Las Vegas Fine Dining: From the desert to the strip, Sin City offers a plethora of fine dining options. After some intense-and tasty-footwork, we've compiled our top ten favorite local eateries proven to satisfy even the most discerning palates.
Fleur de Lys: Keller's Vision
Romance and culinary delights are combined at Fleur de Lys inside Mandalay Bay. From the stone wall with massed fresh roses replaced daily in a flowing frame to the sheer white curtains that cordon off portions of the restaurant, Chef Hubert Keller's romantic prix-fixe French restaurant is a lovely dining experience.
Keller has created three dining options serving three-, four- or five-course meals, including an inspired vegetarian menu. A must-try is the Artisan foie gras appetizer, a rich sip of soup layered with flavors. Menu items include Grilled Diver Scallops, served with smoked salmon and sour cream ravioli, cucumber emulsion, osetra caviar and Kobe Beef FleurBurger "Rossini" served with sautéed foie gras, black périgord truffles, truffle sauce on a shallot and truffle brioche bun.
AJ's Steakhouse: Old-school Gourmet
Inside the rock 'n' roll haven that is the Hard Rock Hotel, slip back in time at AJ's Steakhouse. This is a local favorite place to meet, combining elegance and old-Vegas style with a traditional steakhouse menu. AJ's is laid back, the staff is friendly and the food is quite a find off-Strip.
Chef John Church, who earned his chops at the Eiffel Tower Restaurant at Paris Las Vegas and Aureole at Mandalay Bay, has created a seasonal menu that includes venison with bing cherries, veal short ribs and a lamb T-bone with loin. Most Las Vegas steakhouses include crab cakes as a starter on their menu, but Chef Church includes a spicy rouille and arugula with Meyer lemon that sets off the sweetness of the crab. A tuna tartare with watermenlon is currently available as well as a Key lime chili. Read More
A small elevator just off the main casino floors takes you to a big secret in Las Vegas. Fine foodies from around the world know to go to The Range at Harrah's. Live music plays in the bar as you step off the elevator and sets the tone for the classic steakhouse.
While there is plenty to choose from for your main entrée, such as daily specials, sea bass, premiere cuts of beef, you may want to simply stick with the appetizers as the portions are large and tasty. The lobster bisque, escargot, and seafood samplers can be split so that you have room for the entrees. The Double Cut Pork Loin Chops with house salad is exceptional, as are the steaks, of course. The Caesar salad here has a bit of a kick to it, so be prepared. You can balance the spice with a selection from the endless bread basket filled with sourdough, pumpernickel, a soft pretzel bread and sticks as well as bagel chips.
A relaxing, almost decadent way to linger over a meal is at Joe's Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab. The legendary Miami seafood place, famous for its Florida stone crab claws served chilled with Joe's signature creamy mustard sauce, is nestled on the ground floor of the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace. When you step into Joe's you are stepping back in time to vintage Vegas.
The rather extensive menu showcases seafood flown in fresh daily from ports around the world and a market card that offers seasonal specialties such as Nantucket Cape Scallops, Fresh Alaskan King Crab, Copper River Salmon and Madagascar Shrimp. Tableside service of Maine lobsters, dover sole and crab clusters is a delightful experience paired with a fine wine from the temperature-controlled wine cellar. Not in the mood for seafood? Joe's has a great reputation as a steakhouse and is known for its original 16-ounce bone-in filet mignon. Sides are also scrumptious, especially the grilled tomatoes, creamed spinach and cole slaw. Read More
Luxury Dining As It's Meant To Be
Under Old Tuscan monastery-style arched ceilings guests to Delmonico Steakhouse at The Venetian dine in luxury on some of the finest cuts of beef in the city.
Emeril Lagasse's 260-seat steakhouse is renowned for its elegance and sumptuous entrees. Filet mignon, bone-in New York strip, rib-eye and charbroiled dry-aged beef sirloin are the stars of this menu. Each is prepared to your satisfaction with bacon-cheddar twice-baked potato, Creole tomato glaze and horseradish cream. Emeril's famous pork chops are served with bacon-wrapped shrimp and bourbon smashed sweet potatoes. The New Orleans gumbo of the day is thick with flavor, pulled chicken and andouille sausage.
