Category Archives: Las Vegas

Where to Enjoy the Finest Cocktails in Las Vegas

Written by Maria Taylor
Above photo by Ash EdmondsCC0

Las Vegas is the perfect place to enjoy the most innovative and luxurious cocktails in the state of Nevada. Despite its location within the Mojave Desert, this is no dry island, but instead, is overflowing with fantastic places to sample expertly crafted drinks with unusual ingredients to leave your taste buds tingling. Here we’ll look at the best places to visit while you’re in Sin City, including a few of the most inventive cocktail menus and bars around.

Las Vegas, the Live Entertainment Capital of the World | Las Vegas Sunrise by Daniil VnoutchkovCC0

Entertainment in Las Vegas goes much further than the casinos; the city is often called the Live Entertainment Capital and with good reason. Here you can enjoy a world-famous show like the Cirque du Soleil, see an international superstar like Celine Dion or marvel at top-quality magicians as they perform logic-defying acts. While it’s worth checking out what’s on before you arrive to make sure you snag tickets for the big shows, it’s also a good idea to see what tickles your fancy once you’re here. After all, with this guide, you’ll be sorted with where to enjoy a cocktail or two, so why not investigate the entertainment on offer for the evening?

Velveteen Rabbit
The Velveteen Rabbit in the Arts District of the city is the invention of sisters Pamela and Christina Dylag. Raised in the Mojave, the two sisters chose to travel the world as adults before returning to their hometown armed with the knowledge and experience to open a unique craft cocktail and beer bar. Their creation boasts a seasonal menu, incorporating both fresh produce and homemade ingredients, with contemporary flavors and taste combinations. I would recommend trying the delicate Spa Day, which fuses vanilla vodka with lavender gin, chareau and lemon curd — delicious! Or if you fancy something a little more out there, try the Bong & a Schlitz cocktail, which incorporates bizarre ingredients like butter and cream cheese-washed bourbon, blueberry-hemp syrup and American lager. What a treat!

Atomic Liquors
Atomic Liquors has the distinguished title of the oldest freestanding bar in Las Vegas, with a dedicated clientele and an enticing menu to keep bringing in curious new customers. Originally named Virginia’s Café in 1945, Atomic Liquors has since grown into an established bar serving lip-smacking sour beers along with a selection of exclusive cocktails. Although people used to drink here while watching nuclear bombs at the nearby Nevada Test Site, now they come for the expertly crafted cocktails. My personal favorites are the aptly-named F-Bomb, made with Fireball cinnamon whiskey, Fernet and Atomic energy drink — guaranteed to blow your socks off!

Commonwealth
With a mighty 6,000 square feet of space decorated with a pre-Prohibition theme and a secret speakeasy bar hidden within, Commonwealth is an experience! Thankfully, their drinks more than live up to the showmanship of the décor with originals from mixologist Juyoung Kang on the menu alongside classics like the Sazerac and the Negroni. A stand-out choice for me is the Tam-Tam, which combines cacao, Ancho Reyes chile liqueur as well as the classic combination of salt, tequila and lime to create a jaw-dropping sensation.

I think that we can all agree, Vegas is a city that can show you a good time. However, it sometimes has a reputation for being loud and tacky without much space for class and craftsmanship. Hopefully, with this short guide, I’ve convinced you that top-quality cocktails abound in this desert city and that it is well worth checking out!


Click for Susie’s Las Vegas Travel Guide

Haute Doggery (Las Vegas)

Las Vegas usually means overindulgence, high price tags, and glut.  Sometimes you just need a relaxing meal out of the hustle of The Strip–enter: The Haute Dogger.  This simple and clean quick-serve restaurant on the LINQ Promenade offers a respite from the action and some seriously delicious hot dogs and goodies … and air conditioning, which can come in handy in this 112º desert heat.

While it’s a chance to have something basic in the midst of the overdone, they don’t shy away from the more haute options.  They offer dogs ranging from the basic Undressed Dog all the way to their Billionaire Dog, complete with foie gras serve atop a Kobe beef frank and topped with truffle mayo.  Yeah … that happened in my mouth on my last visit.  Other standouts (though you can’t go wrong here) are The Rising Sun (Kobe beef frank, crispy yam strings, nori furikakte, and tempura avocado) and The Fug-Ghi (char grilled Frank, mushrooms, caramelized onion, gruyere cheese, and truffle mayo).  I’ll just say of what I tried that I was upset that I ate dinner the night before and wasn’t able to eat more than one.  Not kidding.

