So you say you’re a foodie, and you came to Vegas for the legendary dining? And so far all you see are share plates, sliders, Brussels sprouts and beet salads? Yeah, you’re not the first to notice—if something’s popular, then there’s bound to be lots of it on the Las Vegas Strip.
But Vegas still is a remarkable place for remarkable dining—and we’re not just talking about the spots by Star Chefs like Mario Batali, Wolfgang Puck, Emeril Lagasse, and Gordon Ramsay. Bobby Flay, Todd English, Scott Conant, Nobu Matsuhisa and other celebrity cooks are here too. Ditto French legends Guy Savoy, Joel Robuchon, Alain Ducasse, Pierre Gagnaire. Still, there are still some truly only-in-Vegas experiences as well—and they’re not all budget-busting.
Let’s just mention a few must-try dishes we love.
- Trio Bacon Satay, Center Cut Steakhouse (Flamingo). Yeah, you’ve had bacon before, I know. But you haven’t had this: thick center cut natural applewood-smoked bacon served natural, chili-peppered, and blue cheese crusted, with maple dipping sauce on a big pink salt slab. You’re gonna share it, right?
- Mushroom Grits, La Cave Wine & Food Hideway (Wynn). Sure there are a lot of top notch restaurant choices in Wynn and Encore. So why is it that the casual wine bar has the dish that haunts my dreams? These grits are nothing like what you expect, but closer to an earthy, savory risotto, like the classiest comfort food ever. Pair with something from their great selection of wines by the glass.
- Fish and Chips, Gordon Ramsay Steak (Paris). Everyone is going to tell you to get the Beef Wellington. Of course, it’s a top steak house and it’s run by a Brit. But listen, the fish and chips they do here is actually a whole Loup De Mer, split down the middle, skin-on, tempura batter fried and served with truffled “chips” and crème fraiche tartar sauce. You’ll never have anything like it anywhere else. Absolutely fabulous.
- BBQ Pork Donuts, Rattlecan (Venetian). True, this joint does NOT look like a foodie place. But listen, the Chef is Sammy D, one of the kings of clever comfort food, and the new menu in this hip hop spot has some total winners. The BBQ pork donuts are nothing like Chinese pork buns, but crispy outside, yeasty inside love nuggets filled with Memphis style pulled pork, drizzled with honey on top and served with a pickled jalapeno. After you scarf it down, ride the giant mechanical pickle. Only. In. Vegas.
- Carne Cruda, Carnevino (Palazzo). Available on the “Taverna” menu at Mario Batali’s Italian-inspired steak house, this chopped-to-order raw patty with a few seasonal mushrooms is simple and just sensational. A “starter” that’s as expensive as dinner other places, but you won’t be complaining. It is that sensuous and satisfying.
- Lasagna Pizza, Trevi (Forum Shops at Caesars). Exactly what it sounds like, a dense slab of mozzarella, noodles, house-made sausage, ricotta and sauce built inside a Chicago-style deep dish crust. Crazy? Just a little. With probably more carbs than a room full of mashed potatoes, this is not something to be attempted alone. Nor is the necessary nap you’ll need afterward.
Hungry now? Damn, me too. Where are we gonna eat?
A tasty meal before one of the famous Las Vegas shows makes everything better!