Saturday night in Vegas, spring break and March Madness: recipe for boisterous noise everywhere. We had planned on Gordon Ramsay's Pub in Caesar's Palace, but the din was unbearable after three days in quiet meeting rooms during our conference sessions (in another hotel). We fled, wishing we could find patio dining between there and the Mirage, where we were to see the 9:30 performance of Love.
At the Vegas Blvd end of the Caesar's Forum shops, away from the whooshing fountains at Trevi and less back-breaking in price than the upper floor dining options, we found Joe's Stone Crab.
The mall-side terrace was almost full, with a birthday party spread over several tables, but the maitre d'hotel found us a tiny table for two reached through a little side gate in the hedge that just fit my spouse's wheelchair. Water and bread basket arrived promptly with wine list, menus, and the day's special carte. Found a favorite from back home (A to Z Oregon Pinot Gris) for $9/glass, but there are many more expensive and worthwhile bottles on the list if you care to share.
We chose parmesan-crusted flounder and crab-stuffed shrimp, with sides of french fried sweet potatoes and sauteed broccolini. The fish was flaky and tender beneath the light crust; while only four shrimp were in the serving, they were large and meaty, with a flavorful lemon-butter sauce that didn't overwhelm the crab. The veg we ate as finger-food, and found them tasty.
Service was kind and attentive, even though the party must have absorbed most of their attention. We were never hurried, so lingered over an extra glass of wine before returning to the louder, flashier, casino vibe of the Mirage. (You can tell we wouldn't be in Vegas if we weren't there for the conference!)
Inside the restaurant, there are high-top tables for perching at in the bar area and a separate indoor dining room we didn't explore further.
All around, an excellent choice if, once in a while, the casino restaurants wear a little thin.
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