The best drinks in Las Vegas are here...

I haven’t written a dining review in a while and I’m well overdue – since it seems I’ve been out socializing…drinking and eating a LOT lately…for business AND with friends! When I’m out and about and just loving a place, I want to share it with my readers. I have a few places in Las Vegas that I absolutely adore. They are consistent, the service is outstanding, and they are perfect for what I want at the time.

Whether I’m meeting a client for happy hour, taking clients or friends to a business lunch, or just building relationships, having a list of the best restaurants in Las Vegas handy makes scheduling networking and socializing events much easier.

I had dinner recenly with Mitchell Davis, owner of and the Yearbook of Experts. I use Expert Click to send press releases. Mitchell was visiting Las Vegas for the Consumer Electronics Show and was staying at the Rio. He suggested we have dinner at Gaylord’s Indian Restaurant. When I saw a list of specialty drinks that featured a cardamom martini, a black raspberry martini, and an elder fizz, I couldn’t resist. I love Indian food and especially the exotic flavor of cardamom.

I ordered a cardamom martini, which was masterfully blended by Jozef. Jozef is an artist; he keeps fresh ginger and cucumber, cardamom pods which he grinds up on the spot, fresh nutmeg…and many more special ingredients lined up at the back of the bar.

Gaylord's @ The Rio Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas

For weeks, I thought about that delicious martini. I craved another one and talked about it so much that within a few weeks, my friends and I were at the small (REALLY small – just six seats!) bar, ready to see if it was as amazing as I remembered.

Phil Robertson, president of Common Sense Consulting, and Mike McGettigan from Langan had grown tired of hearing me boast about this heavenly cocktail. They soon concurred, however; this martini is heaven on a stem. Jozef went all out and – knowing he had some aficionados – created several amazing drinks for us.

With his incredible array of fresh ingredients, Jozef was ready to make whatever we wanted. He put some “secret” ingredients into our first martini; watching him work was better than watching a television cooking show! He took extra care and worked hard, and finally presented us with the much anticipated blends.

We drank them slowly, savoring their fresh, unique flavors and some lively conversation. I can’t recommend this little treasure enough – but make sure you go when Jozef is working. The food at Gaylord’s is the best Indian food in Las Vegas, but why not go when you can have a cardamom martini, too?!

Another consistent, delicious getaway is Grape Vegas at Town Square. It’s a fun, cozy spot with a great happy hour. Their wine list is impressive. General Manager Jennifer Gaydeski and Manager Kevin Mahony each stopped by to make sure everything was wonderful…and it was.

One of the aspects I really like about Grape is that it’s a kid-free zone, which is as it should be. Even though the space can get noisy – especially during a Friday night happy hour – it’s nice to know that it’s adults only. Kids, BTW, are allowed on the patio. The restaurant displays the somewhat exotic artwork of Las Vegas artist A.D. Cook on the walls, and it is not necessarily anything you’d want to explain to a child. It’s subtle and beautiful, but naked breasts abound.

I recommend you sample their menu of treats while you enjoy your happy hour. One of my favorites is a flatbread with fig, prosciutto, and brie – outstanding! And Grape also has some great hummus and sliders – always yummy. I think, however, charging 50 cents for sauce for the sliders seems silly; I’d like to see the management change that. I’d rather pay 50 cents more and have the sauce come with – agree? It’s like paying $50 for a prix fixe dinner, roquefort dressing, 50 cents extra!

Bottom line? I wish we had more fab places like these two gems in my neighborhood of Henderson. So far, my favorite place in Henderson is my own kitchen! Enjoying your own home, cooking, and atmosphere makes finding a great venue out that much harder. But, wherever you go, don’t forget the most important ingredient: Great FRIENDS and stimulating conversation!