Category Archives: Panty-Dropper Cocktails

Cleo at SLS Las Vegas is the Best Las Vegas Restaurant You Haven’t Tried Yet

It’s an overlooked gem of a restaurant at an overlooked gem of a Las Vegas resort. Cleo at SLS Las Vegas is a must-try, and chances are you haven’t been there yet.

Cleo SLS Las Vegas

Cleo’s entrance is a pyramid, believed to be good luck. Having tasted the signature cocktails at Cleo, it’s hard to argue that belief.

Cleo has been around since SLS Las Vegas opened at around midnight on August 22, 2014.

While offerings at SLS have come and go, Cleo has remained a reliably great dining option, and it’s about time you gave it a go.

Cleo SLS Las Vegas

Cleo’s decor has a pitched roof, Moroccan tiles and chandeliers, and other things we sort of don’t notice because we tend to be face-down in the wonderful food.

Cleo is a holdover from a time when SLS Las Vegas was a partnership with SBE Entertainment Group. While SBE is no longer in the picture, Cleo has been successful enough to warrant its license fee, and we’re thankful for that whenever we dive headlong into the restaurant’s consistently delicious offerings.

Let’s try a few of Cleo’s sure-fire, Mediterranean-inspired dishes.

Start with “Dips With Laffa.” While this may sound like a Middle Eastern late night talk show, laffa is actually a soft, pita-like Sephardic bread, a description we definitely didn’t copy and paste from the Internet.

The dips are irresistible (start with the lebaneh with feta), and the chewy, heavenly bread just keeps on coming.

Cleo SLS Las Vegas laffa

You know how some people say, “Don’t fill up on bread”? All due respect, those people are idiots.

Next, make a go of the “Spicy Cigars,” the only cigar this blog does not find absolutely revolting.

Cleo SLS Las Vegas

Oh, get your mind out of the gutter. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

If you hate Brussels sprouts, Cleo’s will change your life forever. If you like Brussels sprouts, what in the hell is wrong with you?

Cleo SLS Las Vegas

Eating the Brussels sprouts at Cleo was the first time we ever had them without feeling like we were being punished for something.

We have yet to try a kebab at Cleo we didn’t love. Moist, perfectly seasoned and expertly cooked, start with Chicken Kebab and you’re well on your way to one of the best meals in Las Vegas.

Cleo SLS Las Vegas

It’s likely the kebabs at Cleo will inspire your gustatory cells to send a thank-you note.

It’s probably a good time to explore the signature cocktail menu, arguably as memorable as the food at Cleo.

We’ve tried just about every signature cocktail there is at Cleo, and there’s not a single disappointment in the bunch. Start with a Cucumber Smash, try the Lotus Flower or Raspberry Twist, then close with the Janapolitan or Mediterranean Margarita.

Cleo SLS Las Vegas

The Cucumber Smash has Jameson whiskey, muddled cucumber, St. Germain Elderflower liqueur and lemon juice.

Back to the food!

As mentioned, Cleo is a perfect place to order things you’d never imagine yourself ordering.

We even tried the grilled octopus, and we are absolutely not a grilled octopus person.

Cleo SLS Las Vegas

You say gelatinous and suction cuppy like it’s a bad thing.

The flatbreads are stellar. That’s pizza to us common folk. The fact we once tried the kale flatbread is testament to the hold Cleo has over us.

This one below is probably the Roman. We didn’t have time to take notes. We were too busy having our taste buds titillated. Which, we realize, is illegal in certain Southern states.

Cleo SLS Las Vegas

If you have the drunchies, it’s pizza. If you’re trying to impress someone on a date, it’s flatbread.

The highlight of any Cleo meal, though, is the exquisite chicken tagine. There are so many layers of flavor, you’ll feel like an archaeologist. Look, you know what we mean.

Cleo SLS Las Vegas

Do not make us choose between sex and Cleo’s chicken tagine. We don’t want to hurt sex’s feelings.

We recently saw the recipe for Cleo’s chicken tagine, and we’re not exaggerating when we say it has 40 ingredients, and that doesn’t even include the dozen or so used simply for the garnish and presentation.

