Fine-Dining Around in Las Vegas

The amazing restaurants in Las Vegas are absolutely worth walking through casino floors that reek of cigarettes, air freshener, resignation and desperation.

If you follow my Twitter, you can stay up-to-date with all my Sin City shenanigans, which so far have included water rocking out to 90s hits, being Tweeted by Wolfgang Puck, near-nip slipscreative artwork, and having my bottled water go missing.

Oh, and eating. And eating. And eating. And eating.

I’ve had delicious steak frîtes at the Bouchon in Napa, so I had high hopes for Bouchon LV. The interior was a little dark, kinda loud and very casual (owing to the number of tourists, who don’t get that T-shirts are not appropriate dinner attire outside of the hotel food court). The highlights of my meal: bone marrow with a gooey vinegar-shallot sauce, roast chicken on a pile of peas and bacon, sautéed salmon atop clams and mussels , and the Bouchon brownie bites with vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce.

The evening stalled when I was served bad leg of lamb (the meat was old), but the staff acted swiftly: immediate dish replacement (the salmon) and marinated olives on the house with understanding and a positive attitude.

Bouchon LV

Overall, the savory dishes suffered from a heavy hand with the salt. If you visit Bouchon in Las Vegas, do not hesitate to order the roast chicken.

A French restaurant? A French restaurant with Two Michelin stars? A French restaurant with Two Michelin stars and a stunning view of Little Paris? I’m in! Guy Savoy is everything you’d expect of a very high-end classic French restaurant (for which I broke out the nip slip-prone Rachel Pally dress) belonging to a world-renowned chef: Impeccable service (a waitstaff rushed to take the bottle of water out of my hand so that he could pour it for me), beautiful presentation, amazing attention to detail and, of course, a mouth-gasm at nearly every course.

Guy Savoy LV

The highlights of this meal, beginning from the top-right corner: a “French club sandwich” amuse bouche made of toasted brioche and foie gras; cold vegetable soup with couscous and a surprise potato gratin with caramelized onions; chocolate feuilletine with chocolate ganache and candied hazelnut; artichoke and black truffle soup with shavings of truffles and Parmesan; and the “Colors of Caviar,” which is comprised of caviar vinaigrette, crème fraîche of caviar, green bean puree, golden osetra caviar and caviar sabayon.

There seemed to be something off about every single dish. For instance, the five pearls of couscous seemed kind of useless at the bottom of the cold vegetable soup, as did the tasteless green bean purée in the caviar shot.

And then, toward the end of the meal, the staff was clearly rushing us out of there. It was only ten o’clock and it was a long tasting menu, so it hardly seemed proper to have served us the last palate cleanser while we were still working on the final dessert – marks off for that.

You can’t beat this view from our dining table, though:

Touché, Guy Savoy. Touché.

You’re in for an extravagant, classic French dining experience with all the bells and whistles. The bill is equally extravagant, so save this one was a truly special treat.

Years ago, I had dinner at Michael Mina in SF. I recall having an amazing meal but being disappointed by the desserts. (My Stone Fruit Trio had been kind of a let-down.) Naturally, I was intrigued by the Vegas version.

Michael Mina LV

If it hadn’t been for the blinding flashes of the in-house photographer going around snapping photos of diners, the evening would’ve been flawless. Michael Mina LV looked and felt a lot like Michael Mina SF: casual but unmistakably upscale. The staff was warm and obliging.

The highlights of the meal: tuna tartare with ancho chile, sesame oil, pine nuts and a quail egg yolk, outrageously amazing (all of the ingredients were combined after the photo was taken); seared scallops perfectly balanced with iberico ham; tender American wagyu and juicy beef cheeks with roasted root vegetables; and a trio of desserts, including a root beer float with sarsaparilla ice cream and a divine chocolate chip.

Congratulations, Michael Mina LV. Y’all pulled off a spectacular tasting menu. But maybe either toast the pine nuts more (in the tuna tartare) or replace them with toasted sesame seeds.

From the service and ambience to impeccable flavors and combinations, Michael Mina has done everything right here. You would be silly to visit Las Vegas and not have dinner here.

Finally, there was Social House.

Social House LV

This was the first restaurant that really seemed Las Vegas-y. The interior of Social House was dark and sexy and the hostess was one misstep away from revealing Victoria’s Secret, ifyouknowwhatImean. Dinner was on the early side, owing to the MATCHBOXTWENTYCONCERTOHMYJEEBUS, so there were only two other occupied tables.

Highlights of the meal: the Coco-Nuts dessert, which are fried donuts stuffed with coconut-lychee cream; the Samurai Roll; maguro tartare with taro chips; and yellowtail sashimi with deep-fried sliced jalapeño.

Take the server’s description of the restaurant with a pinch of salt: dishes here are definitely not on the “smaller side” nor are they “tapas style.” Stick to the raw stuff and sushi rolls, which are big enough for two.

Which restaurant reigned supreme?


Been to Las Vegas and know a good place to eat? LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW!

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