The last three months have proved to be a big moment in Las Vegas’ dining scene: Not only did it gain a trio of new Forbes Travel Guide Five-Stars (Le Cirque Las Vegas, Picasso and Wing Lei), major players in the culinary sphere have debuted restaurants both on and off the Strip.
Score a reservation at any one of these refreshing concepts and you’ll be in for a memorable epicurean experience.
Conceived by chef Rainer Becker, this hot new spot fits right in with the other eateries inside of Four-Star The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. Zuma, a chic, 9,000-square-foot space, offers three kitchens: the main kitchen, the sushi counter and the robata grill.
Topping the must-eat list are the lobster tempura, plated in the massive shell of the crustacean; grilled scallops with pickled plum, shiso and mentaiko butter; and the salmon and tuna tartare box.
To drink, don’t miss the inventively packaged “fish in a bag” gin and tonic.
Joining domestic locations in places such as New York, Miami and London, Zuma’s Las Vegas outpost is vibe dining at its finest. Upon entering the open dining room, take a quick scan around to see who’s who and soak up the environment, a prime people-watching space punctuated by giant tree trunks.
Designed by Tokyo-based Studio Glitt, the look captures the organic elements of earth, fire, water and air, blending them with the industrial touches of rusted iron, stone and glass.
Sugarcane Raw Bar Grill
Chef Timon Balloo demonstrates nothing but passion in the kitchen, and with Sugarcane’s multicultural menu and vast rum collection, he’s brought Cuban, Miami, South American and Asian vibes to the Four-Star The Venetian Resort Hotel Casino.
Both adventurous and more conservative eaters can take delight in the varied offerings. Go exotic with pig-ear pad Thai; kombu-marinated fluke with red grapes, charred onions and sesame seeds; and hamachi crudo coated in yuzu soy, serrano onion relish and sea asparagus.
You can also travel a more familiar route with inventive updates: bacon-wrapped dates accented by linguiça and manchego; and Balloo’s signature duck and waffle, a fresh take on chicken and waffles that is made with a crispy duck-leg confit, a duck egg and topped with mustard-maple glaze.
Momofuku Las Vegas and Milk Bar Las Vegas
The first West Coast outposts for David Chang (Momofuku) and Christina Tosi (Milk Bar), both located in The Cosmopolitan, showcase all their best flavors. Meaning “lucky peach,” Momofuku is a casual dining experience with a focus on the food that Chang loves from Korea, Japan and the United States — think smothered katsu chicken or pork belly and shrimp buns.
Tosi satisfies our sweet tooth with both a walk-up window and selections to be eaten while seated at Momofuku. And it would be a mistake to leave the premises without trying the cereal-milk soft-serve with fudge.
Andre’s Bistro & Bar
Chef Andre Rochat has partnered with the newly formed Stacked Hospitality to debut a comfortable eatery that is part French bistro, part American tavern and completely worth the trip to the city’s southwest side for brunch, lunch or dinner.
Here’s a bit of Vegas trivia: Before his successful restaurants Alizé (atop Palms Casino Resort) and Andre’s (at the Monte Carlo Resort and Casino), Rochat was at the helm of Andre’s Downtown, a groundbreaking local favorite that opened in 1980.
Rochat’s history of making great food continues here. Andre’s decadent menu features a ton of savory dishes: a Swiss cheeseburger with truffle mayo and red onion marmalade; a sampling of artisanal sausages made from spicy lamb and pork-garlic and duck; and the classic moules frites, a delightful combination of PEI mussels, tomato concasse, garlic, parsley and fries.