A fresh new wave of restaurants have hit the Las Vegas Strip – here are the ones worth digging into.
If you love to eat well and keep procrastinating a trip to Vegas to see for yourself what all the fuss is about, the time to go is now. An impressive coterie of restaurants have opened up in the past few months, creating a delectable foodie-worthy itinerary for anyone craving over-the-top meals where both the food and atmosphere are truly special. Yes, Vegas has grown up, and this latest wave of eateries shows why foodies and chefs from all over the world descend on the Strip for meals for the memory books. A food and wine writer now based in Northern California, I still travel home to Vegas at least once a month to feast in my favorite only-in-Vegas locales. Here are my picks for the top new hot spots to add to your restaurant bucket list.
Mr Chow at Caesars Palace
The first time I dined at the celeb-packed LA locale of this exciting Beijing-style hot spot remains one of my favorite foodie memories. And now there’s a stunning Vegas version of Mr. Chow to rival the original. After arriving through a private entrance of the massive Caesars Palace, kick off a meal here with some bubbly (you’re in Vegas after all). Take in the views of the fanciful Garden of the Gods pool from your second-story perch, and do not skip the duck. Loads of family-style dishes run the gamut – over-order and take your time. Every dish is more delicious than the last.
Carbone at Aria
Locals have been waiting for Carbone for awhile – and it has not disappointed. Yes, my last name ends in a vowel, but who doesn’t love course after course of homecooked Italian fare, done in the image of the glam Italian-American restaurants of the mid-20th century. I drool over favorites such as veal parmesan, anything made with a spicy fra diavolo kick, and of course the very best ravioli, rigatoni, linguini, and spaghetti. So head to the second floor of Aria next time you need to celebrate a special occasion – or really just the next time you’re hungry for an amazing meal.
Harvest by Roy Ellamar at Bellagio
Still on a post-holiday health kick? Then make your way to Harvest, which is about as farm-to-table as you can get in my favorite desert oasis of Las Vegas. Tucked away off the famous Bellagio lobby, where the hidden gem Sensi used to reside, Harvest carries on Chef’s passion for eating as local as possible. Vegetarian dishes, sustainable seafood done to perfection in a stone oven, and dry-aged, grass-fed beef shine. There’s also a rotisserie for your favorite poultry courses, and seasonal sides. Even the cocktails boast cold-pressed juices and homegrown herbs.
Herringbone at Aria
Aria’s newest seafood emporium is inspired by California, Vegas’s neighbor to the west. Brian Malarkey’s acclaimed Herringbone menu features small bites, lunch and dinner, using responsibly sourced meat and Farmers Market produce. Located upstairs near the Zarkana theater and opened under the elite Hakkasan umbrella, this impressive eatery offers up everything from perfectly grilled whole branzino with shaved fennel to an entire steaks and chops menu.
Jardin at Encore
Encore’s Botero had a hard time finding its footing, but the newly-moved-in Jardin won’t have that problem. The setting is gorgeous – think the shimmering pools that make the Wynn properties stand out to Alice in Wonderland-worthy manicured greenery. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, there is truly something for everyone in the upscale resort’s most casual spot (not that that’s saying much). I couldn’t resist the short rib hash or five-star version of my childhood favorite “egg in a hole” at breakfast and vowed to come back late night on the weekend, next time I was in a pinch after 10 pm. I also have my eye on their famous lobster rolls.
Rivea at Delano
The location with a view to die for! Perched on the 64th floor of what was once The Hotel, the 180-degree views didn’t change when the hotel was reborn as Delano – but world-renowned chef Alain Ducasse thought it was time for an upgrade. Welcome Rivea, with a modern new look. The menu melds the impeccable ingredients of Provence with the sumptuous dishes of Italy. The result is spectacular. Standouts include the very best charcuterie (bresaola: yum), striped bass carpaccio, a perfect octopus salad with coco beans, and his lauded cookpot of farmer’s veggies.