There’s always a new restaurant to try in Las Vegas, but now more than ever, great local talents are moving to the burbs to open eateries and find juxtaposition with the Strip’s celebrity chef kitchens. Something is always cooking in the city, but these five new must-visit spots are destined not to disappoint.
The great Vegas staple, the steakhouse, returns to its roots thanks to David and Michael Morton, the sons of legendary restaurateur Arnie Morton. The brothers have teamed up to follow in their father’s footsteps with the unveiling of their first joint restaurant concept, MB (My Brothers) Steak, at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.
The eatery is meaty and American at its core, complete with all the classic steakhouse sides such as lobster bisque, a baby iceberg salad and creamed corn. Domestic cuts come from Midwestern ranchers and are simply seasoned with MB Steak’s signature spice blend to let the true flavor come through. The highlight reel features a 32-ounce, bone-in pepper-crusted short rib and, for two, the dry-aged tomahawk with roasted chili rub. There’s also domestic, Australian and Japanese wagyu cuts of New York strip steak for those who desire a taste of luxury.
The seafood options, such as the tuna poke and Alaskan halibut, stand up well against their protein counterparts.
And because nothing goes better with a steak than a cocktail, the bar culture here is not to be ignored. Take your pick between the upstairs garden bar, with a fresh vibe thanks to operable windows that let in the air, adorned with succulents and moss, or the dramatic and intimate downstairs option.
For a taste of what’s up-and-coming on the Strip, make your way to MGM Resorts’ Monte Carlo. Last year, the property became an epicenter for what’s new — literally —when T-Mobile Arena, The Park (an open-air dining and entertainment district) and Park Theater opened adjacent. Now, the hotel-casino has begun a $450 million transition to its next identity as two partner resorts: Park MGM and The NoMad (a sister property to the Forbes Travel Guide Recommended outpost in New York City).
The entertainment hub’s first restaurant concept, Primrose, comes with flair from Provence, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner and featuring an inviting bar that opens up to the renovated lobby. The Martin Brudnizki-designed space evokes the feel of a country house that unfolds over a series of interconnected rooms, including a drawing room and terrace that leads to a lush garden and pool.
The focal point of the kitchen is a custom-built wood-fire grill. Filet mignon and frites, and simply grilled proteins such as salmon and sea bass best showcase all that firepower.
Using herbs grown in the restaurant’s garden, star bartender Emily Yett has created a cocktail menu that recalls the freshest flavors of the earth.
The Black Sheep
Tucked away in the burgeoning southwest corner of Las Vegas, The Black Sheep is American-Asian fusion dining in an intimate 50-seat space. The eatery is lead by chef Jamie Tran, a rising star of the local food scene who previously worked in the kitchens of Four-Star Aureole and DB Brasserie.
The menu changes seasonally, but the creativity that sparks every dish remains a thread as the chef is constantly encouraging her staff to innovate. A few standouts on the fall/winter menu include delicately made salmon skin tacos with salmon belly tartare, an eight-ounce grass-fed rib-eye with scallion chimichurri and an heirloom beet salad with citrus and goat cheese yogurt.
The cocktail and wine selections are vast, varied and well-priced, making for an infinite number of pairings with each dish depending on palate and preference.
Reminiscent of a moody, bustling New York neighborhood eatery, Four-Star The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas’ Blue Ribbon takes chef brothers Bruce and Eric Bromberg back to their roots — innovative American cooking that emphasizes the melting pot of cultures from which it derives influence.
Saddle up to the classic mahogony bar and make that the main focal point or slide into a plush banquette in the open, chandelier-lit dining room.
From either spot, you’ll find many dishes that the siblings perfected in their original SoHo spot such as crispy, juicy fried chicken served with mashed potatoes, gravy and collard greens and a decadent beef marrow and oxtail marmalade accompanied by parsley salt and challah.
You could forgo the classics altogether and take a trip around the world with the eclectic flavors that radiate from the menu. There aren’t many places where you can order hummus to start, followed by matzo ball soup, a pupu platter of pork spare ribs, sesame shrimp and duck egg rolls, paella for the main course with a side of foie gras fries and cheesy spaetzle.
Sparrow + Wolf
Chef Brian Howard, former toque of the now-shuttered Comme Ca in The Cosmopolitan, is one of a handful of culinary talents who have migrated from the Strip to their own kitchens away from the neon lights. Focusing on the delicacies of American cuisine and live-fire techniques, Sparrow + Wolf, located on Spring Mountain Road in the area known as Chinatown, is the new star of the city’s restaurant scene.
The menu is ever-evolving, so be open-minded to the offerings based on what’s fresh and available that day. The beef tartare with toasted sesame, apple and walnut primes the palate for eye-popping items such as the Big Ass Pork Shank, which is quite aptly named.
The spot’s signature dish has become the beef cheek and bone marrow dumplings, while the Chinatown clams casino gets an A-plus for uniqueness with Chinese sausage, shiitake mushrooms and uni hollandaise.
The bar is also a great spot in which to dine or stop by for a well-crafted cocktail. All the libations are driven by the kitchen and incorporate culinary techniques into their preparation, such as the Spring Mountain Sour (Suntory Toki whiskey, yuzu, plum wine and beet foam) and the Jump the Shark (pineapple rum, peanut-infused bourbon, banana, lime and mint served in a shark mug).