Monday, October 26, 2015

Andiamo Steakhouse @the D Fall 2014

When you think of downtown Vegas, value is the first thing that comes to mind. Even the Golden Nugget's dining options are largely chains. High end in most cases but chains all the same. However as one would expect to find in any major cities downtown area, diamonds are among the rough. 

Take Andiamo’s at the D. You wouldn't expect anything stellar from the Italian Steakhouse located on the second floor of the property next to all the coin operated vintage slots.  Reflection on the experience gives a new appreciation to the words of wisdom your grandparents gave you that newer isn't always better. 

Please don't misunderstand. Andiamo’s is not old. It exemplifies the word classic. It shows that some people are so far ahead of the curve, it takes a lot of time for everyone to catch up. The food, the staff and the atmosphere make it yet another experience to be had in Las Vegas. 

Vegas Mate Rating3/5 chips

Alastair - 4/5 chips

Mark & Keren – 5/5 chips

Monday, October 19, 2015

The D Hotel & Casino Fall 2014

Originally introduced to the market as the SunDance hotel & casino by Moe Dalitz, the D renovated the properties 2nd incarnation as the Fitzgerald from the bottom of the options barrel into something Fremont St desperately need, a cool option. You can feel the difference the moment you walk in the door. The energy is palpable, young and extremely alluring.  

When plans were announced and the name unveiled, shows like this venomously hated it. When we were told the name didn't have one meaning but 3; Downtown, its location in las Vegas, D, the nickname of new owner Derek Stevens as well as for Detroit, his hometown, it didn't help. The name and theme were called everything from unimaginative & dumb to the worst property name in Las Vegas history. We said that.  We were so wrong.  

What Derek Stevens and company did to the Fitzgerald is nothing short of remarkable. It's hard to believe its even the same property. How someone was able to take that unique casino layout, erase all the bad memories it recalled upon first site and replace it with the vibe it has on the bones of the past is beyond impressive.  But its not just the casino. The D has really nice renovated rooms that carry through the cool vibe the property exudes. It has some quality, all be it limited, dining options, low limits and even vintage gaming options on the 2nd floor casino including the only surviving sigma derby machine on Fremont.  Simply put, The D is the best property in downtown Las Vegas today. 

Vegas Mate Rating – 3/5
Mark & Keren – 5/5
Alastair - 4/5

Monday, October 12, 2015

Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino Spring 2014

Mandalay Bay, or as some have referred to it as, the Mirage south, is a property that very much earns that comparison.  From the gold tri-point tower, aquatic animal encounter, iconic pop cirque show and quality high-end dining, Mandalay Bay needed to be the Mirage 2.0 to overcome the tremendous disadvantaged of being the southernmost property on the Las Vegas Strip.  Fortunately, it was successful.

Mandalay Bay is exquisite without being pretentious, high-end without being snobby.  It is simultaneously the culmination and, inadvertently, the downfall of circus circus enterprises, but we’ll save details about that for Vintage Vegas.  Like the Mirage before it, MGM took it over and also like the Mirage, they’ve taken good care of it.

Vegas Mate Rating – 4/5 chips

Mark, Keren & Alastair – 4/5 chips