Las Vegas is The Entertainment Capital of the World and has been steadily climbing its way toward the moniker The Dining Capital of the World, as well. Celebrity chefs have been staying busy in the nightlife destination with new restaurants, menus and concepts.
When planning a trip to Sin City, here are five spots to consider.
Gordon Ramsay (Hell’s Kitchen, Master Chef, Kitchen Nightmares) celebrated the grand opening of Hell’s Kitchen, his fifth Las Vegas restaurant for Caesars Entertainment, in January. Hell’s Kitchen is based on Ramsay’s long-running reality-TV competition on Fox, and plans include recording the competition at the former site of Serendipity 3 at Caesars Palace. Hell’s Kitchen unsurprisingly has been flooded with reservations since opening (12,000 reservations in only 10 days), and the HK Signature Pre-Fixe Menu for $69 includes a choice of pan seared scallops or Caesar salad and his signature Beef Wellington and sticky toffee pudding.
Hell’s Kitchen inside Caesars Palace, 3570 Las Vegas Blvd. South, Las Vegas, 702.731.7373, gordonramsayrestaurants.com/hells-kitchen-caesars-palace
Giada De Laurentiis now has two Las Vegas restaurants for Caesars Entertainment. Following the July 2014 opening of Giada at The Cromwell, her first-ever eatery, De Laurentiis opened her second outlet, Pronto by Giada, across the street at Caesars Palace in February. While eyebrows were raised that Pronto opened in the former location of Payard Patisserie & Bistro across from the Italian institution Rao’s, Pronto is a casual and fast café specializing in De Laurentiis’ signature Italian and Californian fare, but lighter (pastries, paninis, salads, sandwiches, antipasto, cake and gelato), plus coffee and wine.
Pronto by Giada inside Caesars Palace, 3570 Las Vegas Blvd. South, Las Vegas, 866.227.5938, caesars.com/caesars-palace/restaurants/pronto-by-giada
Scott Conant opened his off-the-Strip Masso Osteria at Red Rock Resort in February, replacing another Italian restaurant, Salute Trattoria Italiana. The chef is known for his cookbooks, signature black leather apron, work with Scarpetta (of which Conant is no longer involved) and serving as a guest judge on The Food Network’s Chopped. Two of Conant’s signature creations — pasta al pomodoro and salted caramel budino — are thankfully available on the menu at Masso Osteria. A chef’s tasting menu for the table, served family-style, is available for $65 per person. Conant selected the word “masso,” Italian for “boulder,” to reflect the rocky desert landscape of Las Vegas.
Masso Osteria at Red Rock Resort, 11011 W. Charleston Blvd., Las Vegas, 702.797.7097, massoosteria.com
Chris Santos, also known for his stint as a guest judge on Chopped, opened Beauty & Essex with Tao Group nearly two years ago in the former home of Comme Ca, and the elegant, jewel-tone restaurant has become a hotspot for its global and New American small plates, with the grilled cheese, smoked bacon and tomato soup dumplings a must-order. What is brand new at Beauty & Essex are nine seasonal items: tomato tartare, wild mushroom salad, yellowtail sashimi, minestrone soup dumplings, thin crust goat cheese pizzetta, Mediterranean cauliflower, Szechuan chili dusted scallops, lemon mouse strawberry shortcake and tiramisu sundae.
3708 S. Las Vegas, Blvd., Las Vegas, 702.737.0707, beautyandessex.com/las-vegas
Jose Andres’ latest stint in Las Vegas is certainly the Spanish chef’s most interesting and surprising one: He’s the headliner chef of Esports Arena that premiered in March in the former LAX Nightclub at The Luxor. The James Beard Award winner, who was recently honored as Humanitarian of the Year, is an avid video gamer. Andres, whose celebrated Las Vegas restaurants include Bazaar Meat at SLS Las Vegas and Jaleo at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, offers a simple, yet adventurous menu at the two-level, 30,000-square-foot venue that includes maki, rice bowls, flatbreads, sandwiches, soups, salads and desserts.
Esports Arena inside The Luxor, 3900 S. Las Vegas Blvd., Las Vegas, esportsarenavegas.com
Don Chareunsy, editor at TheModern.news, has been based in Las Vegas as an arts and entertainment editor and reporter for the last 10 years. Before moving to The Entertainment Capital of the World in 2008, he worked at The San Diego Union-Tribune from 2002-2007.