Again, we can’t do it justice with mere photography. Just trust in the fact it’s one of the best dishes we’ve ever had in our entire life, and if you don’t like it, we pledge to finish yours for you.

Cleo SLS Las Vegas

Chicken tagine is made in (wait for it) tagine pots. “Tagine” is believed to have come from the Persian, meaning “laid at the bottom of the pan,” which is possibly why this dish is so satisfying.

Everything at Cleo leaves you feeling both satisfied, but not stuffed.

Yes, that means there’s room for another cocktail. There’s always a method to our madness.

Cleo SLS Las Vegas

We take the fact we don’t remember the name of this cocktail as a sign it was fantastic.

If you don’t trust our judgment about what to order, Cleo also has tasting menus. There’s a “Cleo Favorites” tasting menu for $50 per person (two person minimum) and Chef’s Signature tasting menu for $65 (two person minimum). Learn more.

With exceptional service and moderate prices, Cleo hits all the right notes for an incomparable night out in Las Vegas.

While you’re there, make sure to check out the wood-fired oven where a lot of the culinary magic happens.

Cleo SLS Las Vegas

You may experience pangs of guilt when you realize everything on the menu at Cleo is $20 or less. Compensate by ordering more. You’re in Vegas.

Find the full Cleo menu at the official site of SLS Las Vegas.

Here’s a photo gallery of more food and drink at Cleo, as if you weren’t already salivating all over your keyboard.

Cleo at SLS Las Vegas

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11 Panty-Dropper Cocktails to Lubricate Your Las Vegas Visit

There’s a difference between merely doing Las Vegas and doing it right. That difference? Cocktails.

More specifically, we’re talking about cocktails we lovingly refer to as “Panty-Dropper Cocktails.” They’re the kind of cocktails that facilitate social collisions and instigate unforgettable Sin City memories.

Here, we’ve gathered some of our favorite panty-dropper cocktails from across Las Vegas. Cheers!

1. Bathtub Gin Daisy at Freedom Beat Inside Downtown Grand

From what we remember, the Bathtub Gin Daisy has Old Grove gin, orange liqueur and lemon.

Bathtub Gin Daisy

You may as well just skip these photo captions, we’re drunk.

2. Carolyn Cosmo at The Nerd Nightclub at Neonopolis

The Carolyn Cosmo has Grey Goose Le Citron vodka, Pama pomegranate liqueur, Cointreau orange-flavored liqueur, fresh lime and cranberry.

Nerd Carolyn Cosmo

The Nerd Nightclub only has one specialty cocktail, but they chose wisely.

3. Alto Margarita at Alto Bar Inside Caesars Palace

This cocktail features Caesars Select Patrón Reposado tequila, Cointreau liqueur, agave nectar, lime juice and a floater of Grand Marnie.

Alto Margarita

The Alto Margarita is made all the more delicious by the fact it’s free when you’re playing video poker at Alto Bar.

4. Blazin’ Vegas at Pizza Rock

Hold onto your bloomers, this cocktail has Fireball cinnamon whiskey, Apple Pucker, Crown Royal and Red Bull.

Blazin Vegas cocktail

This cocktail will inspire you to not only remove your current panties, but all future panties.

5. Cleopatra’s Smile at Lobby Bar Inside Caesars Palace

Cleopatra’s Smile has Ketel One Citroen vodka, Aperol Apertivo, Pavan liqueur, fresh-squeezed ruby red grapefruit and lemon juices and clover honey syrup.

Cleopatra's Smile cocktail

There’s a reason Cleopatra smiled so much.

6. Hot Little Mess at Commonwealth

The Hot Little Mess has Bacardi Dragon Berry rum, fresh lime, simple syrup and strawberry puree.

Hot Little Mess at Commonwealth

You say “hot little mess” like it’s a bad thing.

7. Last Dame Standing at Edge Steakhouse Inside Westgate

The Last Dame Standing keeps it simple with muddled strawberries, Gray Goose vodka and fresh lemon juice.

Last Dame Standing cocktail

We do not condone the word “dame,” but we fully endorse this panty-dropper cocktail.

8. The Smash at Therapy

The perfect combination of Four Roses bourbon, blackberries, fresh limes and mint.

