The French restaurant run by Alessandro Stratta (an F&W Best New Chef 1994) is luxe, even if you don't order the seven-course menu. But if you do, push the experience completely over-the-top by getting the accompanying wine pairings. The terrific yellowtail tartare, for instance, will be served with the 1998 Charles Ellner Cuvée Prestige Champagne, a combination chosen by sommelier Paolo Barbieri (who is also the winemaker of CBIC Santa Barbara County's Barbieri Wine Company). Wynn Las Vegas, 3131 Las Vegas Blvd. S.; 702-770-3300.
Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich's first Vegas endeavor, which opened in April, features some of the most popular dishes from the pair's terrific New York City spots like Babbo and Del Posto—mint-and-lamb-sausage-stuffed pasta "love letters" and veal chop with porcini mushrooms and escarole. The powerhouse almost- all-Italian list (the French Champagnes are the exception) has five pages of Barolos, like an exquisite 1974 Borgogno Riserva. The Venetian, 3355 Las Vegas Blvd. S.; 702-266-9977.
The Bellagio: The Best Hotel for Wine
The Bellagio This hotel may not have Vegas's deepest cellars, but with some 50,000 bottles in inventory for its 13 restaurants, the selection is extraordinary. At the sublime Picasso, for instance, Robert Smith's 10,000-bottle cellar includes impossible-to-get finds like the 2003 Kistler Cuvée Elizabeth Occidental Pinot Noir and esoterica like the 1999 Meyer-Näkel Dornfelder. No one is better at special requests than wine director Rob Bigelow, who presides over Bellagio's 18 sommeliers. When a guest preordered a magnum of 1997 Screaming Eagle—which Screaming Eagle no longer had in stock—the winery poured two regular bottles into a larger one and shipped it off. "We haven't been stumped yet," Bigelow says. 3600 Las Vegas Blvd. S.; 702-693-8105.