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FIX

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Bellagio

3600 Las Vegas Blvd. S.

Las Vegas, NV 89109

702-693-8400

website

$50-$100

Sun-Thu 5pm-12am

Fri-Sat 5pm-2am

American

B+

AT A GLANCE

What is it?

Exciting twists on American diner food in a lively environment.

Where is it?

At Bellagio on the Center Strip.

What kind of food is served?

Broad mix of dishes from seafood to steaks to pastas and beyond.

What is the atmosphere like?

A little on the trendy side and a touch loud, but energetic and fun.

How is the service?

Terrific.

What are the prices like?

It's expensive but you won't feel like you've paid too much.

What else do I need to know?

It's run by the same folks who do the Bank nightclub.

What's the bottom line?

A fun dining experience that puts a fresh spin on contemporary dining.

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FULL REVIEW

Expensive restaurants are usually not my cup of chamomile. I'm perfectly happy with a hamburger and fries and my idea of an expensive entrée is anything not handed to you through a window.

When I do splurge, I expect a lot. If I'm going to pay $25 or $30 or $40 for an entrée, it better be perfectly prepared, served with style and flair in a unique environment, and make me sit up and recognize this is not the same old thing I can get for half the price elsewhere.

I got all of that and more at Fix, the casually upscale restaurant at Bellagio.

Done by the same folks who do Bank, the upscale nightclub at Bellagio, Fix is the antidote to the stuffy atmosphere of some of the other eateries at this particular hotel. Open to the casino and done in a sleek but warm ultra-lounge style, the restaurant buzzes with conversation, music, and energy. If you prefer a sedate environment where you can quietly relate the latest scandalous gossip about Trish and Bill down at the country club to your tablemates, go somewhere else.

A swoopy wood ceiling and a slightly terraced layout make the space feel like a clam opening up toward the casino. It's fun to look at and enormously comfortable whether you are just coming for drinks at the bar or for the full meal.

Although not strictly a modern diner menu, there are certainly touches of classic Americana among the choices - many done with whimsy such as the Kobe chili cheese fries in the appetizer section or the mac and cheese in the sides section done with truffle oil and prosciutto.

If you're there with a group of any size, look at the "Shared for the Table" section. The Ultimate Shell selection contains Main lobster, tiger prawns, seasonal crab, oysters, and clams and comes in a small, large, and "what the hell is that?" size. Seriously, a nearby table ordered the "XL" version and it was a towering construction of seafood that could've fed a conquering horde.

A variety of hand made pastas are available but I'd be remiss if I didn't direct you to the "main course" section and, more notably, the "grill" section of the menus.

In the main course area you'll find lots of worthwhile dishes including chicken, lobster, and pork prime rib. But take a look at the seafood here for the really notable items.

The sea bass is served over risotto with baby shrimp and a lobster broth, and while it definitely had a hint of "fishiness," it was still devoured and deservedly so. It's hard to find good fish in this town but they did a great job on this one.

There's also the scallops, done "Benedict" style - stacked with a crust of potatoes and smoked apple wood bacon underneath. This is definitely not my area of expertise but my tablemate declared them delicious and they promptly disappeared.

My area of expertise lies over at the grill section of the menu. Several different cuts are available from a 10-ounce wet-aged filet to a 20-ounce dry-aged rib eye, all cooked on an open flame grill using cherry wood.

That last part is important. Remember how I said at the beginning of this that if I'm paying a lot of money I want something more than the "same old thing." One bite of one of these cuts of meat and you'll realize you've found it. The cherry wood gave my filet a deliciously smoky flavor with just a hint of fruity sweetness. I was actually surprised when I took my first bite and then as I settled into it, found myself wondering why everyone doesn't do their steaks this way. Add in the standard red wine shallot or peppercorn sauces and you've got yourself a tremendously successful slab of beef.

Everything is ala carte but you can get several family-sized portions of veggies on the side (spinach, mushrooms, etc.) including smoked mashed potatoes dish that I can't recommend highly enough.

Okay, so we get to the prices. It's Bellagio so you know it ain't gonna be cheap. Starters and table sharers started around $17 and went all the way up to $125 for that massive tower of seafood, but most were under $25. Main courses were in the $31-62 range while grill items were mostly over $45.

What that means is with a drink, tax, and tip two of you will have a hard time getting out of there for less than $150. Many people don't blink at those kinds of prices, but I do unless it's something really special.

Fix is special. If you can afford it, go get your "Fix" on your next trip to Vegas.

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