Over the last decade, through a concerted effort
to attract the world's top restaurateurs and to bolster its
culinary offerings, Las Vegas has built itself into a true
dining destination. This has only accelerated in the past year,
with new celebrity-chef restaurants - and even a chef-branded
hotel - opening or slated to open soon.
The Nobu Hotel Caesars Palace, a boutique property of 181 rooms
including 18 luxury suites and a massive, 12,775-square-foot
Nobu Restaurant on the ground floor, is inspired by the design
aesthetic of sushi chef Nobuyuki Matsuhisa's numerous
restaurants. The entire property is ideal for incentive groups
looking for all-encompassing high-end dining experiences. It
will open in February.
That isn't the only Asian-themed restaurant new to Las Vegas.
In May, Mizumi opened at the Wynn Las Vegas, featuring
traditional Japanese cuisine from Executive Chef Devin
Hashimoto. The design includes bold colors and floor-to-ceiling
views of Las Vegas.
Inside The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas hotel is the new
street-food-inspired China Poblano restaurant from James Beard
Award-winning chef Jose Andres. Fusing Mexican and Chinese
cuisine, this restaurant offers dishes like the Viva China taco
(with Kumamoto oysters and Sichuan peppercorn sauce) and
Huitlachoche noodles (combining Mexican corn truffle with
Another high-profile celebrity chef offering in the city is the
new Gordon Ramsay Steak from the Hell's Kitchen star, which
opened in May 2012 at Paris Las Vegas Hotel & Casino, with
274 seats, a private dining room, and an expansive bar area.
The famously ill-tempered host will also be opening Gordon
Ramsay Pub & Grill at Caesars Palace, and
Gordon Ramsay BurGR at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino, at
the end of the year.
"He's one of the most recognized chefs, especially with a show
on mainstream network TV beyond even just the Food Network,"
says Stephanie Arone, president and general manager of Las
Vegas-based DMC Activity Planners. "Wolfgang Puck properties
are also highly successful with groups, and now you're starting
to see more of the elite chefs making their presence felt
And he's hardly the only celebrity chef in town to offer a take
on steak. Others include Mario Batali's CarneVino and Wolfgang
Puck's Cut at The Palazzo; Jean-Georges Vongerichten's Prime
Steakhouse at Bellagio and Jean-Georges Steakhouse at
CityCenter's Aria Resort; Michael Mina's Stripsteak at Mandalay
Bay; Emeril Lagasse's Delmonico Steakhouse at The Venetian;
Charlie Palmer Steak Las Vegas at the Four Season Hotel Las
Vegas; and Tom Colicchio's craftsteak at MGM Grand (his new
steakhouse at The Mirage, focusing on charcoal-grilled meats,
opens this summer). Of course, not all great steakhouses have a
celebrity chef. The Steak House at Circus Circus was cited
alongside those luminaries by the Robb Report when it named Las
Vegas "the best place to eat steak on Earth" last summer. Zagat
named it the best steakhouse in town in 2011.
So it's no surprise that an outpost of New York's Old Homestead
Steakhouse - a mainstay of the city's now-super-chic Meat
Packing District since 1868 - also made its way to the Strip in
May 2012, with the opening of the Old Homestead Steakhouse at
Caesars Palace. And in the first quarter of this year, a Ruth's
Chris Steak House will open at center-strip resort Harrah's Las
Vegas. The restaurant, known for signature sizzling steaks and
upscale dining experiences around the world, will be the first
of its kind on the Las Vegas Strip. And last spring, the Center
Cut Steakhouse opened at Flamingo Las Vegas. It can accommodate
172 in a classic Vegas atmosphere.
A Twist on Tradition
Buffets have long been associated with Las Vegas dining, and
not always favorably. That has been changing dramatically in
recent years, and Caesars Palace may have taken that culinary
trend to a new level with its Bacchanal Buffet, in a
super-prime location overlooking the hotel's Garden of the Gods
pool oasis. The 25,000-square-foot space has nine open
kitchens, 500 dishes served daily, and 600 seats in a space
designed around three themes - glass, wood, and steel - created
using recycled materials.
In September, the Italian-American restaurant Allegro opened at
Wynn Las Vegas, giving old-world recipes a modern twist. Its
name comes from the musical term referring to a lively tempo -
an upbeat feeling that the Wynn hopes can be passed along to
visiting incentive groups.
Those more inclined to crack open a beer will want to stop in
at the newly opened Public House, in the Grand Canal Shoppes at
The Venetian, which boasts more than 200 brews, not to mention
some top-notch beer floats. Its small-plates menu showcases
elevated pub grub like roasted bone marrow, foie gras parfait,
and spiced pork rinds. The venue's tagline, "United We Stand,
Pint in Hand," just about sums it up.