Las Vegas has marked itself as a food destination like San Francisco, New York, New Orleans and Chicago. Newer hotels like The Cosmopolitan, Aria and The Palazzo have all positioned their gambling areas further into the hotel, thus making guest entrances a little less loud, focusing on beautiful aesthetics. These hotels also house some of the best restaurants with top name chefs from around the world. Fine dining is now on par with gambling and grand shows, with shopping and spa services at a close second. Top name deejays like Avicii, Tiesto, Kaskade and DJ Pauly are all headlining top clubs on the strip. We’ve narrowed the long list of restaurants in Las Vegas, to our Top 3 current favorites in Sin City that you should consider on your next visit. Keep in mind, there are so many options and our list could be extended easily, as we’ll be back with more additions later this year. For this list we opted for more formal dining, but as with most restaurants in LV, dining is more casual, with diners appearing more stylish, rather than with jackets and ties.
1) MILOS: The Cosmopolitan Hotel: 3708 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109 http://milos.ca/restaurants/las-vegas
If you read our Top 3 Restaurants in South Beach, Miami, then you know Milos was on that list as well. I have now completed my Milos tour as there are five restaurants: Montreal, New York, Athens, Miami and Las Vegas. I can honestly state, that all of the locations are stellar, featuring the freshest seafood available that is prepared simply and elegantly. Service is top notch, friendly and guests always walk away with knowledge of seafood and wine pairing that is exceptional. Unlike most menus that feature typical fish offerings like Salmon and Halibut, Milos presents an array of fresh caught seafood that is packed on ice for guests to view and pick for their dinner that evening.
For my recent trip my friend and I took our waiter’s advice and tried the Barbounia, which in English means Red Mullet. There was a fleshy and meaty quality to the fish that was still light, with a hint of sweetness The fish are found on the bottom of the ocean and can look white to slightly reddish in color. Our fish had been flown in from Portugal. If you find this fish when you visit Milos, don’t think, just order it. Like most Greek preparations of fish, it’s grilled simply with olive oil, salt and pepper and presented with lemon. The olive oil and lemon mixture keep the fish fresh and flaky. A side of fresh grilled vegetables are always a perfect accompanied side course.
We also had the Carabineiros, which are like large prawns with head and tale still intact. In fact the head can be sucked as it is quite delicious. Peeling these guys are a little messy, but very easy and the body of the meat is quite firm and extremely tasty.
Opt for one of the Greek white wines, or ask your server as they will recommend the perfect wine pairing. We went with the Biblia Chora Ovilos, which is a blend of Assyrtiko and Semillon grapes. It had great acidity, minerality and paired nicely with our fish.
GUY SAVOY: Caesars Palace Dr, Las Vegas, NV 89109 http://www.caesarspalace.com/restaurants/guy-savoy.html#.UuBfB2Qo5MM
Walking into the sedate, incredibly high ceiling and sparse dining room at Guy Savoy, in Las Vegas at Caesar’s Palace, felt initially disappointing at first, drawing to mind a period of dining where jackets were required and the mood was stuffy. However, like a well orchestrated opera that begins quietly, slowing building to high crescendos and welcomed interludes, the dining experience at Guy Savoy parallels a beautiful symphony that gets better and better with each arrangement, while ultimately ending in perfection. It’s true my memory of dining at Guy Savoy is embedded in my head, even after four days after eating at the restaurant. I can hardly wait to go back, and I also want to try the Paris version on my next visit to France.
Executive chef Mathieu Chartron, not only makes personable appearances at most of his tables throughout the evening, but is obviously following Mr. Savoy’s lead in creating and presenting inspired dishes with a myriad of flavors. I think my friend and I were served 4 or 5 amuse bouches, three of which were served immediately upon entering the restaurant. Another welcoming presentation is the champagne cart filled with some of the best champagnes, including one of my favorites, Ruinart Rose. Bread at a restaurants is usually an afterthought, but here it’s also presented by a charming server pushing an actual bread cart of freshly made bread items for you to enjoy.
During our visit we lucked out and made it for the very short run of black truffle season. In addition to the two separate menu tastings, Guy Savoy also featured a Black Truffle tasting menu. We opted for the regular menu items, but took advantage of the season’s offerings. I had the black truffle risotto, which was perfectly textured and creamy with just a hint of parmesan grated on top, and of course the fragrant and fresh black truffles atop. This dish alone was pure bliss. The ice poached oysters were mouthwatering, and the crab with multi-colored beet variations was subtle, yet benefitted from the gastronomic infused broth that steamed from the bottom into the dish, creating perfect drama for a Las Vegas meal.
I decided to push my boundaries and try the veal cooked three different ways, which included the traditional veal tenderloin sliced off the bone, a flashed fried croquette, and the sweetbreads, which sat atop of a beautiful black truffle potato puree, with candied glazed carrots. The natural au jus from the veal, was placed in the center for optional dipping. I loved all three versions of the veal, while trying the sweatbreads opened up my mind to new tastes. The entire plate screamed of flavor, while never becoming overwhelming. I loved this dish!
For dessert we were craving just a bite of something sweet, and since our taste buds were working overtime, we couldn’t resist the ‘All-black’. A marzipan biscuit base (marinated in lime juice) topped with a layer of rich chocolate ganache flavored with cardamom and black pepper, served with a gorgeous dark chocolate sorbet. Wow, this was a very special meal at this 2 Michelin starred restaurant, which has also won the Wine Spectator Grand Award . Watch the video and see for yourself why this chef is prized for his passion for excellent cuisine.
CARNEVINO: 3325 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109 http://www.carnevino.com/
According to Michael Rone, Sommelier at Carnevino, “we do everything big here, big wine, and big meat”. The Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich restaurant, Carnevino at The Palazzo, perfects the combination of both meat and wine. If you eat red meat, definitely opt for the
beef as it’s all hormone and anti-biotic free, while aged in their own meat chamber. Just go for the Florentina! It’s a porterhouse with a nice size tenderloin and strip. I’m told the Dry Aged Bone-In Ribeye is also a great option, but ask your server which one looks better on your particular evening. The wine list is very extensive, but Mr. Rone is available, friendly and will steer you in the right direction. Fortunately, my friend, and co-Editor, Frank Pond was on hand who picked a perfect bottle of Tenuta Le Querce: Vigna Della Corona that was sublime.
It’s not all about meat and wine at Carnevino, pastas are all made in house and are delicious. Since I’ve had Batali’s pasta at Mozza in Los Angeles, and at Eataly in New York, my friend and I couldn’t help but order two separate pastas and share them both. You can never go wrong with the classic Italian Bucatini all’ Amatriciana, however we devoured our Spago with Lamb ragu and the Orecchiette with sweet sausage and broccoli rabe. You can’t really go wrong with any of the pastas. Crudo is also a nice start as well, especially if you have a glass of my favorite, Franciacorta sparkling wine. This is my current favorite sparkling wine, next to champagne, as it’s from the Lombardy region of Italy and is closest to champagne in taste. And if you see it on the menu, just order the grilled octopus, you won’t be disappointed, as it pairs perfectly with the Franciacorta. It’s served with pickled vegetables and limoncello.
You won’t be disappointed for dining at Carnevino. Food, wine, service and quality are all on point, making this a truly memorable dining experience for small to large parties.