Get Ready To Say Goodbye To Wynn Golf Club

Photo Credit: Barbara Kraft
Photo Credit: Barbara Kraft

Lost in yesterday’s rumor about Wynn Las Vegas was the fact Wynn Golf Club might be going away with the new renovations to the property. According to the article by Norm Clark, Wynn Resorts spokesman Michael Weaver says:

“Although we are studying an expansion of the golf course, it is not yet a real project because we have not presented complete business plans to our board of directors.”

The rumor goes on to say that this new development at Wynn will include a hotel tower, 40-acre lake and a convention center.

Everything would be built on the land currently occupied by the lush greenery of the Tom Fazio designed golf course.


The changes to Wynn Golf Club might also bring change to some restaurants inside Wynn and Encore. The beautiful view from the patio at Country Club might change into another lakeside dining experience. Since there’s already a restaurant called Lakeside Seafood maybe a name change to Lakeside Steakhouse will be in order.

Wynn has been changing the face of the entire property over the past year with new restaurants and room product. The renovations won’t be stopping anytime soon as they’re currently focused on building a new poker room and retail plaza (see details on Front Desk Tip).


Checking Out Via Brasil

Via Brasil Las Vegas Rodizio
Via Brasil Rodizio

After a couple of bad experiences at a Brazilian Steakhouse in the past I decided to ignore the Brazilian Steakhouse that’s around the block from my house. When I moved to Las Vegas my feelings against Brazilian Steakhouses were very negative. I basically forced myself to forget that Via Brasil existed even though I pass it almost every day. That changed about a month ago when it was I saw Via Brasil in an email.

It’s easy for me to forget about restaurants that aren’t in casinos. I’m in a casino a few times a week and will usually eat at a casino restaurant if I’m not in the mood to eat at home. A couple of weeks ago I finally decided to drive around the block to a restaurant I’ve neglected for years and I’m glad I did.

Via Brasil Las Vegas More Meat
Via Brasil: More Meat

The concept of a rodizio at a Brazilian steakhouse should be up everyone’s ally. It’s all the meat you can eat for one price. Via Brasil’s rodizio menu’s start at $39.99 (15 meats) but we went for the Rodizio Sterling Menu with costs $49.99. Check out the menu of meats:

1. Picanha (Top Sirloin)
2. Prime Rib
3. Chicken Drumsticks
4. Flank Steak
5. Brazilian Pork
6. Brazilian Sausage
7. Tri-Tip
8. Garlic Steak
9. Sweet & Tangy Chicken
10. Turkey wrapped in Bacon
11. Salmon
12. Filet Wrapped in Bacon
13. Chicken Breast*
14. Chicken Hearts*
15. Beef Short Ribs
16. BBQ Baby Back Pork Ribs
17. NY Steak
18. Porterhouse
19. Leg of Lamb
20. Lamb Chops
21. Grilled Shrimp


All Dinner Menus come with choice of 18 Made-To-Order Sides served family style and a salad bar. Since those are usually foods that get in the way of the meats we only shared a couple of sides and focused on the meat. That’s a positive EV move for any all you can eat deal.

I don’t eat fish and I don’t eat hearts so I probably had 18 different meats. Let me repeat that I ate 18 DIFFERENT MEATS. Here’s a sample:

Via Brasil Las Vegas Meats
Via Brasil Las Vegas Meats

The sliced Beef Short Rib at the bottom of the photo was probably the best meat of all. It melted on my tongue. I could probably eat a pound of that alone. (Please no comments on the picture of the chicken)

To my surprise the “No More Meat” sign appeared repeatedly throughout the night. I didn’t expect to use it until I was about to pass out from too much food. However…

Via Brasil Las Vegas - Service With A Smile
Via Brasil – Service With A Smile

…the service was so fast that we needed to stop the incoming meat so we could eat for and breath for a few minutes. More important than the fast service was the knowledge of every piece of meat by the staff. There wasn’t a piece of meat that wasn’t perfectly described.

That smile above is as infectious as the delicious meats coming by every few minutes. Every table at Via Brasil was having a great time and laughing. Fidel (not shown) was our head waiter and could not have been nicer or done a better job explaining the different foods available.

Dinner wrapped up with a decent cup of coffee and some ice cream.

The reason I avoided Via Brasil was because previous Brazilian Steakhouse meals left me feeling bloated and not well the next morning. Maybe the meats weren’t cooked properly or maybe they had too much salt.

