Wonderful Places to Dine in Las Vegas
Playing in online casinos brings so much fun but if you want a new experience, you must visit Las Vegas. Those are all expensive restaurants for the most part. Don’t expect this list to contain bargains. And while Vegas is notorious for its casual approach to all entertaining things, some of these locations do have rules of dress. And you’ll probably need to make reservations at the star chef restaurants, particularly at places like Bellagio, Venetian, MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay and the Rio.
So get away, at least for a few hours, from the other tables and get a taste of New Las Vegas.
Andre’s, Monte Carlo
Long considered the Las Vegas food scene’s patriarch (even before he had a scene), Chef Andre Rochat enjoyed exclusivity amongst the Vegas food elite like no other. His little country house French restaurant just off 6th St. near the business district downtown has been popular with locals and tourists for 20 years, and is still high on the top of the food lists for the known diners. His classic French cuisine is always perfect, and legendary in its wine list.
At the invitation of execs from Monte Carlo, Rochat opened his second restaurant at the Beaux Arts hotel, an intimate 50-seat dining room with Renaissance-inspired décor evoking a French country chateau. The fireplace, white walls, fresh flowers and Versace china all contribute to the sophisticated opulence taste. A winding marble staircase leads to three private dining rooms and the Louis XVI Salon, where guests can end their meal with a fine cognac snifter and a cigar from the humidor stocked.
Seasonally, Andre’s classic French menu changes, but expect to find foie gras, tuna tartare, Dover sole, Provimi veal, Muscovy duck breast and several lobster presentations on the menu year round. Call in advance to see if you could be in town for one of his exclusive dinners with winemakers.
The concept of delicious fish in the Mojave Desert sounds ridiculous but Chef Michael Mina of San Francisco’s famous Aqua flies his seafood daily. And yeah, what kind of shrimp! In reality there’s nothing but fish on the menu. Okay, almost. From simple and austere lobster and scallop presentations to the incredibly rich ahi tuna stack, foie gras and fried potato cake, surrounded by a velvety reduction in port.
The restaurant is tucked away next to the Conservatory of Bellagio, and has a nice bar where you can choose to sit, as reservations are difficult to get through. This is a high-energy location, with beautiful, honey-colored wood, expensive tile and canvas lamps casting a golden glow on the tables. One of the city’s most popular dining experiences is the five-course tasting menu with complimentary wines.
Aureole, Mandalay Bay
Chef Charlie Palmer’s extraordinary “progressive American” food has survived the transition from Manhattan to Las Vegas, but the new interior designed by Adam Tihany is so far from the flower-filled townhouse on the Upper East Side of New York, you won’t think it’s the same restaurant as that. This Aureole impresses with its 42-foot wine tower and multiple dining rooms, including the al fresco Swan court, long before the first dish is served.
Palmer’s gastronomy is simple but sublime, with levels of complexity that surprise and tempt. A spicy tuna tartare appetizer is eaten with a cucumber relish that combines seaweed and black sesame; oak-smoked salmon are put on a bed of lentils and finished with salmon mousse and a corn cake; and the delicious sea scallops, plucked from the ocean bed by trained divers, are wrapped in potato crusts and served with a citrus reduction. A pan-seared veal mignon with honey roasted figs and a caramelized onion potato puree with Cabernet sauce, or a rosemary roasted lamb loin with a braised shank crepe served with morels and English peas may be included in entries. As in New York, gravity-defying desserts stand above the plate, whether it is a pudding of roasted banana bread or a galette of plum and sweet polenta.
Border Grill, Mandalay Bay
Those “Too Hot Tamales,” Susan Fenniger and Mary Sue Milliken, well-known to LA residents and addicts on the TV Food Network, bring their creative interpretations of Mexican cuisine to Mandalay Bay, in a vibrant, beach-side setting perfectly suited to their bold and spicy food.
Border Grill is the “waterfront café you’ve never managed to find in Mazatlan,” according to Gourmet. The decor of the main dining room may be a bit too festive for some, but the patio under the palms is dreamy. Appetizers include the must-have fresh mashed guacamole, plantain empañadas and “panuchos,” small black bean-filled tortillas topped with chicken, pickled onions and avocado. A must for beef lovers, like the traditional “ropa vieja,” a Cuban lamb stew, is the garlicky skirt steak entry. For fish lovers the pan-seared halibut with caramelized pearl onions, jalapeños, Kalamata olives and fresh oregano and garlic broth is perfect.
The take-out tacqueria of Border Grill is just a few steps from the beach for a quick bite, and bathing suits are welcome at the casual cantina tables.
With its airy architecture, wooden floors and windows overlooking the vast pool area of Rio, Buzio feels like an exclusive cabana, the kind of place you’d find in an exclusive beach resort. The restaurant serves all sorts of fresh seafood, but the real winners here are the giant bowls of steamed clams and moustaches, served with a bottomless basket of fresh sourdough bread to sop up the juices. Pan roasts are also common, and to complement the menu choices, the wine list has a great variety of whites from around the world. Solo diners can enjoy the raw bar of Buzio and its extensive list of glass wines.
Charlie Palmer Steak
The Four Seasons at Mandalay Bay Sublime and sophisticated, Aureole Chef Charlie Trotter took over the lustrous Grill Room just off the Four Seasons ultra-posh (and almost unknown) lobby. This is a hotel-within-a-hotel concept; the Four Seasons actually consists of several floors of Mandalay Bay, with completely separate facilities (meaning you don’t deal with the crowds, the casino or packed elevators-the Four Season has its own). Charlie Palmer Steak is not Aureole but his excellent presentations are perfect. Coupled with the quiet exclusivity of the most secret steakhouse in Vegas, this spot is a star, not to mention a great wine list.