After its exciting, glitzy casinos and extravagant, flashy hotels, Las Vegas is most famously known for its glamorous restaurants which serve an exhaustive collection of classic and innovative cuisine from around the world.
Not only are the restaurants themselves second-to-none, but the chefs and sommeliers who make them so phenomenal are equally outstanding. Add to the mix unique foodie festivals and one-of-a-kind culinary concoctions which could only ever work in Las Vegas and you have an intoxicating gastronomic experience unlike anywhere else in the world.
Although there may not be many local dishes which were originally invented in Las Vegas, there is a number of delicacies which the city has really made its own. Many of the celebrity chefs which own restaurants throughout Las Vegas take specialities from their hometowns and native countries, adding special touches and unique twists to make them suitable for diners in Las Vegas who expect nothing less than the extraordinary.
Hot n' juicy style shrimp at Hot 'n Juicy Crawfish
Despite what the name would suggest, the signature dish at this restaurant is the shrimp. Bringing all the Cajun flavour sensations of Illinois straight to the table in Las Vegas, this hearty dish is made up of an eclectic mix of fresh seafood liberally dressed in a spicy garlic sauce so exquisite you’ll be ditching the napkin in favour of finger-licking.
The Riserva steak at Carnevino
Whilst dry-aging meat is gastronomically trendy, nowhere does it quite like Carnevino. At this carnivore’s dream of a restaurant, the steak is dry-aged for not 60 days, not 120 days, but a staggering 240 days. Dry-aging the beef for eight long months results in unbelievably tender steaks, bursting with rich flavour in every bite.
Miso Ramen at Monta
Sample some of the finest Japanese street food without leaving Las Vegas by grabbing a bowl of Miso Ramen at Monta. The overpowering salty element of the miso is mellowed by the delicate pork broth which is served steaming hot. With authentic additions, such as wheat noodles, green onions, wood ear mushrooms, mustard leaves, pork belly and a hard-boiled egg, this traditional dish is almost too beautiful to eat.
Paella at Jaleo
Prepare to forget everything you thought you knew about the traditional Spanish dish and get ready to embrace the spectacular paella at Jaleo on the Las Vegas Strip. Prepared in the centre of the restaurant above a huge fire in a typical oversized paella dish, this Spanish speciality is renowned for its addictive crunchy texture which is so good it will have you ordering seconds.
Honey toast at Ichiza
The ideal combination of sweet and savoury, the honey toast served up at Ichiza is sugary enough to be a hit with those with a serious sweet tooth and mild enough for those who would always choose a starter over a dessert. This simple-sounding treat is quintessentially a small loaf of toasted-to-perfection white bread with the insides removed. The centre cavity is then stuffed with creamy vanilla ice cream and drizzled with warm honey. Sweet and savoury, warm and cold, simple and complex – this dessert ticks all the boxes.
Food and wine festivals
When it comes to over-the-top culinary events, Las Vegas does it better than everywhere else. By combining the presence of the city’s biggest and best chefs, increasingly innovative dishes, countless tempting samples and fascinating workshops, all in the unsurpassable heady Las Vegas setting, the food and wine festivals here are a real feast for all five of the senses.
Las Vegas Wine & Food Festival
The annual Las Vegas Wine & Food Festival is a gastronomic oasis hidden in the dry, arid desert. This highly-acclaimed foodie fair is comprised of three main components – unbeatable fare, innovative chefs and superb entertainment. Mix all three ingredients together and you have the recipe for an incredible culinary festival which sees thousands of people flocking to it year after year.
Here foodies can hop from table to table, sampling bite-sized portions of delicious dishes created by acclaimed local chefs before washing them down with an almost never-ending supply of quality local and international wines and spirits. And just in case the atmosphere isn’t energetic enough, the live entertainment which takes the form of ballet performances, upcoming stage shows and music acts is sure to get the party going.
The most highly-anticipated foodie event of the year gets bigger and better every time, with increasingly amazing one-of-a-kind events which could only ever happen in Las Vegas. For each festival, Uncork’d assembles an exceptional line-up of celebrity chefs, master sommeliers and leading mixologists who each work their magic creating a series of sparkling menus designed to inspire, amaze and above all satisfy.
The first-hand involvement of the cutting-edge experts makes Vegas Uncork’d not just the perfect opportunity to pay homage to their skill whilst devouring their creations, but also the exclusive chance to rub elbows with the chefs and ask any burning questions. The packed programme covers everything from celebrity-hosted dinners and after parties to food markets and workshops, leaving not even a second to spare.
Las Vegas Chocolate Festival and Pastry Show
Designed for those whose guilty pleasures take them away from the expensive cocktail bars and flamboyant casinos into heavenly sweet-smelling bakeries and chocolate shops, this sugary foodie festival is one for the chocolate lovers. For one decadent day only, the world’s most celebrated chocolatiers, confectioners and pastry chefs join forces to create innumerable tasty treats for this unique tasting event.
As with seemingly everything in Vegas, the chocolates, pastries and sweets are served up alongside glass after glass of quality spirits and wines for those who can’t get onboard with a sober sweet show. In addition to the never-ending sampling opportunities, foodies who spring for the VIP ticket will be able to chat with the chefs who worked hard to ensure the Las Vegas Chocolate Festival and Pastry Show is as spectacular as it is.
