By  on February 14, 2005

HUNGER MANAGEMENT

In the old days, a buffet was often high on choices and low on class. With Cravings, which opened last May at The Mirage, the tables have turned.

Designer Adam Tihany provides guests with a high-end modern atmosphere in which to dine. Terrazzo floors inlaid with onyx and amber-hued resin tabletops provide a warm counterbalance to the colorful backlit glass walls and shimmering metal ceiling.

But the real upgrade is in the food, which is supervised by executive chef David Quintanilla. From the moment visitors approach the entrance, Cravings tempts and indulges the palate with an array of flat-screen TVs that display tantalizing dishes. Once inside, diners can approach unique kitchen areas that work almost like freestanding restaurants. A creative visual display helps them make their selections by listing the choices and the ingredients used in each. Through huge viewing windows, guests can watch chefs diligently prepare international specialties from filet mignon to beluga caviar just moments before they are presented for the taking. 

Prices range from $12.50 for breakfast to $22.50 for dinner. Open Monday through Friday for breakfast, 7-11 a.m., and lunch, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Open nightly for dinner, 3-10 p.m. Champagne brunch available on Saturday and Sunday, 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Cravings, The Mirage, 3400 South Las Vegas Boulevard, 702-791-7355.

BRANCHING OUT

As the Strip grows ever more crowded, some of the newest and most luxurious experiences in Las Vegas can be found off the beaten path, just minutes away by taxi.

Sunset & Vines is one such experience. The cozy bar, located about 17 miles from the main drag in the MonteLago Village Resort at Lake Las Vegas, offers connoisseurs and novices alike the chance to drink, enjoy and learn more about wine. An on-site sommelier and studied staff can help guests choose from more than 50 wines by the glass, including some that are no longer commercially available, that range in price from $5 to $17.75 and up.

Typical wine flights average $16 to $25, but in a twist on the typical sampler, Sunset & Vines encourages patrons to try to guess what they’re tasting. The person who chooses correctly will receive a glass of their favorite wine from that flight on the house.

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