Las Vegas Restaurant Roundup

NBAA Convention News » 2011
October 8, 2011, 4:40 PM

When dining in Vegas, there are so many options, one can quickly become overwhelmed. With hundreds of steakhouses, sushi bars and other eateries, trying to pick a place just to grab a sandwich can be a challenge.

For example, even though it’s lunch, you might need reservations. You should leave early to get to a restaurant. The hotel next door is further than you think. If you have a time constraint, you need to tell your server in the beginning of the meal–that way, you won’t miss a single moment of “O.” You could very easily spend the better part of your evening just choosing where to dine.

On the bright side, there’s something for everyone here in Vegas–from a Three-Michelin star restaurant that doesn’t disappoint, to a three-dollar slice of pizza that satiates your late-night cravings. No matter what your budget or favorite cuisine type, Vegas has it.

STK

Located in The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas

3708 Las Vegas Blvd. South

Reservations Recommended

(877) 893-2003

$$

At STK, you go for the food and stay for the party. The restaurant inside The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas offers dishes from Chef Stephen Hopcraft, a former “Top Chef” competitor.

Highlights on the menu include a savory mushroom pot pie, perfectly cooked steaks and foie gras French toast–something you have to try to believe. There are lots of steaks on the menu, including the ubiquitous filet mignon, but here the filet is presented in different sizes, so if you’re a light eater or just not that hungry, you can order accordingly.

After dinner, head to the lounge area where you can sip a cocktail and enjoy the relaxed musical atmosphere created by the in-house DJ.

OndaRistorante

Located in the Mirage

3400 Las Vegas Blvd. South

Reservations optional; closed Tuesday and Wednesday

(702) 791-7354                                                                                      

$$

A hard-to-find gem nestled in a corner of the Mirage, Onda offers rustic Italian cuisine like osso bucco, gnocchi and roasted sea bass. You can choose from a variety of pastas, meats and seafood options.

An Onda specialty is its “taste of Italy” menu, which is a three-course prix fixe presentation. Each month, the menu changes, highlighting a different region of Italy. Check with your server for the current selection and matching wine pairings. Among recent offerings has been roasted branzini (European sea bass) prepared with lemon olive oil, pepper purée and capers. If you are a chocolate lover and are fortunate, the dessert menu will include Chioccolato, a flourless chocolate torte served with hazelnut ice cream.

The main dining room décor comprises natural woods and a modern design. The front bar area seats 58 diners and is light and airy with exposed painted brick and the bar itself is made of marble. Wine cabinets line the walls and mirrors across create the impression of a larger space. You can order from the full menu in either room.

At the wine bar, you can enjoy a complimentary wine tasting every Friday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

and all-you-can eat mussels Sunday through Thursday from 5p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Aureole

Located in Mandalay Bay

3950 Las Vegas Blvd. South

Reservations recommended

(702) 632-7401

$$$

Not many restaurants have a four-story tower of wine bottles in the middle of their dining room. In fact, there’s only one in Las Vegas–and it’s at Aureole.

Enter the Adam Tihany-designed restaurant on the upper level and follow the walkway that winds down around the impressive tower to the main dining room. There, you can watch the wine angels float around the wine tower and choose your favorite bottle of chardonnay.

Aureole Las Vegas features seasonal and innovative cuisine from one of America’s top chefs, celebrity chef Charlie Palmer. The menu rotates based on what’s available and in season, but a good way to try the highlights is to let the chef create a tasting menu. One recent interesting offering was braised veal shank with kumquat gremolata, cannellini beans, prosciutto ham tortellini and amaretto cremata.

You can also request a wine pairing with your meal to ensure the wine angels float to the perfect bottle to complement your blue-cheese crusted tenderloin.

The Country Club at Wynn

Located in Wynn Las Vegas

3131 Las Vegas Blvd. South

Reservations optional

(702) 248-DINE

$$$

Overlooking the 18th hole of the Wynn golf course, the Country Club at Wynn offers classic American cuisine with a Creole twist.

