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Nov 18, 2010 12:15 PM

Las Vegas: 50 Essential Restaurants

Eating Las Vegas: 50 Essential Restaurants is the title of a new book published by Huntington Press (Las Vegas Advisor) and written by restaurant critics John Curtas, Max Jacobson and Al Mancini.

Top 10

Alex at the Wynn, Chef Alexander Stratta

Bar Masa at Aria, Chef Masa Takayama

Bartolotta at the Wynn Chef Paul Bartolotta

CUT at the Palazzo, Chefs Wolfgang Puck and Matt Hurley

Joel Robuchon at MGM Grand, Chef Joel Robuchon

L’Atelier at MGM Grand, Chef Joel Robuchon

Picasso at Bellagio, Chef Julian Serrano

Restaurant Guy Savoy at Caesars Palace, Chef Guy Savoy

RM Upstairs at Mandalay Bay, Chef Rick Moonen

Twist at Mandarin Oriental, Chef Pierre Gagnaire


Here is the entire list including the above:

American Fish at Aria, Chef Michael Mina

Aureole at Mandalay Bay, Chef Charlie Palmer

B&B Ristorante at The Venetian, Chef Mario Batali

Beijing Noodle #9 at Caesars Palace, Chef Yu Li

Border Grill at Mandalay Bay, Chefs Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken

Bouchon at The Venetian, Chef Thomas Keller

Burger Bar at Mandalay Place, Chef Hubert Keller

Carnevino at Palazzo, Chef Mario Batali

China Mama, Chinatown, no chef named

Eiffel Tower at Paris, Chef Joung Sohn

Julian Serrano at Aria, Chef Julian Serrano

Le Cirque at Bellagio, owner Sirio Maccioni

Los Antojos, Chef Carmen Ruiz

Lotus of Siam, Chef Saipin Chutima

M&M Soulfood Cafe, no chef named

Marche Bacchus, Desert Shores, Chef Jean Paul Labadie

Monta, a Japanese Noodle House, no chef named

Mozen Bistro at Mandarin Oriental, Chef Shawn Armstrong

Nove Italiano at Palms, Chef Geno Bernardo

Osteria del Circo at Bellagio, owner Sirio Maccioni

Payard Patisserie Bistro at Caesars Palace, Chef Francois Payard

Ping Pang Pong at Gold Coast, Chef owner Karrie Wu

Prime Steakhouse at Bellagio, Chef Jeans Georges Vongerichten

Raku, Chinatown, Chef Mitsuo Endo

Rao’s at Caesars Palace, owner Frank Pellegrino

Rosemary’s, Chef owners Michael and Wendy Jordan

Sage at Aria, Chef Shawn McClain

Sen of Japan, Chef Hiro Nakano

Sensi at Bellagio, Chef Martin Heierling

Settebello, Green Valley, Chef Brad Otton

Simon at Palms Place, Chef Kerry Simon

Society Cafe at Encore, Chef Kim Canteenwalla

Spago at Caesars Palace, Chefs Wolfgang Puck and Eric Klein

The Steakhouse at Circus Circus, no chef named

Todd’s Unique Dining, Henderson, Chef Todd Clore

Tom Colicchio’s Craftsteak at MGM Grand, Chef Tom Colicchio

Top of the World at Stratosphere, Chef Claude Gaty

Valentino at The Venetian, Chef owners Pierro Selvaggio and Luciano Pellegrini

Vintner Grill, Summerlin, Chef Matthew Silverman

Yellowtail at Bellagio, Chef Akira Back.

