Capital Grille is always my first stop in Las Vegas. I make sure I eat here first so that I know I will have at least one wonderful meal on my trip. It is across the street from the Wynn on the third floor of the Fashion Show Mall, but this is no mall restaurant anywhere except in Las Vegas. My favorite server here is Tanya, whose delightful personality and efficient service is the epitome of professionalism. This trip I decided on the Dry-Aged Sirloin Salad with Roquefort Vinaigrette ($22) instead of my usual grilled Tuna Steak Salad with Basil and Roasted Pepper Vinaigrette ($22) because I wanted a glass of their wonderful Lassengue St. Emilion Grand Cru (yes, I chose my entree based on my wine instead of visa versa).

Pinot Brasserie is another stop I always try to make when I am in Las Vegas. Even though the Pinot franchise is here in Los Angeles, for some reason it is even more appealing when away from home. It is located in the Venetian.

Maybe it’s the comfort food factor of dishes like the Tarragon Half Roast Chicken served on a bed of earthy fricasse mushrooms with a side of garlic fries ($20). This was my default choice because my first choice of whitefish and sauteed spinach was apparently impossible for the kitchen to make even though both were on the menu paired with different items. It makes it clear that this outpost is not like the ones in Los Angeles since substitutions or exchanges of items on the menu are no problem here. I guess deviations in Las Vegas are dangerous.

The hostess was welcoming and personable, which is as rare in Las Vegas as seeing daylight in a casino. The waiter was efficient, but the busyboy was a bit too eager, clearing my food before I was finished (he apologized).

I decided to have my cafe after my meal at Espressomente in the adjacent Palazzo. Espressomente is a gelateria and pastry cafe at the entrance to the Venetian, with about 20 flavors of gelato, choices like croissants and crepes for a fusion European experience.

Ah, there is nothing like sipping an espresso while watching people wander the “street” between the Palazzo and the Venetian.