My Date

Sampling Sin City’s Finest Feminine Forms

Word of my decision to relocate to Las Vegas spread quickly among my buddies. We men lack the ability to voice how much a changing friendship dynamic is going to suck. Knowing my comrades would be attending Sox games, indulging in libations at our favorite Irish pub and serving as wingmen for one another without me burned a little. To ease the burn, I made each promise to visit, insisting I would afford them Vegas debauchery to the highest degree.

I instinctively knew, Travis, a previous college roommate, would be the first to oblige. I had no clue it would be so soon. He’d scored a killer deal on a flight I suspect he purchased after too many Heinekens, given his late-night, slurred voicemail announcing his impending Thursday arrival.

I could not request Friday off given my new-hire status, so Travis opted for a hotel room on the Strip in an effort to maximize his recreation time. Anyone who has visited Sin City knows it’s much grander in person than imaginable, and Travis was no exception. We caught up over the esteemed tasting menu at Alizé at The Palms Thursday night. Regrettably, I had to make an early exit because I needed to be functional Friday morning.

Travis, however, reveled in Vegas allure well into the night. Friday’s string of texts alerted me to the fact he was pretty pumped by the plethora of ads for in-room female entertainment at every turn. He was hinting in a major way that he wanted to partake in some form before his plane took off.

Strippers in Vegas are everywhere, and I could tell he was buying into the falsehood that those advertised on handbills and on trucks in Vegas were the real deal. When we met up at a Mandalay Bay bar Friday, he actually had a few cards in hand, grinning like a kid on Christmas. Thankfully, I had done some legwork at the office regarding the best options for this undertaking.

Charlie, a coworker around my age, is a guy I’ve fast warmed up to. He’s relatable, and I felt comfortable asking him for some direction. I explained wanting to show my friend an exceptional time since I was feeling pretty awful about my early bail on Thursday. I wasn’t exactly sure what I was looking for, and suspected Charlie would appropriately direct me in how to secure a pair of great looking girls to pay us a visit.

I could not have been any more correct.

“Man, you need Bunnies,” he announced instantly. He went on to explain that this company, Bunnies of Las Vegas Escorts, is his go-to when it comes to strippers for Vegas bachelor parties he has planned for friends. He confirmed my suspicion that if a guy seeks to have a quality Vegas escort or stripper pay a visit, those advertising on handbills and the like should be avoided. He insisted the lovely ladies at Bunnies of Las Vegas escorts would not disappoint.

He could not have been any more correct.

In the spirit of sharing reviews of new Vegas experiences and because Mom has yet to learn about the existence of this site, I’m offering up a review of sorts of our experience with two young Bunnies who knocked it out of the park.

Of the two of us, Travis is the one with the ability to request large breasts like he’s asking for anchovies, so he was the man to make the call. He performed the task at hand with ease and even asked if he could request one of the two be Asian and that they had prior experience working as a duo. Travis was promised two girls, and we made the expedited strut to his room in much the same manner we did when going to our first college parties.

In his effort to find a cheap place to stay on the Strip, Travis stumbled on an impressive room deal at Mandalay Bay. The spacious accommodations would provide the perfect platform for our live entertainment. While I’d been somewhat nonchalant about the endeavor, excitement was overtaking me. Being single for some time, the thought of luxuriating in the feminine form was invigorating.

Arriving faster than we assumed, we were in awe the moment our young ladies entered the room. Kym, a generously chested Asian, and Abby, a red-hot redhead, were consummate professionals, dressed to the nines, and simply gorgeous. Seeming to possess a six sense that we were new to this, they were gentle!

As music began to flow from a small Bluetooth speaker, the girls embarked on a downtempo groove that was engaging and highly erotic. Subsequent songs amped up their display quite nicely. They had to have worked together previously because they were entirely at ease and really played off one another’s sensuality. Giggles escaped when Abby freed Kym of her skin-tight ensemble but struggled briefly with a zipper. This was hot as hell, and they weren’t even fully unclothed at this point.

At the risk of sounding coy, I am going to save the most erotic details for the memory bank. What bears mentioning, though, is Kym and Abby’s way of making the time spent feel upscale and relaxed. They were confident and classy from start to remarkable finish. They were not in a rush to make a dash for the door and even engaged in conversation regarding the best clubs for singles in Vegas.

