While everybody was watching City Center rise out of the desert in all its splendor (and troubled finances), Marriott Corp. tiptoed right next door and built the Cosmopolitan Hotel and Casino. Even with all the excitement over the hi-tech splendor of City Center's Aria / Vdara / Mandarin and Crystals Shopping Center, the Cosmo is quietly stealing their thunder.
Chandelier Bar: The star of the show there is the gigantic chandelier-like enclosure that drapes three stories high in the center of the main atrium of the building [pictured left]. Enclosed therein is a two-level bar that shines and twinkles. Interestingly, as you consume more gin and tonics, it seems to twinkle even more. Sit at the top level and look down onto the rabble that passes beneath.
The Henry Restaurant: Tucked into the Strip-side of the Casino level is the open and airy Henry restaurant. Think of it as a 24/7 upscale coffee-shop on steroids. Get the Lobster Club sandwich or the French Dip for lunch [both pictured below right] and the Short Ribs Benedict during their Sat./Sun. brunch. By the way, those little morsels in the pictures are Truffled Tater Tots. Love it. Click here for a look at the menu. There is also a fun little bar directly across from the Henry. Get a seat right up against the front windows and people-watch with wild abandon. During the day, you can see them, but they can't see you. As it gets dark, it's anybody's guess, but who cares!
Holsteins Restaurant: One escalator trip up from the casino floor is the latest burger concept to hit the strip (don't forget BLT Burger in the Mirage, either). Specialty burgers, homemade sausage…it's all there. One interesting offering is the New England Turkey. Bear with me through this funny story: I was talking to the server at The Henry about restaurants in town, and he suggested a place called Capriotti's (!). Yes, it's the same place that we know and love here in DE, and he waxed rhapsodic about “The Bobby.” Needless to say, the Foodie (and I can only hope most of you reading this) has had his share of Bobbys. Holsteins has their version called the New England Turkey. Cranberry and stuffing are formed into a patty, on top of another patty of fresh turkey. Their menu is not to be missed, and they're open 'til midnight. Click here for the menu.
One of my pet peeves about Las Vegas is that there is, and never has been, any real good pizza. Well, one of the most interesting little surprises at the Cosmo is their tiny pizza joint. In the tradition of the West Coast “speakeasy”-style restaurants, it has no name, no sign and somebody has to tell you how to find it (we found out from one of the bartenders at Chandelier). Walk down a long, dark hallway (off to the left of Holsteins–there's a green “EXIT” sign there) and suddenly there it is: Two gigantic Blodgetts huffing and puffing their way into your heart with thin-as-air slices of Italian sausage, huge, almost transparent slices of crispy, spicy pepperoni, freshly made dough with just the right amount of crisp and “pull,” and not-too-much / not-too-little sauce and cheese. Employees call it “hole in the wall” pizza, and you'll have to ask. It's not even mentioned on their website. It even secretly competes with their own D.O.C.G. restaurant that also serves pizza. Neat, huh?
There are eleven other places to eat there at the Cosmo other than the ones listed here. Give 'em a try and email your thoughts. The Cosmo is rapidly becoming “The” place to be on the strip (at least for now). The music is loud, the lights are bright and the employees are very friendly and make it clear that they are happy to be there. The Cosmo is smack in the middle of it all at the northwest corner of The Strip and Harmon Ave.