Perhaps my inability to eat more than one hot dog was also attributed to their classic “Old Vegas Special”, shrimp cocktail that they pedal for just $1 (not kidding), or their delicious crinkle cut fries (with the option to add chili … omg) and poutine side options.  The poutine was surprisingly delicious thanks to the fresh cheese curds and savory brown gravy.

poutine_haute doggery

Lest you think they are all dogs and fries … no, no, no … they also offer burger.  And, my friends, these burgers aren’t your run-of-the-mill bun and patty situation.  Imagine the basic alongside options like the Southern Smokehouse, or “The Perfect Burger” (their quote, not mine) with gruyere cheese, bacon, lettuce, roast tomato, onion, mayo, ketchup, and just a dab of marmalade.

burger_haute doggery

I know about a few things … a bit about cocktails, just a tinge about social media things (ahem … my day job), and enough about Vegas to be able to do it well.  That said, trust me on this one.  Spend some time off The Strip on the LINQ Promenade and grab a hot dog, a Sprinkles Cupcake from their ATM, grab a boozy, fresh pressed juice from Squeeze, hitch a ride on the High Roller, and do a bit of shopping.


HAUTE DOGGERY

hautedoggerylv.com
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3545 Las Vegas Blvd L-30, Las Vegas (on the LINQ Promenade)

 

Our team was invited in to experience the Haute Doggery free of charge.  All pictures courtesy of the Haute Doggery.

STK Las Vegas

If you follow me on my social platforms (especially Snapchat … @susieoz), you’ll know that I’ve been spending some time in Las Vegas for work.  One evening I was able to try out STK at the Cosmopolitan.  Eddie and Angelee, the dynamic duo behind His + Her went along with me to the Chef’s Menu–a smattering of their best dishes–the night before we skipped town.  The NYC transplant offers a decidedly sexy steakhouse feel.

We were greeted by our very friendly server and started with a few drinks to ease into the night.  I was told that the Strawberry Cobbler Martini (Belvedere, strawberry, graham cracker crust) is their most popular drink … which was delicious, but a bit sweet for a dinner drink, so save this one for dessert.  Later on I tried the … Not Your Daddy’s Manhattan (Bulleit Bourbon, Fernet Branca, Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth).  It was much more my speed and the Fernet was a surprisingly perfect addition to the traditional manhattan.

(Bear with me through the pictures … the lighting is quite low in there and I didn’t have my camera. 😒)

Our waiter began our tasting with a Caesar Salad, Tuna Tartare, a plate of large shrimp, and a cluster of their bleu cheese pull-apart bread.  The pull-apart bread was nearly irresistible.  They serve it with a cilantro oil that was unreal … Angelee and I all but licked the ramekin it came in.  (Also, since I’m allergic to bleu cheese, they kindly served one portion without the glaze.  So kind!)  I usually don’t mess with salads … who wants to waste the space?  But this one was worth a few bites … especially the housemade croutons.  The Tuna Tartare, served with perfectly crispy taro chips, was fresh, tender, and had a soy honey sauce with it that was to die.  I’d definitely recommend ordering this!

Being a steakhouse, STK obviously had a bomb steak–nice and tender … so tender that we could cut it with our butter knives.  (If I were ordering it for myself, I’d have ordered it medium instead of medium well, but to each her own.)  The Seared Big Eye Tuna (served with wasabi potato, maitake mushrooms, and sweet miso jus) was seared to perfection and nearly fell apart.  We nearly had to flip a coin to decide who got the last piece … and you better believe that the sweet miso sauce was sopped up … and some bread may have been dipped in it, too.  I personally enjoyed the Free Range Chicken (served with polenta fries, smoked tomato whiskey, and green beans) the most because I couldn’t get enough of the green beans.  They had a simple soy-based sauce that made them like crack to me.

For me, dessert after steak is completely unnecessary–I’ve had my awesome meal and don’t need something else to fill me up even more.  However, if you go to STK and don’t order the STK Donuts (sweet potato donuts, maple glaze, candied pecans), then you’re doing it wrong.  These things were little pillows of goodness and I stared the discomfort of a full belly right in the face, defied it, and ate two.

Make sure to make a reservation if you plan to visit STK on your next visit to Vegas … if for anything, for their take on the Manhattan and those GD green beans.


STK Las Vegas
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, 3708 Las Vegas Boulevard South
(702)698-7990

Table 10 (Las Vegas, NV)

Las Vegas has a little bit of everything.  It seems one of the first stops for chefs after their home city.  Luckily, Emeril has more than one concept in Sin City from bank-breaking chef’s tables to more reasonable options.  Anyone who has set foot in Las Vegas knows that, while drinks are (sometimes) free, it can be an expensive city.  For that reason, I was delighted to enjoy a meal at Table 10 in the Palazzo and was pleased that they have a four course meal option for just $48.

After a long evening of shopping (one word: Barney’s) and five (or just one) Coffee Bean Ultimate Iced Blendeds, a relaxing evening at Table 10 was just what the doctor ordered.  The staff was incredibly welcoming and the atmosphere was relaxing thanks to the low lighting and dark furniture.  I sat in the dining room, but if I ventured in again alone I’d sit at the Food Bar, no question.  It gives diners a view of the action in the kitchen and shows just how well the chefs know their craft.

