Celebrity chefs among the brightest lights on the Las Vegas Strip.
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Wolfgang Puck started it all when he opened Spago at The Forum Shops at Caesars in 1992 (his restaurant moved to Bellagio in 2018); since then, the parade shows no signs of ending. Every major Strip resort has at least one celebrity chef-driven restaurant, and while prices are sky-high, so is the quality of the food at the best.
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Michael Mina’s signature parfait is on the menu here with foie gras instead of caviar, along with throwbacks like lobster Thermidor and the oh-so-Gallic scallops Vernonique. The Belle Époque atmosphere of this restaurant on Aria’s mezzanine seems particularly well-suited to brunch, served on weekends with a broad, French-inflected menu accompanied by a Champagne cart and the option of “All Day Rosé.”
This Cromwell spot with an expansive corner view of Las Vegas’s most bustling intersection was Giada de Laurentiis’ first restaurant anywhere, and it immediately took off, soon adding brunch in an effort just to get everyone in. Her fresh, seasonal take on traditional Italian cuisine is shown here in signatures such as spaghetti with shrimp, mascarpone, lemon, and basil. The pastries are second to none; be sure to grab something from the roving, monogrammed dessert cart. For a more casual taste of Giada, consider Pronto by Giada at Caesars Palace.
INSIDER TIPSince Las Vegas restaurant prices have risen to become the highest in the country, celebrity-chef spots often are out of the reach of visitors not on expense accounts. Instead, consider one of the chefs’ more casual spots, or go at lunch, if possible.
Gordon Ramsay Steak
Ramsay’s Las Vegas flagship is at Paris Las Vegas, and the proud Brit dreamed up a Chunnel-like entrance to emphasize the cultural transition. Ramsay’s signatures like beef Wellington and sticky toffee pudding are on the menu here and—just one sign of the chef’s famous obsession with perfection—the steaks and chops are brought predinner to help guests make their selections. There’s a tasting menu and a preshow menu, and Ramsay has four other Las Vegas restaurants.
The Spanish-born José Andres, known for popularizing the tapas tradition in the United States, offers a whole palette of them at his restaurant in The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, many starring the spectacular Jamón Ibérico Fermin. But don’t miss the paellas prepared over burning wood, in massive flat pans that can serve up to eight. Less widely known about Jaleo is the intimate restaurant-within-a-restaurant with only two seatings a night, which serves avant-garde Spanish cuisine. A more casual taste of Andres’s food is available at his next-door China Poblano.
Jean-Georges Vongerichten set the standard for Las Vegas steak houses with Prime, which opened with Bellagio 20 years ago, and brought that same standard of perfection to his restaurant at Aria. Genuine Kobe A5 (the best of the best) is showcased here, along with tableside-carving presentations of smoked wagyu brisket, a 42-ounce Wagyu tomahawk, and 32-ounce bone-in Chateaubriand, grilled over apricot wood and finished with rendered beef fat. A six-course tasting menu is available, too.
The late French culinary lion’s American flagship (a less expensive, more casual L’Atelier Joel Robuchon sits next door) has long been considered the pinnacle of fine dining in Las Vegas, even earning three Michelin stars when the company ranked the city’s restaurants. And though Robuchon himself passed in 2018, a flock of disciples maintains his standards of excellence. Here you’ll find multicourse tasting menus of the chef’s many culinary triumphs, including the lowly mashed potato elevated to fine art.
Momofuku Las Vegas
David Chang brings his conventional unconventional game to The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, freely borrowing from a variety of cuisines; hence, the kimchi and maple labne served with his Honeycrisp salad. If you’re in town with friends, bring the whole group for one of the large-format options like the Bo Ssam (slow-roasted pork shoulder with oysters, rice, bibb lettuce, kimchi, hoisin, ssam sauce, and ginger-scallion sauce).
Morimoto Las Vegas
The Iron Chef himself drops in from time to time at this expansive spot at MGM Grand that’s filled with images of Masaharu Morimoto and his homeland; the large-format, black-and-white prints are particularly striking. Morimoto’s talent for deploying the unexpected and sometimes whimsical shows in dishes such as his pork chashu salad and Duck Duck Goose entrée, but the more conventional is there, too, including sushi and sashimi, and there are rumors he’s considering a teppan room in Las Vegas.
Restaurant Guy Savoy
Guy Savoy established a beachhead at Caesars Palace for lovers of all things opulent, especially those things that happen to have French accents. So here you’ll find the master’s signatures such as artichoke and black truffle soup, but you can also indulge in a caviar tasting menu accompanied by Krug Grand Cuvée, or opt for the private, carefully curated experience of the Krug Chef’s Table, which presents 10 courses for two to six people.
Shawn McClain has established a reputation for creativity and ardent dedication to quality and shows it off at his restaurant at Aria in dishes such as foie gras brûlée with toasted cocoa nibs, and roasted duck breast with salted turnips and leeks. And here’s some Sage advice: Don’t miss the absinthe menu, the most extensive in Las Vegas. McClain also has a casual spot, Libertine Social, at Mandalay Bay.