Jaleo – Stepping foot into José Andrés’ Jaleo at The Cosmopolitan reminded me of the meals I had while traveling through Barcelona. The recent winner of “Outstanding Chef” by the James Beard Foundation, Andrés has created a beautiful ambiance to showcase his more-than outstanding Spanish tapas. We started off with the Pan con tomate with Pasamontes farmhouse Manchego cheese to whet our appetite and I suggest you do the same. Rustic break is brushed with seasoned crushed tomatoes. Pour yourself a glass of sangria and order up a few tapas for the table. The Gambas al Ajillo were out of this world and is perfect for garlic and seafood lovers. You can’t go wrong with ordering the Paella and our dish with chicken and duck was amazing. Order the Manzana con Hinojo y Queso Manchego salad to settle your taste buds in between courses and sink your teeth into the Croquetas de Jamón Ibérico.
Red Square – Red Square at Mandalay Bay: They had me at “Vodka Vault.” Not only is their Black Truffle and Lobster Fettuccine one of the best pasta dishes I’ve ever had, but you must stop in for a shot of imported vodka in the Vault that is kept at 10 degrees below zero. Your Vodka Goddess will help you put on one of their PETA-friendly fur coats and hats and you and your handful of friends can enjoy some premium vodka the way it was meant to be.
Fleur by Hubert Keller – Who knew the accomplished DJ could make such amazing food? Fleur by Hubert Keller at Mandalay Bay offers small bites on his extensive menu, but if you’re with a group of colleagues and can’t decide on what to order, vouch for the feast. It’s designed for a group of six or more and includes about 50 courses. The manager there says they have “never had anyone not satisfied after this meal.” And you MUST try the liquid nitrogen ice cream served tableside. Amazing.
Bradley Ogden – Tucked away above the chaos of the Caesar’s Palace casino floor in Bradley Ogden, diners are taken on a culinary, organic adventure at the James Beard Foundation-winning, “Best New Restaurant of the Year.” Try the Twice Baked Maytag Bleu Cheese Soufflé with cranberry relish, walnut brittle and watercress.
Holsteins – If you find yourself hung over in Vegas (isn’t that a given?) or in need of some great food to start your day, head over to Holstein’s at The Cosmopolitan for some excellent grub. The menu lured us in with its spiked milkshakes, gourmet burgers, Truffle Lobster Mac and Cheese, and the cutesy desserts. The Gold Standard Burger is out of this world.
Serendipity 3 – If you’ve never heard of the world famous Frrrozen Hot Chocolate at Serendipity, then you’re not a foodie. Serendipity 3 at Caesar’s on the strip just opened up a couple years ago and has been attracting sweet tooths around the world. Our table was full with a Peanut Butter Frrrozen Hot Chocolate, Ice Cream Sundae, Red Velvet Cake and Cheesecake bites. Heaven on earth.
BARMASA – Three Michelin star winning Chef Masa Takayama brings a unique ambiance to his beautiful Japanese restaurant, BARMASA at ARIA. There are two separate dining spaces that bring modern luxury with every meal. Signature dishes include Hokkaido Scallops with Garlic Butter, Spicy Dancing Shrimp, and Kobe Garlic Soy Steak.
Beso Steakhouse – We can imagine anything with Eva Longoria’s name on it has to be great. Beso Steakhouse inside Crystals and CityCenter brings a beautiful amalgamation of steaks and seafood dishes, with a little Latin flavor. For instance, the Seafood Tower comes with a Sangria Mignonette and the Seared Tuna Adobo comes with jumbo lump crab, grits and a tequila cream sauce.
Wolfgang Puck Pizzeria & Cucina – No list would be complete without an offering from Mr. Wolfgang. The Wolfgang Puck Pizzeria & Cucina inside Crystals at CityCenter and is perched above the immaculate shopping destination. The menu features Italian favorites and reinventions, like the Lamb Chorizo pizza, Braised Veal Osso Bucco, and Salmon with Rosemary Butter, Bacon, Mushrooms and Onions.
Jean Philippe Patisserie – For a quick, yet delicious, bite to eat before you start your Vegas adventure, stop by Jean Philippe Patisserie at ARIA for French crepes, gourmet sandwiches, brioche, or some beautifully-designed chocolates. You’ll definitely want to take some pastries and treats home with you, trust me.