teddys
teddys
Joined: Nov 14, 2009
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September 3rd, 2015 at 12:37:12 PM permalink


The El Cortez has a new restaurant - Siegel's 1941. This replaces the old coffeeshop as well as the old steakhouse, Roberta's/The Flame.

It is NICE. Way nicer than it has a right to be at the El Cortez. The decor is probably up there with mid-level strip properties. Or Downtown Grand/Golden Nugget quality. The color scheme is red and white with a huge mural of Bugsy Siegel on the wall. I don't understand the glorification of a violent mobster who was himself violently murdered, but there you go. People were getting their picture taken in front of the mural. The menu is broader and has a mix of fine dining and comfort foods. Prices are more expensive, of course, but the food is better.

For breakfast I had a three-topping omelette with hash browns and toast. It was excellent, and big enough for two servings. Price was $11+tax & tip. Later, I had the $10.95 prime rib special. This is a really nice piece of 8 oz. prime rib cooked perfectly medium rare with horseradish sauce and sour cream. Comes with baked or mashed potato and your vegetable of the day. (In this case, just one large floret of broccoli.) Two dinner rolls. Hotel guests get a free bottle of wine or two free glasses.

Service was excellent. The employees seemed to be learning the ropes but since it wasn't terribly busy, attention was lavished.

People will complain about higher prices and that they can't get their chicken fried steak (still available one day a week as a special), but I say bravo to the ElCo for upgrading their dining option. I think it's a tremendous improvement. Kudos to El Co for making consistent improvements to keep up with the competition. I still think they have one of the best products in Las Vegas. The vintage suites, for example, are a tremendous value. (Although not for everyone).

There is a new upscale grocery across the street, The Market, where you can get coffee and a hot prepared meal for a reasonable price as well, if you don't want to eat at Siegel's or the Subway.

The Parlour Bar is a great bar. Go on Swing shift. The bartender (forgot his name) is a second generation El Cortez employee and has some great stories. I also talked to the head auditor for the El Cortez who was having a drink in the bar. I went Mission146 on him with questions. You can play 8/5 bonus for quarters at the bar and get any drink up to $7 comped. (They have a lot of high-end call liquors and can mix just about any drink).
"Dice, verily, are armed with goads and driving-hooks, deceiving and tormenting, causing grievous woe." -Rig Veda 10.34.4
Greasyjohn
Greasyjohn
Joined: Dec 8, 2013
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September 3rd, 2015 at 1:53:14 PM permalink
Quote: teddys



The El Cortez has a new restaurant - Siegel's 1941. This replaces the old coffeeshop as well as the old steakhouse, Roberta's/The Flame.

It is NICE. Way nicer than it has a right to be at the El Cortez. The decor is probably up there with mid-level strip properties. Or Downtown Grand/Golden Nugget quality. The color scheme is red and white with a huge mural of Bugsy Siegel on the wall. I don't understand the glorification of a violent mobster who was himself violently murdered, but there you go. People were getting their picture taken in front of the mural. The menu is broader and has a mix of fine dining and comfort foods. Prices are more expensive, of course, but the food is better.

For breakfast I had a three-topping omelette with hash browns and toast. It was excellent, and big enough for two servings. Price was $11+tax & tip. Later, I had the $10.95 prime rib special. This is a really nice piece of 8 oz. prime rib cooked perfectly medium rare with horseradish sauce and sour cream. Comes with baked or mashed potato and your vegetable of the day. (In this case, just one large floret of broccoli.) Two dinner rolls. Hotel guests get a free bottle of wine or two free glasses.

Service was excellent. The employees seemed to be learning the ropes but since it wasn't terribly busy, attention was lavished.

People will complain about higher prices and that they can't get their chicken fried steak (still available one day a week as a special), but I say bravo to the ElCo for upgrading their dining option. I think it's a tremendous improvement. Kudos to El Co for making consistent improvements to keep up with the competition. I still think they have one of the best products in Las Vegas. The vintage suites, for example, are a tremendous value. (Although not for everyone).

There is a new upscale grocery across the street, The Market, where you can get coffee and a hot prepared meal for a reasonable price as well, if you don't want to eat at Siegel's or the Subway.

The Parlour Bar is a great bar. Go on Swing shift. The bartender (forgot his name) is a second generation El Cortez employee and has some great stories. I also talked to the head auditor for the El Cortez who was having a drink in the bar. I went Mission146 on him with questions. You can play 8/5 bonus for quarters at the bar and get any drink up to $7 comped. (They have a lot of high-end call liquors and can mix just about any drink).



