Where to Eat in Las Vegas
From Boulud, to Ramsey, to Bastianich, world-renowned chefs have been flocking to Vegas, turning Sin City into a culinary mecca. I just spent a few days there and I ate. How I ate!
Almost every meal was exemplary, even when we just stopped to grab a quick lunch. The downside, it wasn’t cheap, especially considering the exchange rate. But as they say in Vegas, “It’s better to spend money on a good meal than on gambling.” (Don’t they say that? Maybe it’s just me.) Here were a few of my favourite restaurants:
Yardbird – Venetian
Hands down THE very best fried chicken I’ve ever had. My mouth is watering just writing about it. Located in the Venetian, one order (half a chicken) is enough for two. We ordered two sides – the green beans with smoked yogurt and toasted almond vinaigrette and grits topped with cheddar. It was plenty for dinner. Their tag line is run, chicken, run. I say run, human, run to the Yardbird nearest you.
Giada – Cromwell
This is TV chef Giada De Laurentiis’s first restaurant. Located in the Cromwell hotel, (formerly the Barbary Coast) Giada’s is bright, airy and delicious. We went for brunch and had fluffy scrambled eggs, accompanied by lightly grilled polenta, served with wilted spinach and oven roasted tomatoes. All that aside, I have an important question. Do you like almond butter? Yes? You need to try this almond butter. Served in adorable little condiment bowls, the jam, mascarpone spread and almond butter were all incredible.
Stack – Mirage
We were at the Mirage to see a show and walked into Stack to grab a bite beforehand. I’m so glad we did because it was one of the best meals of the trip. The restaurant is billed as an American Steakhouse with a twist, but I wouldn’t know anything about that because we never made it beyond the appetizers.
The Japanese spicy crab was served on crispy sushi rice with ponzu sauce. Insane. The crispy rock shrimp was lightly seasoned and fried. And the grilled Brussel sprouts were tossed in a sweet balsamic sauce. Brussel sprouts are found on many a menu these days, but I often find them over-seasoned and greasy. These were spot on. I want to return to try everything on the menu.
Mr. Chow – Caesar’s Palace
This is not your typical Chinese restaurant. (Above and top image.) The decor is minimalistic white, verging on cold. The service is a bit stuffy (the GM was quite rude) but the food is lovely. Forget the heavy sauces and limp veggies, everything is done with a light touch. We went with a set menu, which included an appetizer, main and one side per person. It was more than I would normally order but it allowed for a greater selection of food to try. Be sure to have the green prawns.
OTTO Pizzeria – Venetian
I love OTTO pizza in New York so I was excited to try Mario Batali’s Las Vegas location. Unfortunately, I was a bit disappointed by the pancetta and goat cheese pizza. The crust was thin and spot on but – and I never thought I’d say these words – it had too much goat cheese on it. Maybe other pizzas are better. What was truly delicious was the pasta. The prawn linguine was perfectly al dente and the right amount of spicy. I’m now looking for the recipe to make it at home.
Lobster ME – Grand Canal Shops
Lobster ME is a chain but I wanted to include it because even the “fast food” seems better in Vegas. I’m generally not a huge lobster fan. But after eating their classic Maine roll, I’m a convert. The lobster was fresh, abundant and seasoned with just a dollop of mayo and chives. It was all nestled in slightly sweet toasted and buttered bread. Delish.
And now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to hit the treadmill.
Vegas, til we dine again!