I can’t believe I have eaten twice now at Fleur without reviewing it. It has turned out to be one of my favorite restaurants in Las Vegas. Deep in the heart of Mandalay Bay, it may not be in the best location for everyone, depending on where you’re staying and what your evening plans are, but if you are looking for a good dinner on that end of the Strip, it should be on your list.
The first time I ate here, I was with my friend Julie. We were looking for a light dinner in Mandalay Bay before meeting up with friends to play Rick’s Tasting Game at RM Seafood. Fleur serves small plates (as well as large plates), so we figured that would be perfect, especially if we shared something.
We were seated at a table in the restaurant area. The atmosphere here is very nice (it would make for a romantic dinner setting if you were on a date). I loved the exposed stone walls; they’re really beautiful. Service was very good.
We each ordered our own Field Greens salad with pear, apple, candied walnuts, pear cider vinaigrette and polenta croutons. Overall, it was a delicious salad, though I’m still not sure how I feel about croutons made from anything but bread. It was interesting anyway. We split the flat iron steak, which was topped with a spicy sauce that was to die for. This was a fantastic dish (though, sadly, it no longer appears on their menu).
Ultimately, I found the restaurant to be too dark for me, though. Not only could I not take photos of anything, I had a lot of trouble reading the menu and the bill; thank God Julie has better eyesight than me. As we exited, I noted that the bar area had much better lighting and promised myself that if and when I ate here again, it would be in the bar area.
Last year, when I was looking for a place to grab a quick dinner before Michael Jackson ONE, I ate here again, solo this time. I asked to be seated in the bar area, but I didn’t sit at the bar, which seemed busy with businesspeople (probably post-conference attendees). The bar is a great location for solo diners, because you get to people-watch—not just other people in the bar, but all the foot traffic that passes by this area, which is considerable.
I let my waitress know I needed to get to the show, and she was great about making sure I was served quickly. I started out with the Fleurtini while waiting for my food. The Fleurtini is made with Absolut Citron Vodka, Pomegranate liqueur, and grapefruit. It is a superb drink, very refreshing. I highly recommend it.
For dinner, I wanted to order the flat iron steak again, but my waitress informed me they were out. Crushed, I went with the hanger steak with shallot sauce and pico de gallo (and lots of cilantro) instead and a side of grilled asparagus. I was not disappointed with this meal. In fact, it was fantastic.
This restaurant really knows how to cook a good steak—tender and flavorful. I think the steak would have fallen apart if I just pointed my knife at it, it was that tender. The asparagus was crisp-tender, grilled in a tasty balsamic reduction. My only regret was that I couldn’t linger over this amazing meal, because I really needed to hustle to get to my show.
I should mention that one of the things I love about the small plates menu here is that the food is organized by region. So for instance, you can order dishes that are from Thailand or Spain or France or the U.S. Small plates here ring in around $15 each, large plates around $30.
Here’s what really impressed me about my solo dining experience at Fleur: On my way out of the restaurant, I passed by the manager, who stood near the entrance, talking to some people. He interrupted their conversation long enough to thank me for dining there and wish me a good evening. I never expect a host or manager to say anything to me if they’re already in a conversation with someone else, so this was a pleasant surprise and made me think “Wow, they really do care about customer service here.”
That said, I have some blogger friends who ate there a couple of weeks before I did and one of them told me they received terrible service. Which basically just points out a truism of restaurant dining: Two people can eat at the same place and have totally different experiences for a variety of factors. But based on my own experiences here, I would enthusiastically return.