The restaurant is situated near the golf course locker rooms and has an old cigar-club feel–oversized leather furniture in the lounge, dark wood accents and plaid papered walls. Of course, nothing beats the view, which is why the dining room features a floor-to-ceiling glass wall and a tranquil outdoor patio.

On Sundays, plan to enjoy the Jazz Brunch 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Saturday’s brunch runs from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Both offer a delicious array of traditional breakfast items like eggs, pastries and pancakes, but also feature shellfish such as oysters, jumbo shrimp and crab legs, as well as house-made smoked whitefish and fresh salads. Spicy Bloody Marys and mimosas are on the menu–just in case you want something more than coffee.

Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill

Located in MGM Grand

3799 Las Vegas Blvd. South

Reservations optional

(702) 891-3000

$$

If you dine at Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill, you might encounter the best blue-cheese truffle potato chips you’ve ever had. These aren’t your average bagged chip: start with homemade potato chips, add a chunky, tangy Maytag blue cheese sauce and a drizzle of truffle oil for a flavor-packed crunch in every bite. 

Signature dishes include wood-oven baked pizzas and beef burger with cheddar and onion marmalade. Wolfgang’s Farmer cheese ravioli with hazelnut brown butter and aged balsamic is a favorite, as are baked Manilla clams. And then there’s the Ricotta gnocchi with sweet fennel sausage.

The restaurant is located adjacent to the casino floor of the MGM Grand and is perfect for a business lunch or casual dinner.

The decor is sleek and modern with a glass wall that allows you to see the chefs at work in the kitchen. The enclosed private dining room features a half-wall of paned windows through which diners can view a distinctive black-and-white photo gallery.

EstiatorioMilos

Located in The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas

3708 Las Vegas Boulevard South

(877) 893-2003

$$$$

Estiatorio Milos offers authentic Greek cuisine. The restaurant on the third floor of The Cosmopolitan features fresh Mediterranean seafood flown in daily from the East Coast and invites guests to the “market” to select their choice for the evening.

Most of the cuisine is fresh and on the lighter side–so no greasy moussaka or gyros here. For appetizers, try the delicious Milos Special–crisp-fried, paper-thin slices of eggplant and zucchini, cubes of saganaki (a firm fried cheese) served with a thick house-made tzatziki sauce. For main courses, choose from a variety of fish, including snapper, sea bass and langoustines and order by the ounce. The Loup de Mer is a specialty. The fish is cooked in sea salt to keep it as juicy as possible, and then finished extra virgin olive oil and capers and served whole at the table.

Milos also offers an extensive Greek wine selection that can be paired with your meal.

The decor is reminiscent of a Mediterranean ship with nautical lanterns, exposed natural wood elements and oversized Greek urns. There are two private dining rooms available, a bar area and an outdoor patio. 

Verandah

Located in the Four Seasons

3960 Las Vegas Blvd. South

Reservations optional

(702) 632-5000

$$

A tranquil getaway from the hustle and bustle of busy casinos and the Las Vegas Strip, the Four Seasons hotel offers uncompromising service in a boutique hotel feel.

Poolside at the Four Seasons, lies Verandah, an Italian restaurant with a large outdoor patio. The patio is decorated in lush, tropical style, with large white archways draped in green-and-white and potted palms amid other foliage. Inside, there is a main dining room, bar area and private dining room for larger parties.

Verandah is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as weekend brunch. The cuisine varies from meal to meal, with American favorites for lunch and dinner and traditional-style Italian cuisine for dinner. Among several house-made pastas is Verandah’s signature “La pasta cotta nel vaso,” artichoke pasta cooked in a jar with scallops, calamari, langoustine, shrimp, tomato and basil. Any of these may come to a close with Verandah’s signature “sharing” dessert: Amaretto tiramisu with Italian gelato and cinnamon-flavored cotton candy.

