Vue24 at Foxwoods Dining Review – A Disappointment

When we brought our family to Vue24 at Foxwoods for a Mother’s Day Brunch, our expectations we very high for an outstanding dining experience might have been too lofty. It was a mixed bag of wonderful surprises, great disappointments, and everything in between. The price was $40 per person.

Arrival

The elevator takes you up to the 24th floor.  There is a small lobby where you can wait, and coffee was brought to us while we waited. An odd assortment of chairs and sitting cushions on wheel were a curious choice for a high end experience. Our party of 7 was seated and the journey began.IMG_3078

We were seated in the corner, where the “vue” wasn’t so extraordinary.  About 50% of the room has sight of the surrounding countryside. Our table, next to an outside door, was so cold we had to pull the drapes to keep the cold air from blowing in (thus, no “vue” at all to stay warm).  It was also very cold in the restaurant – not just your usual chill, but a “I’ll eat with my coat on” kind of cold. After asking for the temperature to be raised, it was, but took over a half hour to feel the difference – I still ate with my winter coat on.

Service

After greeted by our waitress, coffees and an oranger juice was ordered – a $1.75 orange juice we later found out with the bill – coffees were $4 each. Cocktails were expensive: usual alcoholic drinks started around $12, with their special Mother’s Day Bloody Mary coming in at $20. (All you could drink Blood Marys were $150). At no point were we alerted that juice and coffee were not included. That special $1.75 (procured from the bar) glass of orange juice took over 20 minutes to appear, as well as the coffees. We hadn’t even ordered yet.  As you will see further in the review, the organization of staff preparation and serving was hit or miss throughout the afternoon.

Entrees

Most of the entrees were extremely tasty culinary delights. They were served on small plates and were AYCE (All-you-could-eat), even if you didn’t finish your entree of the moment. IMG_3017

We found the highlights of the menu to include the Hash (in a skillet with eggs on top of 2 thin potato slices), the bacon steak (slightly sweetened smokey, thick and outstandingly delicious), chicken and waffles (great portion size) and the steak frites (very tender steak tips).

However, this is where the inconsistencies come in.  One of the poached eggs on the hash, while supposed to be soft, wasn’t cooked and overly runny. When we received our first round of plates, two were missing, and one was wrong, so two us watched the others in our party dine. We could have gone up to the salad table, which was very good, but we had all already been up there waiting for our entrees 20 minutes after the orange juice arrived.

Let’s talk about the lobster omelet.  You’d expect pieces of lobster in an omelet. Instead, it was an omelet (eggs, nothing in it) and a piece of lobster stuck on top – less than an ounce on most plates. Nothing special here – more like a lazy attempt. One of the omelets wasn’t even cooked, with inside very runny – health hazard?  Luckily my daughter survived.

Salad Table

This was all you can eat.  It had wonderful offerings – duck with cabbage salad, salmon pate, large and meaty shrimp with the perfect texture. The usual salad, cheeses, etc filled out the table.

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Desert Table

This was a mixed revue by our party. The labeling of the sugary treats seemed a little off – a chocolate cookie that was either gluten-free or sugar-free ended up not finished by all three teens at the table.IMG_3081

I enjoyed the Chocolate ganache filled cake and seemed to be the only one. The cake pops were one bite and done. The lemon-poppy seed pound cake was hard enough to pound nails, as well as some of the other pastries. The desert highlight was the peanut-butter forest cake parfait. If lactose intolerant, you need supply your own Lactaid.  But presentation and taste of the peanut butter creme with large bits of chocolate cake inside proved to be an exquisite desert.IMG_3082

Conclusion

We wanted to try it as a family for Mother’s day, so we did. At $40 per person, poor service and wait times, the menu snafus, I would say it was a disappointment.  Very little lived up to the hype. Would we do it again – no. As a dining value, this did not meet expectations. For special days like Mother’s Day, the food should be great, the service exceptional, and the price should be equal to the expectations. Sorry Foxwoods, Vue24 brunch is not all it’s said to be.

Binbin

Sol Toro at Mohegan Sun Renovated – a Dining Review

The new Sol Toro entrance

One month ago, a favorite restaurant at Mohegan Sun – “Sol Toro” – had a facelift.  Renovations were quick. When all three of us at NETG visited, not only were we surprised at at what we saw, we liked what we saw and loved what we tasted.

The Renovations

The formerly dark and somewhat gloomy interior has been renovated. Gone are the front grills in the entry, and the dark wood that consumed the interior of the restaurant. New paint, new lighter scaled furniture, and better lighting have transformed this space into a most welcoming space. Brightly colored chairs and light wood table tops make the space shade inviting. Design changes include an expanded bar and lounge area for socializing while sipping margaritas or trying one of their 285 tequilas.