The Smash cocktail

The Smash isn’t just at Therapy, it is therapy.

9. Tomm’s Cup at Tom’s Urban at New York-New York

Just your basic masterpiece fashioned from Beefeater gin, Pimm’s (a gin-based liqueur), strawberry puree, ginger beer, simple syrup and lemon juice.

Tomm's Cup

Yes, it’s “Tomm’s.” We’re not that drunk.

10. White Peach Margarita at Stratosphere

It’s entirely possible this cocktail contains Sauza Hornitos tequila, peach puree, sour mix, fresh lime juice, simple syrup and triple sec, an orange-flavoured liqueur. We are not a mixologist. We are a sloppy drunkologist.

White Peach Margarita

Peaches have calcium, potassium, magnesium, manganese, zinc and copper, thereby making this cocktail a health drink.

11. Ruby Red Margarita at Fogo de Chao

Splash around in the Ketel One vodka, ruby red grapefruit, lemon juice and black salt.

Ruby Red Martini

No, it’s not exactly red. Trust us. After a couple of these cocktails, that inner critic of yours will mellow right the hell out.

Thirsty? Us, too.

Grab the nearest mixologist and drink in all the amazing cocktails Las Vegas has to offer. Livers are fairly inexpensive on the black market, so it’s time to live a little.

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Impossible Burger at Andrea’s is a Good Burger, But a Spectacular Veggie Burger

There’s been a good amount of buzz about a new menu item at Andrea’s inside Encore, the Impossible Burger, so we wasted no time trying the burger that uses “zero percent cow.”

The Impossible Burger is served three ways. We chose the sliders.

Impossible Burger

Some assembly required.

The Impossible Burger patties are served on a hot plate, with the patties still sizzling, and the fragrance is distinctly meatlike.

Despite their appearance, Impossible Burgers are completely meat-free and vegetarian-friendly.

Impossible Burger

“Improbable Burger” is probably more accurate, but doesn’t quite have the same ring to it.

According to the Impossible Burger Web site, “Compared to cows, the Impossible Burger uses 95% less land, 74% less water and creates 87% less greenhouse gas emissions. And it’s 100% free of hormones, antibiotics and artificial ingredients.”

We may have removed a couple of Oxford commas from that excerpt, but only because they’re about as necessary as a clever pick-up line at a brothel. Moving on.

Impossible Burger

Yes, they could’ve inserted the meat in the kitchen, but imagine the number of H.R. and health violations.

Impossible Burger meat is a concoction of wheat, coconut oil, potatoes and other all-natural ingredients. We liked it, anyway.

A key ingredient of Impossible Burgers is something called heme. Heme is “an iron-containing compound of the porphyrin class that forms the nonprotein part of hemoglobin and some other biological molecules.” Which, as you can imagine, looks sexy as hell on the menu at Andrea’s.

According to the folks at Impossible Foods, heme “is what makes meat smell, sizzle and bleed.”

Andrea's Encore

Andrea’s is named after Steve Wynn’s wife, Andrea Hissom. (Those are her eyes.) She’s not called Andrea Wynn, mainly because if she were, Wynn’s former wife, Elaine, would rain down hell fire and haunt us all for an eternity.

The three sliders are served with frisee (or endive, a member of the chicory family), kimchee (think vegetables with a personal hygiene problem) and pickles (think cucumber with a personal hygiene problem).

Impossible Burger sliders come with two delicious sauces, kalbi and kochujang aioli.

Yes, we took notes for a change.

The sliders cost $20, and were undeniably delectable. Millennial translation: They’re amazeballs.

Impossible Burger

We’re nominating the Impossible Burger as the best veggie burger in Vegas, emphasis on “nom.”

While Impossible Burgers are, indeed, tasty, we can’t say they’re indistinguishable from beef hamburgers. Veggie burgers still haven’t managed to replicate the mouth feel of their meaty counterparts, but Impossible Burgers are surprisingly close.

The other two dishes using Impossible Burger meat are the Thai Crispy Rice Cups (made with mint, cilantro, chili, onion, ginger and peanuts) and Ma Po Tofu (a take on meatballs, with chili paste, shiitake mushrooms and green onion).

