Help with planning in Las Vegas appreciated

Nov 6th, 2006, 04:01 AM
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Help with planning in Las Vegas appreciated

It's been a long time since we've been to Vegas and we're going to celebrate a 70th birthday (can that possibly be true?) so we need some help.
We have our tickets and are staying downtown (our preference as we like to walk from place to place) at the Golden Nugget. What is the best way way to get there from the airport, taxi or one of the Airpot Shuttles?

We aren't non-stop gamblers and would like to have 3 shows. One night we want to go to the Phantom at the Venetian.. What's the best plan to get there? And while we are there, should we have a meal at the Venetian? I'm sure that would be a splurge. Any recommendation?

I've looked at the sites and can get a 2 for 1 for the "Rat Pack Returns" at the Greek Isles. We'd never even heard of that place! Anyone see it? Recommend? Dinner show?

How about other venue for another night? I can't find anything downtown (have I missed something?) so anywhere is fair game. Again, should we rent a car or take taxis?

We want a nice romantic (yes, there is still romance!) dinner one night - but have to watch the $$$. Downtown would be nice, so we could walk, but again I covet your recommendations.

Thanks for help.

Brahmama is offline  
Nov 6th, 2006, 06:43 AM
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Haven't been for a while, but Pasta Pirate downtown used to have a great Steak n Lobster special as well as good Italian specialties, shrimp scampi was excellent. It's a casual place, yet still romantic, I'd definitely give it a try. It's in the California Hotel. You can check out ratings for all the downtown restaurants on
tracys2cents is offline  
Nov 6th, 2006, 07:13 AM
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It sounds like you will be doing lots of travelling around town. If you don't mind driving yourselves around, you will save money by renting a car. You'll find free valet and self parking at all hotels.

Hugo's Cellar downtown at the Four Queens has been around forever and always gets great reviews for food and atmosphere. I have not been there personally. Maybe someone else can discuss? You can view their menu at

Be prepared to spend big bucks to eat at the Venetian. If you are on a budget, consider the Grand Luxe Cafe at the Venetian. It is owned/operated by the Cheesecake Factory. I have never been dissappointed by their food, and dinner can easily be had for less than $20 per person. Dress is casual, but the restaurant is spiffy looking.

The Greek Isles is an old hotel just east of the Stardust on Convention Center Drive. If you don't go with high expectations, you will probably get some amusement from the show. If there is a show-only option, you will probably be better off finding a spot for dinner on your own.
vegaslocal is offline  
Nov 6th, 2006, 07:45 AM
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I love Binions Steakhouse. Great view, great steaks. However,you do need to be a meat lover.

I almost advise against renting a car but I bow to vegaslocal's opinion if $$ saving is a criteria.

On out last trip, we saw the Fab Four (2for1 tickets) at the Aladdin and had a ball. I assume you remember Ed Sullivan and the early 60's British invasion ;-)

Might want to check out the Scinta's for reasonable variety show.
placeu2 is offline  
Nov 6th, 2006, 09:32 AM
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As for another show, I recommend Danny Gans. He is terrific and does quite a bit from the oldies of Las Vegas that the birthday person might really enjoy. Actually all ages will really enjoy him, I have seen him 4 or 5 times and will still go again. He does Sammy Davis Jr, Frank Sinatra, George Burns (to a tee), and of course many many others from all eras. If your party consists of 5 people or less I would taxi it everywhere. Most convenient as it picks up and drops off right at the front doors of each and every hotel/casino. Inside the Golden Nugget is a GREAT Italian restaurant (the name is slipping my mind) but the food is terrific and it comes complete with singing waiters and they actually can hold a tune, they are very, very good. If I remember the name of the restaurant I will post it for you.
vegasnative is offline  
Nov 6th, 2006, 09:36 AM
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Well, It appears that the Golden Nugget no longer has this Italian restaurant...too bad. It was SO good! Hugo's would be a great place to eat as mentioned or Binions Steakhouse.
vegasnative is offline  
Nov 6th, 2006, 09:54 AM
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Thank you, thank you, my mother thanks you, my father thanks you, the birthday person thanks you.....wait a minute - another generation!

But seriously, some great suggestions and I'm taking notes.