Nice report. I was thinking the same thing about naming the restaurant after a thug and a murderer; even though he was an owner of the El Co in 1945. He sold his interest to invest in the already-being-built, to-be-named Flamingo. Billy Willerson had already started building the palatial hotel and ran out of funding when Siegel came along with additional capital. Then, thug that Siegel was, he forced Wilkerson out by threatening him.

Why they named the restaurant at the El Cortez "Siegel's 1941" is a mystery. The El Co was built in 1941 but Siegel didn't invest in it until 1945. But who really cares about accuracy in Vegas. There's no bay next to the real city Mandalay either.

Another interesting thing is is that any place that venerates Siegel refers to him as Bugsy Siegel instead of Benjamin Siegel; Siegel hated the nickname Bugsy (but the general public knows him as Bugsy).

Any new restaurants being built in Vegas right now? How about naming it "Ciafano's" or "Tony the Ant's." They could advertise that they have "outside" seating.
Rigondeaux
Rigondeaux
Joined: Aug 18, 2014
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September 3rd, 2015 at 3:05:37 PM permalink
Thirded on the mob stuff. It's obviously an interesting part of the city's history, but it irks me when those guys are uncritically venerated. I remember a Joan Rivers quote about how she prefered mob controlled Vegas because they were nice to HER. If they also murdered a bunch of people, oh well!

Anyway, nice review. I hope there's a niche for it. Always nice to see places in that sweet spot where you can get decent quality without high prices.
billionaireben
billionaireben
Joined: Jun 29, 2011
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September 26th, 2016 at 11:30:27 AM permalink
The justification of liking Mob controlled Vegas is that food and rooms were cheap, they wanted people to spend their money gambling. I was told at gold coast (average DD games) that I'd need to play for 10 hours to comp a buffet (unless you have a large loss, then ask the host for what you think is reasonable.) If you give a casino all of your action, sd/dd blackjack, vp, craps, baccarat; they should comp a standard room, laundry service and 3 meals a day for any decent play. If you bring at least $10k to play with they should cover round trip flights, at $20k they should throw in 3 hookers a week. In old Vegas they might have, they would instruct dealers to shuffle up on big raises if they thought the guy was a counter (they still do at Binion's for 6:5 sd, lol.) Or hire a mechanic, or scare you.

I suspect it's not "Mob Vegas" anymore, but the bonds for new construction are often financed by laundered money.
Boz
Boz
Joined: Sep 22, 2011
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September 26th, 2016 at 12:02:07 PM permalink
Had to look at the date because this place has been here for a while now.

Beats eating at a Siegel Suite in Vegas!
billionaireben
billionaireben
Joined: Jun 29, 2011
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September 27th, 2016 at 10:01:04 AM permalink
LOL, yeah; extended stay suites in general are dirty and dangerous in Vegas. Sucks, because AP's that don't play rated probably prefer these; but oh well.
Mooseton
Mooseton
Joined: Sep 6, 2010
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September 27th, 2016 at 12:47:16 PM permalink
Ate there recently. Would rate it two 'Mehs'. Decent food but price was more than I expected.
$1700, 18, 19, 1920, 40, 60,... :/ Thx 'Do it again'. I'll try
Joeshlabotnik
Joeshlabotnik
Joined: Jul 27, 2016
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September 27th, 2016 at 1:06:16 PM permalink
The food is pretty decent, but it's overpriced for Vegas, and definitely for downtown.

I was there when it first opened, and the service was literally the worst I had ever experienced in a restaurant. I would stand there for ten minutes before getting seated; sit there for fifteen minutes before anyone brought me a menu or a glass of water, let alone took my order, and waited half an hour for my order to arrive--and half the time, it was screwed up somehow. I went back several times (I was staying there, and it was the only food option besides Subway), and the service didn't improve. They also took some things off the menu that I liked, such as the chile verde omelet.

My most recent visit, service has improved, but that's from "worst on the planet" to maybe a "3." In particular, you can stand there for ten minutes before anyone even bothers to acknowledge your existence, let alone seat you. The food is still pretty good, but if I'm going to pay $12 for a hamburger, it had BETTER be good!

Note: they have a prime rib special for $10.95, which does NOT include soup, salad, or roll--but for $3 extra you can add soup or salad and make a pretty good meal. Also, they have the Jackie Burger with a pile of potato chips for $6--a pretty good burger. All in all, I miss the old cafe, which has been replaced by a pizza joint, which I haven't tried.
ahiromu
ahiromu
Joined: Jan 15, 2010
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September 27th, 2016 at 2:58:03 PM permalink
Yeah, just took a look at the menu, more than I'd want to spend downtown but still much better than the strip.
Its - Possessive; It's - "It is" / "It has"; There - Location; Their - Possessive; They're - "They are"

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