The Range Steakhouse

Located at Harrah’s Las Vegas

3475 S. Las Vegas Blvd.

(800) 392-9002, ext. 5084

Reservations recommended

$$$

The Range Steakhouse presents a glimpse of old-school charm. Several stories above ground, The Range offers a great view of the Las Vegas Strip via floor-to-ceiling glass windows. The bar and lounge area sometimes features live music that spills into the main dining room.

If you’re an escargot fan, try The Range’s creative take on the traditional French dish. Tender snails are served with button mushrooms in garlic and herb drawn butter, then the dish is covered in a dome of flaky puff pastry for an extra rich treat.

At The Range, you can dine on a variety of steak options, including a succulent 24-ounce porterhouse and an eight-ounce Wagyu (Kobe-style beef) steak. Seafood options include succulent Alaskan king crab legs with drawn butter and Maine lobster with black truffle butter. One of the house specialties is a chilled seafood tower that includes shrimp, oysters, Alaska King crab legs and lobster tail.

Botero

Located in the Encore Las Vegas

(702) 248-DINE

$$$

Named after Fernando Botero, a Colombian figurative artist, the restaurant at Encore features a giant sculpture of his “Seated Woman” prominently displayed on a centrally located platform. The savory steakhouse menu features cuts of prime beef, such as filet mignon and perfectly seared rib-eye. A non-beef highlight on the menu is brioche-crusted rack of lamb–a triumph, served with creamy goat cheese polenta. From the sea, Botero offers crispy-skin branzini, a European sea bass, as well as a duet pairing of wild salmon and Arctic char.

However, the amazing desserts at Botero make it stand out. Try the peanut-butter pretzel bread pudding with salted caramel popcorn or an amazing blueberry-and-peach crumble with a bourbon cream sauce and toasted almond ice cream. The only thing missing if you choose the s’mores brioche doughnuts–tender donuts coated with graham cracker and served with toasted marshmallow and a rich chocolate ganache–is the campfire.

Botero neighbors XS, one of the hottest nightclubs in Las Vegas, and on nights when the club is open, the party spills onto the XS pool patio adjacent to Botero’s patio. 

JoëlRobuchon

Located in the MGM Grand

Reservations highly recommended

(702) 891-7925

$$$$

The only Three-Michelin Star Restaurant in Las Vegas, Joël Robuchon is a true triumph. The fine dining room is opulent, over-the-top and everything you would expect from the proclaimed chef of the century.

Rich, luxurious purple velvet banquets provide seating in the dining room, where an exquisite crystal chandelier adds elegance to the gold-trimmed off-white walls. A floor-to-ceiling fireplace serves as the room’s focal point.

The outdoor garden room is bordered by tall green hedges and is a semi-private dining area. There is also a smaller completely private dining room and a bar area with vibrant red walls.

Though the menu rotates seasonally, highlights that may appear include caviar served over crabmeat and presented to the table in a small caviar tin. In addition you may enjoy “la langoustine,” fresh langoustine ravioli served with truffle and cabbage. Though you can order à la carte, the best way to dine at Joël Robuchon is via a tasting menu. 

But, the pièce de résistance at Joël Robuchon has to be the 16-course degustation menu. It begins with a cherry gazpacho, takes you through a mélange of vegetable, pasta, seafood and beef creations before closing the experience with La Mangue and Le Caramel. Price for this three-star adventure?  A pricey $395 per person.

Tao

Located in the Venetian

3377 S. Las Vegas Blvd.

Reservations Recommended

(702) 388-8588

$$

The ultimate party center, Tao Las Vegas is part nightclub, part day club, part lounge and part restaurant.

The restaurant displays collectable items from Asia and offers an alluring exotic ambiance. Upon entering, you tread a path lined with tubs filled with rose petals and, occasionally, girls. A wall of warrior statues surrounds the bar. The two-story walls glow with candlelight, and vibrant red and orange hues permeate the restaurant.

The food includes an assortment of sushi, hot and cold appetizers and main courses with an Asian flair.

