The restaurant scene on the Strip has evolved beyond recognition over the last few decades, offering more quality and choice than ever. There are opportunities to sample the wares of some of the world’s greatest chefs, as well as more modest – but no less delectable – fare across a whole range of styles and cuisines.
The only US outpost of iconoclastic chef Pierre Gagnaire (his famed place in Paris has three Michelin stars). The setting is spectacular, on the 23rd floor of the Mandarin Oriental, though Gagnaire’s take on modern French cuisine is likely to upstage the view. The seven-course tasting menu with wine pairings will blow a $777 (£550) hole in your wallet, though there is a more down-to-earth vegetarian tasting menu, or à la carte options.
Mandarin Oriental, 3752 S Las Vegas Blvd
Robuchon, “the most Michelin-starred chef in the world”, has a number of high-end restaurants sprinkled around the globe, known for their exemplary cooking and sumptuousness. This is about as good as it gets, a lavish, though relaxed, affair that takes you on a cultivated culinary ride, skirting on the edge of decadence. If you’ve booked a table here, the 16-course tasting menu is the only way to do it.
MGM Grand, 3799 S Las Vegas Blvd
Chef Costas Spiliadis has built his mini-empire of Greek restaurants by doing one thing well – Mediterranean cuisine. His Las Vegas outpost specialises in market fish and seafood, as well as classic Greek vegetable dishes, all served up simply but carefully. The three-course lunch at $29 is a great deal, and even at $69 the evening four-course dinner is reasonable for the quality and (Strip) location. Make sure you ask the sommelier about the selection of Hellenic wines.
The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, 3708 S Las Vegas Blvd
One of four restaurants in a chain founded by award-winning restaurateur John Kunkel, the Las Vegas outpost can be found in the Venetian. While the gondola rides through “mini Venice” made the resort world-famous, Yardbird is quickly making a name for itself, fast becoming a must-visit destination for fried chicken aficionados. It’s not cheap – the chicken, watermelon and waffles main will set you back $36 – but the combination of US cooking at its best with innovative cocktails and bourbon brings an elegant vibe to the southern comfort food that justifies the price.
3355 S Las Vegas Blvd
Chef Shawn McClain has a résumé filled with restaurants that have succeeded through his sourcing of fresh, local ingredients. At Sage he continues that practice, but in a rather opulent setting and with a menu that is filled with creative turns – veal cheeks with pickled vegetables and herb spätzle is one example of what to expect. As well as the food the restaurant is also famed for its collection of absinthe, so ask for a tasting flight.
Aria, 3730 S Las Vegas Blvd
Not so much a reinvention of the steakhouse as taking it to another dimension. Superstar chef José Andrés brings his high concept “celebration of the carnivorous” to SLS Las Vegas, which means anything from the best caviar (from Finland) to perfect ham in the form of jamón ibérico de bellota, via slices of transcendent Japanese Kobe beef. Much of it is wrapped up in an impish playfulness – witness the s’mores of foie gras, chocolate, marshmallow and Graham crackers – which is more than a match for Philippe Starck’s dizzying interior design.
SLS Las Vegas, 2535 S Las Vegas Blvd
Family-owned for more than 120 years, Rao’s is an absolute legend in Manhattan, in large part because it is near-impossible to get a table. The prospects of a reservation in Las Vegas are more promising – classics such as Uncle Vincent’s lemon chicken and Rao’s meatballs are on the menu, making it the perfect spot to sample the home-style, southern Neapolitan cooking that Rao’s is famous for.
Caesars Palace, 3570 S Las Vegas Blvd
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