Travis’ first foray into Vegas decadence was epic thanks to Kym and Abby. I have to give the biggest shout out to Bunnies of Las Vegas Escorts and Charlie for his recommendation because I’m certain Travis is going to brag up his stay in Sin City to the guys back home, building my rep as a top-notch host.

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Golf in Las Vegas

I wasn’t much of a golfer prior to relocating to Las Vegas, but I now work with a group who arranges outings on a regular basis, and I have been excited with my progression in a pretty short time. I would get out to play more often, but I’m convinced there is no such thing as cheap golf in Vegas, but luckily, there is affordable golf in Vegas. So I jump on every opportunity to hit a new course when I find deals, a lot of times through Vegas Groupon. However, more often than not, Vegas golf deals on Groupon are for outlying areas.

For tourists and those new to the city, as I am, I am going to give the rundown of the courses I have become most familiar with. Since I live here, I’m not including any solid information about Las Vegas golf vacation packages, but there are sweet deals to be had if you do research. Obviously, mid-week is going to be your best bet if you are flying in and seeking Vegas golf discounts.

TCP Las Vegas

Tournament Players Club, more commonly known as TCP Las Vegas, was the setting for my first official outing in Nevada. Upon learning that TCP has hosted the PGA Tour, I was intimidated, but also excited. To golf where top golfers have graced the fairways was quite impressive. My game that day, however, was not, but the experience was a blast.

TPC offers an elite level of play and challenge for every skill set. As a below-average golfer at that time, I felt comfortable but challenged, and so did others in my group with a far more admirable handicap than I. You have to play the right tees for your game as there are some rather tough holes. Tee to green, the course is in awesome condition. Bunkers are hard and more dirt than sand. It has a typical desert layout so you stand to lose some balls. Vegas skyline, canyons and mountains create spectacular views, so it is certainly not a bad place to kill an afternoon.

Coyote Springs Golf Club

At almost an hour from Las Vegas, Coyote Springs Golf Club is worth the drive, and even has sizable practice facilities. I’ve been here a few times, since a friend likes it quite a bit, and frequent Vegas golf specials make it possible to play a round for under $100. There are also replay specials for those seeking to spend the day after finding the course as much fun as we did.

The area right around the course is rather isolated, so I would recommend having the car fueled up before leaving the city. Location is not a deterrent, though, as the natural beauty makes the drive worth it. The course plays to a par 72 and ranges from 5,349 yards, from the forward tees, to 7,471 yards from the championship tees. There are ten or so lakes on the course, and as a Nicklaus designed facility, you’d expect it to be a pristine course, which it is. Coyote Springs is designed for players of all abilities with five different tee choices.

Bali Hai Golf Club

I have had the pleasure of golfing Bali Hai a few times due to business-related outings, but I definitely would not be opposed to returning with buddies. Definitely not the cheapest golf in Vegas, but I can see the draw for tourists, as it is a golf course close to the Strip, and awesome photo ops are to be had for shutterbug golfers who are excited by hotels in the backdrop and a cool South Pacific theme throughout the grounds.

The layout is solid, and management seems to recruit customer service all-stars, because the attentive nature of staff is always on point. Bali Hai combines a gorgeous course with outstanding employees, which makes for an enjoyable afternoon out, despite the fact I have played here at peak playing times, and the game gets long. The course’s signature 16th hole is a sub-150 yard one-shotter that plays to an island green accentuated with a pair of brilliant white sand bunkers. The 18th hole has been regarded as one of the greatest par fours in Las Vegas and serves as a challenging way to end a memorable round.

Overall, I give Bali Hai a thumbs up, however, there is a factor to consider for the serious golfer. While it offers golfing near the Strip, one side of the course lies adjacent to McCarran, which means the plane traffic might be disturbing to some. I’ve found it only mildly distracting, but some I’ve played with found it an annoyance.

