Sunday, November 13, 2011

Restaurant Review: First Food and Bar at Palazzo

I'd already taken one pretzel off the stack before I remembered to take a photo.

The large lobster pieces on small buns.  Not always a good thing...
First Food and Bar is easy to get to from the Strip – it’s right inside Palazzo, next to The Shoppes at Palazzo, where the hotel shops connect with The Venetian hotel next door.  It is easily accessible from the escalator beside Walgreen’s Strip-level entrance.  It was much easier to go that route instead of winding my way through the Venetian's July 4th poker tournament, which was the closest indoor entrance.  There were TONS of people playing, standing around, trying to walk through…I was glad I’d found the other entrance by accident when I stopped by Walgreens earlier in my trip.  The Venetian is hard enough for me to find my way around in without tournaments, so finding an outside, direct entrance was a win in my book.

I made my reservation through with the intention of going for a late meal and having the Lobster Pot Pie, especially after seeing it in another trip report and hearing about it from several of my LasVegas4Ever friends.  Sadly, it was not on the menu.  What?  Why?  It could be that it isn't available on their late-night menu, I don’t know, but I didn't bother asking, either.  

While I pondered the missing Lobster Pot Pie and decided what to have in its place, I enjoyed the complimentary soft, warm pretzels with dipping sauces brought to me by one of the chefs.  They were delicious!  I think I could have made a meal out of these alone.  I did manage to eat two of them before I stopped myself and remembered I was there to have a meal, not snack my way through the complimentary appetizers.

I ended up ordering Lobster Rolls because I have a special weakness for them (and I love seafood, as you can probably tell from my food choices).  That was probably a better idea anyway, because I’m sure the Lobster Rolls were much smaller than the Lobster Pot Pie from the photos I've seen.  I have to say I was disappointed in them; they were not nearly as good as the ones I’d had at Holsteins in Cosmopolitan during my March trip.  

The pieces of lobster were just too big for the small rolls they were served on, and their sauce wasn’t as tasty as the sauce they make at Holsteins.  Everything about the lobster rolls seemed too large for the small buns, including the chopped celery that was part of the sauce.  The buns themselves had a good, mildly sweet flavor, but the bottoms were very greasy, as if they had over-buttered the pan before they were baked, and I found myself wiping my hands repeatedly every time I put down a roll, and not because of the abundance of sauce (it was just enough).

Overall, I was kind of disappointed with the experience.  I think I probably would have been happier if I'd asked about the Lobster Pot Pie, but I still think it isn't offered on the late evening menu.  My total bill was $22+tip, including iced tea.  The service was good and the atmosphere was nice, but the dinner left me wanting more.

The restaurant itself is very nice, with modern decor and dark wood and accents, with a great view of The Mirage volcano from the booths situated just opposite the bar.  I think the restaurant probably has one of the better Strip views, especially at night when everything is lit up and glittery.

Disappointment in my meal makes me give this whole experience a 6 out of 10.  The flavor was just not the best, and I'm not a fan of wiping my hands between every bite because of greasiness.  Still, the location and the other offerings on their menu make me want to go back to try something else.  

To view the menu or make a reservation, click here:  

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