Nov.

    Someone had something about the juice joint in a recent TR. UKFanatic maybe? If no one chimes in, check out some Aria TRs from the past few months.
     
  18. UKFanatic

    UKFanatic The Arbiter of Taste Caviar Kid

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    That was me, from my August TR. But I don't have much to report. I tried some samples that were good. But I went on the "soft" opening day before they were fully set up and could not bill to my room (and I had no cash on me). But I believe they are fully open now (the official opening was the day before I left) and they should now be equipped for room charges
     
  19. undathesea

    undathesea Grandissimo

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    I had a few juices there during my recent stay. I didn't try to room charge it since it was cheap.

    The prices were $7.50/juice or 3 for $20.

    It's funny, I asked the old lady if she wanted a green juice and she told me something "orange." To me (I used to juice regularly) that means carrot juice.

    Of course, she was thinking of mango or orange juice. :)
     
  20. thecarve

    thecarve Misanthrope

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    I Ate My Way Though Aria

    I figure I owe it to those who helped me out on this thread to give a culinary post mortem. I arrived at Aria last Friday afternoon/evening and proceeded to eat on site for every meal over the next 3.5 days.

    Jean Georges Steakhouse
    This was my biggest (food) disappointment of the trip. I’m a red blooded, Midwestern, meat-and-potatoes kinda guy. So a steakhouse is always on the docket of my Vegas trips. And I had read some great reviews of this place. Unfortunately, the third string must have been on the field the night I ate there. The service was terrible (okay, so I ate at the bar, but I’m grading on a very generous curve because of that fact), the steak - Rangers Valley Australian Dry Aged NY Strip, rare - was tough as leather and under seasoned and the wedge salad and truffle mac and cheese were damn near tasteless. The only things that salvaged the meal were a good cabernet (though, of course, I can’t remember which one I had) and a great martini before the meal. Actually, a few of the sauces that are served with the steak were quite good – the habanero one was good and the soy-miso butter was crazy good. 2/5

    Aria Café
    Saturday morning I went downstairs hoping to get brunch at Bardot Brasserie. Unfortunately, they were booked solid from the time I first inquired until they closed the brunch service. And the bar was completely full each of the three times I checked. Eventually, I just needed some food, so I went to Aria Café. I didn’t really get too adventurous – it’s a coffee shop after all – tomato basil soup and a club sandwich. Both were adequate. Neither was memorable. The crackers served with the soup almost certainly predated the first Bush administration. 2/5

    Sage
    Finally, things started getting better for dinner at Sage the second night. I started with a cocktail of the bartender’s choosing. It was a somewhat bitter whiskey drink that reminded me a bit of a Sazerac but not exactly – I can’t remember what he called it but it was good. My meal was the grilled Spanish Octopus, the smoked duck and Brussels Sprouts salad and the short rib. I also had a pear cider with the salad and a blueberry stout with the short rib. Everything was excellent, including the beer pairings. The octopus stole the show though. I wish I could have had an entrée sized portion of that. 4.5/5

    In-Room Dining
    Sunday morning found me sitting in bed with the Cincy-Pittsburgh game on the TV, the Martinsville NASCAR race on the ipad (thank you Matt Kenseth for helping my Jeff Gordon bet pay off!) and some room service breakfast. I had the American Breakfast, or something to that effect: two eggs (over easy), sausage, hash browns, English Muffin, grapefruit juice and coffee. I added a single pancake as well. Most everything was fine but far from exceptional. Except for the flapjack. Wow! Without question the best room service pancake I’ve ever had. 3/5 (5/5 for the pancake!)

    Julian Serrano
    I’ve had Serrano once before and was completely unimpressed. Based on all the great reviews I’ve read, I wondered whether everyone had just bought into the hype or perhaps I had ordered badly. Based on this trip, the latter definitely seems more likely. This time around I had the Iberico Croquetas, the yellowtail tiradito and the braised oxtail. All three were very good. But the oxtail was a bit sweet. I also had some spicy cocktail made with tequila (“Serrano” something-or-other, I believe it was called) and the white sangria. Both were tasty. I ate from the “bar menu”, which is served until 5:30, I believe, and it was a downright steal – everything on that menu is about 50-70% of the regular menu price. 4/5

    Bardot Brasserie
    I arrived here fairly late Sunday night wanting to try the roast chicken. Unfortunately, the last order had just been spoken for so I went with the pork chop. I was a little bummed that my first choice wasn’t available. But the wonderful oysters and frisée with lardons salad definitely helped to ease my pain. And shortly after the pork chop arrived, I was thrilled that the chicken had been 86’d. Best pork chop I’ve had in a while. I also had a cocktail (Le Detroit) and a glass of wine…but it was late and I can’t remember the wine now.
    I enjoyed Bardot enough that I returned the next night for my last meal in Vegas (other than the airport breakfast the following morning). I got the endive and blue cheese salad, the roast chicken and the truffle frites. Again, everything was fantastic. This joint will be a regular part of the rotation going forward. 5/5

    Aria Buffet
    I’m not really a buffet guy. The only ones I’ve had prior to this were Imperial Palace (not nearly as bad as I expected…but bad), Flamingo (even worse than expected), Paris (much worse than I expected) and Wynn (decent, but still not as good as expected). But I couldn’t decide what I wanted for lunch that day so I figured the buffet would at least give me plenty of options. And I must say, I was pleasantly surprised.
    The Chinese selection was pretty good as were the Italian meats/cheeses and the fish and chips. And the desserts were excellent – the carrot cake and ice creams stealing the show. The sushi and the rest of the Italian section bordered on inedible though. I didn’t try any of the roasted meats. As I mentioned, I’m not really a buffet guy. So, my opinion probably shouldn’t hold much water with folks who do like buffets…but I thought it was every bit as good as Wynn’s buffet. 3/5

    Jean Philippe
    A few times during the trip, I stopped into Jean Philippe for some gelato or to stock the room with pastries. The gelato was mediocre but the pastries were quite good. Nothing to go out of your way for, but if you’re staying at Aria and have a sweet tooth, you should grab a snack or two. 3.5/5
     
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