The M Resort: Great Views and Wine by the Sip

Sadly, the Veloce Cibro is no longer open to the public. Perhaps one day soon, we’ll be able to toast the view and enjoy the splendor of this great restaurant...

The M Resort's blimpPhoto by Megan Edwards
For weeks before the grand opening, the M
Resort’s high-tech blimp let the valley know
what was coming

Ever since I saw the first cranes laboring at the corner of Las Vegas Boulevard and St. Rose Parkway, I assumed I’d go to the grand opening of the $1 billion M Resort and Casino. It’s only two miles from my house, after all—practically walking distance. But when the fireworks began exploding the night of March 1, I wasn’t among the thousands who watched them up close. Even though casino openings are iconic occasions in Las Vegas, I skipped the traffic and crowds and enjoyed the pyrotechnics from my own backyard. I waited until the next morning to check out the property that hopes to redefine the Strip by extending its southern boundary by seven miles. In fact, the M Resort lies within the city limits of Henderson, making it the only development on Las Vegas Boulevard required to pay city taxes. All the other mega-resorts on the Strip are in unincorporated Clark County.

View from the 16th floorPhoto by Megan Edwards
Twilight view from Veloce Cibo, the restaurant
on the hotel’s sixteenth floor

My plan was to have breakfast at the Red Cup Café, the resort’s 24-hour coffee shop, but I changed my mind when I saw the line. Half the population of Henderson was waiting for a table, and the rest was queued up in the “Players Club” line. Because the M is a place I can return to easily and often, I decided to spend my first visit taking a walking tour instead of playing the waiting game.

There’s a lot to admire. The M’s architecture is airy and open, and the décor features plenty of natural stone, wood, chrome and glass. Even the casino, though designed to focus on slot machines and gaming tables, has more light and space than most such venues. The other public areas, including a large atrium overlooking the pool, have huge picture windows. While most casino properties are worlds unto themselves, completely cut off from their exterior surroundings, the M has views in all directions:

View inside Veloce CiboPhoto by Megan Edwards
Dining with a unique new Vegas vista

the Strip to the north, the city to the east, and mountains to the south and west. While faux Egypt—or Paris or Venice—is fun, it’s lovely and refreshing to walk through a building that really celebrates its location. The windows gracefully frame the beauty of the desert and the Strip, and I knew that first morning that I would have to come back another time to enjoy the natural artistry of a desert sundown from this great new vantage point.

Inside Veloce CiboPhoto by Megan Edwards
The view inside Veloce Cibo is pleasing, too

On my second visit, I arrived around 5 in the evening because I had noticed that was when Veloce Cibo, the bar and restaurant on the 16th floor of the hotel tower, opens for business. I parked on the west side of the property and entered near the elevator to the restaurant. (Another nice feature of the M Resort is that not every door leads into the casino.) A small crowd had gathered next to the check-in desk, and it didn’t take long to find out that most were locals who, just like me, were eager to enjoy the view and a glass of wine on the 16th floor.

Veloce Cibo (which means, amusingly, “fast food” in English) runs the length of the top floor of the M, giving it a long, sleek, boatlike feel that’s enhanced by the tapered ends of the building. The entire north side is glass, and every table—more than 300 of them—has a view of the Vegas valley. I decided to take a seat at a table in the bar at the west end of the “boat,” and on my way to my table, I caught sight of an unusual display of wine bottles. They were arrayed side-by-side, soldier-fashion, to encircle a gleaming machine. What’s with that?

My waitress was happy to explain.

The Enomatic Photo by Megan Edwards
A wine card from Veloce Cibo can also be used
downstairs in the Hostile Grape wine cellar

Two bars at the M, Veloce Cibo on the top floor and the Hostile Grape (another amusing name) on the bottom floor, feature the Enomatic wine serving system, an Italian innovation that lets customers help themselves to 1-ounce, 3-ounce, and 5-ounce “pours” of a variety of wines. First, you obtain a wine card and charge it up with some cash. Slip your card into a slot on an Enomatic machine, and it deducts the price of whatever libation you download into your glass (prices start at about $2). Clean wine glasses are available for each new wine you select, as are wine lists that describe the various offerings, from sake and Madeira to Riesling and shiraz.

Veloce Cibo offers both bar food and a full dinner menu. That first night, I opted for the full experience, which was made even more lovely by the changing view as the sun descended and the Strip blazed to life. For a leisurely evening of wine sipping and appetizer tasting, this place is impossible to beat. The menu is an eclectic lineup of dishes from sushi and a wide variety of “sharing plates” to traditional entrees, side dishes, desserts and specialty cocktails. The prices are pretty swell, too. My bill for the evening was about half what I would have paid for the same experience farther up the Strip. The chef appeared at my table to make sure everything was to my liking, and my waiter was attentive and cordial.

