I don’t spend a lot of time at Town Square, the Las Vegas Boulevard shopping center that’s so popular among locals. But the place has clearly had a hard time finding its dining identity. Restaurants have come and gone quickly since the complex opened, with generic chains and party spots generally outlasting more original concepts. Nonetheless, I like to keep an open mind. So I recently made a few trips there, trying some of its newer restaurants that I wasn’t already familiar with from other locations.
The first that drew my attention was the recently opened Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar. This is the second Las Vegas location for this national chain, but I’d never dined at a Fleming’s before. After all, we live in one of the best steakhouse cities in America. And since Fleming’s prices aren’t that much lower than some of my favorite places on the Strip, why would I waste my time on a chain?
Apparently, most Las Vegans don’t subscribe to my school of thought. When my wife and I arrived without a reservation on a Wednesday evening, I was told the restaurant was completely booked. We were fortunate to find a table in the crowded bar.
I was impressed with the menu, which includes four different filet mignons and a pair of dry-aged steaks. (They also offer 100 wines by the glass.) But I had come for something different: Fleming’s off-the-menu three-course prix-fixe dinner. Available Monday through Thursday through April 13 to customers in the know, it starts with a pan-seared scallop with goat-cheese polenta, followed by your choice of soup or salad, and a surf-and-turf entrée of filet mignon and lobster tail for $39.95. If I had paid more for it, I may have complained that the scallop could have used some more caramelization, the lobster was a bit overcooked and the butter wasn’t clarified. But given the price tag, I feel like I got a decent meal. And a small plate of lamb chops and a side of potatoes were considerably better.
Returning to Town Square the next afternoon, I decided to grab a light lunch. Local chain Crazy Pita Rotisserie and Grill specializes in salads, rotisserie chicken and various Mediterranean pitas and skewers. The meat selections include everything from kefta (seasoned ground-beef patties) and lamb to shrimp and chicken.
Just outside the door I found an employee offering free samples of the chicken. It was pretty good, and I was briefly tempted to make a meal of it. But I’d resolved to eat a little healthier today. So instead I opted for a vegetarian pita. While all the pitas come with fries, I upgraded to a side of hummus for an extra 99 cents.
My wrap was huge, piled high with roasted eggplant dip, roasted cauliflower and red peppers, olives and feta cheese. While I’m not usually a big fan of cauliflower, it was delicious, as was my hummus.
On my final day at Town Square, I visited McFadden’s Restaurant and Saloon. I’d actually been in the place a few times already to grab a quick drink before or after a movie. All I remembered about it, however, were servers in extremely short skirts and a general frat-party vibe. This time I wanted to sample the food—which I mistakenly assumed would have at least a touch of Irish influence. Unfortunately, the menu was packed with chicken wings, mozzarella sticks, quesadillas and other American bar fare. I stuck around long enough to have a “pickleback burger,” glazed with Jameson and topped with fried pickles, but wasn’t impressed enough to have more than a few bites.
That last stop notwithstanding, I have to admit I enjoyed my time at Town Square. But I can’t imagine it ever emerging as a true dining destination.
Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar
407-0019, open for dinner 5 p.m.–10 p.m. Monday–Thursday, 5 p.m.–11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 4 p.m.–10 p.m. Sunday. Dinner for two $100-$200.
Crazy Pita Rotisserie and Grill
778-3310, open for lunch and dinner 10:30 a.m.–9 p.m. Monday–Thursday, 10:30 a.m.–10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 10:30 a.m.–9 p.m. Sunday. Lunch or dinner for two $20-$30.
McFadden’s Restaurant and Saloon
834-4400, open for lunch and dinner, 3 p.m.–4 a.m. daily. Lunch or dinner for two $20-$35.