It is that time of year, our annual pilgrimage and eating marathon to bring YOU the best restaurants in Las Vegas! If you recall last year, we dined at 27 restaurants in 3 1/2 days, and came up with a pretty smashing list of “must try” dishes. On this trip it was difficult to not want to revisit those tried and true eateries (I still dream about that short rib benedict), but we did find NEW dining hot spots for your next Vegas trip.
CARNEVINO– If you are searching for a classic steakhouse experience, The Palazzo is the place to be. Owned by Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich, this Italian steakhouse serves surreal 240 day dry-aged beef. Start your meal with the signature grilled octopus accompanied by limoncello and pickled vegetables or the housemade stracciatella with shaved prosciutto, roast beets and mint. The classic New York strip is carved tableside and drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and Maldon salt, so tender you won’t even need a knife. Even non-meat eaters will appriciate the voluminous selection of fresh pasta and seafood dishes. Additionally, ask your server for the passionate on-site sommelier to provide you with pairing suggestions. This is Vegas and alcohol is welcomed and encouraged at every meal!
Andiron Steak & Sea– When you get tired of all the lights and noise of the strip, head to the calming suburb of Summerlin. A 20-minute cab ride will drop you at a plantation style restaurant that is a breath of fresh air. While ranked #1 in Vegas for steaks and seafood, we dined on their newly added brunch. The Andiron hash skillet is the highlight of the menu with tender braised short rib over fingerling potatoes, cippolini onions, poached eggs and asparagus. Share a mac and cheese waffle with mornay sauce with your table or order it for your entire meal, it was delicious! Andiron also offers a mimosa cart, bloody Mary bar and complimentary candy bar.
Lotus of Siam– Its reputation as “the best Thai in North America” should be enough to get you in the door. Off the strip, you can go for lunch Monday-Friday or dinner nightly. The signature dishes of khao soi (crispy duck on egg noodles with curry sauce, lime and red onions) and the garlic prawns will blow your socks off. You won’t realize how un-authentic the Thai you’ve been eating is until you eat at Lotus of Siam. Now that Vegas has Uber, getting around off the strip is easier than ever.
STRIPSTEAK by Michael Mina– Searching for a perfectly prepared steak but want a contemporary menu and dining space? Visit STRIPSTEAK by Michael Mina at Mandalay Bay. You’ll see Asian inspired appetizers and shared plates, along with fresh shellfish and caviar, dry-aged steaks and classic sides with a twist, like pureed potatoes with lobster and sour cream. This is also one of the only places where you can order a beef rib cap, a rare cut deemed “the tastiest cut on a cow”. Also try the “instant bacon”, a slab of five spice pork belly, and the roasted bone marrow with a chipotle chimichurri sauce. Congratulations are also in order, they just celebrated their 1oth anniversary!
Egg Slut– Dare I say the best breakfast sandwich I’ve ever had? Served fast food style, there is a reason why the line snakes into a nearby hallway. I sampled (devoured) the gaucho. A heaping portion of thin, tender wagyu beef, arugula, chimichurri, red onion, bacon and a drippy egg on toasted brioche. Come early and get a famed salted chocolate chip cookie (supplies are limited). No shame in eating dessert after breakfast.
Bouchon Bakery– If you can’t grab an elegant dinner at Bouchon Bistro, consider stopping by the bakery in the far corner of The Venetian. Stroll past the convenient carry-out window or step inside to oggle the goodies. I’m a lover of the classic croissant, which I had every intention of saving for my breakfast the next morning, however it didn’t even make it across the street. Thank you Thomas Keller for your dedication to French pastry and hundreds of flaky, buttery layers.
Hash House A Go Go– Need monster portions for a monster hangover? Head to Hash House A Go Go. Yes, it is a chain, but don’t judge just yet. Benedicts are good ole down home comfort food piled nearly 6 inches high. The flapjacks measure 13 inches in diameter and the hashes, served in cast iron skillets, are enough for two. Looking for a lighter breakfast? Get the O’Hare of the Dog, a 24-ounce Budweiser in a paper bag with 5 strips of bacon. Expect a line, but know that it moves fast and they set aside tables for large parties.
Carson Kitchen– Old Vegas has been in the midst of a revival the past few years. We missed Carson Kitchen on our last visit, but made it a priority on this one. Known for their bacon marmalade with brie, baked mac and cheese with a proprietary cheese blend (I’m pretty sure there is gouda in there) and crispy chicken skins, we weren’t disappointed with anything on the menu. Carson Kitchen has fairly limited seating, so make a reservation.
Donut Bar– Boasting the “best donuts in the world”, this joint opens early and closes when they sell out. The donut cones are certianly the star, cinnamon and sugar donuts formed into ice cream cones and filled with soft serve. If you are taking some for later, get a monstrous caramel latte donut and a cup of coffee.
Therapy– If you need some therapy after your crazy Vegas jaunts, head to Therapy for red velvet chicken and waffle sliders served with red pepper remoulade slaw and vanilla maple syrup. Waffles melt in your mouth and chicken is perfectly seasoned and lightly fried. The bar space is a little tight, so I suggest grabbing a table. Bonus? They sell phone chargers!
Have suggestions for our next edition of The Best Restaurants in Las Vegas? We would love to hear them! Don’t forget to check out Best Restaurants in Las Vegas 2015, the travel section and my Instagram page for photos of all the food above! Stay tuned, the new year is right around the corner and the best restaurants in Las Vegas 2017 will be coming with it!