Tons of Tequila at SolToro, Mohegan Sun

Menu Changes

According toHotelmanagement.net, SolToro’s menu of Mexican classics with a modern twist will also get an upgrade. New dishes from” culinary director Chip Miller will include Queso Three Ways (chili con carne, roasted corn & bean, chipotle bacon); Mexican Shrimp Cocktail with tomato broth and roasted poblanos; and carne asada of marinated prime NY strip, served with cheese enchiladas, charred onions and zesty chimichurri sauce.”  A staple of their previous menu, table side guacamole, is still available mild, medium, and spicy, and is not to be missed.

Our Experience

Delicious tacos at Solo Toro Tequila Grill

We passed on drinks, expecting libations at the New England Black Wolves Pro Lacrosse game.  Three of us ordered the tacos.  My BAJA FISH Tacos were the best fish tacos I ever had.  Slightly seasoned with lime scented cabbage, the ancho tartare added heat to the mahi.  The tacos shells stayed nice and firm and were absolutely delicious.  Others in our party had the ADOBO PORK Tacos, which included cilantro jicama slaw, grilled pineapple, and a jalapeño ranch sauce, which were also outstanding.  Miguel had the CHICKEN BURRITO with cheese, rice and beans a step above the usual Mexican sides.  We all agreed we would return and try some of their more exotic entrees like their ROASTED DUCK and STEAK tacos, as well as their tableside Guac.

Recommended

The new lighter look of the bar area.

Solo Toro, part of the Michael Jordan’s group of restaurants at Mohegan Sun, continues to be a good dining experience, and now with the new bright ambience, it’s now a great dining experience.

Binbin

 

Slacks Oyster House & Grill – A Dining Review

Slacks Oyster House and Grill at Plainridge Park Casino and Raceway in Plainville, Massachusetts has always been a place I wanted to visit, dine and review since Plainridge opened in 2015.  It considers itself “Award Winning Dining” and provides the top dining experience at Plainridge. It features seafood & steakhouse fare prepared on the premises. The bar features local micro brews, a select wine menu and specialty cocktails for every season.

Open Hours

SUNDAYS: 2PM – 8PM, WEDNESDAYS & THURSDAYS: 5PM – 10PM, and FRIDAYS & SATURDAYS: 5PM – 11PM.

The Journey

The three of us, Bin Bert and Miguel, stopped in after attending a thrilling game at Gillette Stadium where the New England Patriots had just beaten the Jacksonville Jaguars for the AFC championship. Plainridge is only 20 minutes away from the Patriots home. Upon arrival, I ordered Salted Caramel Vodka and club soda, and Bert ordered a Guinness. Both drinks were as good as expected.

Quality of Food

We had heard of their Sunday Prime Rib Special, so we all ordered the same thing with different sides. The wait was minimal and the presentation was beautiful. We all agreed that the Prime Rib was delicious, each cooked precisely the way we had ordered it. The sides were the quality of what you expect at a good Steakhouse. But the star of the sides was a creamy, rich and cheesy Mac n’ cheese unlike any your mama has made – an NETG suggestion for any newbie to Slacks. It also came with a large popover (see picture above).  Unfortunately, our excitement over it soon turned to disappointment, as all three were hard and chewy – not at all what would be expected. Other than that, the meal was terrific.  Click HERE for the full menu.

Pricing

If you are looking for a value in a high dining, I would consider Slacks. The overall pricing in relation to quality and ambience is a good value if considering other restaurants in casinos in New England, New York and Atlantic City. And while the clanging of slot machines is right outside the entrance, and the casino is in full view, inside is quiet, pristine and relaxing.

Service & Cleanliness

Hostess and server were knowledgeable, friendly and helpful. The manager stopped in twice to chat, since it was late with few patrons.  This all without informing them of this pending review.  I just felt that this considerate service was just how their rolled. The restaurant inside was clean, well organized, and a delight to dine at.

Celebrity Sighting

We were quietly informed that Deone Branch, the former Patriots star wide receiver was in the house. Of course, we kept our distance.  I also saw him playing slots, but left him alone – after all, he was there just like anyone at the casino – personal enjoyment with emphasis on the “personal.”

NETG Rating – “Full House”

We would not hesitate to return. The cuisine and experience was better than expected and equal to steakhouses in the same price range such as David Burke’s Tuscany, at Mohegan Sun, Cedars Steakhouse at Foxwoods and Fred and Steve’s Steakhouse at Twin Rive4 Casino. But, that popover was a disappointment. But, we highly suggest this restaurant if in Plainville or at Plainridge Park Casino.

Bin, Bert, and Miguel