Feature

The 10 Hottest Restaurants in Las Vegas

By Lesley Balla | April 15, 2015 By Lesley Balla  |  April 15, 2015
Photo by: DB Brasserie

The Las Vegas restaurant scene is hotter than ever, from the flashiest new mega-restaurants on the Strip to unconventional steakhouses in the suburbs. Whatever you're looking for, whether it's a day of shopping and dining in the suburbs to the latest celebrity-chef spots, we've got you covered. Here are 10 of the hottest new discoveries you won't want to miss in Sin City.

  of  
  • Photo by: Tapas by Stratta

    Tapas by Alex Stratta

    Why It’s Hot: Alex Stratta ran restaurants at the big resorts for almost 12 years until he cut ties with the Wynn, where his haute dining room Alex garnered high praise. He stayed in Las Vegas but strayed from the Strip, finally settling on this new tapas restaurant in Tivoli Village, a shopping and dining complex in Summerlin. It’s a more casual, everyday dining destination, and definitely a great reason to check out the suburbs.

    Must-Order: The ingredients are Mediterranean, but the presentation is pure Stratta. Meaning: modern interpretations of traditional dishes, mostly small plates that change frequently. Some signatures include Valencia-style paella, oxtail stew, Moroccan chicken with apricots, curried lamb kebabs, patatas bravas, baked Monte Enebro cheese and bacalo. Don’t miss nightly specials like game hen on Wednesdays and roasted porchetta on Sundays.

    Insider Tip: There are a lot of great restaurants and boutiques in Tivoli Village. Make a day of it.

    440 S. Rampart; 702-483-3555

  • Photo by: Andiron Steak & Sea

    Andiron Steak & Sea

    Why It’s Hot: Restaurateurs Elizabeth Blau and Kim Canteenwalla (Buddy V’s, Honey Salt, Made L.V.) debuted this modern steakhouse in the burgeoning Downtown Summerlin outdoor retail district this spring. The massive room is meant to have a feminine East Coast edge with whitewashed woods, pops of greens and navy blues, floor-to-ceiling plantation shutters and a window looking into the bustling kitchen. There’s a massive bar and patio that suit local shoppers.

    Must-Order: Some early hits include sea urchin toast with shaved radish; Alaskan king crab with avocado purée, grapefruit and fennel pollen; a tomahawk steak for two with trumpet mushrooms; turbot steamed with citrus; and mac ‘n' cheese waffles.

    Insider Tip: There are more than 100 shops and restaurants at Downtown Summerlin, including a big movie theater. Do as the locals do: get off the Strip and spend a day out here.

    1720 Festival Plaza Drive; 702-685-8002

  • Photo by: Border Grill

    Border Grill at the Forum Shops

    Why It’s Hot: Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger were part of the first wave of celebrity chefs to land in Las Vegas with Border Grill at Mandalay Bay, and now they’ve added a second location at The Forum Shops at Caesars. Located near the spiraling escalator, the indoor patio flows into the cantina lounge, with a ceviche bar, open kitchen and dining room inside. It’s colorful and vibrant, just like the original in Santa Monica.

    Must-Order: The majority of the menu is classic Border Grill, things like green corn tamales, Yucatan-style pork in banana leaves and grilled fish tacos. But there’s also that ceviche bar putting out various things like Peruvian-style ceviche with mahi mahi and aji Amarillo chile, and Guatemalen shrimp cocktail. Margaritas and mojitos are always a must.

    Insider Tip: The famous Border Brunch is available on Saturday and Sundays with unlimited small plates — think bacon jalapeño peanut butter and jelly sandwich, chicken and waffles, churro tots and fried green tomatillos — for $34.99 per person. Bloody Marys and margaritas are extra.

    3500 Las Vegas Blvd. S.; 702-854-6700

  • Photo by: Giada

    Giada

    Why It’s Hot: Giada De Laurentiis opened her first restaurant in Las Vegas because, well, Vegas. Anchoring the new Cromwell boutique hotel, there are incredible sweeping views of the Strip and the Bellagio fountains from most seats in the house. With its natural woods, cream-colored furniture, photos and imported tiles around the space, you truly get the feeling that you're in the celebrity chef's own home, which is exactly what she was going for. Expect her famous lemon chicken, pea crositini and drinks named after movies her grandfather, Dino De Laurentiis, produced.

    Must-Order: Things from the antipasti bar, like caponata with balsamic and toasted pine nuts, wood-roasted mushrooms with marcona almonds and ricotta salata, and pea-pesto crostini with prosciutto. Entrees like whole roasted chicken carved tableside and served with a cacciatore-style sauce; bucatini with Calabrian chile pomodoro and fresh ricotta; and the veal chop saltimbocca. Plus sides like zucchini with spun golden potatoes and pomodoro sauce and lemon spaghetti squash.

    Insider Tip: Because De Laurentiis has such a rabid fan base, there's a photo booth to take a keepsake picture and post directly to social media. Who knows, maybe Giada will even be there and get in the booth with you.

    595 S. Las Vegas Blvd.; 702-777-3777

  • Photo by: Jill Paider

    Bazaar Meat at SLS

    Why It’s Hot: This is how José Andrés does a steakhouse: a tartare bar with carpaccio and cured meats; raw bar with a huge selection of caviar; lots of grills; the best grass-fed, corn-finished beef in America, plus suckling pigs, lamb, quail, offal and more. Think anything that will fulfill carnivorous cravings. The room, which is just off of the main floor of the newish SLS hotel on the north end of the Strip (the former Sahara) is expansive and feels rather meaty throughout, from the carpet emblazoned with a butcher's diagram of a cow to the antler chandeliers hanging above. The wine list tops 600 bottles and cocktails have the flash and flair of other Bazaars (think smoke, liquid nitrogen and goblets). Get those and small bites in the restaurant's Bar Centro.