While you’re devouring your Impossible Burgers, make sure to try one of our all-time favorite panty-dropper cocktails, the Asian Pear.

Andrea's Encore Asian Pear

Bonus: The Asian Pear is meat-free.

If you’re visiting Andrea’s solo, have no fear. We had our Impossible Burgers while seated at the bar.

The Impossible Burger is that rare creature, so to speak, that lives up to the hype.

Andrea's Encore

Andrea’s is a little fancy, so, please, no lederhosen.

Die-hard meat eaters may ultimately prefer a traditional burger to the Impossible Burger at Andrea’s, but there’s a lot to be said for having a viable alternative to meat, especially if one is toying with the idea of cutting back on meat, or even going whole hog vegan or vegetarian.

Yes, we see what we did there, although we’re not entirely sure what.

Encore Las Vegas

What, you thought we’d miss an opportunity to share a gratuitous photo of Encore? Do you know this blog at all?

The bottom line is this: Impossible Burgers don’t feel like a compromise or sacrifice. Whether you’d like to save a cow or possibly save the planet, meat-free food is inherently more appealing because it’s also free of guilt.

If you try an Impossible Burger, let us know what you think. Visit Encore’s Web site to learn more.

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The Nerd Nightclub Opens at Downtown’s Neonopolis

A new nightlife offering has opened at downtown’s Neonopolis, The Nerd.

The Nerd nightclub takes up residence in the former Drink & Drag space and offers bowling, pool and frosty beverages. No drag queens, but you’ll survive.

The Nerd nightclub

Fun fact: The stigma of being a nerd vanished about 15 minutes after Bill Gates made his first billion.

The Grand Opening of The Nerd was attended by Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman and other tenants of Neonopolis, a shopping center that has struggled in the past, but which seems to be building momentum with new businesses like Fremont Arcade and an eSports arena.

The Nerd nightclub

You can keep your cornhole. We’ll opt for pool every time.

The Nerd is on the second floor of Neonopolis, and features a 12-lane bowling alley, four pool tables, a dance floor and DJ booth.

The Nerd nightclub

We hear The Nerd’s dance floor features go-go dancers on the weekend. Guess we have some further research to do.

So far, The Nerd feels a bit hastily put together. There’s no permanent signage to speak of, and while there’s a full bar, there’s no signature cocktail menu. During our visit on opening day, however, there was one specialty cocktail being served, the Carolyn Cosmopolitan (named after the mayor, of course), and it was delicious.

The Nerd nightclub

A certified panty-dropper cocktail. All due respect, Mayor Goodman.

If you’d like to make the Carolyn Cosmo at home: Grey Goose Le Citron vodka (2 oz.), Pama pomegranate liqueur (1 oz.), Cointreau orange-flavored liqueur (1 oz.), fresh lime and a splash of cranberry.

There’s no food currently being served at The Nerd, but that is likely to change in the future. (Related: We’ve heard a food truck may take up residence in the courtyard of Neonopolis, which would certainly help to satisfy our drunchies.)

In fact, The Nerd’s owner, Jonathan Borchetta, seems to have lots of plans in the works for the place. Some of the most ambitious are off-the-record for the time being, but stay tuned. Borchetta is also owner of the VooDoo Zipline at Rio Las Vegas.

The Nerd

Jonathan Borchetta receives a Proclamation from Mayor Goodman. In Las Vegas, it’s the law.

Borchetta understands The Nerd is in a challenging location, but thinks the quirky theme and libations will win the day.

He’s also enticing customers with the promise of free bowling and pool. We’re sold.

The Nerd nightclub

Bowling continues to be one of the best ways to humiliate yourself in front of your friends.

Speaking of the nerdy theme, The Nerd has ample movie and TV memorabilia on display, will sell comic book and pop culture costumes for those into cosplay, and anyone wearing a costume will get half-price drinks.

The Nerd

We’re thinking “Breaking Bad.” There was a placard, but this blog is more of a drinker than a placard reader.

There are also classic video games throughout the venue, and those, too, are free to play.

The Nerd nightclub

Even if you’re wasted, you’ll be able to tell you’re at The Nerd.

