Dining in Sin CityJuly 16, 2012 By: Jena Tesse Fox Travel Agent
|Twist by Pierre Gagnaire is the only restaurant in the U.S. where foodies can sample the fare from French Chef Pierre Gagnair.|
It’s no news that Las Vegas has become a mecca for foodies in recent years, with major eateries and outposts of international restaurants opening just off the casino floors. Here are just a few recommendations—visit www.travelagentcentral.com for more suggestions for memorable meals.
Old Homestead Steakhouse
While at Caesars Palace recently, we sampled several items from the menu at the Old Homestead Steakhouse. Our verdict: The Dover sole is to die for, the lamb is fork-tender, and the steaks are amazingly flavorful and just as tender as the lamb. The broccoli came with a cheese sauce that can make a convert of even the most die-hard anti-veggie fanatic. (The vegetables were still crisp and had plenty of flavor and texture.)
Other must-try selections are the colossal crab cake, the 32-ounce Gotham rib eye steak and the New York-style cheesecake. We were especially impressed by the skillet-baked chocolate chip cookie, which got crispy edges from the cast-iron pan in which it was baked and served (à la mode, of course).
Old Homestead has booths and tables, secluded or open, depending on how visible guests want to be.
Getting a table at Rao’s in New York is just about impossible (unless, of course, you know the right people who can get you in...and if you do, please let us know their names so that we can try it!). Happily, the restaurant has an outpost at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, where visitors can try the home-style Italian fare much more easily.
|Old Homestead Steakhouse serves up amazingly flavorful and tender steaks.|
We hear good things about all of the pastas and risottos (especially when paired with homemade meatballs), and the steak bistecca is carved tableside. And we’re especially excited to try the lemon chicken, broiled and sauced with Uncle Vincent’s Famous Lemon Sauce (yes, that’s its name) of lemon juice, red wine vinegar, olive oil and spices. The classic veal chop is pan-seared and topped off with cherry peppers.
Rao’s private dining room can accommodate groups up to 12 and comes with exclusive service.
Restaurant Guy Savoy
Another Caesars eatery, Restaurant Guy Savoy, is the only place in the United States to experience the work of iconic chef and restaurateur Guy Savoy. The restaurant has earned two Michelin stars, the AAA Five Diamond Award, the Forbes Five Star Award and the Wine Spectator Grand Award.
The 10-course Menu Prestige ($258 per person) includes signature dishes such as the artichoke and black truffle soup, the colors of caviar and the delicately spiced crispy sea bass. If 10 courses are too much, try the 90-minute TGV menu featuring dishes like marinated tuna, American prime beef tenderloin or perfectly cooked red snapper. (There are also à la carte options.)
For a more casual dining experience, the Bubble Bar serves premium champagnes and small plates from Savoy. No reservations are required for the Bubble Bar.
Travel agents can call 702-731-7778 to make reservations at any of Caesars’ restaurants.
Joel Robuchon has become a significant star in Las Vegas’ fine dining firmament, earning stars and diamonds from Forbes and AAA, respectively. His restaurant at the MGM Grand is also the first (and, so far, only) three-star Michelin Guide winner in the city. It is also the only Joel Robuchon fine-dining restaurant in the U.S.
|Crispy sea bass at Restaruant Guy Savoy.|
There’s an à la carte menu, of course, but most people will want to try the prix fixe options. The Two Course Menu ($120 per person) has an amuse-bouche, main course and dessert (or skip the sweets and get a full appetizer or soup instead for $160); the Four Course Menu ($190 person) includes the amuse-bouche, appetizer or soup, main course and dessert; and the Six Course Menu ($240 per person) includes all of the above as well as cheese plus a second main course.
Of course, we’re mostly intrigued by the Sixteen Course Degustation Menu, which starts at a cool $425 per person, but we hear it’s worth it. La langoustine (the spiny lobster) is a house specialty, as is the pan-fried sea bass with a lemongrass foam and stewed baby leeks.
For reservations, call 702-891-7925. For groups of more than six people, call 702-891-7433.
Note: As of presstime, Joel Robuchon had announced that it would be closed from July 31 until August 22, so be sure to warn guests if they’re looking forward to eating there soon.
Lynyrd Skynyrd BBQ & Beer
Sure, 16-course degustation menus are lovely, but sometimes you just want some comfort food and a cold beer. To that end, Excalibur has the first restaurant from popular band Lynyrd Skynyrd, a down-home, old-fashioned barbecue joint with the recipes, meats and preparation techniques of Kreuz Market, a 100-year-old Texas eatery.
Popular picks range from the pork spare ribs and brisket to chicken and signature “regular” and jalapeno cheese sausage. Of course, there are combos of ribs, brisket, chicken and sausage as well as some fun-sounding sides (think fried pickles and grit fries).
And, of course, there is plenty of live entertainment, from karaoke to bands who might perform there for just a night or two. Call 702-597-7818 for reservations.
Twist by Pierre Gagnaire
Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas is home to the only restaurant in the U.S. where foodies can sample the fare from French Chef Pierre Gagnaire, who has garnered three Michelin stars for his restaurant in Paris.
The dinner-only restaurant lays out seasonal à la carte offerings, a three-course tasting menu ($105 or $185 with wine pairings) and a six-course degustation menu ($189 or $309 with wine pairing).
Good to know: As much as 80 percent of the menu is locally sourced, so everything from the tomatoes (from Arizona) to the beef (from California and Nebraska) is super-fresh. Also worth noting: The menu changes seasonally, with the zezette broth being the only constant throughout the year. We think a highlight of this summer’s menu will be the Mozambique langoustine, a grilled langoustine with terre de sienne spice and olive oil paste of honey and lemon.
Twist by Pierre Gagnaire only seats 70, so for couples, ask for a seat by the window. For larger parties, one table is on a platform by a window looking into the kitchen. (The table can hold up to 10 guests.) There is also a private dining room that has its own special menu. Call 702-590-8882 for reservations.