AUREOLE LAS VEGAS
Aureole’s iconic wine tower holds 4,500 bottles and offers an only-in-Vegas experience: Wine Angels whisked through the air, rappelling the four-story enclosure in search of bottles of vino for diners. While they fly, sample Charlie Palmer’s modern American cuisine with French undertones. Don’t miss his namesake French onion soup gilded with the umami-laden duo of foie gras and truffles or Alaskan wild-caught halibut hinting of saffron.
Gold lettering on the windows, Laguiole cutlery and a central zinc bar epitomize the singular quality of Michael Mina’s elevated French brasserie in Aria, where classics like onion soup are refined with aged Gruyere and Périgord truffles in one of the most romantic and transporting dining rooms in town. Don’t miss: simple roasted chicken? Mina treats his all-natural Hudson Valley heirloom birds like Peking duck—brined, blanched and hung to dry before being roasted with artisanal soy and vin jaune from France’s Jura region.
BAVETTE’S STEAKHOUSE & BAR
Hogsalt Hospitality’s Bavette’s Steakhouse & Bar lives up to the hype of its original location in Chicago. Our pick: The bone-in ribeye, dry aged for 42 days, clocking in at 22 ounces and served with bearnaise sauce and Maldon, is meant for the strong of heart and appetite (or someone who likes to share). Dessert is a selection of classic American pies, if you are wise enough to leave room.
BEAUTY & ESSEX
Beauty & Essex conjures up a secret pawnshop-inspired entrance—paying tribute to its Manhattan namesake—before diners step into a 10,000-square-foot space evoking vintage jewelry boxes, antiques and gemstones, and containing (unlike the original) a gold DJ booth. Three rooms from celeb chef Chris Santos serve shareable dishes like tuna poke wonton tacos and Thai-style crispy shrimp, as well as Vegas-only plates like roasted bone marrow.
Roy Choi has arrived in Vegas and he’s brought a menu of his greatest hits with him across the Mojave Desert from Los Angeles in a high-energy space hidden inside a convenience store storefront. Classics include his famous Mexican/Korean kalbi short rib tacos, while new dishes such as the savory spicy uni dynamite and hearty chili cheese spaghetti – his ode to Cincinnati chili from Bob’s Big Boy – mustn’t be missed.
Strip veteran Jamie Tran has brought her talents off-Strip, offering her comforting take on Vietnamese food not in Chinatown but rather the southwest Valley. Fried beef crisps crackle with flavor as they arrive hot tableside, while salmon skin tacos are an inventive take on the Mexican classic with salmon skin subbing in for crisp taco shells.
8680 W. Warm Springs Rd.
This airy Thomas Keller bistro is hidden away on the 10th floor of the Venezia Tower of Venetian, looking out onto fountains and gardens. In good weather, take your breakfast on the patio; it starts with a basket of fabulously flaky French pastries. Try the giant, gooey pecan sticky bun.
TV’s Cake Boss Buddy Valastro opened his first restaurant in Vegas, highlighting classic Italian dishes from his New Jersey upbringing. Buddy’s V’s is family affair with offerings such as Grandma’s meatballs, My Wife’s eggplant parm and even My Mother-In-Law’s linguine shrimp scampi, along with his family’s Sunday gravy. But while sampling his family fare, remember to save room for a cannoli!
Grand Canal Shoppes
Major Food Group’s Vegas venture, like the Greenwich Village original, celebrates the distinctive interpretations of Italian food in the five boroughs. Don’t miss the tableside Caesar salad and the immense veal parmigiana, divided into four sections by your Zac Posen tuxedo-clad waiter in the stylish, theater-inspired dining room.
Late celebrity chef Kerry Simon would be proud of his last venture, the always-creative spot which ushered in a new wave of downtown destination dining. Favorites include savory-yet-sweet bacon jam, addictive crispy chicken skins and gyro tacos, inventive dishes which showcased Simon’s embrace of elevated comfort foods.
124 S. 6th St.
Celebrity chef and Top Chef Masters contestant Lorena Garcia has made her mark as the Strip’s first female Latin American headliner. Traverse Central and South America through a menu without borders, ranging from Peruvian ceviche, Venezuelan short rib arepas, Argentinian empanadas and Mexican tacos. And wash it all down with your choice of apple or blackberry sangria.
EDO GASTRO TAPAS & WINE
On the far edge of Chinatown in a bustling strip mall, EDO delivers Spanish tapas with hints of Asian ingredients in a nod to its locale. On a menu full of don’t miss items, don’t miss the griddled bikini, smoky montadito, and the ascendant arroz meloso con uni while partaking of the playful gin and tonic cart.
3400 S. Jones Blvd. #11A
Alvin Cailin has brought his concept from L.A.’s Grand Central Market, and his cult following, to a sleek little shop with a counter and barstools to plant yourself on for egg-based dishes such as his classic Slut, a coddled egg on potato puree poached in a glass jar and topped with gray salt and chives, or the Gaucho, an egg sandwich fancied up with seared wagyu tri-tip and chimichurri on a brioche bun. The lines are long, but the eggs are worth the wait.
Directly facing Bellagio’s fountains, the intimate Eiffel Tower offers traditional French fine dining and one of the most romantic views in Vegas. Tip: Call far in advance, ask for table 56 (aka “the proposal table,” the corner spot whose two seats both face the fountains) and order the famous soufflé as soon as you arrive so it will be ready by dessert.
Paris Las Vegas
James Tree’s downtown Italian hotspot packs in the crowds day and night. Splurge with an order of housemade sourdough – and make sure you order it with anchovy garlic butter! – and then peruse a selection of fresh pastas made in-house. The cacio e pepe chitarra and bucatini carbonara are particularly noteworthy.
