A friend of ours had a 40th birthday celebration at the MGM Grand in Foxwoods CT. We had a few interesting meals so I figured this was a good excuse for a blog post.
Despite the tough economy, it was a busy weekend at Foxwoods. Crosby Stills & Nash were doing a concert the night we arrived, and there was apparently at least one other big show going on. Due to the crowds, our dinner reservation at Alta Strada was not until 8:45.
We arrived early and decided to try out the sushi. The MGM Grand has a nightclub/restaurant named Shrine. It has a somewhat exotic appearance. We sat in the bar/lounge area and the waitresses were dressed in a manner that seemed more appropriate for an older profession. This was, of course, very upsetting and we walked right out after we had our sushi.
The sushi itself ... well it was okay. We had a couple rolls that were just fine. I ordered a $30 sashimi platter. They got the order wrong and came out with a $45 sushi platter which we sent back. There were a couple Keystone Cops moments where they tried to serve it to us again, but they finally got it right. It still was not what I expected. Here's what the menu says it is:
The night's finest fish from around the globe included a couple pieces each of tuna (maguro), salmon, yellowtail, and squid. They were large pieces and good quality. But it was certainly not a unique display, and it was not the finest fish from around the globe. When you sell it like that, I expect something more - an unusual fish, or a special cut of a fish, etc.
Otherwise it was a pleasant experience. They made good drinks and the atmosphere was interesting. It was pricey - our cocktails were $10 each. The total was near $100 before tip.
We're not into gambling, so after that we walked around the MGM Grand and over to the Foxwoods Casino. There were a few shops, but we were surprised they didn't have more shopping. I did pick up a baseball hat (really a golf hat for me) at one store. It fit well and was only $15. The MGM pool looked nice, but it was just starting to rain and nobody was there.
Eventually we made our way to dinner at Alta Strada. Like Shrine, it was an interesting atmosphere. Normally I suspect it's just a pleasant Italian restaurant. In our case there was some kind of bachelorette party at the next table. Yes, another instance where the men in the group had to suffer through young women wearing very little in public. But we struggled through. The women at our table were remarkably gracious and most of us behaved well. The resort does advertise itself for bachelor and bachelorette parties, so I guess this should not be a surprise.
The food at Alta Strada was excellent. I decided to go light. They have a small plate thing. By ordering in quantity it was something like $6 per plate (as opposed to $8 for one plate). The table had a total of about 8 of them.
We had a variety - broccoli rabe, spicy green beans, grilled asparagus, white beans, eggplant caponata, and calamari. We doubled up on two or three of them. These small plates were large compared to the small plates I've seen at other restaurants. Quality was outstanding. I also had the fennel and arugula salad which was great. A couple people ordered small pizzas and they were also very good - thin crust with delicious toppings.
In the morning we met up for the brunch buffet, again at Alta Strada. They had some of the small plate items out, a few hot entrees along with eggs and french toast. Everything was excellent, including the service. The french toast was an unusual bread and I think it had raisins in it.
I'm not much on casinos, but we did enjoy our trip. If you do like gambling, Foxwoods seems like a good place to go - but not if you're offended by scantily clad women.