Las Vegas National

Another Vegas golf course near the Strip, Las Vegas National is a championship course which has had the honor of hosting many celebs and pro golfers. When Tiger woods won the Las Vegas Invitational back in ’96, he shot 70 here. I won’t share my score, but will add that it was a thoroughly enjoyable 18 holes. Knowing The Rat Pack played here made an impression on me, since I’m fascinated by all Vegas history, and who wouldn’t crack a smile playing on the same course once frequented by such iconic gents? The course is old-school, classic in design, but it’s still one of the most fun places to golf near the Strip.

Location, combined with attentive staff, makes me recommend LV National. They offer golf discounts Vegas residents can appreciate. Fees are clearly defined on the website, and they have military and senior discounts. Early bird and late 9-hole specials are a great way to secure cheap golf in Vegas, since such a thing is hard to find so close to Las Vegas Blvd. Some of the tee boxes could use some work, but overall, the place offers above-average, affordable golf in Las Vegas at a place that is steeped in history.

If you are from out of town and are seeking golf specials in Las Vegas, check with the hotels to see if you can set yourself up with a sweet package. If you’re local, I encourage you to play courses that offer a break in price for residents whenever you can. As time goes on, I plan to get myself to more area courses since the top golf courses in Las Vegas are all pretty fantastic from what I’ve heard, and I am glad to have a couple under my belt already.

http://www.tpc.com/lasvegas

http://coyotesprings.com/

http://www.balihaigolfclub.com/

http://www.lasvegasnational.com/

the-griffin-las-vegas

The Griffin’s Mad House

Navigating the social scene in a new town is quite a feat. It is a huge undertaking to find one’s niche when relocating to a city catering to tourists. While I appreciate the grandeur of the Strip, I found myself seeking a Vegas watering hole where locals
flock. As a single guy in Vegas, I’m looking to meet people who are not on the next flight out, while simultaneously relaxing and unwinding after a demanding day.

Based on several recommendations, I decided to introduce myself to The Griffin at 511 Fremont St., in Vegas’ downtown area. Located just far enough from the Fremont Street Experience, this place is not chock-full of Vegas visitors. It is, however, close
enough for curious tourists to belly up to the bar with trendy locals who are in on the secret of how great this place truly is. This is a must-see for those opting to experience Vegas like a local.

The Griffin’s unassuming exterior, boasting classic Vegas neon green, gives little indication of what’s to be found inside. Upon entering, one instantly feels underground and acquainted with a swanky secret Vegas tavern. Brick-like interior walls, wood
beam trim, two circular fire pits and subdued lighting lend to The Griffin’s medieval feel. Submitting to the ultra-cool vibe is a given, thanks to the lounge-style layout complementing the welcoming ambiance.

Once the alluring atmosphere has won you over, the generously poured libations and courteous staff seal the deal. Known for their great selection of tap beer and impressive drink menu, there’s certainly something at The Griffin to keep you coming back.

Those into indie music cannot beat the quarter-per-song jukebox’s offerings. Indie music with a littering of cool bands defines the box’s playlist. Music fans appreciate the diversity while others find new beats serve to add to the delightfully off-beat
character of The Griffin.

I find it refreshing this Vegas locals’ oasis hasn’t become a well-known tourist destination. That’s not to say tourists are not embraced; they are simply not found in abundance. This is definitely a place where strangers easily strike up conversation
in the oddest of pairings. Not often does one find a PBR-toting hipster chatting up a cosmo-sipping stranger, but that almost seems the norm at The Griffin.

This is not a haute hangout, but oozes cool with every pour. The Griffin never charges a cover, yet spotlights local bands and treats customers to celebrated DJ appearances in the back room. I was fortunate enough to catch hillbilly jazz band, The All-Togethers,
on my last stop, and they failed to disappoint. I had the opportunity at SXSW to experience this quartet for the first time and was delighted to happen upon them in Vegas in such an inviting setting.

Drinks are reasonably priced, and bartenders are not shy while pouring. The only menu to be found here is a drink menu, so you will have to get your dinner on somewhere else. They open the doors at five Monday-Saturday and at nine Sunday nights. Griffin-goers
can follow upcoming events at the venue on Facebook, as The Griffin does not have a website. I find this admirable and further proof that the owners aspire to remain off the beaten path in Las Vegas.