We fell in love with the Drink & Drag space during its short run at Neonopolis and were sorry to see the establishment close. The Nerd has a lot of potential, and we look forward to seeing what’s next.

If The Nerd can tap into the gamer and Comic-Con crowds, while wooing the cool kids who frequent Gold Spike and Fremont East, it truly will be the revenge of the, well, you know.

The Nerd Nightclub at Neonopolis

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Alto Bar Opens at Caesars Palace With Virtual Reality On the Menu

Caesars Palace recently unveiled its new Alto Bar, replacing the decade-old Seahorse Lounge.

Alto Bar Caesars Palace

Replacing the Seahorse Lounge at Caesars was especially good news for the seahorses. Let’s just say they went through a lot of seahorses.

Alto Bar is the result of a multi-million-dollar renovation, and the bar is located adjacent to Omnia Nightclub and Searsucker, a restaurant you never hear anything about, which is always a good sign.

Alto Bar Caesars Palace

Officials haven’t said what inspired the name “Alto,” but recent bar names (Vista, Apostrophe and Fizz) have intentionally steered clear of the resort’s Roman Empire theme.

Alto Bar is the biggest bar at a resort with lots of great bars.

Booths throughout Alto have adorable TV screens because god forbid you go 15 minutes without access to sports.

Alto lounge Caesars Palace

There are six people on staff just to keep track of all the remotes.

The bar has 18 video poker machines. The machine we played was looser than our sister, but your results may vary. With the machines. Our sister is pretty much a sure thing.

The cocktail menu features wildly overpriced drinks, and by that we mean sort of typical prices at Strip resorts these days. Remember, you’re not just paying for a drink, you’re paying for an experience!

Alto Bar Caesars Las Vegas

We don’t know what all those symbols mean. We are a Las Vegas blog, not an Egyptologist.

We had the expertly-prepared Alto Margarita. Hey, $16 is the new $8, but it was delicious. The margarita features Caesars Select Patrón Reposado tequila, Cointreau liqueur, agave nectar, lime juice and a floater of Grand Marnie, whatever that might actually be.

Alto Bar Las Vegas

In awesome news, video poker players can get the signature drinks comped when they play (drinks up to $16). This baby definitely qualifies as a panty-dropper cocktail.

There’s a small selection of draft beer ($9), bottled beer ($8), wine and non-alcoholic offerings.

There are also snacks, including mixed nuts ($7), classic ketel chips ($7) and a “Chef’s Selection” of meats, cheeses and heath breads. Psst, it’s not about the snacks.

The best thing about Alto Bar at the moment is the virtual reality lounge!

The adjoining Oculus Virtual Reality Lounge is easily overlooked and a complete and utter blast.

Alto Bar virtual reality

Oculus Touch, owned by Facebook, uses a pair of tracked hand controllers that give you the feeling the virtual hands are your own. It’s freaky and addictive. Sorry, it’s fire. Or possibly lit. We have trouble keeping up.

If you haven’t tried VR yet, now’s the time, and not just because it’s free. Although, that certainly doesn’t hurt. (Ads for the Virtual Reality Lounge say it’s free with the purchase of a cocktail, but tell them we sent you and they’ll probably let it slide.)

Basically, VR requires that you don a goofy headset and wear two hand controllers. Motion sensors track the movement of your body and create a virtual interaction with your surroundings.

The VR lounge at Alto Bar offers several demos, including The Unspoken, The Climb, VR Sports Challenge and Bullet Train.

Alto Bar Caesars Palace

We’d say virtual reality is the best thing, ever, but we’ve been with actual women. Yes, plural, thanks to a little something called red wine.

The VR lounge won’t be there forever, so take full advantage before March 28, 2017.

Alto Bar is open Monday through Thursday, 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m., Tuesday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 a.m and 24 hours Friday through Sunday.

Alto virtual reality lounge

Caesars doesn’t seem to be heavily promoting the VR lounge, so that means more playtime for you.

The virtual reality lounge operates from 4:00 p.m. to midnight during the week and stays open until 1:00 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. Guests must be 21 or older to use the virtual reality system.

Kudos to Caesars for giving guests some added value at Alto Bar. Virtual reality is mesmerizing, and once you’re in, you’ll never want to stop. Trust us on this one!