I started my evening with a Lagasse Lemonade (Captain Morgan Spiced Rum, Southern Comfort, vanilla & pomegranate syrups, and fresh lemon juice) when my waiter told me it’s the most popular drink.  I enjoyed it, but it was a bit sweet for my taste so I got a bit of club soda to mellow the sweetness.  (Win.)

LAGASSE LEMONADE (Captain Morgan Spiced Rum, Southern Comfort, vanilla & pomegranate syrups, fresh lemon juice)
LAGASSE LEMONADE
(Captain Morgan Spiced Rum, Southern Comfort, vanilla & pomegranate syrups, fresh lemon juice)

Before ordering dinner, I wanted to be good and prepped, so I ordered an Emeril’s Passion (Emeril’s Eagle Rare bourbon, passion fruit puree, Luxardo liqueur) as my second drink.  It packed a punch and, while still nicely sweet, wasn’t overwhelming.  It was JUUUUUST drinkable enough.

IMG_0163

For dinner, I opted for the four course menu which offered some traditional American dishes from seafood to steak and Pea Ravioli.  I started with the seasonal soup, Lobster Bisque with melted truffle butter which was incredibly rich without being overpowered by truffle.  My appetizer was the easiest choice I made all night … Candied Farm Bacon served with warm maple syrup cured in a 10 year old bourbon barrel.  Seriously … that stuff was unreal.  It was all … BAM.  (I just had to.)

I was craving steak that day (I mean … I kind of am every day.) so I ordered the 6 Ounce Filet which was served a perfect medium with light vegetables.  I was so full so it took every bit of my strength not to stuff myself silly … because I wanted to.  Dessert was a tough choice, but I went with the White Chocolate Malassadas coated with cinnamon sugar and filled with white chocolate served with raspberry sauce to accompany my perfectly crafted latte.

Table 10 offers happy hour daily and live music in the bar on weekend nights.   Sit in the large bar area for a lively atmosphere or sit in the dining room for a more intimate meal.  Table 10 also offers a private dining room with the badass glass that frosts with the touch of a button.  (So cool.)


TABLE 10

www.emerilsrestaurants.com/table-10
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The Palazzo 3327 Las Vegas Blvd South, Suite 2900, Las Vegas, Nevada
(702) 607-6363

Morels French Steakhouse & Bistro (Las Vegas)

Brunch in Vegas.  Perhaps one of the lesser considered meals in Sin City, but one of my new favorites.  On a recent trip, a couple colleagues and I ventured into Morels in The Palazzo.  I love everything French (wine, bread, macarons, kisses …), so I was stoked about trying this place out.  Not only did it have he promise of a great hangover cure (because hair of the dog is necessary in Vegas), but it ups the ante with a view of the strip.

We started with a fancy bloody mary at the stately inside bar.  While they offer a traditional version of the brunch cocktail, they also offer a few remixed version including a Surf & Turf Bloody Mary, complete with bacon (obvi) and a jumbo shrimp.  Their bloodies have a nice flavor and aren’t weak in the least.  If ordering off the menu isn’t your style, you can have them make you one to your specs when you order the bloody mary cart!

We moved outside after our first round of drinks to enjoy the view of the Strip complete with some serious people watching along with some .  I started hacking away at their offer of bottomless mimosas for $25 (damn decent sparkling along with four options of juice).  Soon enough, everyone at the table joined in on the bottomless challenge offering, so they brought us our own bottle of sparkling and carafes of each juice.  (Gotta love that self-serve life.)

The menu offers plenty of French-inspired items and I couldn’t pass up the Mushroom & Gruyère Crepe with cream sauce.  The rest of the table opted for the Pan-Seared Scottish Salmon and the Crab Oscar Benedict–both were amazing.  We all shared bites of our entrees and agreed that I made the best choice (though all were ah-mazing).

Without asking, dessert and much-needed coffee was sent out (the worst, no?)  All three of us were absolutely full, but made room for the Mixed Berry Crumble and Classic Profiteroles.  And damn … I’m glad we did.  The crumble was perfectly warm (you can tell that I didn’t get the picture before it started melting the ice cream) and the  topping was nice and crispy.  The profiteroles sandwiched candied vanilla almond ice cream and came with a side of malted chocolate sauce and topped with house-made whipped cream.

Overall, the brunch was amazing.  All three of us agreed that it was a delightful change of pace from the all-you-can-eat buffets and smokey casinos (not that I’d ever leave either of those behind).  The entire staff was courteous and amenable and the restaurant was beautifully light and airy.  I’d go back in a second to get my hands on one of their steaks (we saw a few go by and … ohhhh my), cheese and charcuterie platters, and seafood towers.  They offer iced seafood and freshly-shucked oysters.

Morels’ weekend brunch is served Saturdays and Sundays from 8am to 4pm, giving you plenty of time to sleep off the haze from the night before.

MORELS FRENCH STEAKHOUSE & BISTRO
www.morelslv.com
3325 Las Vegas Blvd (in the Palazzo)
(702)607-6333