Amid the kitsch and glitz, a Manhattan girl finds refinement in Sin City
Follow us: @newyorkobserver on Twitter | newyorkobserver on FacebookIf you tell many New Yorkers that you’re going to Las Vegas they’re going to look at you, draw back slightly, and remark that they’re “not a Vegas person.” What those people are really saying is simply that they do not wish to dine in one of Guy Fieri’s restaurants. And they are right! One of the things that unites us as denizens of Manhattan is hating Guy Fieri.
We’re New Yorkers. We may permit Santacon to continue existing, but we have high standards regarding the places we’ll visit.
So the trepidation about Vegas – a town where restaurants and diversions as tasteless as Fieri’s chicken wings not only survive but thrive – is understandable.
But there is a way to experience Vegas in a way even New Yorkers would approve. Check out these elegant places and unforgettable experiences the next time you venture to Sin City:
Drink at The Chandelier: The bar is at The Cosmopolitan Hotel, but please, don’t order a cosmo. First of all because you’re not a Sex and the City character. Second, because doing so might mean passing up the off-menu Verbana – a cocktail that will alter your tastebuds. Sip the drink made with vodka, lemon juice, and ginger first, then chew on the Sichuan flower that garnishes it. Taste it again and you’ll find it’s a whole new experience.
Do The Dolphin Trainer for a Day program: The Mirage offers a day-long session where you’ll get to do much more than just swim with a dolphin. You’ll go behind the scenes to see how the team at the Mirage tends to the dolphins’ needs and keeps them healthy and active. Expect to help scrub out buckets, but also expect to shake fins with a dolphin.
Dive in the Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay: If the dolphins seem a little tame to you and you’re SCUBA certified, you’re in luck. This is one of the few aquariums in the world that allows guests to get into the tank and swim with the sharks. It’ll put the business world in some kind of perspective.
Dine at Aureole: After that time with the sharks you can spend an evening with the wine angels of Aureole at Mandalay Bay. Suspended servers—think Peter Pan—retrieve the bottles of wine stacked in a four story tower at Charlie Palmer’s restaurant. The parallel tasting menu isn’t bad, either.
Check Out The High Roller: You don’t actually need to gamble, you just need to make your way to the ferris wheel. The high roller is one of Vegas’s newest attractions, and it allows you to have cocktails in a cabin while overlooking the city. Go on it at night to catch Las Vegas at its most sparkling.
Dine at Nobu: The restaurant inside Caesar’s Palace is the perfect place to eat like a king if you win big. We loved the Japense Wagyu Flambe heated on hot rocks, and the bluefin chu-toro carpaccio served with black truffles. Caesar’s wild boar, figs and dates look pretty pale by comparison.
Play the Fountain at the Bellagio: If you join their M Life rewards program, the dollars you spend will help you gain perks at the Bellagio hotel. Our favorite is choosing the music for their famous fountain show. The songs range from Henry Mancini’s “Pink Panther” to Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On” as well as some that don’t reference jewelry quite so much.