Monthly Archives: December 2013

Today’s Panty-Dropper Cocktail: Lucky Ray at Double Helix in the Palazzo

Say chao to your inhibitions, or the inhibitions of special someone, or even the inhibitions of a special complete stranger with whom you’re hoping to have a Las Vegas fling, with the delicious Lucky Ray cocktail at Double Helix Wine Bar in The Shoppes at Palazzo.

Double Helix

Your taste buds are going to owe you, bigtime.

The Lucky Ray ($12) cocktail has Riesling wine, peach schnapps, pineapple juice and grenadine. We loved it, and we aren’t even really a wine person.

Three sips in and we knew this drink was going to make the night an unforgettable one. It’s so good, we actually ended up seducing ourself. We’d tell you all about it, but, you know, what happens here stays here and all that.

The Double Helix Wine Bar at Palazzo is an intimate space (just 2,100-square-feet), serving more than 50 wines by the glass. A nearby retail boutique offers hundreds of bottles of rare wines from around the world. Find out more.

Double Helix Palazzo

A most excellent place to people-watch, too, we might add.

As you’re exploring the wines and signature cocktails, take advantage of the food as well. Double Helix has a small but winning menu provided by Table 10, celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse’s restaurant, just a few feet away.

The margherita pizza with San Marzano tomato sauce (considered to be the best paste tomato in the world) alone is worth a visit.

Table 10 pizza

Note: During a rainstorm, these tasty basil leaves can also be used as an umbrella.

If you or your companion are still in need of some social lubricant, try the Ginny & Ginger (below).

This little sip of heaven has Beefeater gin, Canton ginger liqueur and fresh mint.

Ginny and Ginger cocktail

Let’s just say the bartenders at Double Helix don’t play fair. In a good way.

We don’t get to the The Shoppes at Palazzo all that often, but now that we’ve discovered Double Helix and the food from Table 10, we expect to earn some serious Frequent Imbiber Points from here on out.

And, yes, we’re working on trademarking Frequent Imbiber Points, because those should be a thing.

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Today’s Thing Only We Care About: Sands Expo Gets a Snazzy New Sign

Back in October, we noticed the Sands Expo and Convention Center was removing its sign.

Sands Expo

As if you needed more proof we have far too much free time.

This is the massive convention center attached at the hip to the Palazzo and Venetian, by the way. At 2.25 million square feet (yes, we counted), the Sands Expo and Convention Center is the second largest convention center in the world. Would you expect anything less from Las Vegas?

In early December, we saw a new sign going up, with a slimmed down name. The new sign says, simply, “Sands Expo.”

Sands Expo Las Vegas

Sup, newness?

Come to find out, this was no ordinary sign replacement. The Sands Expo and Convention Center not only has a new name, the sign has some new bling.

Sands Expo

For those with OCD, We’re sure the Sands Expo folks are all over fixing the “D” issue. Just chill.

The Sands Expo sign is so fresh, the official site still uses a photo of the old one. We like visiting the official Sands Expo site, Sandsexpo.com, mainly because it’s one of the few official sites in Las Vegas that has “sex” in it. So, if that domain name is blocked at work, at least you’ll know why!

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O’Sheas Las Vegas is Back at The Quad and The Linq

It was a big day for O’Sheas fans everywhere as a new iteration of the iconic Las Vegas casino opened at The Quad and The Linq.

The place was packed as soon as it opened, and the shenanigans made famous at the original O’Sheas were back in play at the new establishment.

Lucky's back in action

That’s our Lucky!

Lucky the Leprechaun mounted the bar, as well as female guests, in a time-honored tradition of debauchery we feared might be lost when the new O’Sheas opened. Our fears were unfounded!

O'Sheas Las Vegas

Let’s play! And drink! And mainly that last thing!

The new O’Sheas not only boasts Lucky and his free shots, but also live music and beer pong as the original O’Sheas did for 23 years. A sign from the original O’Sheas has been refurbished for the new establishment. Gone is the leprechaun on top, now it’s a shamrock.

O'Sheas

A little old, a little new, a lot hungover.

The original O’Sheas closed in the spring of 2012.

O’Sheas is conveniently located between The Quad and the new Linq dining and entertainment district. (Watch for a post about the Linq soon.)

O'Sheas waitresses

The O’Sheas cocktail waitresses have some snappy new outfits.

As everyone with a hearty liver had hoped, O’Sheas is bringing the hooch in classic style. If you’re curious about the drink menus, we’ve got you covered.

Here are the O’Sheas drink menus for specialty shots and cocktails, daily and Throwback Thursday specials, and the substantial beer menu.

There are three bars at O’Sheas, two inside (Lucky Bar and Dublin Up Bar) and one outside at The Linq, Blarney Bar (see below).

O'Sheas Blarney Bar

Prediction: Blarney Bar at O’Sheas will earn $27.3 million on St. Patrick’s Day 2014.

While the drinks are strong at O’Sheas, we can’t say the same about the gambling, unfortunately. The 15 video poker machines have some fairly disappointing pay tables, and the blackjack tables are all eight deck shoes paying 6-to-5 for blackjack.

