Dining

Once before it’s gone

In the end, Fleur de Lys lives up to its vaunted reputation

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Chef Hubert Keller
Photo: Jaimie Trueblood / Bravo

Eating the entirety of Vegas is not a simple task; it requires rules and policies that govern. One of mine was created for efficiency: If a restaurant is planning to close for good, don't eat there. Why devote energy to something that will cease to exist? More importantly, what if it becomes my favorite? I don't need that kind of culinary heartbreak.

But that rule had to change. I never made it to Restaurant Charlie in Palazzo, reputedly one of the Strip's top seafood spots. It closed in March, and I regret missing out on a great chef's great food. I wasn't going to let that happen again. When I heard Hubert Keller's Fleur de Lys would shut down around September (exact closing date undetermined) to make way for the chef's new tapas bar concept, I made for Mandalay Bay immediately. With the influx of world-famous French chefs in recent years—and the success of Keller's Burger Bar—the beautiful and elegant Fleur de Lys might be a bit forgotten.

Details

Fleur de Lys
At Mandalay Bay, 632-9400.
Daily, 5:30-10:30 p.m.

But I won't forget my first and only meal there: We began with a decorative salad of hearts of palm and a rich dish of veal and Yukon gold potato ravioli, then moved on to mind-blowing butter-poached Maine lobster with chanterelles and perhaps the most flavorful braised short ribs around, accented with a Guinness reduction. We shut it down with a perfect chocolate soufflé, light and fluffy, into which our server joyfully poured hot chocolate ganache. I'm sure what comes next will be a winner, but it's a shame this food is leaving Las Vegas.

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