I’m going to second the recommendations made to me and state this is a great locale for residents and Sin City sightseers seeking to enjoy Vegas like a local. I’ve enjoyed what The Griffin has to offer in the form of intriguing Vegas locals and an overall
cool place to hang.

las-vegas-24-hour-restaurants

24-Hour Restaurants in Las Vegas, NV

The influx of celebrity chefs in Vegas has altered the culinary tradition of widespread cheap eats in Las Vegas. Long gone is the multitude of buffets and widespread options for fine dining on a dime. One Vegas mainstay has remained unscathed, and that is the abundance of 24-hour restaurants with great eats. I’ve explored a few late-night Vegas dining alternatives deemed the best value by people I spoke to and comprised a list of pretty great locales that never close.

The Venetian’s Grand Luxe Cafe

At Grand Luxe Cafe inside the Venetian, breakfast is always on the menu. The decor is inviting, and the place is huge. With abundant seating, there is never a long wait no matter the droves of people waiting for a sampling of the renowned pasta or revered breakfast fare.

On my visit, I went against the grain and opted for the avocado-chipotle burger. Paired with complimentary bread and a creamy mushroom soup in lieu of french fries, this was a massive offering of mouth-watering ingredients. The modest price of $13.95 leaves me with zero complaints given the food quality and overall dining experience. With better burger buys in the city, I cannot claim this to be one of the best hamburgers in Vegas, but it’s a contender for sure.

Earl of Sandwich at Planet Hollywood

Earl of Sandwich reviews were mixed when I surveyed friends. The sandwich quality was agreed upon to be excellent, but many complained of long waits and the uninviting location off the busy casino floor. I saw a band that night and slid into the casino in the early morning hours after too many Coronas. The wait was about 25 minutes. Apparently the word is out on this Vegas late-night dining locale because there were many around me holding their issued pagers waiting for their order to come up. With a vast menu of sandwiches beginning at $6, I can see why those looking for a cheap place to eat in Vegas fill the space.

I ordered the albacore tuna and swiss on their signature cibatta bread. The bread was soft and buttery and worth the wait. A fellow eager patron commented on the delay as we stood together. She informed me this is the norm regardless of the time of day and that there are superior gourmet sandwich shops in Vegas she frequents during normal hours. Overall, the quality for the price is impressive, but mostly because it’s affordable sustenance in the wee hours.

24-Hour Vegas Dining with a Side of History

The Peppermill Restaurant and Fireside Lounge opened in 1972 and boasts the status of being one of the few remaining stand-alone restaurants in Las Vegas. This swanky joint is a favorite of locals and regular visitors due to its longevity, inviting interior and expansive menu of breakfast, lunch and dinner all served 24 hours. The vintage decor is complemented by neon lights, because, well, one can never get enough neon in Vegas. The lounge is a sunken in room adorned with a centrally located fire pit surrounded by couch seating.

Some may describe the setting as kitschy, but in true Vegas form, the attention to detail is a trademark here from the impressive uniforms to bowls on every table housing colored sugar. Sure the mirrored ceiling tiles may be overkill, but I wasn’t complaining when I stopped in for drinks and dinner with a date. Elaborately embellished decor lends to the conversation if a date falls flat, so I will deem the Peppermill one of the best places to bring a date in Las Vegas. Incidentally, the Fireside Lounge was voted one of America’s ten best make-out bars by Nerve magazine. Just sayin’.

We enjoyed signature cocktails in the form of green tea martinis. Not bad and no surprise since Fireside Lounge is known for serving the best drinks in Las Vegas since they are all handmade. No mixes are used. We began with the pineapple boat fruit salad, a fruit lover’s Peppermill must. This colossal creation has enough fruit for a meal. A table of two sharing this creation, stacked about ten inches high, is simply too much food with the generous entrees that follow.

Without a doubt, the Peppermill is replete with Vegas glam making it a great restaurant in Las Vegas that celebrates the city’s flamboyant landscape. There’s a reason the place has appeared on film multiple times. It screams Vegas at every turn. The prices do reflect the food quality, so I stop short of calling this a real value, as it is a tad spendy. Ambiance and kitsch have a price tag, as evidenced by the $15.00 fruit salad. But I’ll be back. I aim to tackle one of their acclaimed 10-egg omelets.

