Chef Alessandro Strata on Las Vegas
There’s usually no shortage of seats at this sprawling, two-story Italian restaurant at the Wynn. On warm evenings, the best place to sit is outdoors in one of the dozen cabanas that surround the faux lagoon. Fish like Sicilian saber fish, Adriatic sole and imperial snapper is flown in daily from the Mediterranean.
We loved: Grilled Sicilian langoustines; Parmesan custard with porcini mushrooms.
Buffets are known for quantity, not quality, but the buffet at the Bellagio has both, with freshly tossed pastas, sushi, rounds of roast beef, as well as some unexpected offerings like venison. The desserts range from chocolate cakes and fruit cobblers to ice cream sundaes.
We loved: Leg of lamb; king crabs.
Vegas has never had a shortage of great high-roller steak houses, but it’s never had one as good as this Italian-themed newcomer from Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich. The dry-aged, rosemary-rubbed steaks are generously sized, and the pastas are deliciously reminiscent of the offerings at Batali and Bastianich’s Osteria Mozza in Los Angeles and Lupa in New York. But it’s the vintage Barolos, Brunellos and Super-Tuscans—and the way they’re reverently carted to the table and decanted into exquisite handblown Movia stemware—that push this steak house over the top.
We loved: Bone-in rib eye; egg-and-ricotta raviolo.
With only 50-odd seats, this lavish, Swarovski-chandeliered dining room feels like a private VIP party. Superstar chef Joël Robuchon’s subtle, refined $385 16-course tasting menu is an experience not to be missed, especially when white truffles are in season.
We loved: Pumpkin gnocchi with white truffles.
Yes, those are real Picassos hanging throughout the room, and yes, this is the best place to watch the famous Bellagio fountain. Chef Julian Serrano’s dishes, like pan-seared scallops with potato mousseline, are inspired by the French and Spanish regions where the legendary artist once lived.
We loved: Foie gras with peaches and vanilla.
Until 2008, Chicago’s Charlie Trotter was one of the few über-chefs to resist Las Vegas. But he finally opened not one, but two spots in the Palazzo Resort. The most prized table at elegant Restaurant Charlie is in the glass-encased nook above the open kitchen. At Bar Charlie, the focus is on Japanese kaiseki.
We loved: Seared kampachi with braised veal cheek at Restaurant Charlie; hamachi belly with kumquat, pickled pork belly and cucumber at Bar Charlie.
The over-40-year-old Texas Hill Country institution brought its supertender brisket to Las Vegas’s Red Rock Casino in 2006. The dining room—filled with sleek wooden tables—is a far cry from the red-and-white-checkered-tablecloth-topped ones at the original Texas roadhouse.
We loved: Smoked brisket; Texas hot link sausages; peach cobbler.
The gold-plated chopsticks aim to evoke the opulence of the Ming dynasty, but bare hands are the best way to tackle chef Richard Chen’s big, delicious, and outrageously messy Singapore chili crabs, served family style.
We loved: Peking duck.