Bouchon Never Better
The Venetian is known for its fabulous dining, but one restaurant has created a following of international fans who always make it a point to check out the latest at Bouchon.
Thomas Keller, who was named America's Best Chef by Time magazine, opened the restaurant in January 2004 and immediately began collecting awards from local critics and restaurant reviewers.
Keller's menu is filled with traditional French country cuisine, including crisp steak frites, moist roast chicken, house-made pates, boudin noir and trout almandine. Don't be intimidated by the extensive menu, which changes seasonally. Come in for a dip into the raw bar and a glass of crisp white wine or for a coffee and a tart to finish off a long day.
Fin Finds Your Craving
There are many oriental restaurants in Las Vegas, but a recent high-end find is Fin at The Mirage. The chef ensures the freshest fish, not unusual in this foodie city, but the way that each dish is prepared is sensational. Fin restaurant features authentic Chinese dishes, seafood and seasonal specialties. Tip: ask for the chef's recommended dish as it may not always be on the menu. The mood is romantic and the food is served in a contemporary setting designed by the award-winning firm Yabu Pushelberg. The room is dressed in sheer curtains and soft flowers. It is starkly romantic and quietly elegant.
Live seafood is prepared steamed, baked or wok-fried to your specifications. A favorite is the signature dish Imperial Peking duck, moist and crispy, a lovely dish to share or enjoy all by yourself. The wok-fried beef tenderloin and pork belly Taiwanese-style are also signature dishes worth a sample. The best bet for culinary connoisseurs is to take a few friends who don't mind sharing so that you can fully take advantage of this extensive menu and elegantly prepared dishes.
If you're looking for an intimate, upscale dining experience, the Restaurant RM at Mandalay Bay offers a formal upstairs dining room reminiscent of a yacht club with rich wood and glass accents where you can be served elaborate entrees by an educated staff. It's the perfect place to take that special someone who adores seafood or a group of people that you truly want to impress.
Downstairs in the r-bar cafe, the kitchen staff prepares dishes in the open kitchen that displays a raw bar and fish tanks. The shellfish sampler appetizer is one of the most popular dishes. It features plump oysters dressed with a tart apple cider mignonette and clams sprinkled with cilantro, red bell peppers and lime. The r bar cafe features a multi-coastal raw bar, wood grilled fish, a biscuit bar (which has hot cream biscuits with lobster, shrimp, or crab with gravy, too good to believe) and famed chef Rick Moonen's version of chowder, lobster rolls, and more. All fish on the menu is caught or farmed in a way that is not harmful to the ocean environment or other ocean creatures and oysters, which this restaurant is known for, are flown in daily as well.
Hachi: Sizzles With Surprises
Craving a little sushi but tired of the same old rolls and sashimi? Hachi, the newly-opened Japanese restaurant inside the Red Rock Resort, is a different breed of Asian cuisine, with European and Latin America influences. And you can trust that your palate is in good hands.
Linda Rodriguez, the designer behind the dishes, trained for three years under famed chef Nobu Matsuhisa in both New York and London before taking the executive chef position at Hachi and also apprenticed at the French restaurant Maison Lacour in Baton Rouge, La. Her background can be tasted in a few favorite dishes served before the entree, such as the delicately cut yellowtail sashimi with Serrano chili ponzu or the seafood ceviche with guava yuzu sauce. Or start your meal off with a warm and spicy appetizer, such as the seared tuna and foie gras with Asian pear chutney.
The Italian Tastes of Bertolini's
In the middle of one of the best shopping "malls" in Las Vegas is Bertolini's at The Forum Shops at Caesars Palace, where you can dine under an Italian sky next to a romantic Roman fountain. OK, the sky and fountains are replicas of the real deal, but inside this true trattoria is amazing Italian food. Popular dishes include the fazzoletto con funghi (handkerchief pasta with wild mushroom sauce), Tagliolini al Frutti de Mare, homemade Lasagna, the gourmet pizzas made entirely from scratch or the chicken with gorgonzola sauce. Definitely dishes you won't find elsewhere in Vegas to this degree of Italian authenticity. Top off your meal with homemade gelato (the best gelato deal in the Forum Shops) or the cr?me brulee. Read More