In March, I had the opportunity to dine at Prime Steakhouse in the Bellagio hotel in Las Vegas. The upshot: The food was delicious and the service was excellent, but what really makes this restaurant worth the price you pay is if you have time to wait for a table outside. That is one of the prettiest spots in which I have ever dined.
I had a weeknight reservation at 7 p.m., and I was surprised to find the lobby crowded (although the restaurant still had seating inside). I showed up at roughly 6:30 thinking that I might get seated early, and if that didn’t happen the bar would be willing to sell me a cocktail. I inquired about sitting in their patio area outside, and I was told (perfectly pleasantly) that they didn’t take reservations for the patio. That meant I had a choice: I could be seated inside very quickly, or I could wait for at least a half hour past my reservation to sit outside. I wasn’t with anybody, and it turns out the bar was quite happy to sell me a martini, so I decided to wait. I had the opportunity to see the inside of their restaurant, and it was lovely. It was roughly 7:45 by the time I got seated, so I seriously considered dining inside. I am glad I waited, however, because the views outside were gorgeous.
By the time I got seated, I was starved. Happily, the waiters were excellent about tending to me quickly and answering my questions. I particularly appreciated their grace, because I was a traveler dining alone. This means I wasn’t going to be their most profitable party, and I still felt like an important guest. I ordered the shrimp cocktail as an appetizer. It wasn’t anything fancy– it was a perfectly normal shrimp cocktail– but it was executed well with a lovely presentation.
Oddly, by the time I ordered I wasn’t really in the mood for a steak anymore. That is where the service at this restaurant really came through: The waiter was happy to talk me through the other menu choices, and I wound up ordering the much less expensive beef short rib with a green spaetzle. Oh my, but that was fantastic:
All told, this was an excellent dining experience. If you are in a hurry, just sit inside. That will still be a lovely meal with great service. However, if you have time to pass then you should wait at the bar until a table becomes available outside. The views of the Strip and the Bellagio fountains were amazing, and that was an amazing setting in which to enjoy my meal.