Celebrities flock to this mega-club and restaurant: actress Demi Moore, Grammy Award winner Bruno Mars, reality TV star Kim Kardashian and “Glee” star Mark Salling have all been spotted partying here.

 “The Secret Pizza Place”

Located in The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas

(702) 698-7000; call The Cosmopolitan and ask for the “pizzeria”!

Reservations not taken

$

If you’re on the run and need a quick bite, head to the pizzeria at The Cosmopolitan: the secret pizza place–that is, if you can find it. On the third floor of hotel, a hallway plastered with vintage LP album covers leads you to some of the best New York-style pizza in Las Vegas.

At first glance, the place isn’t much–hammered-tin ceiling, a counter with four or five pies, a bit of counter space and a few mismatched stools to lean on while you’re eating your slice–but make no mistake, this pizza is good, inexpensive and available for lunch, dinner or late-night munching.

Oh, and don’t forget to play a round of pinball before you leave; yes, “Tommy” there’s a pinball machine!

Mon Ami Gabi

Located in Paris Las Vegas

3655 Las Vegas Blvd. South

Reservations optional

(702) 944-4224

$$

Mon Ami Gabi is a lively place that you’ll like especially if you like to dine al fresco. The French brasserie-style restaurant has a large outdoor patio that sits on the Las Vegas Strip and features a view of the Bellagio Fountain show, just across the street. It also affords some of the best people watching in Las Vegas.

Inside, the restaurant is usually busy. The French brasserie theme is carried throughout with dark wood accents, wall sconces, black-and-white tile and smoky, gilt-edged mirrors.

Food at Mon Ami Gabi includes mouth-watering steaks, flaky fish and French favorites such as escargot, a choice of cheeses and a large wine selection. A couple of special dishes include the warm Brie with black-pepper honey and hazelnuts and a chicken liver mousse spread on country bread.

Mon Ami Gabi also features a great weekend brunch complete with a help-yourself Bloody Mary bar.

Sage

Located in Aria Las Vegas

3730 Las Vegas Blvd.

Reservations highly recommended

877-230-2742

$$$

For a truly unique culinary experience, head to Sage. Chef Shawn McClain’s menu changes seasonally, but one highlight includes foie gras crème brûlée. A different approach to foie gras, this dish has a creamy mousse consistency with a crunchy top and is served with grapefruit slices.

The elegant dining room, enhanced with classic 1930s French chandeliers and bathed in purple-and-gold ambient lighting provides a comfortable clubby atmosphere. The specialities include an absinthe tasting–have the absinthe cart pull up tableside and let the presentation begin.

Sage also hosts an enticing bar menu for lighter fare and superb cocktails created with infusions of fresh fruit purees, boutique liquors and home-made bitters.

Lemongrass

Located in Aria Las Vegas

3730 Las Vegas Blvd.

Reservations optional

(877) 230-2742

$$

Lemongrass is a great place to go for lunch or dinner. The restaurant in Aria features authentic Thai cuisine, including spices from the region. A word of caution: On a spice scale from one to 10, 10 may cause third-degree burns, so take it easy when choosing a number.

Warnings aside, the food at Lemongrass is fresh and well executed. For appetizers, the fish cakes are tender and flavorful, as are the Lemongrass prawns with plum sauce. For main courses, traditional dishes like sweet-and-sour chicken or pineapple-fried rice can satiate your appetite. If you’re feeling more adventurous, try the jellyfish or salt-and-pepper lobster.

The curries at Lemongrass are sensational and made to order. The Penang duck is a great standby, but if you want to indulge, try the yellow curry with fresh Dungeness crabmeat. There are also plenty of noodle options in various sauces available.

For dessert, the bua loi–a sticky rice dumpling in warm coconut milk–is the ultimate comfort food.

Nikki Neu is the hotel and food writer for Vegas.com. Follow her on Twitter @nikkineu for updates on restaurants and all things Vegas.

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