Restaurant Guy Savoy
3570 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89109

Michael Mina Restaurant
3600 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89109

Ping Pang Pong
4000 W Flamingo Rd, Las Vegas, NV 89103

Vintner Grill
10100 W. Charleston Blvd., Las Vegas, NV 89135

Marche Bacchus
2620 Regatta Drive, Las Vegas, NV 89128

Border Grill
3950 Las Vegas Blvd South, Las Vegas, NV 89119

Nove Italiano
4321 W. Flamingo Rd., Las Vegas, NV 89103

3600 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89109

3600 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV

Lotus of Siam
953 E Sahara Ave Ste A5, Las Vegas, NV 89104

Eiffel Tower Restaurant
3655 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89109

Sen of Japan
8480 W Desert Inn Rd Ste F1, Las Vegas, NV 89117

140 S Green Valley Pkwy Ste 172, Henderson, NV 89012

China Mama
3420 S Jones Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89146

3131 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89109

Bouchon at The Venetian
3355 Las Vegas Blvd South, Las Vegas, NV 89109

The Steakhouse at Circus Circus
2880 Las Vegas Blvd S, Winchester, NV 89109

American Fish
3730 N Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89115

Le Cirque
Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89109

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  1. Westie, I really want to thank you for taking the time to put up this post (I'm sure it took some time). I was really wondering whether to get the book before the week we'll be spending there next month - based on what you've posted, I think that I should.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Erich

      I haven't read it yet but the element that most appeals to me is that the three critics "fight" about the selections, and they also discuss and debate why certain restaurants were vetoed.

    2. Amazing how much eating I still need to do! Of the places listed here that I've already tried (like Aureole, Lotus, and Simon), I VERY much agree with them being placed on "Las Vegas' Top 50" List.

      And I guess if my three fave critics love Circus Circus' Steakhouse that much, perhaps I'll have to give it a fair shake some time soon.

      1 Reply
      1. re: atdleft

        Dined at Guy Savoy Thursday night. Thought I saw John Curtas (one of the authors) across from us, he was getting velvet-gloves treatment from the staff and a lot of 'samples' off the game and white truffles menus.

        Another diner a few tables down didn't look like the typical Guy Savoy clientele, with a bright red mohawk cut and an 8" red billy-goat beard, but kept wandering over to Curtas' table and to the table behind us and kept talking about "the party last night". I figured maybe he was a celeb in a rock band or at least someone in the entertainment field.

        Later I googled Curtas to make sure that was him and in the photo that first came up there was reference to a party at Robuchon's L'Atelier for the launch of this book, with many of the top chefs and foodies in Vegas in attendance.

        The guy with the billy goat beard and mohawk was in the pic with Curtas, he was co-author Al Mancini. I think the guy sitting behind me was the 3rd author, but I'm not sure. Here's a link to the article and the pic:

      2. Got the book the other day in preparation for a trip to LV--just thumbed through it a little, but liked the format of having 3 different reviewers as well as the "vetoes" for not including a particular restaurant. The one random review that I read in more detail was about a steak place that the reviewer thought was primarily a place where celebrities go to be seen (e.g. less focus on the quality of the steaks, etc.) , which, in a town like LV is an important thing to be considered. Looks to be well worth the money. Hope to check out the Steakhouse at Circus Circus this trip, which has always gotten great reviews, despite its location. Again, if you focus on the quality of food and service, and not the place it is located or other ancillary issues, the review will be more accurate for the readers. I'm not much of a high-end diner, so more bang-for-the-buck is important for me.

        The Steakhouse at Circus Circus
        2880 Las Vegas Blvd S, Winchester, NV 89109

        1. Thank you for the heads-up on the book; I may not be needing Las Vegas CH for a while. ;) I gifted it to my parents who are LAS locals with a promise to eat thru the book (I've taken them to a dozen of those 50 in the last couple years). It's a great book; I like that they each have preferences and differences, but managed to generally agree with their recommendations.

          2 Replies
          1. re: OCAnn

            Interesting that Michael Mina only got one restaurant listed. Is that simply because American Fish is newer, or is it a sign that his brand, or the quality of his restaurants, is falling?

            Michael Mina Restaurant
            3600 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89109

            American Fish
            3730 N Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89115

            1. re: namor

              Um...if you read the book and the posts above, you'll find that these 50 essential restaurants were compiled by three critics with vastly different food tastes, preferences and experiences. They all had to agree (or acquiesce) to the restaurants listed in their top 50. So what does it mean for Michael Mina's other unlisted restaurants; only that the three of them could not agree to put it in their top 50.

          2. Where's the In and Out Burger?

            1 Reply
            1. re: grant.cook

              There's about a dozen of them scattered throughout the valley.