Lagasse's Stadium at The Palazzo takes it up a notch

Oct 13, 2009 5:00 PM
Around Town by Eileen Di Rocco |

The weather in Las Vegas was great this weekend and it seemed too nice to be inside so we spent a little time walking up and down the Strip.

The sidewalks were crowded. Many stopped to take pictures, memorializing their visit. Others wanted to take a closer look at the palatial facades of the casinos. The rest did their best to work their way through the masses to get to their destination.

When our feet started to tire and our stomachs told us it was lunch time, we found ourselves in front of The Venetian and stepped inside. After checking out our options, we settled on the Grand Lux Café, which turned out to be a very good choice.

Created originally for The Venetian by David Overton, founder of The Cheesecake Factory Restaurants, this upscale casual restaurant, in addition to Las Vegas, now has locations in Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas and Houston.

The menu offers a wide variety of options with flavors from Thailand to the Caribbean to classic American and European specialties. The portions are very generous and the food, prepared fresh to order, is delicious.

For me, the bread was the best part. It was a rustic sourdough with dark golden brown, crunchy crust and a chewy, moist center. Invariably I found myself reaching into the basket for a second piece.

The restaurant was very busy; tables were cleaned and re-set as soon as they were vacated and new patrons were quickly seated. But this didn’t affect our service. Once our order was placed, the food came out promptly. Valeria, our server, was pleasant and helpful, and found time to check with us at least twice to make sure all our needs were taken care of.

After lunch we decided to take a look at the new Lagasse’s Stadium – Bar, Book & BAM! – next-door at The Palazzo.

Inspired by two of Chef Emeril Lagasse’s lifelong passions – cooking and sports – the Stadium definitely takes it up a notch for sports fans.

The stadium-style seating is actually quite plush; nothing at all like a real stadium except it is tiered for excellent viewing in any location. There are also cocktail tables in front of the seats to accommodate food and beverages.

For viewing, there are more high definition screens than you can count (over 100 I’m told), including two 103 inch plasma TVs and a 9 x 16 foot video wall. No matter where you are sitting or what direction you are facing, you will be able to see your game of choice.

Every seat in the place was occupied, including those in the upscale Sky Boxes and the Luxury Boxes, private rooms with private patio access, billiard tables and video game consoles. The crowd was enthusiastic with cheers and shouting almost non-stop. It had all the excitement of a live game.

Although we had just eaten, we couldn’t resist looking at the menu. The New Orleans style crab cakes or Creole boiled shrimp cocktail sounded tempting, as did the French dip with shaved garlic roasted prime rib and truffle aioli on New Orleans French bread. This is definitely a restaurant I will be eating at in the not too distant future.

We placed a small wager on the upcoming Colts-Titans matchup at the betting counter, got some information on in-running wagering (which I’ll tell you more about next week) and made our way back to the Strip through the outdoor patio that offers street level access directly from Las Vegas Boulevard. Now that’s convenient.

See you around town.

Question? Comment? E-mail me at: Eileen Di Rocco