I've never been in the California, but I know where it is (across from the Main Street Station I think) and we'll check that out. Italian is good anytime. and thanks for the link, too.

I floated the car rental past my DH and it crashed and burned. He doesn't want to drive - so I guess that it's taxis for us.
The Grand Luxe at the Venetian sounds perfect for us. I'll google it and check out the times - should work right in with our show there.
I have heard of Hugo's at the Queens, it gets good reviews, but I've never known anyone who actually ate there! The roses are a nice touch....

We do like good meat; will check out Binion's. Is it still as good since the new owners?
Also the FabFour at the Aladdin sounds like fun. And we certainly remember the British Invasion. My mom and dad ALWAYS watched Ed Sullivan and I did by default!

Danny Gans sounds super great! Where is his show?
Sorry that the Italian restaurant (and with singing waiters too....) has folded. That would have been so handy.
Brahmama is offline  
Nov 6th, 2006, 10:10 AM
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Danny Gans is at the Mirage.

If you plan on eating at Grand Lux Cafe, make sure you get there in plenty of time to see your show. It is usually packed and they don't take reservations. There are a lot of other good restaurants in the Venetian - if you want to splurge, Delmonico Steakhouse is very good. There are also some very good restaurants in the Grand Canal Shoppes, including Postrio (a Wolfgang Puck restaurant) and Canaletto (Italian).
tom42 is offline  
Nov 6th, 2006, 11:20 AM
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My mother in law really liked the Pullman Grille at Main Street Station. I like the Triple 7 Brew Pub there, but I guess that's not very romatic, LOL.
trippinkpj is offline  
Nov 6th, 2006, 03:59 PM
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Ride the Deuce Bus from the Golden Nugget to the strip.

Info here:

joesorce is offline  
Nov 9th, 2006, 04:18 PM
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Another suggestion for a show would be LeReve at Wynn. Its a water type show like "O" but tickets are less (get discounts at tix4tonight at the Fashion Show Mall).

I'd either taxi it or try the Deuce bus too. I'm not one for driving in strange towns.

Have Fun!
kathyak is offline  
Nov 9th, 2006, 05:29 PM
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I have a dream to spent big bucks, at list to see one of the mentioned places.
I find interesting information for myself.

irishcream is offline  
Nov 11th, 2006, 09:01 AM
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been off the computer for a few days and wanted to say thanks for the last replies.
We do have our tickets for Phantom (!!!!) and want Danny Gans. Any advice where to book that show?
(I did Phantom online and got good seat, btw)

our show at the Venitian is at 6:00PM - so should be out at 8:00PM. That throws a bit of of problem into dinner as that's prime dinner-time. Can't afford Delmonico's but my doctor friend was there a couple of weeks ago for a convention and tried early to get seats for about 8 people and had no luck at all. Any other suggestions in the area?

And for the Danny Gans show, any good restaurant venues around there (keeping in mind our budget status (sigh)

Actually I have found that a brew or two enhances romance as a general rule!

Joe: Thanks for the info about the Deuce Bus

Kathyak: I'll check out la reve - want to walk through the Wynn - it's new since we were there (along with a LOT other others)

Brahmama is offline  
Nov 11th, 2006, 11:40 AM
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You will probably want to buy Danny Gans tickets directly through the Mirage. The Mirage has some good restaurants inside, there is always the coffee shops/cafes if on a very strict budget and they usually have something for everyone. The Mirage has a Brazilian cafe that I believe is reasonable, but I have never ate there myself. I have ate at the Chinese/Japanese restaurant years ago and it was excellent and resonable...Kokomos (I think, or is that the steakhouse).
vegasnative is offline  
Nov 11th, 2006, 12:18 PM
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You can get Gans tickets on the Mirage website. The Mirage has a bunch of places to eat, on the lower end is the Caribe Cafe (upscale coffee shop), California Pizza Kitchen and Cantor's Deli. We stay at the Mirage alot and always eat breakfast at the Caribe Cafe and occasionally another meal here too (depending on what we are doing). Their portions are large .. last month when we ate there I ordered a Caeser's salad & my husband had the club sandwich w/fries. I told the waiter we were going to share this and he brought us some extra plates - we each had half the salad and half the club & fries. Actually we could have just shared the sandwich & fries but we both love salad too

When you are at the Venetian and don't want to spend a fortune you can always eat at the Grand Lux Cafe (owned by Cheesecake Factory people). Great food, again huge portions so splitting is a good idea. It gets packed after Phantom (they may take reserations, not sure, we just waited about 15 min. and were seated.
Lori is offline  
Nov 11th, 2006, 05:18 PM
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I ate at Hugo's Cellar in April. I've know about it for years yet never managed to fit it in. I had a great meal. The veal dijonaise I had was spectacular.