O’Sheas has 11 table games, including a few specialty card games (Three Card Poker, Texas Hold’em Bonus and Mississippi Stud), and roulette and craps. We hate when 12 on the field in craps pays double rather than triple, but we’ll play here, anyway. It’s O’Sheas!

O'Sheas

Here’s hoping the new O’Sheas has nearly as much mojo as the original.

The good news is the table minimums are reasonable, with most tables at $5 during our first visit.

The odds are fantastic on the O’Sheas beer pong tables, by the way. Pay money, drink beer. That’s a solid return on investment.

O'Sheas beer pong

It’s back, and as trash-talky as ever.

Mostly, it was great seeing Brian Thomas, as Lucky, back doing what he does best!

Lucky the Leprechaun

Lucky’s the man! They pulled out all the stops for his new suit.

We’re pleased and relieved to report O’Sheas is off to a great start, with a boisterous atmosphere (music: 40% too loud, of course), great service and some incredible memories of the O’Sheas of yore. We’re ready to make some new ones at O’Sheas redux.

If you’re having trouble finding O’Sheas, just look for the giant digital marquee outside The Linq!

The Linq marquee

O’Sheas is larger-than-life, once again.

Enjoy a few more photos from the new O’Sheas Las Vegas at The Quad and The Linq! A few may even be in focus.

O'Sheas Las Vegas at The Quad

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Bond Lounge Opens, Infusing The Cosmopolitan Las Vegas With Even More Awesome

There are a lot of things to love about The Cosmopolitan, and it just got another awesome thing: Bond Lounge.

Bond Lounge is an expansion of the popular Bond Bar, and features a party pit with a number of table games, ballet bar dancers and a friendly team of comely dealers.

Bond Lounge

Your average party pit just got schooled at The Cosmopolitan.

The party pit at The Cosmopolitan is unlike other popular party pits in Las Vegas casinos. Specifically, The Cosmo takes the high road. The dealers are tastefully dressed in black romper-style outfits, with their hair in buns.

The dancers, who perform on platforms with illuminated ballet bars, aren’t really go-go dancers, they’re more performance artists, with tasteful costumes and actual dancing talent.

Bond Lounge

We’re loving these tables. The lights are dramatic and are synchronized with all the other tables.

The table limits are very reasonable for The Strip, and a welcome departure from the higher table limits which have kept some low-limit gamblers away from The Cosmo’s casino.

There are about 16 table games, including a roulette table and a Casino War table.

Most of the tables are blackjack, of course, the vast majority of which have a $10 minimum. The blackjack games are either eight-shoe games or double deck games. The shoe games pay 3-to-2, with the double deck games paying 6-to-5.

Bond Lounge

Las Vegas didn’t invent attractive dealers, it just perfected them.

We love the new casino area, and our only gripe is that the music is about 30% too loud, not uncommon in party or pleasure pits on The Strip, unfortunately.

The nearby Bond Bar has become one of our favorite places to play video poker and sample the nearly-perfect signature cocktail menu. The cocktails run $12-14, but are free while you’re playing, of course.

Bond Bar at Cosmo

Friendly bartenders, delicious drinks and loose (at least for The Strip) video poker makes for a very happy us.

During our most recent visit, we had our best Bond Bar cocktail yet, the Pineapple Express.

This exceptional panty-dropper cocktail has Cariel Vanilla vodka, Kalani coconut liqueur, caramelized pineapple, pineapple and lime juices and vanilla-walnut simple syrup. This sweet concoction has edged out our next favorite, the It Takes Two to Mango cocktail.

Pineapple Express cocktail

Oh, Pineapple Express, is there any way we could have an IV of you?

We’re happy to report the video poker at Bond Bar is surprisingly loose, especially given the quality of the cocktails being served, gratis.

Four deuces

If “cha” and “ching” made sweet love, this would be their baby.

If you haven’t been to The Cosmopolitan recently, it’s time to fix that! You won’t be disappointed by the Bond Lounge or Bond Bar.

Although, granted, your Deuces Wild results may vary. As a Las Vegas blog, we’re a personal friend of Lady Luck, after all.

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A Sneak Peek at the O’Sheas Sneak Preview and More

O’Sheas returns to the Las Vegas Strip on Dec. 27, 2013, but the new bar and casino area at The Quad and Linq is already doing a preview for insiders with a secret password.

We took a shot at the password, “Lucky,” but to no avail. Photography is strictly forbidden to those without the password, so unfortunately we can’t share any photos of the new O’Sheas until the official opening.

Kidding! You totally fell for that, didn’t you? Here’s today’s security breach!

New O'Sheas

Your liver may need a Viagra! Or something!

The new O’Sheas has a cozy vibe, with lots of dark wood, two inside bars (Lucky Bar and Dublin Up) and one outside (Blarney Bar), 11 table games, a small stage for live entertainment and, of course, beer pong tables. Just four beer pong tables at the moment, though, so there’s definite shift away from catering to the beer pong crowd as the former O’Sheas did.

O'Sheas Las Vegas

That third table from the left is this Las Vegas blog’s retirement plan.

