Night Moves

Competing entertainment offerings keep Sin City thriving

By: Ryan Slattery

The freshest face on the Strip might be Wynn Las Vegas, but the $2.7 billion resort isn’t the only newcomer to Sin City. In the past several months there have been changes up and down Las Vegas Boulevard as properties put their wallets behind new projects in an attempt to find the next hot nightspot, must-see attraction or can’t-miss restaurant.

So if a client hasn’t been to Las Vegas recently, here is a quick guide to a few of the newest restaurants, nightclubs and shows the latest gems not to be missed.

Hot Tables
Wynn has brought in some extraordinary James Beard Award-winning chefs including Alessandandro Stratta (Alex), Paul Bartolotta (Bartolotta Ristorante di Mare) and Takashi Yagahashi (Okada), as well as Daniel Boulud (Daniel Boulud Brasserie), and the dining here will surely rank among the city’s top tables.

Meanwhile, American Iron Chef and grill-meister Bobby Flay has brought his signature Southwestern cuisine and barbecue-style cooking to Caesars Palace, his first venture outside of New York City. Caesars is also home to a more casual eatery, Viale, a 230-seat Italian trattoria with an outdoor patio.

High atop THEhotel at Mandalay Bay you’ll find Mix, a restaurant from Chef Alain Ducasse, whose French-influenced fare is served in a modern all white room with seating in egg-shaped pods under a massive Murano 15,000-bulb blown-glass chandelier with hanging bubbles. The restaurant, with separate lounge, is a bit overpriced but the view of the Strip (even from the restrooms) is arguably the best in town.

For prix-fixe French fare stay at Mandalay Bay and check out the upscale Fleur de Lys or for those on the run hit the Burger Bar, a build-your-own burger joint inside the resort’s new mall Mandalay Place.

The Studio Walk at MGM Grand has also undergone renovation and a number of new restaurants have taken up residence there, including Diego, a brightly-colored Mexican restaurant with a wide tequila selection; Michael Mina’s Seablue, featuring seafood flown in daily; and the Chinese eatery Pearl. In the casino is the laid-back Wolfgang Puck Bar and Grill.

The Aladdin (soon to be the Planet Hollywood Hotel and Casino) will get a complete facelift in the coming year, but for starters a Hollywood favorite, Pink’s hot dogs has found a home inside the resort. And another Los Angeles haunt, the Rainbow Bar & Grill opened across from the Hard Rock Hotel.

The nightclub scene in Las Vegas has never been hotter. From upscale lounges to dance clubs, competition is fierce. The city has even reached back to its roots breathing life into the burlesque scene with three new lounges.

Tangerine was the first to open inside Treasure Island and was followed by two successful L.A. clubs Ivan Kane’s Forty Deuce (Mandalay Bay) and the Pussycat Dolls (Caesars Palace).

Among the best of the newcomers are the Hard Rock’s Body English and Caesars’ PURE, a mammoth 36,000-square-foot club with a glass elevator that leads to an outdoor terrace complete with cabanas, dance floor and Strip view.

Others to check out: the MGM’s Teatro Euro Bar where high-rollers can drop $2,200 on a single cocktail, the High Limit Kir Royale, or the casino’s Centrifuge lounge, a circular bar in the heart of the action near the newly renovated sports book.

Wynn’s two entries include Lure, a lounge with a small patio and firepit, and the resort’s signature club La Bete, an upscale nightclub that stares out onto a large man-made lagoon with cascading waterfalls and a dragon statue that changes color.

Shows and Attractions
Barry Manilow is now headlining at the Las Vegas Hilton. Wynn has introduced “Le Reve,” a water-themed production from Franco Dragone, creator of Cirque du Soleil’s “O” and “Mystere.” The resort will bring the Broadway hit “Avenue Q” to the city this fall. And Cirque’s fourth Las Vegas production “KÀ” at MGM Grand is perhaps the troupe’s most amazing yet.

Want to get your blood pumping? Try the Stratosphere’s new thrill ride Insanity. The ride dangles passengers over the tower’s edge as it spins in a circle at 40 mph. But for those clients who want to keep their heels on the ground, Caesars Palace has opened Exotic Cars, a two-tiered, 34,000-square-foot showroom where clients can find the Lamborghini, Bentley, Aston Martin, Rolls-Royce or Mercedes-Benz of their dreams. And unlike Wynn’s dealership ($10 admission), it’s free to take a peek here.

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