New York New York Hotel on the Vegas strip is designed to showcase some of the best that the real NYC has to offer. It’s readily apparent outside with replicas of the Empire State building, a mini Brooklyn Bridge and once inside, a lobby is festooned with art deco metal trim and colorful murals fashioned after classic street life. Shops and restaurants reside in blocks that look as if they were airlifted from somewhere in Greenwich Village and plunked down inside a gigantic mall/casino/night spot. And then there’s Vinny, the property’s bombastic ambassador who’s quick to point out, “New York New York may not be a good match for those requiring the utmost in pampering or the highest sheet thread count on the strip. But if you’re looking for a bartender who remembers your name and a gigantic party scene once shows like the provocative Cirque Zumanity let out, then this is the place.”
Nine Fine Irishmen
I think every corner of this country has a wee bit o’ Irish in it….whether it be contrived or the genuine article. The corner Irish pub is
nearly as ubiquitous as Italian restaurants serving up plates of spaghetti and pizza. But from the masses rise the vaunted few and Nine Fine Irishmen is definitely an Irish pub you won’t visit everyday. Many American bars try to be Irish by serving green beer during St. Patrick’s Day or participating in the Great Guinness Toast or even throwing some Irish music on the jukebox. But this here bar was built in Ireland, shipped to America, and installed in the heart of the Vegas Strip. And it’s readily apparent with the ornate carved wooden walls rising high up to the lofty vaulted ceiling.
Named after nine Irishmen who rose up against England during the 19th century and consequently exiled to Australia, many moved to the United States at their first opportunity. The bar features a selection of nine draft beers including Guinness, Harp, and Boddington’s. A wide array of Irish whiskey is available as well from Jameson and Bushmills, Ireland’s two most popular distilleries.
I had the lamb stew and it was just as genuinely flavorful as I would make at home…plenty of broth covering large chunks of plentiful and tender lamb. The Shepard’s Pie was served in a small iron kettle, covered in a potato crust billowing out over the edges hiding most of the container from view. And the flavors underneath the crust…..even more impressive! Fresh (not frozen) veggies richly complemented the creaminess inside.
In the center of this 3-story tall wood paneled and elaborately lit pub, you’ll see a main stage which nightly features live traditional Irish folk music from Sin É Rí-Ra and new-age band Celtic Rockers. Best of all, they have a Draft Master table featuring two taps, one of which is always Guinness, allowing guests to freely refill their drinks without relying on staff to do the honors.
Bar at Times Square
If it’s evening and you happen to be wandering off the casino floor for some shopping and nightlife action, you’re guaranteed to hear raucous live music emanating from dueling pianos inside the Bar at Times Square everyday of the week from 8 p.m. – 2 p.m.. A rotating roster of musicians play loads of classic rock and pop favorites simultaneously on 2 grand pianos. Take advantage of the all-request scene and write your coveted ear worms down on the notepads provided. Just remember…the bigger the tip…the more readily your request will be played. Very much a sing-a-long bar scene, I asked for Bad to the Bone by George Thorogood & they played their rendition to the boozy crowd of bopping bachelorettes and middle American carousers letting loose on vacation fueled by youthful memories…along with generous beer bucket and shot specials.
Gallagher’s lit glass case of dry aging hand-selected prime cuts facing the concourse is sure to be the first sign that you’re on to something special. These meats clearly in public view beckon you to take a closer look…and taste.
First to serve the classic “New York Strip”, Gallagher’s opened its doors as a speakeasy in 1927 NYC at the height of Prohibition. When prohibition ended in 1933, speakeasies across the country closed their doors but Gallagher’s perfected USDA Prime steaks kept them open and popular as ever. Their method of dry aging for 21 days at a constant temperature of 36 degrees proved to be addictive. Dry aging is the natural way to tenderize beef and enhance its flavor. It is a relatively simple but time consuming procedure of eliminating moisture and concentrating flavor. To this day, Gallagher’s is the only NYC steakhouse that grills their steaks over hickory coals.
The steak has remained consistent over the years as well as this celebrated restaurant’s notable clientele…showbiz and entertainment personalities from all over the world, sports figures in the boxing, horse racing, football, baseball, basketball and hockey world, and business professionals. This Gallagher tradition naturally jives with the Vegas crowd feeding ravenous card sharks and hungry families in need of an elegant recharge.
Photos and video courtesy of Steve Mirsky. Coverage made possible by participating in a sponsored trip.