Excessive, expensive and indulgent are three words which can be used to accurately describe almost anything in Las Vegas, with the restaurant scene being no exception. After running extremely successful eateries elsewhere across the globe and developing unprecedented reputations, many chefs turn to Las Vegas in search of new challenges.
The outcome is almost always a hit and has seen Las Vegas develop into one of the best places in the world for foodies in search of sumptuous dining experiences, laden with culinary works of art created by internationally-admired chefs.
Restaurant Guy Savoy
Set in the iconic Caesars Palace, Restaurant Guy Savoy is the place to go if you want a truly gourmet experience and can afford to splash out for the privilege. This famous eatery is run by the son and daughter-in-law of Guy Savoy who couldn’t bring himself to leave his fabulous Paris-based three Michelin-star restaurant and instead sent the couple to set up and run the establishment on his behalf.
The comparatively small 75-seater restaurant closely mirrors its Paris-based sibling, with a minimalist interior design, unparalleled service and intimate fine dining atmosphere. The menu also evokes that of the original eatery, featuring numerous Guy Savoy classics such as oysters in ice gelée, artichoke and black truffle soup, and crispy veal sweetbreads. To top it all off, Restaurant Guy Savoy also boasts an impressive wine cellar which holds up to 15,000 bottles at any one time.
Whilst the US-based restaurant does offer many of the same qualities you’ll find in the Paris restaurant, there is one main difference – Restaurant Guy Savoy in Las Vegas actually offers diners a view of the Eiffel Tower.
After several years of research and numerous successful restaurants, Michael Mina discovered the perfect steakhouse recipe which makes Strip Steak gastronomically mandatory for any dedicated carnivore. Despite his previous restaurant menus being seafood-focused, the menu at Strip Steak will leave those with a hearty appetite drooling from start to finish, with a comprehensive selection of first class cuts of meat served alongside seasonal produce.
According to Michael, the secret to Strip Steak’s success lies in the unique way the meats are prepared and cooked. Beef is always delicately slow poached in quality butter, lamb in olive oil, poultry in duck fat and pork in bacon fat. After poaching, the meat is then seared on a blazing hot grill, locking in all the flavour on the inside whilst perfectly charring the outside.
The result? Tender, juicy cuts of meat with a deliciously smoky crust that practically melts in your mouth. Not wanting to leave the seafood lovers out in the cold, Michael also includes a handful of his fish and seafood specialities on the menu, allowing everyone the opportunity to savour a dining experience at Strip Steak.
Joël Robuchon and L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon
The distinguished Joel Robuchon – prestigiously known as the Chef of the Century in his native France – debuted on the Las Vegas culinary scene with not one but two fabulous restaurants, both of which you’ll find within the MGM Grand. Joël Robuchon is the smaller, more opulent of the two, with prices which make visiting only possible if you’re celebrating a remarkably special occasion. The menu features a 6- and a 16-course tasting selection, with tempting delicacies such as black truffles in pastry with smoked ham and soft-boiled egg with caviar and smoked salmon.
L'Atelier is the larger and more affordable of the two restaurants, offering a distinctly more casual atmosphere, with diners having the option of enjoying their meal seated at a wrap-around table which runs the length of the open kitchen. Despite the more down-to-earth atmosphere and slightly more budget-friendly price tags, the food and service are just as excellent here as at they are at Joël Robuchon, with a fabulous tasting menu showcasing the best of the best, in addition to comprehensive a la carte choices.
Stay on budget whilst devouring some of the most incredible dishes available in Las Vegas by spending an evening at Burger Bar. Worlds away from what the unadorned name would have you believe, this eatery isn’t an expensive fast food restaurant. Run by internationally-renowned Parisian chef Hubert Keller, Burger Bar is set amongst the energetic bustle of an upscale shopping centre and takes the basic hamburger to unbelievable new levels.
Each burger comes in three varieties of beef (American Kobe, Ridgefield Farm and Black Angus), as well as turkey, lamb and vegetarian. The traditional lettuce, cheese and tomato toppings have been tossed to one side in favour of more haut cuisine accompaniments, such as smoked salmon, asparagus, jalapeño bacon, foie gras and even half a grilled lobster.
The amazing burger concoctions don’t just end on the final page of the main menu – they overflow into the dessert menu, too. If you’ve got room for a sweet treat, try the Sweet Burger, in which velvety chocolate ganache, fragrant mint and fresh mango stand in for the typical meat, lettuce and cheese burger variety.
Top of the World
Whilst there are sure to be incredible things to see everywhere you look in Las Vegas, Top of the World in the Stratosphere turns it up a notch with an awe-inspiring view guaranteed to be one of the highlights of your trip. This restaurant boasts a privileged unique location almost 244m above the Las Vegas Strip and just so you never get bored of looking at the same light-studded sparkling scene for too long, the venue rotates during dinner service, allowing diners to soak up 360° Vegas views whilst they eat.
If the exceptional views don’t consume your attention and senses for the entire duration of your visit, you’ll have the opportunity to enjoy some of the finest service and food that Las Vegas has to offer. Here you’ll find a menu overflowing with classics, such as gourmet steaks, meat, poultry, fish and seafood dishes, in addition to a generous collection of vegan and gluten-free choices. On top of the fabulous a la carte menu, Top of the World also features a superb four-course tasting menu which is served alongside some wonderfully complementary wine pairings.
Article written by Justin Mewse.