Vegas Bites: Eat, Drink, and Play at Mandalay Bay
If you're on the Las Vegas Strip, there's no better place to be than at the end, at Las Vegas mammoth resort, Mandalay Bay. The MGM resort has everything you need for a Vegas vacation — 135,000 square feet of gaming, 24 restaurants, two spas, a luxury suites hotel (THEhotel, soon to be renamed The Delano Las Vegas), and a wave pool — so it's entirely possible to stay within the resort without ever hitting the Strip.
With 24 restaurants to choose from and countless possibilities for drinking, relaxing, and, well, eating, there is no shortage of great bites at Mandalay Bay. Our favorite spots:
Where to Eat:
STRIPSTEAK: At Michael Mina's reimagined American steakhouse, executive chef Doug Bell puts a spin on the steaks you love and executes them perfectly. Choose from Wagyu and Angus beef entrées, with a whole slew sides like truffle mac and cheese, scalloped potatoes, and bacon-roasted mushrooms. (And don't forget the libations, too: STRIPSTEAK is also known for the legendary bar room, including a whole host of high-end scotches.)
Fleur by Hubert Keller: The name Keller says it all: One of Food & Wine's 10 Best Chefs in America, Keller reimagines what French cuisine really looks like. Menu highlights from the master chef include the ahi tuna tacos, the barbecue pork belly flatbread with caramelized onions and Cheddar cheese, and the Wagyu hot dog on pretzel bread. Don't forget the dessert: a pineapple carpaccio with cilantro granita and lime sorbet is worth the trip alone.
Aureole: Charlie Palmer brings his famous New York restaurant to Vegas, and leaves no luxury behind. Just the drinks behind the bar are impressive: try a four-story wine tower with bottles ranging from affordable to the $1,000 exclusive bottles you won't find anywhere else. (And the Charlies' Angels-like wine picker in the tower is a sight.) Diver scallops, line-caught sea bass, lamb cheek, and more entrées will have you coming back for more.
The Border Grill: For a casual bite, there's nothing quite like this modern Mexican restaurant. Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger mix up innovative menus with flair; take the restaurant's small-bites brunch menu. Where else can you get an eggs Benedict with Yucatan roasted pork?
Where to Drink:
Eyecandy Sound Lounge & Bar: It's not so much the atmosphere as it is the mixologist: hang with Armando Rosario, who will listen to your drink requests and mix up something special. For a real treat, get him talking about cacaçha, the Brazilian national spirit: he'll make you a caipirinha like nothing you've ever had.
Minus5: The first ice bar of its kind in the U.S. couldn't have picked a better location. Cool off from a hot day at the pool in the bar, which has its temperature at a cool -5 degrees. Thanks to some cozy booties and fur coats, you'll be slinging back drinks (made in a glass made of ice, no less) among cool beats, a penguin mascot, and ice décor.
Editorial Disclaimer: The Daily Meal's food and travel expenses were hosted by Mandalay Bay for this story.