    Must-Order: Some of Andres’ famous dishes, like the smoked salmon cones, cotton-candy-wrapped foie gras and gazpacho shots. The raw bar is impressive, as is the caviar flights ranging from $45 to $350 for three. Suckling pig nestled in a Spanish cazuela and roasted in a wood-fired oven. The giant bone-in rib eye steaks are sold by weight, cooked to your specifications and sliced for sharing. Catalan spinach, baby carrots with Greek yogurt and Robochon-style potatoes (“butter, butter, more butter, some potatoes”) from the massive side selection.

    Insider Tip: Should the need to play poker while sipping a martini with liquid olives strike, the Bazaar Casino, the only casino to be branded by a James Beard Award-winning chef, allows you to play blackjack and roulette while noshing and sipping from the Bazaar menu.

    2535 S. Las Vegas Blvd.; 702-761-7610

  • Photo by: Cleo

    Cleo

    Why It’s Hot: While some of the opening restaurants have already changed at the SLS, this offshoot from Hollywood is still going strong. From the pyramid-shaped entrance to the Moroccan tiles, chandeliers and emerald green curtains, it pushes a sexy-chic Cleopatra theme. Inside, there’s an open kitchen and wood-burning oven. The space has more geometric shapes, earthy colors and Egyptian art than the original, but chef Danny Elmaleh's menu is mostly the same.

    Must-Order: Like the original Hollywood location, go for the meze, such as the just-out-of-the-oven flatbreads with cool dips like harissa carrot, baba ghanoush and lebneh with feta; stuffed grape leaves; and crispy Brussels sprouts. The hearty tagines are also winners for sharing.

    Insider Tip: The classic small-plates rule applies here; two to three plates per person are good. Order a feast.

    2535 S. Las Vegas Blvd.; 702-761-7612

  • DB Brasserie

    Why It’s Hot: Daniel Boulud left the Wynn a few years ago only to come back with a snazzy brasserie at the Venetian. It's a casually chic room at the start of Restaurant Row just off the casino floor, more everyday than special occasion — pretty tiled floors, dark woods, frosted glass and leather banquettes — which is the way of Vegas restaurants these days. There’s even a prix fixe lunch deal. The service is polished, the wine list exemplary and there’s a nice bar to stop for a cocktail and plate of charcuterie.

    Must-Order: Mushrooom velouté; foie gras terrine with apricot mostarda; French onion soup; country pâté; steak frites; and any of the burgers, but especially the Frenchie with Morbier cheese, Dijon mustard, pork belly, tomato compote and arugula.

    Insider Tip: Happy hour, Boulud-style. Beers are only $4, select cocktails are $7 and small plates and burgers are $6-$9. Daily 3-6 PM.

    3355 Las Vegas Blvd. S.; 702-430-1235

  • Photo by: Danya Henninger

    Shake Shack

    Why It’s Hot: This is the farthest west the famous New York City burger chain has come, fittingly landing on the Strip just across from the Brooklyn Bridge at the New York-New York resort. It’s a massive indoor-outdoor space situated on the Park, a new pedestrian-friendly green space connecting New York-New York and the Monte Carlo. Yes, this is a place for great people-watching.

    Must-Order: The classic Shackburger, of course. The split-and-griddled hot dog dressed Chicago-style. Crinkle-cut fries. For dessert, a concrete (frozen custard with mix-ins) made with baked goods from local Gimme Some Sugar bakery, or the Shack-a-palooza, a massive sundae with everything, including waffles, chocolate truffle cookie dough, sauces, toffee and more. It feeds three to five people, or two typical Vegas visitors looking to gorge.

    Insider Tip: Go ahead and get that All Shook Up concrete. Five percent of all sales go to the First Friday Foundation, which supports local Las Vegas artists and civic art.

    3790 S. Las Vegas Blvd.; 725-222-6730

  • Photo by: Yardbird

    Yardbird Southern Table & Bar

    Why It’s Hot: It’s really all about the numbers at John Kunkel’s Miami import, which opened at the Venetian earlier this year: four different kinds of chicken; five different kinds of ice; 100 different whiskeys; and 16 beers brewed in Nevada. It’s big, drinks come in mason jars and the food is comfort at its best.

    Must-Order: Fried chicken with watermelon, waffles and honey hot sauce; extremely rich macaroni 'n' cheese; fried frogs; legs; deviled eggs; and buttermilk biscuits.

    Insider Tip: Check out the brunch on Friday, Saturday and Sundays from 11 AM-4 PM.

    3355 S. Las Vegas Blvd.; 702-297-6541

  • Photo by: Bardot

    Bardot Brasserie

    Why It’s Hot: Michael Mina did a switcheroo on his American Fish restaurant at the Aria resort, turning it into a French brasserie with roving shellfish carts, classic cocktails and a general Belle Epoque vibe. The menu was created by going through cookbooks from the early 20th century, dishes that you would’ve found at ritzy hotels, so expect classics done classically well.

    Must-Order: The Bardot Royale, a grand shellfish tower, is the best way to be a baller here. You can’t go wrong with escargot, steak tartare, frisée au lardons and lobster Thermidor for two.

    Insider Tip: Sit at the expansive bar for happy hour. Oysters are $2, shrimp cocktail is $6 and other dishes (tarte flambée, tartare, escargots, etc.) range $4-$6. Beer and cocktails are only $5.

    3730 Las Vegas Blvd. S.; 877-230-2742

Recommended on Zagat

comments powered by Disqus