Desert Companion

Break the bank: Fine-dining deals for when you want to splurge (but not too much)

Project Dinner Table

Various locations

Project Dinner Table is like a do-gooder foodie flash mob, its signature long white table popping up everywhere from Gilcrease Orchard to Town Square to the World Market Center. The event hits all the high notes of hip philanthropy: Locavore-friendly fine food by top-tier chefs, settings that celebrate a sense of place, good conversation with strangers as awesome as you are, and a portion of the proceeds going to local charity. Tickets are $140, but trust us — that’s less a price than an investment. The next Project Dinner Table takes place Sept. 10 downtown near the El Cortez. (AK)


PayardPayard Bistro

3570 S. Las Vegas Blvd. (inside Caesars Palace), 731-7292,

I wouldn’t call an amazing three-course French bistro dinner a bank-breaker at $42, especially on the Strip. Incredibly, that’s the deal at Payard, already the home of one of our favorite lunch offers. Dinner’s even better, including an inspiring cheese souffle, roasted chicken with lemon jus, or a lights-out filet au poivre. Of course, dessert’s always the best course at Payard, and it’s part of the deal, so save room. (BR)

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Bally’s Sterling Brunch

3645 S. Las Vegas Blvd., 862-5138,

Every Sunday from 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m., the Steakhouse at Bally’s is transmogrified into a lavish banquet where diners at the Sterling Brunch ($85) nosh buffet-style on lobster tail, rack of lamb, filet mignon, caviar, fresh sushi, Alaskan king crab and prime rib. Carving and omelet stations are joined by a flambé station where a chef will set fire to anything you like. Mimosas, bloody marys and champagne flow like water. This is classic swank; at 27, the Sterling Brunch is older than most Strip hotels, and Maître d’ Ilario Pesco runs the room with old-world hospitality. Wear your Sunday best and, yes, reservations are required. (JH)

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Desert Companion
Desert Companion