On the last night of our trip to Las Vegas, we decided to go off the Wynn property. We’d had a fabulous time but I had not seen anything else of Vegas besides the resort and the mall across the street. We had already lost at a variety of games so gambling was not our goal. A good steak was. Vegas is apparently full of good steak houses.
I always try to visit the #1 restaurant per Trip Advisor in any city. A quick troll of the site showed that Andiamo, an Italian steak house, was in the top spot. We had already eaten at the Wynn’s fabulous Sinatra restaurant, a locale dedicated to Ol’ Blue Eyes. Featured above is a photo of the Capello dessert. At $14, a little pricey but obviously a signature dessert. Glorious.
In any event, I booked Andiamo via Open Table for the first available spot – 8:45. At 8:15, we arrived at the taxi stand. The gentleman calling for the cabs, which magically appear from underground like a ride at Disneyland, had never heard of the restaurant, located in the older section of town. In fact, he was a little bit rude, trying to get us to go to some other steak houses closer to the property – if he hadn’t heard of it, it could not be the Number #1 rated restaurant in Las Vegas. This should have been my first clue. But I persisted and our Ethiopian taxi driver whisked us away.
Driving past the seedy wedding chapels, I silently applauded my decision not to renew my vows in Las Vegas. The solemnity of the occasion (almost 25 years) would have merited more. Things went from Most Excellent to Worse the closer we drew to downtown. I, who have played dominoes in a Mexican cantina, gone down dark alleys in Shanghai, and taken my children to the largest market in Bangkok, was starting to get nervous.
The taxi let us off near where he thought the restaurant was. Per Mr. Understanding’s GPS, we walked toward the bright lights and pumping music of the Fremont street district.
“It says it’s in here.”
Mr. Understanding pointed me toward a smokey casino with all manner of humanity in all manner of dress and undress crowding around tables and slot machines.
Really? I hesitated.
Mr. Understanding asked the front door man if there was a restaurant called Andiamo inside. He told us to go up the escalator and make a hard right.
I said nothing, passing girls shimmying in red fringed dresses, and boarded the escalator. My mind flashed back to dancing girls in window boxes in Amsterdam. I told Mr. Understanding that if this was some sort of All You Can Eat buffet, we could just turn right around. But lo and behold, there was a brick tunnel leading into some sort of respectable restaurant. The menu, posted outside, appeared excellent. The man at the podium asked me how I was doing. Massively overdressed (and this is saying something), I responded by saying that I was, frankly, just a bit shell-shocked. He told me that he was going to “turn [my] experience around by the end of the evening.”
That he did.
Herewith concludes Day 28. I have been doing taxes all day and am cranky. Today’s Mary are the girls in red dresses, shimmying perhaps because they feel they can do nothing else. Not one looked happy. God Bless them. May they graduate to hostessing at the restaurant upstairs, at the very least. This is not the end of the story. Part 2 tomorrow, I think.
If you are brave, watch this video to understand the level of enthusiasm of a go go dancer. Trying hard to be Jesus and not judge … Mary Magdalene for sure would not. St. Vitus is the patron saint of epileptics, dancers, and actors.