It is not a low cost place. 2 cocktails, 2 appetizers, 2 mains and a shared dessert with a bottle of wine was over $300 + tip. You could get by with less if you avoid the wine and alcohol. But still, it is not cheap. (Less expensive then Aureole's though. )
indytravel is offline  
Nov 11th, 2006, 05:47 PM
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Just stayed at the Golden Nugget..we thought it was a great hotel for the price..Noodle house was excellent.
Ask for the newer tower that was recently remodeled..
Take a Taxi..
I love downtown to gamble and Binion's breakfast with that Ham and eggs special is great..$4.99
Delmonico's or Bouchon in the Venetian are excellent and I think you can do it cheaper than Hugo's Cellar..
Super romantic to go for mussels and champagne at Bouchon and we like to eat early (6:00) at Delmonico's and get out of there for under a $130 which isn't too bad..split things but my drinking on the free end with the slot machines..
Check out the Wynn while you are really is something to see..the deli has the best sandwiches and split them because they are huge.
Bring your own drink of choice for the room and I bring my best wine/champagne to the restaurant to save money and pay the corkage fee..$15-30
Have a happy birthday and win lots of money!
Nov 12th, 2006, 07:55 AM
Join Date: Sep 2006
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I have eaten at Hugo's twice. It is my husband's favorite Las Vegas restaurant. The place has a quite, cozy, old-school Vegas atmosphere (dim lighting, red leather banquettes). The food is a good value; it's expensive but you won't be disappointed. We've always eaten steak.
For a new-Vegas atmosphere, consider Prime at Bellagio. Swanky, not as romantic, but the food is great. As with most special occasion dining, it is expensive but no buyer's remorse.
Also, we highly recommend visiting the bar (can't remember the name) overlooking the hotel's fountains. Sit outside and have a Bellagio cocktail (or other beverage if you're a tea-totaler) and enjoy the weather, the fountains and the music.
We've also eaten at Aureole. Terribly disappointed. Very snooty service and the food fancy but not satisfying. The restaurant/chef take themselves way too seriously; the focus seems to be more on them rather than the guests.
Hope that helps.
scoutjewel is offline  
Dec 12th, 2006, 02:18 AM
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I thought I'd bring this thread up to the top in case anyone missed it that would like to share their ideas (especially for downtown)

We're leaving in 3 days! We won't get in until 7:00 on Friday - that is much later than we have arrived before. We used to just get in line for a limo/taxi - is that still the best way. (Staying downtown costs a bit more than the Strip for the transportation.)

Also, wanted to thank everyone that posted. I really appreciate the time and the thought that went into your reply. It will make our trip better!

Brahmama is offline  
Dec 12th, 2006, 07:49 PM
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I agree about not driving, unless you plan to take a trip outside of Vegas. Don't know about alternatives to taxis to get downtown. It is a longer trip. Getting from downtown to the strip by taxi can be expensive, because the drivers almost always take the freeway or any route that avoids the boulevard, which is shorter but takes much longer because of traffic. As for restaurants, the price of all Vegas restaurants has increased exponentially in recent years. Ten years ago Hugos Cellar was a bargain as far as I was concerned. From the other reports on this page, it's now as expensive as the celebrity chef restaurants. It is a classic, however. For terrific food in a beautiful setting at a lesser price, I recommend the buffet at Wynns. It's the best buffet in town for my money (& Rachel Ray liked it too!). If you're going to Wynn's to take a look, make a point to try the buffet. I know it's not a sit-down romantic restaurant, but it's real good. It's not the cheapest buffet, but also not the most expensive. As for shows, if you like magic, we loved the Lance Burton show. Cannot comment on the various variety shows. We usually go to a Cirque production. Have a great time and congrats to the birthday boy (or girl!).
Braunsky is offline  

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