The Las Vegas foodie scene is fast becoming one of my attractions to this city. Defining the best places to eat in Vegas is highly subjective, but I’m having a great time seeking out the foremost Sin City offerings.

Las Vegas

Stratosphere

What is the must-do for Vegas visitors who are innate thrill-seekers? The Stratosphere thrill rides are, hands down. I won’t pretend to be the ultimate thrill-seeker, but do enjoy a certain level of adrenaline pumping through my veins. So I opted to give the rides at The Stratosphere a whirl, and I am glad I did.

Going at night was recommended by those I questioned about my latest Vegas Strip endeavor. Knowing The Stratosphere offers an unlimited daily ride package, I opted to arrive in the early evening to enjoy day views for a couple rides, hit the AirBar for a while, then go back to experience the awesome bright lights on the Strip. For those with abundant time, I recommend taking the same course I did. The AirBar offers breathtaking Vegas panoramas.

First of all, the observation tower is a must when in Vegas even if the thrill rides are not your thing. It holds the distinction of being the tallest freestanding observation tower in the United States. The Stratosphere has both indoor and outdoor decks offering expansive views of Las Vegas. Several places to eat high above Vegas at The Stratosphere exist, but of course anyone seeking to sample the thrill rides is best to hold off on indulging in an expansive meal before tempting fate on a thrill ride! The same could be said of avoiding the ultra-cool AirBar, but I managed well enough to sample a couple cocktails before completing my thrill ride attempts.

My first venture was the Big Shot at The Stratosphere. This thing is amazing. It is essentially a reverse bungee ride taking riders 160 feet up at 45 MPH. I felt this the safest bet despite it being ranked first in the world for thrill ride height. Riders go from positive to negative Gs as weightlessness is experienced at the peak. It is an awesome feeling and in my opinion, the least frightening of all the thrill rides at the top of the Stratosphere. It helped that I was seated next to two slender teenage girls who were obviously braver than I.

The Insanity thrill ride was my subsequent attempt. This aptly named Insanity is the second highest thrill ride in the world. Riders are dangled 900 feet in the air and are waved over the edge as Insanity rotates in a circular motion at about 30 MPH. Hardly for the faint of heart, this ride is not made for anyone afraid of heights. In line, I struck up conversation with a retired couple who had the thrill rides on their bucket lists. Their intent was to pen a series of reviews of Stratosphere thrill rides for a blog they maintain, and I did not want to be detailed as the man screaming like a girl next to them, so I manned up, and rode the ride as if I wasn’t scared out of my mind. But I was. I questioned my decision to round out my Stratosphere visit with the X-Scream.

Before completing my extreme to-do list, I conversed with a bartender at AirBar, who told me Clark County leads the nation in standards for ride maintenance. That assured me that the Insanity would be a safe enough bet. I’d survived the previous two, so I felt pretty good about leaving her with a generous tip after sampling two of their $4 strawberry and lime margaritas.

The X-Scream was worth it and likely doable only because I had a slight margarita buzz going on. Despite ranking third highest thrill ride in the world, this one felt less secure to me than Insanity and Big Shot. Basically, this ride is like a giant teeter-totter. Riders are propelled off the track courtesy of the cars having only rear wheels. The design alone left me feeling overwhelmingly trepidatious. Lacking overly brave teenage girls or a thrill-seeking retired couple to lend me a sense of needing to man up, I could have easily backed out of the X-Scream line. At 900 feet in the air, feeling as if my lap bar could fail at any moment, I knew I wouldn’t be back on the X-Scream. I highly recommend it for those with less fear than this guy, but the feeling of being sent right off the edge of the track is a lot to stomach.

Before departing, I could have had a go with the final ride, but opted out. The Stratosphere SkyJump, reviewed highly by adrenaline junkies, would have required more mustered valor than I was willing to expend. This ride holds the Guinness World Record for being the highest commercial decelerator descent. At 829 feet, one is well-harnessed and dropped from The Stratosphere’s 108th floor to a platform below. The descent lasts 16 seconds, and I just couldn’t man up enough to do this, but may be back.

