Mandarin Oriental Opening Night

We’re not saying the Mandarin Oriental is classy, tasteful, rich and elegant in a way Vegas has never seen before…but it makes the Bellagio look like the Excalibur.

Best of all, it has Pierre Gagnaire in its fold, turning out artful, inventive French cuisine like Las Vegas has never seen before.

Friday night, he was in his restaurant, cooking and plating like a line cook, and turning out platter after platter of small bites that were, by a mile, the best passed hors d’oeurves ELV has ever tasted, anywhere. We were too busy gulping all the free Dom Perignon 2000 to take a lot of tasty snaps…so you’ll just have to take our word for it.

Just as you’ll have to cruise by there yourself to see what understated luxury is.

But the good news is, Gagnaire’s tasting menu will run 165 clams, and there’ll be a lot of a la carte, small plates as well — a few of which won’t break your bank.

Our overall impression: the Mandarin will reset the luxury paradigm in our humble burg. It creates a new environment — a small, luxury brand that feeds off the mega-casinos, rather than trying to be one.

Among its competitors we’ve talked to, every one expresses doubts that its top of the line room rates can sustain themselves (discounted rooms are already available well below the stated $500/night rack rate), but there’s no denyin’ it is one purty place.

And that there Vanessa Mae gal, shore plays a mean fiddle.

‘Course she cain’t hold a candle to these guys.

4 thoughts on “Mandarin Oriental Opening Night

  1. The Mandarin Oriental …”makes the Bellagio look like the Excalibur”??
    How about Wynn/Encore??

    John, you’re really getting me excited about this place. I’ll be staying there for a couple of nights. As for Pierre Gagnaire’s Twist, should I go there on Christmas Eve or on one of their regular nights? Has Monsieur Gagnaire left town already?

  2. “…makes the Bellagio look like the Excalibur.”
    A little hyperbole, John?
    I’m looking forward to seeing, and perhaps staying at MO, but I doubt I’ll equate Bellagio with Excalibur afterward. Yes, I want to dine at Twist and MOzen, but one can’t live on those two restaurants alone. I’ll still wander over to Bellagio for Sensi, LeCirque and Picasso.

  3. $165 sounds quite reasonable for Gagnaire’s menu. We’ll put it to the test in the new year and see if it’s worth it. I’m anticipating it will be. Of course, I suppose the wine tab will increase the bill.

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