Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Viva Las Vegas: Happy Hour at the Stratosphere

I have said it before and I will say it again, I am firm believer in Happy Hour specials.  Considering how expensive eating in Las Vegas can get, the Happy Hour deal becomes a must.  Even high end restaurants in Vegas have a happy hour and many of those offer food as well as drinks at discounted prices.  So, what Kathy and I did for dinner two of the nights in Vegas is have larger brunches and then took advantage of Happy Hour specials at Level 107 Lounge at the Stratosphere and Sea Blue for smaller evening noshes.  

Level 107 Lounge at the Stratosphere
This was a double bang for buck.  The Stratosphere has best view in Las Vegas.  Located well at the end of the Strip, the Stratosphere offers panoramic views and you can see all of Las Vegas for miles.  To go up to the tippy top of the Statosphere, where all the rides are, costs money; but, to get to the lounge and see the same view, is free.  A quick zip up 107 floors in an elevator that goes three floors per second and you are on top of Vegas.  Plus, with your drinks and appetizers, you will get the added entertainment of watching people who are sky jumping off the building zip past the windows.  That is what I call dinner theater.

The Happy Hour special at Level 107 Lounge is pretty fantastic.  They have "2 for 1" martinis (with the proviso of it is two of the same martini and you are technically not allowed to share).  Plus, you also get half-off all appetizers.  For a drink, I got the Mango Madness Martini; for food, Kathy and I split the Duck Sliders “Banh Mi” on French Rolls and the Roasted Tomato Fondue.  If we had been in a splurging mood, Level 107 offers the Tower Trio—Foie Grois, Jumbo Lump Crab, and Seared Scallop.  At $39, even if that was a half off option, that would have been splurge for another post.  

The Mango Madness was a bright and lively martini.  It was a little tart and a little sweet, but had a slighty thicker texture than most martinis, making me feel like I had a little bit of a healthy fruit to my alchohol—the alcohol isn’t as bad for you if there is fruit.  At least, that is how I interpreted nutrition classes. 
The Duck Sliders and Roasted Tomato Fondue where also tasty.  I really liked the freshness that the carrots, cucumber, and cilantro gave the duck,  The duck itself was tender and flavorful.  My only complaint was that they left the duck breast fat on, which is fine, but didn’t really seer it to render out a little flat and give the fat a little better texture.  A crispy skin would have really complimented the crunchy vegetables and would also avoid having a soggy piece of fat to chew.  The Roasted Tomato Fondue was my favorite of the two dishes.  My notes say in big letters, “Yum!”  The three cheese combination made a gooey cheese that was rich and creamy.  Then, the combination of roasted tomatoes and red peppers gave a full and strong flavor that stood up well to the cheese and just soaks into the generously oiled crostini.  I’ve had good tomatoes sauces before, but adding the red pepper just gave the sauce a little more smokiness, sweatness, and unctuous quality that took the sauce to another level (no pun intended .  . . well, a little intended).
When I in Vegas again or giving Vegas recommendations, I would gladly send people to Level 107.  If you want to go full-fund in, I’d recommend the restaurant section that slowly rotates and gives you a chance to take in the whole view.  But, double-handing martinis while eating half-off appetizers, watching sky jumpers, and watching the strip slowly light up, isn’t bad for a cheap alternative.

Level 107 (Stratosphere) on Urbanspoon
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  1. Thank-you for the review. I am definitely going to try that martini on my upcoming trip (in one week's time)!
    And your pics are gorgeous :)))

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