Las Vegas: The Foodie Fantasy

August 14, 2014

Maybe start with a light afternoon snack of Parmesan paprika popcorn at Hubert Keller's new small-plates concept, Fleur at Mandalay Bay. Frozen cocktails are mixed tableside, compliments of a little liquid nitrogen magic.

Popcorn not your thing? Planet Hollywood's Strip House is serving up a gourmet beef jerky appetizer, marinated for 36 hours in a dozen ingredients that re-define the traditional roadside snack.

If you're in brunch mode, the popular pajama brunch at Simon Restaurant & Lounge inside Palms Place offers a Bloody Mary bar, cotton candy, chicken and waffles, a junk food plate and, of course, a sushi bar. Jazz Brunch at The Country Club at Wynn Las Vegas is music to your taste buds and the weekend brunch on the patio at Thomas Keller's Bouchon inside The Venetian gives guests a taste of bistro menus the master chef has enjoyed while traveling the world..

Until dinner calls, that is. Here's when the options can overwhelm. But don't stress - you're in Las Vegas now, and there are no bad choices.

Take your steak seriously? So do we. That's why the luxury-lifestyle magazine, Robb Report, named Las Vegas "the best place on Earth to eat steak." Mario Batali's Carnevino at The Palazzo, featuring a succulent 240-day dry-aged Riserva rib eye, rose to the top of the list. Check out any of the other steak houses singled out for their exemplary steaks, such as Tom Colicchio's Heritage Steak at The Mirage, and pair that rare delight with a nice glass of vino.

For a taste you won't find elsewhere, try the Catfish Sloppy Joe at Mandalay Bay's RM Seafood or the Braised Oxtail Croquettes Dijonnaise at Rx Boiler Room. Or feast at the expansive sushi bar at NOBU inside the Hard Rock Hotel. Still hungry? You can always find the finest in French fare at Joël Robuchon at MGM Grand.

Still can't decide? It doesn't get any easier at Bacchanal Buffet at Caesars Palace, with more than 500 items, including everything from red velvet pancakes to Chinese dim sum to South Carolina shrimp and grits.

If you're with a group, head to Jaleo. Chef José Andrés' Spanish restaurant at The Cosmopolitan features an eight-seat inner sanctum with a 10- to 12-course dinner of tiny bites eaten sans silverware.

It's time for dessert, but don't expect the choices to get any easier. Wynn Las Vegas' Lakeside Seafood has a dessert cart named Desire. And on that cart is where you'll find the bacon chocolate bar made with creamy milk chocolate, fleur de sel and, of course, applewood-smoked bacon. The tiramisu and Chocolate Lovers Dessert are as amazing as the view at Top of the World, more than 800 feet above Las Vegas in the Stratosphere Tower.

What goes up must come down, so if you're a cellar dweller, how about socializing in a place where you can choose from 160 wines by the glass using a prepaid tasting card to enjoy drinks of 1, 3 or 5 ounces? The Hostile Grape at M Resort offers a contemporary, hip atmosphere with boutique wines and handcrafted cocktails, along with unique samplers.

Perhaps downtown is your scene. You'll find no shortage of culinary delights. At the newly renovated Plaza Hotel & Casino, step inside Oscar's Steakhouse, brought to you by former Las Vegas mayor and legend Oscar Goodman. Or, try the Blue Point Oysters, Maple Glazed Quail and Beluga Caviar at Vic and Anthony's in the Golden Nugget. For a moodier vibe, take the short walk to the Fremont East District and check out Michael Morton's La Comida.

And for the hip and trendy scene, visit BarBistro, a modern kitchen nestled on the first floor of downtown's most eclectic collection of art galleries. Or, sample contemporary American cuisine at Eat for breakfast and lunch. After all, you'll need some fuel to get through a long day in Las Vegas.

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