Prix Fixe Lunch, DB Brasserie
Daniel Boulud’s Venetian restaurant has been one of the most celebrated spots in town over the past year. But eating there can get a little pricey, with even the burgers selling for between $16 and $19. So take advantage of the two- or three-course lunch offerings. There are several options each for your starter, entrée and dessert, and they include house favorites such as salmon rilletts, steamed mussels, the gourmet Yankee Burger and caramel-chocolate fondant. However, we’d be remiss if we didn’t warn you: Once you try these dishes, there’s a good chance you’ll return for a more expensive menu sampling. $26 and $32, in the Palazzo, 702-430-1235, DBBrasserie.com.
Smoked Lox Bagel, Makers and Finders
So, yeah, it’s a $10 bagel, but it’s the best $10 bagel you can get in Vegas. Scallion cream cheese is spread on an everything bagel, which is topped with a heaping portion of smoked salmon, capers and drizzled with olive oil. The smokiness of the salmon, the fancy cream cheese and olive oil bring the typical bagel and lox to a whole new level—a level that’s free of buyer’s remorse. $10, 1120 S. Main St., Suite 110, 702-586-8255, MakersAndFindersLV.com.
Angus Steaks, Herbs & Rye
Juicy, perfectly chargrilled steaks are nearly as much of a good reason to head to Herbs & Rye as the history-conscious cocktails. This is especially true during one of two daily happy hours (5-8 p.m., midnight-close), when many of the 100 percent certified Angus steaks—as well as other entrées, appetizers and flatbreads—are half off. Last year, owner Nectaly Mendoza received his Certified Angus Beef accreditation in Kansas, and this year, executive chef Mariano Ochoa did the same in Nebraska. Herbs & Rye purchases side slabs from Desert Meats and butchers them in-house “the old fashioned way: with a meat cleaver, boning knife and saw.” Steaks start at $14 during happy hour, 3713 W. Sahara Ave., 702-982-8036, HerbsAndRye.com.
Four-Course Dinner, Japanese Cuisine by Omae
When Michelin-starred chef Takeshi Omae opened his westside restaurant last year, seven-course, $150 meals were the only dinner option, while the big bargain was the $20 lunch. But the chef is now offering a more reasonable nighttime option. The hefty $150 price tag has been cut in half, and it entitles you to such gourmet touches as wasabi grated tableside on a sharkskin grater, live botan shrimp and other delicacies from Tokyo’s Tsukiji market, and mascarpone ice cream with green tea sauce—depending on what day you show up. A meal like this on the Strip would cost twice as much. $75, 3650 S. Decatur Blvd., 702-966-8080, OmaeVegas.com.
We’ve all seen that Seinfeld episode where Jerry’s parents insist on eating early to save a few bucks. For most of us, early dining probably isn’t worth it if it’s in a Florida retirement community, but some of Las Vegas’ most extravagant restaurants offer a classier version of the early-bird special. At Bellagio, you can get three courses at Le Cirque (702-693-8100, LeCirque.com) for $72 between 5:30 and 6:15 p.m., or three courses at Michael Mina (702-693-7223, MichaelMina.net) for $68 between 5:30 and 6:30. Between 5-7 p.m. at Mario Batali’s B&B Ristorante in the Venetian (702-266-9977, BAndBRistorante.com), you can get three courses for $55. And, no, you don’t have to be a septuagenarian to score these specials.