1130 Casino Center Blvd.
This sunlit Greek fine dining restaurant in Cosmopolitan (an offshoot of its original Montreal location) allows diners to choose from piles of fish and live lobsters hauled in from Mediterranean waters. Simply grilled or baked in salt crusts, the seafood is the star, but don’t miss the Milos Special: paper-thin fried chips of zucchini and eggplant in a mound of thick tzatziki. Tip: The $29 three-course lunch menu is the best deal in town.
GORDON RAMSAY HELL’S KITCHEN
With a prime location in front of Caesars, this brand-new Gordon Ramsay outpost brings his hit TV show to life. If you’re lucky enough to nab a reservation, dishes not to miss include the beef Wellington and pan-seared scallops.
GREENE STREET KITCHEN
Through an arcade just off the newly renovated Palms Casino floor, you’ll find the hidden entrance to Greene Street behind an antique Coke machine. In a space adorned with street art, you’ll find a menu that’s both whimsical and serious simultaneously. Legs and Eggs top buttery king crab legs with kaluga caviar, while the Big Ass!! Stuffed Lobster lives up to its name in both size and flavor.
At this mecca of haute cuisine, diners start with Dungeness crab, lobster gelee and fennel cream topped with osetra caviar—which helps explain why this is the sole three-Michelin-star restaurant in Vegas. Enjoy the 16-course tasting that follows from a private booth or the garden terrace.
This contemporary, intimate edomae (Tokyo-style) sushi restaurant in the bustling Seoul Plaza is a mecca for sushi connoisseurs. Seafood selections at either of the night’s two seatings depend solely upon what’s available from the biweekly Japanese shipments with single pieces of nigiri prepared by your chef to be eaten immediately. The ornate presentation is a revelation for anyone remotely interested in the art of sushi.
5040 W. Spring Mountain Rd.
Strip alum Gina Marinelli has recently ventured into the depths of Summerlin with the opening of her comfortable Italian eatery, wowing diners with dishes varying from pesto-infused Italian salad to the robust rigatoni Bolognese with wild boar ragù. Even her pizzas – such as the chile-laden Spicy Pig or the subtler pesto & truffle – make for a memorable meal.
3555 S. Town Center Dr. #105
This opulent, Adam Tihany-designed French restaurant is as impeccable as when it first opened more than 20 years ago—modeled, of course, on Sirio Maccioni’s New York landmark. For the full experience, order the 10-course Prestige menu, saving room for the theatrical boule au chocolat.
The Palms remodel brought with a number of new celebrity chefs, including Michael Symon from Cleveland. With Mabel’s, the Iron Chef brings his BBQ concept to Las Vegas, smoking meats in his onsite smokers. Be sure to order the cracklin’ salt and vinegar chicarrónes alongside the crazy chopped brisket burrito, while washing it all down with a selection from the eclectic beer list.
Nobu Matsuhisa’s Caesars Palace restaurant—which anchors his own hotel tower—was the first Nobu in the U.S. to offer teppanyaki, as well as signature dishes like his famous black cod miso and his squid “pasta,” all in the dining room David Rockwell designed to make you feel as if you’re inside a Japanese ikebana basket.
A visit to NoMad Restaurant is an immersive experience, surrounded by towering Victorian-era bookcases. Tableside experiences include a steak tartare preparation and a martini cart for the ages. But don’t miss the infamous roast chicken akin to Peking duck. It is simply the best chicken dish you’ll ever have. Ever.
RESTAURANT GUY SAVOY
Chef Guy Savoy attracts only the most serious of foodies. And while menu items can be ordered ala carte, the best way to experience Restaurant Guy Savoy is through the 14-course Prestige menu, where you’re likely to find classic Savoy dishes such as his artichoke and black truffle soup or the Colors of Caviar. And if the Prestige menu isn’t exclusive enough, reserve yourself the Krug Chef’s Table where you become immersed in the kitchen itself.
SPAROW + WOLF
It’s hard to escape the national and local buzz that chef Brian Howard created with his innovative dishes—beef cheek and bone marrow dumplings, anyone? In addition to serving incredible food, the relaxed neighborhood vibe and inventive cocktails make it a date-night slam-dunk.
4480 Spring Mountain Road
Tastujin – the Japanese word for Master – is a restaurant unlike any other in the Valley. It is an ornate teppanyaki restaurant, a style some may be familiar with from Benihana. But there are no acrobatic shrimp or flaming onion volcanos here; instead, it is a showcase of Japanese craftsmanship and ingredients, including melt-in-your-mouth wagyu.
4439 W. Flamingo Rd.
Inhabiting the longtime Alizé space atop the original Palms tower, Vetri Cucina brings Philly-based chef Mark Vetri to town, serving innovative dishes such as foie gras pastrami and earthy, truffle-laden almond tortellini. As remarkable as the Strip view is from atop the Palms, the cuisine is a worthy match.
YUI EDOMAE SUSHI
Chef Gen Mizoguchi first came to Vegas as the head chef of Kabuto before venturing out to open Yui. And he’s worth tacking down in a nondescript space next to American Shooters where he presents immaculate fish such as nodoguro and kamashita in an intimate setting. Tip: Gen-san not only does fish, he has a private dining room exclusively for Japanese A5 wagyu.
3460 Arville St.
World-famous, award-winning contemporary Japanese cuisine is only one of the many reasons to make a reservation at Zuma’s only location this side of the country. Ask for what’s on the secret menu and go from there.