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LAGASSE'S STADIUM

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Palazzo

3325 Las Vegas Blvd. S.

Las Vegas, NV 89109

702-607-2665

website

$20-$50

Mon-Fri 11am-10pm

Sat 7:30am-10pm

Sun 8am-10pm

American

B+

AT A GLANCE

What is it?

Emeril's food and a lot of sports.

Where is it?

At Palazzo on the Center Strip.

What kind of food is served?

Eclectic mix of Emeril favorites and sports pub grub.

What is the atmosphere like?

Loud. Really.

How is the service?

Excellent.

What are the prices like?

Food is affordable but table minimums wreck that.

What else do I need to know?

Sports fans apply here.

What's the bottom line?

A fun, accessible, and relatively affordable way to experience Emeril's cuisine.

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FULL REVIEW

There's a lot going on at Emeril Lagasse's restaurant at Palazzo Las Vegas. There's food, sure. That's a given. And drinks of all stripe. There's also pro football, high school basketball, Japanese baseball, Canadian hockey, Israeli basketball... well, you name a sport of any caliber on just about any corner of the globe and there's a good chance you'll be able to see it at the Stadium.

Taking over the space once occupied by Jay-Z's failed sports themed nightclub, Lagasse's Stadium is basically the same exact concept only with more food and without a dance floor, although if your team wins, spontaneous boogying probably won't be frowned upon too harshly.

The multi-level space features an upper tier of cushy seating areas and bar tables and a lower level of more traditional restaurant seating. In between is the main auditorium with cascading platforms of couches, recliners, and even private skyboxes. And everywhere you look, always within eyesight, are televisions - lots of them. 109 of them to be exact, all HDTV and all showing the aforementioned sporting events from mainstream to obscure. You think I'm making up Israeli and high school basketball? Nope, they were playing while I was there along with a pro football game. The latter was drawing a bit more attention.

There's also a sports book that allows you to wager on just about any of the games whether they are being broadcast or not and a mobile gaming device that lets you place bets, play slots, and wager on card games without ever having to get out of your chair.

Unsurprisingly, the atmosphere is chaotic, to say the least. Between the visuals and the sports fans voicing elation or disappointment, the place takes on a college bar attitude, which is great if you're a sports fan who also likes Emeril's food but maybe not so much for Emeril fans who don't care about sports. Luckily for them, there are a bunch of other Emeril Lagasse restaurants in town that don't have 109 televisions scattered around the room.

The menu is an eclectic blend of sports pub grub, fancier fare, and Emeril favorites. Appetizers include Buffalo wings, chili cheese fries, nachos, and pretzels with cheese. But alongside those traditional bar favorites are a Creole boiled shrimp cocktail and Italian sausage and mozzarella risotto balls, deep fried and served with a tomato basil dipping sauce. We tried the latter and they were gone before the crowd stopped screaming about a football fumble.

There are soups and salads, pizza and pasta (including an intriguing sounding Muffaletta pasta with cappicola, mortadella, and salami tossed with linguine), seafood options (from traditional fish and chips to Emeril's famous crab cakes), burgers, sandwiches, wraps, ribs, and even a couple of steaks if you are so inclined.

We tried the BBQ pork sandwich, piled high with shredded pig, tangy sauce, and coleslaw; the French dip with carmelized onions and melted provolone; and the grilled chicken wrap with avocado and bacon. All were satisfying in both taste and proportion but I have to admit that nothing jumped off the plate and made me want to scream "Bam!"

The dessert menu, on the other hand, was a total joy from the fantastic cheesecake (perfectly creamy) to the double chocolate cupcake with cream cheese frosting and raspberries. Yummy.

Prices are moderate across the board. Just about every main course is on the low side of the $10-20 range with only the ribs and steaks breaking the $20 barrier.

However, most of the seating in the restaurant comes with a minimum. Bar table seating along the upper tier carries a $25 per person minimum and tables and couches have a $50 per person minimum. Order a few drinks with your meal and you can probably get there easily but it does defeat the idea of having an affordably priced menu if you can't actually make it affordable.

If you want to spend even more money, there are a number of luxury suites that variously feature things like patios that face The Strip, fireplaces, pool tables, and giant screen televisions.

As mentioned above, if you're a sports fan there are few places in Las Vegas that are as satisfying as this one from a viewing and dining perspective. However, if all you're really looking for is a taste of Emeril's cooking, you may want to consider one of the many other options.

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