Buried beneath the glitzy glamour and hyperactive lightshows, Las Vegas nurses a tasty secret: It has, outside of New York, one of America’s best collections of restaurants, many headlined by some of the biggest names in the culinary world.
Think Guy Savoy, Mario Battali, Bobby Flay and Bradley Ogden. Whichever cuisine you’re after – tongue-singeing Thai, inventive North-West American or modern European – somewhere along the fabled Strip is a restaurant with your name on it.
Sure, more often than not, you’ll have to navigate through a warren of gambling tables to get to the maître d’, but that’s part of the fun of being in Sin City. Tour the gastronomic world at the Bellagio whether it’s French in the glorious tented dining room at the legendary Le Cirque, or stir-fried Cantonese classics at Jasmine. For the latter, book a window table for dinner for the spectacular synchronised water fountain show.
At the Mandarin Oriental, Pierre Gagnaire’s quietly chic dining room Twist showcases foie gras custard, organic buratta and Gorgonzola ice-cream alongside Osetra caviar, Alaskan halibut and Maine lobster. If you’ve got a hankering for West Coast-styled hibachi, sushi and sashimi, celebrity chef Masa Takayama’s Bar Masa in the newly opened Aria hotel is just the ticket. Try the toro, chilled hairy crab, and Kyushu squid with sea salt and yuzu. And when you’ve done the retail tour of the silvery Daniel Libeskind-designed Crystals at CityCenter shopping mall, pop into Wolfgang Puck Pizzeria and Cucina on the mezzanine level for a super pizza topped with slowly caramelised onions embedded on a cloud of sweet cream.
Of course, no tour of Vegas is complete without diving into the famous all-day, all-you-can-eat buffets – some the size of half a football field – at the Bellagio and Caesars Palace. Diet? What diet?