Like much of the country, Las Vegas is currently experiencing a shift toward all things heritage, heirloom and Americana. This is evidenced by the recent near-simultaneous arrival of Ogden’s Hops & Harvest (as in chef Bradley Ogden) in Tivoli Village and Forbes Travel Guide Tastemaker Tom Colicchio’s Heritage Steak at The Mirage. Regardless of cuisine, a few existing restaurants have found a way to get in on the trend by bringing back the notion of the Sunday dinner. Probably not what you would expect to find in Sin City, but after handing over a month’s wages to the roulette wheel, really, is there anything more comforting?
Sunday Cochinillo Roast at Jaleo
Sundays beginning at 4 p.m., the familiar scent of the wood-burning paella fire at the center of Jaleo’s dining room (inside Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas) is replaced by the unmistakable, heady aroma of roasting pork. This alone has the power to lure passersby in for a family-style Sunday cena (dinner). A heaping plate of succulent sliced cochinillo — fire-roasted suckling pig — will feed four for $35, along with crispy skin, pan con tomate (toasted bread with tomato), mojo verde (green salsa) and alioli (Catalan for aioli), making this just about the best deal in town. Feeding an army? Great! One whole cochinillo yields 15 to 20 plates of meat, feeding up to 60 guests. Las Vegas is one of the reunion capitals of the world, you know. And if you can’t make it to Forbes Travel Guide Tastemaker José Andrés’ Jaleo on Sunday, whole roasts are also available for purchase Monday through Saturday with 36 hours’ notice.
Biloxi Buttermilk Fried Chicken Sunday Dinner at Honey Salt
The heyday of the blue-plate special may be over, but no one told husband-and-wife restaurateurs Elizabeth Blau and chef Kim Canteenwalla. And after a bite of their buttermilk fried chicken, no one is likely to either. Inspired by exemplary roadside-shack chicken in Biloxi, Mississippi, where the foodie power couple met, Honey Salt’s chef Joe Zanelli created a Sunday dinner that is already something of a new tradition in Summerlin: four pieces of juicy buttermilk-brined chicken, the meat still moist beneath a crust of fried batter, served with two market sides (think mashed potatoes and green beans). Seasonal farm-to-table cuisine is Honey Salt’s forte, so there are plenty of healthier options including My Wife’s Favorite Salad and a killer kale Caesar. “Still, that crispy skin and juicy meat is really what everyone craves,” Blau says. “It’s just a perfect way to wrap up your weekend, a nice little indulgence before the workweek kicks off.” Sunday chicken dinner is available 5-10 p.m. for $23, but err on the early side, because when the chicken is gone, it’s gone.
Sunday Prime Rib Dinner at Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar
This prime rib dinner was so popular that Fleming’s has had to make it available on Mondays, too, for a limited time. And who can blame them: Locals and fans of the chain turned out in herds for the three-course, $29.95 prime rib dinner — not a bad way to end a Las Vegas weekend. Making for one great date night, the guest experience begins with a choice of salad — the New Wedge, Fleming’s salad or modern Caesar — followed by Fleming’s prime rib au jus, served with creamy horseradish and Dijon sauces, and a side; dessert is your choice. This is also home to the Fleming’s 100, the tidy list of 100 hand-selected wines by the glass (ranging from Veuve Clicquot to Stags’ Leap petite syrah) that has garnered accolades including the annual Wine Enthusiast’s Award of Distinction and Wine Spectator’s Award of Excellence.
Cucina Sunday Family-Style Dinner at Wolfgang Puck Pizzeria & Cucina
Trick even the most disaffected teenager into sitting down to family dinner: It’s rustic Italian. In a mall! Of course, this is The Shops at Crystals, and that Italian is of the august Wolfgang Puck variety, presided over by chef Dustin Lewandowski, but don’t let that stop you. Sunday dinner runs 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m., $28 per person for four or more, with $28 bottles of Forbes Travel Guide Tastemaker Puck’s own wine to boot. What’s on the table? Four provincial, seasonal Italian courses are served family style, beginning with antipasti, such as calamari fritto or artisanal charcuterie, and insalata, either Caprese or Caesar. Secondi dishes include tomato-braised pork ragu with fennel sausage and housemade tagliatelle, four-cheese ravioli in a creamy tomato sauce, or mesquite grilled chicken with sautéed zucchini. And since no Italian meal is complete without dolci, finish up with a classic tiramisu or warm zeppole, Italy’s answer to the doughnut. If the teens balk, just tell them those are being served ironically.
Photos Courtesy of Flemings, Noah Fecks, Honey Salt and Cucina