Beer, Wine & Spirits in Vegas Drive

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Las Vegas doesn't necessarily have a reputation for high culture, but the founders of the Las Vegas Philharmonic showed they were serious from their very first concert. In 1999, the orchestra debuted with Mahler's Resurrection Symphony, a demanding work with unusual instrumentation that can stretch up to 90 minutes in length. "As far as we know, this is the largest staging of a classical music piece in the city's history," cofounder Harold Weller told the Review-Journal of the 260-musician production. In the decade-plus since then, the Philharmonic has continued its record of accessible ambition with a pops series, live accompaniment to silent films, and collaborations with superstars such as Sarah Brightman, Placido Domingo, and Andrea Bocelli.

In 2012, the orchestra moved into The Smith Center, a brand new cultural center built from 2,458 tons of Indiana limestone and crowned by an art-deco-style carillon tower that holds 47 bells. Inside the theater, streamlined chandeliers evoke 1920s elegance, and a wide, palm-tree-flanked lawn frames the massive building with enough space for outdoor spectacles and double dates with other orchestras.

1412 S Jones Blvd
Las Vegas,
NV
US

For more than 30 years, Lee's Discount Liquor has stocked its shelves with myriad spirits, beers, and wine, earning a readers' pick as the Las Vegas Review-Journal's Best Liquor or Wine Store of 2012. Prospective imbibers get lost in a fluorescent catwalk of domestic and international tequilas, rums, cabernets, and microbrews, which deck out beverage collections with enough flavors to match any type of cuisine or postage stamp desired. Lee's Discount Liquor also hosts in-store tastings and an annual spirit-sampling event, which merges its myriad sips with entertainment from live bands.

7411 W Lk
Las Vegas,
NV
US

When chef John McKibben first opened Grape Street Cafe in 1997, his small restaurant took a back seat to a large front-of-the-house retail area where customers could purchase house-made sauces, salads, and high-quality wines. Though the concept quickly transitioned to focus on the fresh, house-made dishes flying out of his kitchen, McKibben has held on to his retail license and continues to encourage his diners to finish their meal by picking up a bottle of wine to go or commissioning a self-portrait painted with balsamic vinegar.

With the exception of a handful of rotating nightly specials, the menu has stayed largely the same, and Chef McKibben credits the cuisine as the eatery's 14-year secret to success. Dinner finds the shop's signature hot sandwiches, creamy pastas, and pizzas sharing top billing alongside nationally inspired entrees such as a baked Alaskan halibut topped with lemon beurre-blanc and Colorado lamb in a sweet-and-sour mint glaze. However, the diverse menu is designed to complement the restaurant?s real draw: its extensive wine selection. Up to 90 vinos are available by the glass each day, with selections that hail from as near as Napa and as far away as Mosel, Bordeaux, Rioja, and Mos Eisley.

7501 W Lake Mead Blvd.
Las Vegas,
NV
US

6883 W Charleston Blvd
Las Vegas,
NV
US

Tenaya Creek's impressive beer list includes a Gold Medal Pilsner that was champion in the 2002 Great American Beer Festival for its authentic adherence to European style. Though taps frequently rotate to keep brews seasonally fresh, current options include barleywine, which carries a strength and sophistication comparable to its grapevined cousin, wine, and a hop ride IPA, loaded with Ahtanum, Challenger, and Chinook hops. Choose any brews on tap to fill your flight, then grab two pint-sized servings of whatever you liked best.

3101 N Tenaya Way
Las Vegas,
NV
US

Zagat-Rated French Cuisine

Lauded for its brunch?which CBS Las Vegas listed as one of the best in the area?Master Chef Alex Stratta and Executive Chef Jose Aleman oversee the French-influenced Sunday morning fare at Marche Bacchus French Bistro. Dotted with offerings such as classic quiche lorraine and croque madame, the Zagat-rated cuisine is an off-the-strip favorite among locals. It's even owned by a local couple who took the restaurant over from the original owners in 2007.

A Short Trip, Worlds Away

Though it's just a short ride from the Vegas strip, Marche Bacchus French Bistro "feels worlds away," according to USA Today's 10Best. Situated on the shores of Lake Jacqueline, the restaurant's breezy patio is dotted with lush palm trees and looks out over the sparkling water, while inside leans upscale with crisp white tablecloths under a dramatic chandelier.

The Wine Shop

Before heading to a table, visit the wine shop. There, guests find more than 950 labels to choose from?all of which can be enjoyed inside the restaurant for a $10 corkage fee. On Saturdays, drop in between 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. to take part in a wine tasting; pours vary from week to week and follow themes such as varietal, region, and top 10 lists.

2620 Regatta Dr.
Las Vegas,
NV
US