Eating in Las Vegas: Noshing at some of Sin City’s best restaurants

A sampling of some of the best restaurants in the famous culinary destination

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LAS VEGAS – They come for the glitz, the gold, the gambling. They come for the jaw-dropping fun.

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And they come for the food. Make no mistake – Last Vegas is a city of eaters, a culinary destination, where famous food stars come together to flex their muscles and feed the millions of fans who flock to say they’ve only dined in the best.

And there are plenty of them – restaurants with big names attached to them, restaurants that produce the same star power as the incredible shows produced every day. They rub shoulders with humble but equally delicious little local haunts that are fan favorites for returning visitors.

So give us Adele, Celine Dion and Britney Spears, give us John Legend and Elton John, and any number of Cirque du Soleil performances.

But also give us the culinary experiences of food stars as powerful as Gordon Ramsay, Nobu Matsuhisa, Giada De Laurentiis and Bobby Flay. Give us Guy Savoy and Guy Fieri. Give us Martha Stewart (who recently opened her Bedford by Martha Stewart in the Parisian property) – and just offer us a good meal or a famous buffet.

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A recent whirlwind tour of Sin City produced an avalanche of incredible restaurants – and there’s something for everyone, for every budget, from little off-the-beaten-track spots to big shows. Even cocktail bars (like Vanderpump Cocktail Gardens) are immersive experiences.

Some of the stars of gastronomy have more than one restaurant in town – Gordon Ramsay, for example, has five, and speaks of a sixth – and each stands out on its own merits, offering first-class dining experiences that visitors can take home and cherish months later.

“Since the early 1990s, Las Vegas has transformed into the Mecca of the culinary world. Look at all the big names on the marquee! When you come to Vegas these days, don’t forget to prepare your appetite! James Beard Award-winning chef Martin Yan said in a recent email to Toronto Sun.

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Yan will also join the talent roster in the near future, as part of Bally’s transformation into Horseshoe Las Vegas.

His thoughts on joining the gang? “To say that I am deeply honored is the understatement of the year. Vegas is where it’s at, Horseshoe is where it’s at. When you can do it here, you can do it anywhere.

“It doesn’t get any better than that!” he added.

On a recent visit, it was a tip of the iceberg – but we only had three days, and only so much stamina. And we had to make room for dessert!

Bobby Flay – handout
Bobby Flay – handout Photo provided /provided

AMALFI BY BOBBY FLAY: I remember in an interview with Flay years earlier his passion for everything Italian. And you have it in Amalfi, where the ambience is pure Mediterranean and the fish so fresh, the house has its own fishmonger, Jeff Medina, on hand to help you make the best selection. Amalfi is an ode to all things Italian, from handmade pasta, refreshing salads, fresh whole fish and twisted desserts.

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Fresh pasta dish served at Bobby Flays Amalfi - Rita DeMontis photo
Fresh pasta dish served at Bobby Flays Amalfi – Rita DeMontis photo Photo by Rita DeMontis Photos /provided
Giada De Laurentiis -provided
Giada De Laurentiis -provided provided

GIADA ITALIAN CUISINE: Yes, Italian cuisine but with a healthy California twist. Giada offers light and airy dishes including delicious lemon spaghetti and shrimp cocktail (you must have shrimp cocktail when visiting Las Vegas!) with house cocktail sauce made with a generous helping of fresh horseradish. The brunch has several options, including polenta waffles, as well as a strong emphasis on vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free dishes. Great view of the famous Strip.

Giada's Brunch Offerings
Giada’s Brunch Offerings Photo by Rita DeMontis photo /SUN MEDIA/Postmedia
Nobu Matsuhisa – provided
Nobu Matsuhisa – provided provided

NOBU: Nobu is coming to Toronto! But while we wait patiently, it’s good to know that the award-winning chef has deep roots in Las Vegas, where the food selection is substantial but not overwhelming (what to choose! what to eat!). The staff are super attentive, especially when someone (me) mentions food allergies – every dish is explained in detail. Of course, a visit wouldn’t be complete without trying Robert De Niro’s favorite Nobu dish: Rock Shrimp Tempura with Creamy Spicy Sauce.

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Traditional Nobu Offerings
Traditional Nobu Offerings Photo by Rita DeMontis photo /SUN MEDIA/Postmedia
Gordon Ramsay outside Hell's Kitchen - provided
Gordon Ramsay outside Hell’s Kitchen – provided provided

GORDON RAMSAY’S HELL’S KITCHEN:. I have to say that I found the whole Hell’s Kitchen experience exhilarating – from the service, to the various dishes, to a jaw-dropping three-way coconut dessert that seemed to float on the table. A selection of starters included seared foie gras with stewed cherries and a truly memorable lobster risotto that I wanted to take home. Main courses included Beef Wellington with mashed potatoes and an appetizing dish of Braised Ribs with Yukon Potato Cake. Impressive seating gives you a bird’s eye view of the Strip.

Hell's Kitchen Lobster Risotto - Rita DeMontis
Hell’s Kitchen Lobster Risotto – Rita DeMontis Photo by Rita DeMontis photo /SUN MEDIA/Postmedia
Bacchanal Buffet – Rita DeMontis
Bacchanal Buffet – Rita DeMontis Photo by Rita DeMontis photo /SUN MEDIA/Postmedia

BACCHALE BUFFET: They always talk about Las Vegas all-you-can-eat buffets with $1 shrimp. We found the mother lode at the Bacchanal Buffet, located in Caesar’s – and let me tell you, there were shrimp! And there was enough food there to feed a little country. In fact, food stations were spread across different countries, including China, Korea, the Middle East, America, Japan, and Italy. Customers could choose already prepared or have dishes created right in front of them. It was a bit overwhelming, but a good cup of coffee cleared our heads before diving into the various dishes.

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