Overall, I give high reviews for The Stratosphere thrill rides. They are unmatched by other blood-pumping, thrill excursions on the Strip. Taking advantage of unlimited rides, and spreading the time out between daylight and night is a great way to experience two points of view without spending an abundance of cash going different days. Since my eyes were tightly closed during my seconds on the X-Scream, I rode the Big Shot a second time before leaving, and was in awe of the view of the Strip at night.

I am definitely loving the abundance of things to do for a single guy in Vegas, and highly recommend The Stratosphere thrill rides for a genuine adrenaline rush in Las Vegas. Hopefully those taking the plunges put on a braver front than I!

ARTICLE LINKS:

The Stratosphere Observation Decks: http://www.stratospherehotel.com/Activities/Observation-deck

The Stratosphere Thrill Rides: http://www.stratospherehotel.com/Activities/Thrill-Rides

Big Shot Wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BigShot(ride)

SkyJump Wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SkyJumpLasVegas

X-Scream Wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BigShot(ride)

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Topping the Barometer at the Hottest Las Vegas Topless Pool

Becoming acclimated to the Vegas heat is a chore for this midwesterner, and I have been craving some pool action. What better method of meeting Vegas singles and cooling off at the same time than finding a topless pool in Vegas? A plethora of Vegas party pools exists, with select pools being topless, or European-style. I safely assume the topless party pools in Vegas are the most fun and the ideal place to meet fellow locals seeking solace from the heat in a celebrated setting.

In an effort to select the hottest topless pool in Vegas, I conducted some research. There are not as many as I’d assumed, and I have been making the determination on which would be my ideal inaugural inception into the Vegas party pool scene.

What I have learned about entry to topless pools in Vegas is that cover charges and amenity costs vary greatly depending on location, day of the week and even gender. Those wanting to book a hotel with a topless pool in Las Vegas should verify fees, if any, for guests.

The Skinny on Vegas’ Topless Pool

Topless pools in Vegas were introduced in the late 90s when Caesar’s Palace launched the Venus Pool Club. Initially, it was not widely publicized. The adults-only venue was an intimate hideaway for those in-the-know. Today, Vegas’ topless pools remain somewhat elusive and entirely exclusive with cabanas-for-rent costing in the hundreds. Luxe lounging fees can be avoided by not renting a posh cabana or shaded daybed. Most establishments offer drink and food credits in conjunction with rental fees, so depending on the number of guests in one’s party, a cabana may not be a huge expenditure.

Topless Las Vegas Pool Misconception

Topless is not synonymous with perversion. Guests are expected to act with propriety and leave their salacious impulses and cameras at the door. While locations vary as far as how rowdy revelers become, all are to act in accordance with regulations.

All seem to operate professionally, and everyone I spoke to had favorable remarks for all topless pools in Vegas with the exception of Sapphire. This pool is operated by the same entity that runs the Sapphire gentlemen’s club. What friends have described about the venue is that strippers are on-site to entertain and entice, but for exorbitant fees. The only positive note about Sapphire is that they do offer free limo service from one’s hotel to the pool. Of course, they are offsetting that free limo ride with costly drinks and amenities.

For those who don’t mind dropping some cash in conjunction with having a poolside playmate, I’d recommend requesting the company of an independent escort. A bikini-clad companion focusing all her attentions on the man she’s accompanying is quite honestly a better value and a lot more fun. While I’m hardly a courtesan connoisseur, you can read here about my sole Vegas escort experience, as these ladies come highly recommended.

Naked at Artisan

Naked offers up generous hours from 8 am to 10 pm daily. Decorated in an exotic decor of red, black and tan, the chill atmosphere is enhanced by a changing lineup of weekend DJs, great drinks and a free cover for Vegas locals unless there is a special event happening. I respect them giving some love to locals since paying for pricey poolside drinks is easier to justify when a cover charge is not imposed.

Bare Pool at The Mirage

Bare does not grant locals free entry on Saturdays but does on Mondays. I have learned this is a great place to meet Vegas locals and boasts an intimate setting for those seeking to dabble in daytime debauchery. A co-worker insists they have the best bloody marys in Las Vegas and a hot waitstaff serving them. The palm tree-enclosed space allows topless guests to cavort in two luxury dipping pools while sipping summertime libations in lush cabanas or while shaded in poolside daybeds.

