Monday, November 12, 2007

Venetian SHUT OUT on Michelin Stars


As I predicted, Michelin completely snubbed the Venetian in terms of handing out stars in its first-ever Las Vegas dining guide. The guide was supposed to hit today at noon, but the evidently leaked it on their website by accident and then went all the way with a press release.

The guide includes 127 restaurants in Vegas and just 16 of which received any stars. Still, that's a lot more than I thought they'd give out.

The big winner was not a surprise: Joel Robuchon (MGM Grand) got three stars, the highest rating. Alex (Wynn), Guy Savoy (Caesars) and Picasso (Bellagio) landed two stars, all excellent choices. You can go back and hear "The Strip" podcast's interview with Robuchon from earlier this year by clicking here or right-clicking here.

One-starrers were: Alize (Palms), Andre's (downtown), Aureole (Mandalay Bay), Bradley Ogden (Caesars), DB Brasserie (Wynn), L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon (MGM), Le Cirque (Bellagio), Mesa Grill (Caesars), Michael Mina (Bellagio), Mix (Mandalay Bay), Nobu (Hard Rock) and Wing Lei (Wynn.)

Steve Wynn, 4. Adelson, 0. (I'm giving Wynn credit for Picasso, too, since he created the place. Not giving Wynn credit for Le Cirque as it was an established NYC institution.)

Anyhow, Adelson's gotta feel the pain there. Adelson gets Thomas Keller, Wolfgang Puck and Mario Batali and can't buy a star. Painful. But equally painful for Wynn might be that Bartalotta di Mare got shut out. That's interesting because it was Paul Bartalotta and not Alessandra Stratta who was nominated for a James Beard Award the year the hotel opened.

A few thoughts:

* They were awful generous with the one-stars and yet left off some really amazing places including Craftsteak and Nob Hill (both MGM Grand), Charlie Palmer Steak (Four Seasons), Tableau (Wynn) and Hugo's Cellar (Four Queens).
* We've eaten at Alize at least three times and always found it below average for the price.
* Bradley Ogden and L'Atelier are in the "don't go" section of "Gay Vegas." Miles has famously referred to the decor of L'Atelier as having "the look of an upscale Chilis" and we were so disappointed we left it out of Conde Nast Traveler's Hot List that year.
* We're fans of Mix and Mesa Grill, but I can't say it meets the level of technical excellence I believed the Michelin stars required.

A couple of other interesting details: They only checked out 13 restaurants that would cost $25 or less per person. That gives quite a bit of insight. By contrast, for their first-ever Los Angeles guide, which also is out this week, they reviewed 263 restaurants and gave out just 18 star-ratings -- and not a single three-starrer.

Wow. Vegas food has really, really arrived.


Bay in TN said...

Adelson's shutout: Couldn't have happened to a more deserving lawsuit-happy curmudgeon.

Wynn's wins: Yawn. Has he put his elbow through any more priceless paintings and then sued his own insurance company because they don't pay for damage caused by unmitigated negligence?

*That's* entertainment.