Via Brasil tasted great and I felt like a million bucks after dinner despite a little gas. I felt great the next day. The day after I was ready to return to Via Brasil.

A rodizio meal at a Brazilian steakhouse isn’t the kind of meal you want all the time. While the food might be delicious there’s just too much food to eat regularly. Unlike some other Brazilian steakhouses you don’t have to eat a rodizio meal at Via Brasil. They have normal meals, happy hour, cookouts, brunch and can be a normal restaurant if that’s the experience you prefer. In fact, my next visit will probably be for Happy Hour.

Follow Via Brasil on twitter to see what specials or events they have coming up.

Disclaimer: This was a rare comp meal but my thoughts are how I really feel.

Caesars Turmoil

Caesars Entertainment Chapter 11
Caesars Entertainment Chapter 11?

To say this was a chaotic weekend for Caesars Entertainment would be an understatement. On Friday they announced that they were leaving a casino project in Suffolk Downs, MA.

Partner Suffolk Downs asked Caesars to withdraw following an investigation by the state’s gaming commission, according to a statement yesterday from the horse-track operator, which didn’t didn’t specify the findings and said it was confident it would receive approval on its own.

Whoa. Before anyone could speculate what was happening Caesars Entertainment announced that they were cutting ties with Gansevoort. There would be no Gansevoort Las Vegas.

Caesars Entertainment Corp. is ending its partnership with Gansevoort Hotel Group to transform Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall & Saloon into the luxury Gansevoort Las Vegas on the Strip.

Caesars executive vice president Jan Jones confirmed the move on Sunday, two days after the Suffolk Downs ownership group said it had dropped partner Caesars Entertainment from its bid to build a $1 billion resort casino at the Massachusetts racetrack.

In other words it seems as though Massachusetts wouldn’t allow Suffolk Downs to proceed with Caesars, in part, due to their ties with Gansevoort because they have ties to the Russian mob.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports the move came after Massachusetts gambling investigators, during routine background checks of Caesars’ business partners, found an investor in New York-based Gansevoort was alleged to have ties to organized crime in Russia.

This sounds like a scene from on of the awful Netflix Instant movies I watch. The hotel project formerly known as Gansevoort will continue. The rarely reliable Robin Leach says that Giada’s restaurant and Drai’s nightclub business will continue as things move forward.

The Las Vegas project will continue for Caesars seeking a new partner. I don’t think Kimpton Hotels will be a demographic match for what Caesars was trying to put together for this property but I’d love to see them have a hotel in Las Vegas.

The Suffolk Downs casino project will also proceed with a new partner. More on that another time.

Throw all of this into the pot of reasons for people to speculate about Caesars filing for chapter 11. I don’t think it’s a matter of if Caesars will file for bankruptcy, only a matter of when. All of this doesn’t help.

PS: If you get bored you can check out a blog I made a few years ago (pimpin at kimpton) after a fantastic stay at Hotel Monaco in Chicago.

Update: Now it seems as if there are possible money laundering problems.

Update 2: There was a shooting at Bally’s Las Vegas this morning.

Giada And Gansevoort Las Vegas A Strange Mix

Giada De Laurentiis Cooking

Earlier this week it was leaked and then confirmed by Caesars Entertainment that Giada De Laurentiis would be opening her first restaurant at Gansevoort Las Vegas when it opens next year. Giada is a beautiful woman and her cooking show seems like it’s popular (Although google image search shows about 20 pictures of Giada’s boobs for every 1 of her cooking. Maybe her cooking isn’t so popular).

Like Rachel Ray she’s not exactly cool or hip, which is what Gansevoort Las Vegas is aiming to be. Additionally, she’s not anything different from the celebrity chefs Caesars Entertainment has been attaching with just about every new restaurant opening. When Gansevoort was initially announced Caesars Entertainment’s Chief Marketing Officer, Tariq Shaukat opined that Gansevoort would be different.

“We wanted to bring in a partner who had not just expertise, but a passion for creating something really unique”

When finished Gansevoort Las Vegas may actually create a unique hotel to Las Vegas but, besides this being her Giada’s first restaurant, another chef from television doesn’t offer something you can’t find at other hotels on the strip.

Giada’s brand seems like something you’d get at a big box retailer like Target than at a boutique store.

I was looking forward to Gansevoort being a truly unique Caesars Entertainment hotel in Las Vegas but if they keep medling this will just be another overly commercialized hotel with bad housekeeping, overpriced rooms and 6:5 blackjack. Lame.

Photo: FanShare