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Interview with Alessandro Stratta (Alex, Las Vegas)

Food & Wine Best New Chef 1994 Alessandro Stratta gives an insider guide to Las Vegas, from the best brunch spots to the top bars.

On Las Vegas

I got to Vegas in 1998, right before the Bellagio opened, which was really the catalyst for all the food and wine programs. Since then, it’s just been growing exponentially and everybody’s here now, from Mario Batali to Thomas Keller.

At Alex, I serve superluxe modern French cuisine (3131 Las Vegas Blvd. South.; 888-352-3463 or wynnlasvegas.com).

Favorite Cultural Activity

I like doing things away from the Strip, like playing golf at the Arroyo Golf Club at Red Rock (2250 C Red Springs Drive; 702-258-2300 or thearroyogolfclub.com) and Bear’s Best (11111 West Flamingo Rd.; 702-804-8500 or bearsbest.com), and hiking the beautiful red mountains of the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area (redrockcanyonlv.org).

Favorite Brunch Spot

I go to Nora’s Wine Bar & Osteria, off the Strip, for leisurely brunches. It’s straightforward Southern Italian cooking, with fresh, wonderful pastas (1031 S. Rampart Blvd.; 702-940-6672 or noraswinebar.com).

Favorite Nightlife Spot

The hot spots are Tryst at Wynn (3131 Las Vegas Blvd. S.; 702-770-3375 or trystlasvegas.com) and Pure at Caesar Palace (3570 Las Vegas Blvd. S.; 702-731-7873 or purethenightclub.com). Every time I have friends in town, they grab a table at one of these two places.

Restaurant Recommendations

L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon at MGM Grand. I love everything Joël Robuchon does on the seasonal tasting menus, like the poached egg with asparagus cream and wild mushrooms (3799 Las Vegas Blvd. S.; 702-891-7358 or mgmgrand.com).

Nobu at the Hard Rock, where I sit at the sushi bar and have the tasting of raw fish (4455 Paradise Rd.; 702-693-5090 or hardrockhotel.com).

Red 8 at Wynn, where some of my favorite noodle dishes are the Singapore curry and the roast duck noodle soup (3131 Las Vegas Blvd. S.; 877-321-WYNN or wynnlasvegas.com).

Sensi at the Bellagio for Martin Heierling’s thought-provoking dishes. The space is modern, with flowing water and a lot of glass, but somehow still feels warm (3600 Las Vegas Blvd. S.; 866-259-7111 or bellagio.com).

Wing Lei at Wynn, where Richard Chen combines Asian and French techniques to draw the most out of ingredients (3131 Las Vegas Blvd. S.; 877-321-WYNN or wynnlasvegas.com).

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