Moorea Beach Club at Mandalay Bay

Moorea offers the ideal setting for a single man in Las Vegas given the always free entry for ladies at this hot spot. Women outnumbering men is the ideal setting in my opinion! This *toptional* pool in Vegas is the premier place to party, but it will set you back a bit as the price of cabanas and daybeds do not include drink and food offerings.

Venus Pool Club at Caesar’s Palace

Given Venus Pool Club’s distinction of having been the first semi-nude pool in Las Vegas, it seems befitting that it is more laid-back than its uproarious descendants. Single guys are not welcome on Saturdays from noon until six, when only couples and single females are free to frolic. This is a disappointment as many have bragged up Venus’ relaxed atmosphere, air conditioned bar and talented resident DJs, and my day to play is always Saturday. Venus Pool Club is an excellent alternative to those wild Vegas pool parties where the majority of the crowd is under 30 and quite clamorous.

European Pools at Wynn and Encore

The upscale topless pools at Wynn and Encore are reserved for hotel guests, but are worth mentioning to visitors who are looking for a Vegas hotel with an adults-only pool. Keeping in step with Wynn’s first-class flavor, the pools are equally well-appointed affording guests a sophisticated scene to dare to be bare.

Regardless what pool is selected, it’s going to be a great time because this is Las Vegas! You cannot top off summer at a topless pool at home, so may as well while you’re in Sin City. Locals, look for deals on Las Vegas pool parties as they are out there. I am eager and excited to sample each of these to counteract the scorcher that is the month of August in Las Vegas.

alize-wine

Fine French Dining Las Vegas Style

Fine dining experiences are normally saved for occasions when I am wooing a member of the opposite sex. I made an exception when visited recently by a friend from home. I wanted to treat my first visitor to something special. After hearing about the phenomenal views from the 56th floor, Alizé at The Palms was my choice.

Esteemed Michelin-starred French Restaurant in Las Vegas

Everything good one would assume about an esteemed, Michelin-starred French restaurant in Las Vegas is served up at Alizé. It is high-end all the way. The panoramic views courtesy of 16-foot floor-to-ceiling windows throughout are unparalleled by any other restaurant in Las Vegas with a view of the Strip.

Guys are not supposed to care about the aesthetics and ambiance of any eatery, but I feel strongly that elegance and refinement are indicative of a higher standard applied to all kitchen practices. If the table linens’ thread counts are impressive, you know the sous chef isn’t on probation. Overall, I liked the vibe of the place. The prices are not out of control, but are significant. For those seeking to dine on the cheap, Alizé isn’t the place.

Hard-to-Find Armagnac and Cognac in Las Vegas

A focal point of the interior of Alizé is the two-story wine cellar boasting 7,500 bottles of wine in over 1,500 labels. Those seeking the best wine selections Las Vegas has to offer will appreciate the expansive selection of wines at Alizé. While my dining partner and I are not wine connoisseurs, we do appreciate good cognac. Alizé prides itself on being home to the largest armagnac and cognac selection in Las Vegas while also ranking in the top three in North America.

We were taken with the expansive nine-page cognac and fine spirits menu. We opted for the Chateau du Tariquet, Three Stars. Smooth, with a subtle vanilla flavor, this armagnac was an excellent selection. I plan to come back for more extensive tastings of their celebrated brands. My bankroll is too modest to afford myself a taste of their $34,000/bottle Jacques Hardy Cognac, Private Reserve, Vintage 1777, but I am a big fan of partaking in a lower-end libation knowing there’s Jacques Hardy Vintage in the house.

Summer Tasting Menu at Alizé

After one drink at the swanky bar, we were seated and ordered the summer tasting menu. Armed with less-than-refined palates, we appreciated the simplicity of the tasting menu: three choices for each course. The first in each trio is Chef Mark Purdy’s modernized approach on refined French cuisine. The second in line is a nod to renowned Chef André Rochat’s creations. Vegetarian selections are the third in each course list.

