Las Vegas Culinary Delights
by Alexandra Cohen
When in search of a holiday, there are not too many places higher on my list than Las Vegas. With more than 42 million visitors and nearly 24,000 conventions annually, this place has everything that a vacationer could possibly ask for: concerts, shows, sports, shopping, nightlife, golf courses, spas, adventure activities, luxury accommodations and fabulous dining experiences
Here are some recommendations:
Eataly Las Vegas
The dining highlight of Park MGM is without a doubt Eataly Las Vegas), a 40,000-square-foot culinary destination found at Park MGM’s main entrance. Eataly is a vibrant space that transports you to the streets of Italy, featuring unique food counters, bars, and cafes, all helmed by Executive Chef Nicole Brisson. A fascinating aspect of the Eataly experience is referred to as Cucina del Mercato, which translates to “Kitchen of the Market.” Meet, fish, cheese, as well as other delicacies, can be purchased as is and cooked at home, or can be cooked in front of your eyes at each individual restaurant. Six different fresh counters are available for visitors.
Brunch at the Primrose
On our first day in Las Vegas, we had the pleasure of enjoying a delicious brunch at Primrose, found in the lobby of the Park MGM, with the option of outdoor seating with a view of the hotel’s pool complex. The talented culinary team uses fresh seafood and vegetables to highlight menu items. With a distinctively residential feel, the restaurant includes a series of cushioned seats, each with different patterns. While Primrose offers dinner selections as well, as were quite impressed with their brunch offerings, including classics like three eggs any style but also featuring an eggs benedict topped with blue crab. Those interested in a boozy brunch can add on an all-you-can-drink option of mimosas or rosé.
Los Angeles culinary legend Roy Choi debuted his Koreatown-inspired restaurant, Best Friend, at the Park MGM. Having now experienced it myself, I can say that Best Friend is more than simply a tasty meal – it is a dining experience! The drink menu includes offerings of wine and sake, as well as both classic cocktails and 80s-inspired drinks, including the Fazzy Navel, which we very much enjoyed at the start of our meal. We also tasted what our waiter described as some of their most popular dishes, including the tasty kogi shirt-rib tacos, their mixed tempura appetizer, and the garlic jidori chicken BBQ, all of which was delicious. The menu, however, is diverse enough to satisfy any culinary preferences.
Sake Rok, located at The Park complex directly across the street from Park MGM. combines Japan’s vibrant pop culture and fashion scene with over-the-top theatrics. A host calls out to people as they eat, joking around, encouraging them to down their sake bombs, and occasionally belting out a tune. The menu boasts a variety of playful Japanese favorites: we started off with some edamame before trying an appetizer order of beef satay, the volcano sushi roll and an order of the miso-glazed sea bass. For dessert, we tasted a unique dessert entitled “honey toast”. Other newer menu items include pork belly, shrimp risotto and the ronin roll, which is a fried sushi roll.
Sadelle’s at the Bellagio
The Bellagio recently welcomed Sadelle’s, SoHo’s popular vintage-style restaurant to the resort’s list of dining experiences. The location overlooks the Bellagio Conservatory, which features an ever-changing set of artistic displays. Throughout the day and night, impressive presentations of hand-rolled bagels, lox towers, chopped salads, sandwiches and other favorites can be ordered. Mainstays from the original New York City location – such as the Spicy Fried Chicken with acacia honey and coleslaw – join new signature supper offerings created by the culinary team, including the Grilled Branzino with Meyer lemon and sesame spinach and a New York-style Ribeye with smothered onions. We very much enjoyed the tomato cream soup appetizer, as well as the tuna tartare, followed by the generously sized and flavorful garlic chicken. The restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner Monday through Sunday from 6 a.m. – midnight.
TAO Las Vegas
Having previously experienced the restaurant TAO in New York City, we were thrilled to get a reservation at their 40,000 square foot restaurant, located at the Venetian-Resort-Hotel Casino. TAO opened in New York City in 2000 and has retained its status as a hot spot, attracting celebrities and sports figures alike. TAO Las Vegas, which debuted in 2005, is a multi-faceted and multi-story “Asian City”, which houses a restaurant, banquet facilities, a lounge, a nightclub and a seasonal beach. During our visit, we tasted several appetizer offerings, including the spicy tuna tartare on crispy rice, the king crab California sushi roll and the lobster and shrimp spring roll paired with spicy pineapple sauce. Next, we had one of their signature dishes (and our personal favorite!), the Chilean sea bass satay with wok roasted asparagus and a miso glaze. TAO also offers an extensive menu of delicious specialty cocktails, including the TAO-tini, Lychee Martini as well as sake flights specifically designed to complement TAO’s menu. For dessert, try their elaborate and large fortune cookie, which includes decadent milk chocolate and white chocolate mousse.
The world’s first Gordon Ramsay Hell’s Kitchen Restaurant is an experience like no other. Drawing inspiration from the global hit reality television show starring world-renowned Chef Gordon Ramsay, guests will feel like they really are on the studio set. Located in front of Caesars Palace, the restaurant seats more than 300 guests. The Red and Blue kitchens, similar to the two teams featured on the TV show, serve up modern lunch and dinner menus, including Hell’s Kitchen signature dishes made with the highest quality ingredients. Several of the most successful signature menu items and recipes featured on the television show can be experienced during lunch and dinner, including: Pan Seared Scallops, Lobster Risotto, Beef Wellington, Truffle Arancini, Brick Pressed Chicken and Crispy Skin Salmon. Special menu items direct from the show will be added as new episodes air. We also ordered the absolutely delicious rack of lamb and filet mignon. Not to be missed for dessert is the famous sticky toffee pudding – a true highlight.
Il Mulino New York
The best word to describe the dining experience that accompanies every meal at the 17 Il Mulino New York locales in the US is “elegance.” Such was precisely the case at their Vegas spot at The Forum Shops at Caesars.
Prior to receiving your menu, a cheese steward delivers some delicious Grana Padano to the table. Following this, you are also brought complimentary hors d’oeuvres and several offerings of Italian bread. While there is great pleasure in taking your time in such a restaurant, they also now offer pre and post theatre menus.
After enjoying some cheese, focaccia, and Italian bread, we began our meal with two delicious appetizers: a burrata and tomato salad, as well as breaded eggplant, stuffed with shrimp and lobster and topped off with cheese and a creamy pink vodka sauce. For our main course, we enjoyed the rack of lamb, as well as our personal favorite: Langostinos served on a bed of mushroom risotto. For dessert, we enjoyed their tiramisu, perhaps the best that we have ever had. The meal is completed with a small glass of limoncello.