As part of the Restaurant.com #ReviewCrew, David and I tried out Las Vegas restaurant, Top of the World, at the top of the Stratosphere Casino, Hotel, and Tower. Here’s what we ordered and our thoughts on the overall experience.
A couple years ago, when David and I were driving back to Las Vegas from Virginia, we started talking about all the things we missed seeing in the previous places we lived. We talked about all the things we wanted to do in Vegas and we both agreed that we didn’t want to waste our time while we live there. Sure, we don’t plan to leave, but you never know where life will take you. I’ve also learned the hard way that life is short and you shouldn’t put off having fun with those you love.
As David drove, and I sat in the passenger seat, I started writing out a Vegas Bucket List — things that we want to do in Vegas. One of the items on that list was to go to the top of the Stratosphere. The Stratosphere opened in 1996 and while we’ve visited Vegas several times and now live here, we still had not been to the top of the tower. So, it was placed on the Vegas Bucket List and it patiently waited to be crossed off.
Well, this past week we did it! Not only did we go to the top of the Stratosphere Tower (which stands 1,148 feet tall and is the tallest freestanding observation tower in the United States), but we paired our experience with an awesome dining experience at the Top of the World, a 360 degree revolving restaurant near to top of the Statosphere. I found out about the Top of the World restaurant because of Restaurant.com, where you place you can select and purchase reduced price gift certificates for a wide variety of restaurants. For the Top of the World, they had a $25 gift certificate for just $10 (and many times you can get it for less if you buy during one their frequent sales).
When you arrive at the Stratosphere, you head towards the tower and then towards the Top of the World check in area. While I’m not sure if reservations are required, I do recommend making them. After checking in, you will have to go through a metal detector before taking the elevator up. It was no big deal – nothing like going through security at the airport. Then, you take the elevator up to the top, which is super fast. My ears popped a bit going up, but my husband’s ears didn’t.
The Top of the World dining room is circular with every seat having a great view of Las Vegas. There is half-circle booths which face the windows and then two rows of tables. We set our reservation for 1 hour before sunset, which I think turned out to be absolutely perfect because the restaurant was still bright enough to get great shots of the food we ordered. It takes 80 minutes for the restaurant to revolve a full 360 degrees, so if you would like to see Vegas at night from the restaurant, I recommend checking the time the sun sets and plan your reservation accordingly.
We sat a two-seat table closest to the window and we started with a view of Downtown Las Vegas and the mountains north of Vegas. Of course, Vegas isn’t as pretty during the daytime, but I still loved the view.
We looked over the menu and decided to order the Four Course Tasting Menu because we wanted to try a variety of items. First up was the Caesar Salad with hearts of romaine, Parmesan Reggiano tuile, Caesar dressing, and croutons. It was near perfect – with not too much dressing like some. I could have ate the tuile all day long!
As we ate our salads, the restaurant continued to slowly rotate and, eventually, we were looking south and able to see the majority of the Las Vegas Strip. I was so excited for sunset that I even told David we should eat VERY slowly so we didn’t finish our meal before it was dark. But, I actually learned later that the servers will purposefully serve you in a slower manner to allow you to make the full 360 degree rotation. Not sure if this is 100% accurate, but it’s good to know, especially if you are wondering why things are bit slower at this restaurant.
Our second course was the Seared Jumbo Lump Crab Cake with green papaya kimchi and ponzu Peppadew aioli. The crab cake was delicious – just moist enough and flaky. I particularly enjoyed the Peppadew aioli – it’s spiciness was a a wonderful accompaniment to the crab cake. It was our first time trying anything with peppadew peppers in it and now were hooked.
I also wanted to mention that a complimentary bread basket was also placed on our table. All were delicious and we also had 3 different butters to enjoy with the bread.
Our third course, and star of the meal, was the Grilled Center Cut Filet with Red Wine and Wild Mushroom Sauce, a caramelized cipollini onion, and haricots verts. I asked for my filet to be cook medium and it was PERFECTLY cooked. It was so flavorful and tender – I have to say it’s one of the very best steaks I have ever had. The haricots verts were also amazing — I’m actually not a huge fan of green beans (I can handle them, they’re okay), but these were cooked and seasoned so well that I loved every last one of them.
As the restaurant rotated ever so subtly, we eventually were given a few of the west side, just as the sun was beginning to set. I thought it was so beautiful and I could hardly contain myself as I knew that gorgeous lights of Vegas would soon be able to be seen.
Our fourth course was dessert. It consisted of two mini desserts — this one was the Mini Chocolate Pot de Creme. What’s not to like about chocolate? It was very good, as was the other mini dessert: a White Chocolate Cup with Vanilla Mousseline Cream.
The service at the Top of the World restaurant was EXCELLENT — our server and others, were attentive and friendly, and my water was never more than half full before it was refilled (this is always a big deal to me). The view was phenomenal — it’s something that every Vegas local and tourist should experience at least once in their life.
After our meal was complete, we headed up to the outdoor observation deck to get even more of a view of the Vegas Strip. When you dine at the Top of the World restaurant, you get to visit the observation deck at no charge, so we were definitely going to take advantage of that. (Note: if you aren’t dining, there is a fee to ride the elevator up unless you have paid for any of the rides).
Once we arrived at the top, it was as awesome as I expected. I love Las Vegas and seeing it from up high with all the bright light was awe inspiring. You could see for miles and it made even the farthest casinos and hotels seem like they were right there within a short walk. We walked around the observation deck, snapping lots of pics of the city and even a bunch of selfies.
We even put two quarters in the coin-operated binoculars so get a crazy up-close view of the Vegas Strip.
It was fun seeing the rides and the people that were brave enough to ride them. This ride is the X-Scream which sends riders headfirst, 27 feet over the edge. I don’t know…I *think* I could do it, but oh my gosh…how terrifying!
Our night at the Top of the World restaurant was AMAZING! I’m so glad we went and you will be too. Now, the Top of the World restaurant is fine dining a a bit pricey, but I think it’s worth it, based on the 360 degree revolving restaurant and the views alone. And getting $25 off with a Restaurant.com certificate is nice too.
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