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Top of the World

By R. H. Duke

Combine a spectacular view of the Las Vegas Strip, mountain vistas, and the entire valley through unobstructed glass walls. Add to this an exceptional two-tiered ambience and a suspended, upper-level cocktail lounge. And add to this outstanding cuisine and equally excellent service and what do you have? A phenomenal dining experience at the Top of the World Restaurant--800 feet above the ground in the Stratosphere Tower!

"The Top" is a 360 eatery that revolves full circle every hour in a tower that reaches 1149 feet above ground, exceeding the heights of the Tokyo Tower, the Eiffel Tower, and the Seattle Space Needle. Fine dining is a combination of quality cuisine, great ambience and top-notch service. "The Top" has all three. Restaurant Supervisor Michael Cornthwait says "exceeding a diner's expectation is the test any restaurant faces." "The Top" passes with flying colors.

The Continental cuisine here equals that of some of Vegas' top restaurants and surpasses many others. The ala Carte menu items each have common characteristics--a balanced mix of herbs and spices, quality and freshness of ingredients, prepared to absolute perfection by talented Chef Joe Larivee and his assistant Howard Benito. You might try the Shrimp Scampi--jumbo's lightly sautéed with garlic and fresh basil, finished with a light Cognac cream sauce; or the Escargots Aux Champignons--delicately simmered in Chardonnay wine and then baked in mushroom caps with herb garlic butter.

Before embarking upon the outstanding selection of entrees, try the mesclun salad of greens with the special house dressing, or the Chef's Compose--hearts of palm, artichoke hearts, Roma tomatoes, Feta cheese, walnuts, belgium endive, and field greens tossed in a fresh herb and balsamic vinaigrette dressing.

Choices of entrees include an exceptional New Zealand Rack of Lamb ($28.00). It's lightly seasoned with roasted garlic and fresh herbs served with a Creole-Dijon mustard sauce--resulting in a delicately flavorful selection prepared to perfection and compatible to the palate!  The Chicken Sonoma ($23.00) is a free range chicken breast lightly seasoned then sautéed in Chardonnay wine with wild mushrooms, artichokes, and capers. It's tossed with fettuccine and finished with a light tomato-basil cream sauce. Other entrees include Veal de la Maison ($32.50); Filet Au Poivre ($30.00); New York Bordelaise ($29.00); Lobster Monterey ($28.00); and crusted Salmon ($26.00). You might also sample the Chef's seasonal creations, including Chateaubriand for Two and Blackened Ahi Tuna Steak.

And don't miss the Top of the World's signature dessert--The Chocolate Stratosphere ($9.50)! It's a replica of the tower. The pods are made with rich milk chocolate and "The Top" a mix of chocolate and chocolate mousse. It's finished tableside with vanilla and chocolate sauces. It's spectacular and a true chocolate lover's delight!

Restaurant Supervisor Cornthwaite and his assistant Alex Ostrove and their staff coordinate the dining room with perfect execution to ensure a memorable dining experience unsurpassed in its category. You may be drawn to "The Top" by the superb view, but you are certain to return for the cuisine and exceptional dining experience.

The Top of The World Restaurant is located at the Stratosphere Hotel/Casino, 2000 Las Vegas Blvd. Hours are from 10.00 am till 10:45 pm. For reservations, please call (702) 380-7711.

R.H. Duke is a former restaurateur and a Las Vegas restaurant critic who says “Fine Dining is one of Life’s Greatest Pleasures!”


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