Caesars Palace Las Vegas

When you’re at Caesars, check out the swanky new carpet. It definitely doesn’t steer clear of the Roman theme.

Expect to see more VR cropping up at Las Vegas casinos. There’s a new VR Adventures shop at Linq promenade, and MGM Grand has been promoting its “Ka” show with virtual reality stations in its lobby.

It’s only a matter of time before there’s a virtual reality strip club in Las Vegas. Not that anyone would be interested in something like that. At all. Especially not this Las Vegas blog. Ever. Probably.

Alto Lounge at Caesars Palace

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The Dorsey Lounge Replaces Bourbon Room at Venetian

A swanky new lounge has opened at Venetian, The Dorsey.

The new lounge sits in the former Bourbon Room space. Bourbon Room was a lounge themed to complement the hotel’s departed show, “Rock of Ages,” which relocated to Rio Las Vegas. “Rock of Ages” closes, once again, on Jan. 1, 2017.

There will be a quiz.

The Dorsey Venetian

The Dorsey. Just the right amount of fancy.

The Dorsey does a 180 from the “rockin’ loud” Bourbon Room, delivering a more refined experience in well-appointed surroundings. (The 180-degree change is punctuated by the fact the bar no longer has video poker.)

The Dorsey Venetian

The Dorsey cost $2.5 million and was worth every penny.

The Dorsey’s signature cocktail menu is replete with unique libations “designed by award-winning barman Sam Ross of New York City’s Attaboy fame.” We are clearly a dim-witted muttonhead because we have no idea what an “Attaboy” is or why it’s famous. However, we can attest to the fact Sam Ross knows his hooch.

We tried the Banana Hammock and our socks were blown.

Off.

Related: Punctuation is hard.

The Dorsey Venetian

The Banana Hammock features two rums, lime, banana, orgeat and cinnamon. It was infinitely better than it sounds. Especially the orgeat thing. Which you’ll be Googling in three, two…

Here’s The Dorsey cocktail menu in a resolution that won’t make you squint like an albino in a tanning booth. Here are more cocktails (including “Stirred & Boozy,” “Shorties” and “Punch Bowls”). Look here for the champagne, wine and beer.

Signature cocktails run in the $18 range, which may cause some Las Vegas regulars sticker shock. But $18 is the new $8, so it’s best to just settle in and enjoy the creativity of the cocktails.

Or the ambiance.

If you get our drift.

The Dorsey Venetian

Your elevated heart rate is duly noted and completely warranted.

The model-servers are friendly and helpful, as are The Dorsey’s bartenders.

The Dorsey is 4,500-square-feet, in case square footage somehow adds to your enjoyment of a lounge. You freak.

The space is warm and as comfortable and sophisticated as The Dorsey’s news release claims. There’s a lot of oak and brass and leather and marble.

There are two areas in The Dorsey that provide a semi-private feel, the Cage and the Library.

The Dorsey Venetian

If you guessed this isn’t the Library, you’re right. Your future as a detective is assured.

The Library, lined with hundreds of books, has a sweet fireplace. It blows smoke and it lit in a way that makes the smoke look like fire. It’s cozy, trust us.

The Dorsey Venetian

You remember books. It’s how people occupied themselves before memes and Facebook stalking.

The walls of The Dorsey are lined with digital displays featuring the work of a number of artists whose names we don’t recognize, such as Marilyn Minter, Poyen Wang and Jason Salavon.

The Dorsey is on par with Clique at Cosmopolitan and Skyfall Lounge at Delano.

The Dorsey Venetian

Beyond its dreamy bar, The Dorsey also has a DJ booth. We won’t hold that against it.

If you’re looking to knock something back on the cheap (ditto slamming or chugging), this probably isn’t the place. The Dorsey is, however, a place with an air of class, memorable cocktails and waitresses who will make you feel like the most interesting, attractive person in the world.

The Dorsey Venetian

Let’s infuse something, already.

The Dorsey is open nightly from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 a.m. It’s located just off the main floor of the Venetian’s casino, near the hotel’s restaurant row.

The Dorsey at Venetian

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