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The latest taste of Las Vegas.


This story first appeared in the January 29, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Caesars Palace Las Vegas, a celebration of ancient Greece and Rome, has integrated the tastes of another European classic — Paris’ Left Bank— with Payard Patisserie & Bistro. The opening in November marked the 10th anniversary of world-renowned pastry chef François Payard’s original New York patisserie. Payard, however, says Las Vegas is “completely different.”


Though the two locations share the same design team (the New York-based Rockwell Group), Payard said his New York spot is more conservative and less spacious. Payard Las Vegas is organized into three sections: a specialty goods station for on-the-go patrons (where “people can buy [gifts] quickly, like a cosmetic shop,” said Payard); a coffee-counter bar for quick sit-down service, and a more traditional restaurant, serving breakfast and lunch daily, and in lieu of dinner, offering an unconventional dessert tasting menu. Payard’s dessert menu is grouped into four categories — Le Fromage; the Orchard; Coffee, Caramel and Nuts, and Tout Chocolat — and patrons can select any three desserts ($45) for sampling. Look for fruit dishes to change seasonally, with some of Payard’s favorites including the Apple Tatin, with aged cheddar, frisée salad and toasted walnuts, and the Palet d’Or Hazelnut Succes, with marquise chocolate and a crispy wafer.

Payard Patisserie & Bistro at Caesars Palace, 3570 Las Vegas Boulevard South; 702-731-7292. Open daily, for brunch, 6:30-11:30 a.m.; for lunch, 12-4 p.m., and for dessert, 6-11 p.m.

— Rachel Rees


Anonymity at Los Angeles hot spot Koi is nearly impossible: paparazzi have a permanent spot on the sidewalk in their efforts to get shots of the celebrities who frequent the restaurant. But with its new Las Vegas outpost at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino, diners may be able to escape Los Angeles shutterbugs and enjoy their Japanese-inspired dishes in relative — it is Vegas, after all — peace.

Asian design elements take over the space and the restaurant is dotted with gilded Buddhas, temple bells and hand-carved Indonesian doors. Black ceilings and dark tables create a sleek interior while candles exude a dim flicker and the Fountain Room allows a tourist-free view of the Bellagio water show and the Strip through floor-to-ceiling windows. The lounge accommodates nearly 100 people and is separated from the restaurant by a bar where the DJ booth is nestled between narrow tiles of Indonesian onyx and marble.

Favorites include a baked lobster roll ($22) and grilled Chilean sea bass ($29), toro sashimi ($42) and a full sushi menu.

Koi Las Vegas at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino, 3667 Las Vegas Boulevard South; 702-454-4555. Open Sunday-Thursday, 5:30-11 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 5:30 p.m.-midnight.

— Diana Ryu


Las Vegas nightlife players are cashing in at The Bank, Bellagio’s new nightclub. At just two months old, one of the Strip’s hottest New Year’s Eve destinations is attracting a glamorous crowd with a yet another level of exclusivity. The Light Group, the same management team behind Jet and Caramel Lounge, has even embedded luxury into The Bank’s structure with bottles of Cristal lining the walls from floor to ceiling and a Champagne bottle light fixture. In an effort to set itself apart from Sin City clubs that cater to the masses, The Bank cultivates a more intimate — by Las Vegas standards — and elegant setting in an 8,000-square-foot space comprising a foyer and main room.

While sipping on cocktails served by gold-clad waitresses, guests can float between dancing on the illuminated glass floor and lounging in the luxe VIP booths.

The Bank Nightclub at Bellagio, 3600 Las Vegas Boulevard South; 702-693-8300. Open Thursday-Sunday, 10 p.m.-4 a.m. Admission is $50. Bottle service also available starting at $475.

— Ladan Cher


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