Enomatic wine machinesPhoto by Megan Edwards
Eloise, who works in wine retail at the M
Resort, demonstrates how to operate the
Enomatic system

On my third foray to the M, I finally descended below ground level to check out the Hostile Grape. I’d been impressed by the Enomatic display upstairs, but the array in the wine cellar was nothing short of awesome. Dozens of bottles lined the walls of two alcoves that surrounded two islands offering even more bottles. Happy-looking customers were wandering among the machines, sipping while discussing which vintage to try next. Others were lounging on leather sofas and at the bar in a warmly lit room styled to feel like a wine cellar. After tasting two kinds of sake and chatting with one of the attendants, I knew I had better head back upstairs. A self-serve wine bar is not a wise place to linger unless you have a chauffeur.

There’s quite a bit more at the M Resort that I have yet to experience. There are six more restaurants and several more bars, for starters, as well as a pastry and gelato shop, a full-service pharmacy, a spectacular pool area, a spa and an opulent sports book. Judging from the vast forest of yet-to-be-planted trees and shrubs I spied from the 16th floor, the M’s already nicely landscaped grounds will continue to evolve. I’ll be back to watch—and not only because I have $38.50 left on my wine card.

Comments

14 responses on “The M Resort: Great Views and Wine by the Sip

  1. The thing I like the best about the Veloce Cibo is that the chef et al encourages diners to share entrees and try more dishes. One of the nice features is a community-sharing table that encourages diners to mix and match elements of the menu. And the view…. Oh my!

  2. Megan, it sounds great. But, you said wine by the “sip,” so I’m wondering just what they charge you for just one sip of wine? Or don’t you go that teeny?

    Steve

  3. Steve,

    It’s served at the 1 oz, 3 oz and 5 0z size — so a sip is about 1 oz (at least for me) and the charge is relative to the expense of the wine — $100 per once is still possible I would think for some of the selections.

    Mark

  4. Steve, you’re right that an ounce is a honkin’ huge sip, but that’s the smallest amount the Enomatic will deliver. If you’re there with a friend you don’t mind sharing a glass with, one ounce gives two people a couple of decent sips each.

  5. I think it’s a great way to sample a wide range of excellent wines. And their poker room looks good, too! I’m planning to try it as soon as I can justify losing some more money.

  6. “Half the population of Henderson was waiting for a table” Haha- that made me laugh. These pictures are beautiful! The Vegas vista one is stunning!

    I hear good things about this place. I cant wait to check it out!

  7. I am fascinated by the fact that you have described the building and its eateries but nothing (yet, I presume) about its array of gambling paraphernalia which I have no doubt exist in large numbers. I am fascinated because I have always been under the impression (one that is fast disappearing) that these huge resorts are built for one reason only – to attract the gamblers’ dollars, which they, the gamblers, are bound to lose in large numbers. This new resort obviously is attracting customers and their spending dollars using other means and in my view that is a ‘good thing’. Gambling, I believe, is much more fun and enjoyable when it is considered just another form of entertainment to be taken out of your leisure spending budget.

  8. Las Vegas as a resort destination is much more current. Gambling and the revenue it generates is always going to be a part of the mix, of course, but non-gaming revenue has exceeded gaming revenue both locally and state-wide on an annual basis for, at least, five years. Fine dining, shows, clubs and other entertainment options generate significantly more revenue than gambling for most of the larger and newer resorts.

    Neither Megan nor myself are gamblers (at least not in the way that would directly benefit a gaming operation) and so we don’t tend to notice gaming equipment. I can tell you that the design elements in the poker room and the sports book are some of the nicest in Las Vegas. This hotel is much more in keeping with the current style of casino construction — in that it’s very easy to spend a night or day at the M or similarly designed resort and never step inside the gaming area. It’s certainly available and easy to reach, but its not a required element for navigating the resort.

    Mark

  9. Great review and awesome pics, this place looks great. I absolutely love wine so the Enomatic system sounds great (although who knows if I’ll agree the morning after!)

  10. I had VERY POOR hostess customer service here! In fact I’ve tried to dine at Veloce Cibo on three occasions and the closest I ever got was the bar! I was never offered an alternate time or date – all I have ever heard is that they are “booked up”. I will not return!

  11. M Resort is the best local casino hotel in Las Vegas, even makes red rock look bad, with its modern design, affordable high end restaurants, great casino it is has no competitor in south of Las Vegas, it is the first luxury resort for Californians to see when they arrive Vegas from I-15 highway.
    Buffer at M definetely has it all with a low price, excellent sea food.
    Recommended, for exterior video check out http://www.exploringlasvegas.com/hotels/M-resort.html

  12. I was back at Veloce Cibo last Saturday night — it really is an amazing place to dine and enjoy the view. A total of five writers enjoyed four “shared plates” of appetizers, followed by three entrees, (that were shared again among the five diners), plus two bottles of very, very nice wine, coffee and a couple of deserts and the total bill was still under $300. If you haven’t eaten at Veloce Cibo yet, you are in for a wonderful dining experience.

    Mark

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