Bonus points if you spot the de facto “mayor” of O’Sheas, Lucky the Leprechaun, our buddy Brian Thomas.

We hear Lucky got a custom-made suit in honor of the re-opening of O’Sheas, costing in the neighborhood of $1,200, and made by the same designer who does costumes for Elton John.

Apparently, the new O’Sheas is to the former O’Sheas as The Cromwell is to Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall.

O'Sheas The Quad

You can’t miss it. Unless you’re already drunk. In which case, you probably shouldn’t be going to O’Sheas.

The cocktail waitress outfits are awesome, the ambiance is just right and we expect at least a token effort to offer guests the same kind of drink specials for which the previous incarnation of O’Sheas was known.

You’ll soon be able to enter O’Sheas from either the casino in The Quad or from The Linq. We popped our camera over the construction fence, naturally, to get a glimpse of a flurry of final touches before guests are welcomed to several new offerings at The Linq (also Dec. 27, 2013).

Linq Las Vegas

Large interactive kiosks, like the one at left, will let guests take and share photos of themselves at The Linq.

Aside from O’Sheas, The Linq will also debut Purple Zebra (a slushy drink shop), Haute Doggery (which may serve hot dogs), a Starbucks (which may serve coffee), Koto (an oddities shop, along the lines of Sharper Image) and Chayo Cocina, a Mexican restaurant adjacent to O’Sheas.

While you’re at O’Sheas (and you will be at O’Sheas, right?), you’ll also want to check out the monstrous Titan 360 slot machine experience a few feet away, inside the casino at The Quad.

Titan 360

“Titan” is Greek for “they may have had to remove a wall of the casino to get this thing in here.”

This new game is an eight-seater, with game stations surrounding a nearly 12-foot-tall central bonus extravaganza with video screens and a mechanical wheel with metallic balls.

The manufacturer says, “Titan 360 was designed to create excitement by providing a multi-sensory gaming experience that delivers thrilling, high-frequency bonus events.” We don’t know about all that, but we can confirm it’s one big-ass machine. Read more.

One final new thing at The Quad is a new view as you drive up into the self-park garage.

High Roller Las Vegas

That there high roller is classing up the joint, bigtime!

Read more about the world’s tallest observation wheel, the High Roller Ferris wheel.

Things are truly going to be hopping mid-Strip as The Linq opens its new offerings (with more coming in February) and The Quad completes its massive casino renovations.

We’ll see you at O’Sheas! Assuming we can see you with our face firmly planted in the plush, new carpeting.

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Apostrophe Bar Opens at Caesars Palace, Replete With Signature Cocktails

The new Apostrophe Bar has opened at Caesars Palace. The bar is at the crossroads of the Bacchanal Buffet, Rao’s Italian restaurant and Payard Patisserie.

The new bar takes the place of what was once a charming, old-school fountain. We were there when the original fountain was magically transformed into old-school rubble.

Fountain

How do we love thee, security breaches, let us count the ways.

We were also there to provide a peek behind the curtain as construction of the new Apostrophe Bar was being completed. Mainly because we don’t have a life, per se.

Apostrophe Bar

Fountain-ish.

Now, the $1.3 million Apostrophe Bar is open and appears to be a hit with Las Vegas visitors. This is due, at least in part, to the prime location, just feet away from the sometimes long lines at the Bacchanal Buffet.

Apostrophe Bar

It’s time to get your drank on.

The bar is striking thanks to, among other things, a central column filled with bubbling fluid.

Apostrophe Bar

Idea: Let’s build something cool, then cover it up with shelves full of stuff!

The “apostrophe” in Apostrophe Bar relates to the name of Caesars Palace, often written incorrectly as “Caesar’s Palace,” with an apostrophe. The founder of Caesars, Jay Sarno, was adamant that the name not have an apostrophe, because at Caesars Palace, “We’re all Caesars.”

The bar has a number of decorative flourishes and several TV screens, because in Las Vegas, a plethora of TVs is required in any establishment serving alcohol.

Apostrophe Bar has a solid selection of signature cocktails. We’ve got the full menu, if you’re not too busy to click on this link thingy.

Apostrophe Bar Caesars Palace

You can’t really be a fancy Las Vegas bar without some dangly things.

Signature cocktails run in the $14-15 range, unless you’re playing video poker, of course. There’s a drink called The Missing Apostrophe, and others called The Sarno, Downing Street and Kentucky Bee.

There’s also a cocktail called 1971. We have no idea why it’s named that, unless that year signifies the year “Diamonds Are Forever” was released. A little-known fact is that the aforementioned Jay Sarno played a sideshow barker in the movie (uncredited). Sarno’s other hotel project, Circus Circus, was used as a location in the classic film, too.

The beer selections are slim at Apostrophe Bar, but there’s a good mix of wines by the glass or bottle.

We love us some Vegas newness, especially when there’s video poker (about a dozen games) and hooch involved. By replacing a water feature and public gathering space, Apostrophe Bar continues the trend of squeezing profit from every possible square foot at Caesars Palace (see also: Caesars Palace skating rink).

Granted, the profit is squeezed with flair. It’s Las Vegas, after all.

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