Alizé Summer 2014 Tasting Menu:

HAMACHI TARTARE Watermelon, Quail Egg, Capers, Red Onion, Potato Crisp

MAINE LOBSTER Ratatouille, Tomato-Garlic Aïoli, Crispy Potato

CHILLED VICHYSSOISE AND TOMATO SOUP Crispy Potatoes, Minced Chives & Truffle Oil

SAUTÉED FOIE GRAS Caramelized Peaches, Blackberry Purée, Candied Sunflower Seeds

FOIE GRAS TERRINE Smoked Duck & Artichoke Crêpe, Orange Marmalade, Candied Pecans, Basil

POINT REYES BLUE CHEESE-STRAWBERRY CROUSTILLANT  Balsamic Reduction, Candied Pistachio 

CALAMARI “CAKE” Falafel Crusted, Cucumber & Mint Salad, Tzatziki Sauce 

IRISH SALMON Purple Peruvian Potato, Asparagus, Pickled Mustard Seeds

ROASTED MUSHROOM TOBAN-YAKI Miso-Mushroom Broth Rice Noodles & Sesame Oil 

DUCK BREAST Honey-Lemon Cake, Foie Gras, Sautéed Spinach, Leeks, Strawberry Gazpacho

RABBIT TENDERLOIN Corzetti Pasta, Fava Beans, Rabbit Bratwurst, Espelette Mustard Velouté

HEIRLOOM TOMATO RISOTTO Crescenza Cheese, Marinated Tomato, Herbs

RACK OF LAMB Apricot Couscous, Cucumber, Almonds, Cilantro Za’atar, Lamb Jus

BEEF RIB EYE Empanada, Plantain, Piquillo Pepper, Avocado, Marinated Tomatoes, Chimichurri Sauce

PAN SEARED TOFU Puffed Rice Cracker, Tofu Crème, Soy Glaze

TÊTE DE MOINE Apricot Confiture, Aged Balsamic Vinegar, Zucchini Date Bread

LA TUR Port Poached Prunes, Candied Pistachios, Rosemary Raisin Crisp

ETORKI Sweet Onion & Honey Confiture, Rye Toast, Balsamic Vinegar

CHOCOLATE DECADENCE Strawberry Sorbet, Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

GRAND MARNIER SOUFFLÉ Sabayon

CHOCOLATE SOUFFLÉ Chocolate Sauce

My Savored Selections

A complimentary soup sample set the supper in motion. For the first course, I opted for the Maine lobster. This palatable part one was a great first course and just a phenomenal lobster ratatouille. Kudos to the chef for his attention to detail, as my second course proved to be delectable and visually pleasing.

It was after this course of savory sautéed foie gras with a hint of subtle sweetness that the restaurant manager approached our table to inquire about our meal to that point. The touch of class was appreciated and genuine. As he was making his exit, our third installment was forthcoming. I relished the Irish salmon that was served with an asparagus spear, mustard seeds and a purple potato. The concoction was thought-out and well-presented. I felt the chef had to be a magician because it was a delightful amalgam of flavors unlike any salmon dish I’ve sampled.

The fourth course left a little to be desired. I went with the rabbit tenderloin, simply because I had yet to try rabbit in any capacity. I felt the dish fell short with tasteless fava beans and an uninspired corzetti pasta. The fifth course of beef rib eye was uplifting with a marinated tomato that complemented the beef quite nicely. With beef this great, I easily forgave the rabbit falling short.

When making my sixth course selection, I was indifferent. Nothing appealed to me, but I took a stab at the la tur, and was glad I did. Who knew pistachios would add so brilliantly to port poached prunes? Not this guy. The seventh course, the dessert course, was the chocolate soufflé. Chef knocked it out of the park again with this because it was a chocolate lover’s dream. I don’t often order dessert, but am grateful when a tasting menu forces me to indulge.

Overall, Alizé is deserving of its adulation. Given the limitless libations, I envision taking clients here for drinks and a bite, while the charming ambiance lends itself to being a perfect date night venue. Add the breathtaking views to an impeccable menu, and guests are in store for a culinary experience with the ultimate backdrop in the form of the best view in Vegas.

Reservations are recommended, and Alizé is open nightly, 6-10

Alizé telephone number: 702-951-7000
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