Top Las Vegas Restaurants

Amongst a wide plethora of eating establishments which litter the streets, hotels and casinos of fabulous Las Vegas, we searched long and hard to serve up our top three candidates for the best restaurants in Las Vegas. Here they are:

1. Rosemary’s

Tucked away in a quiet neighborhood on West Sahara (8125 W. Sahara, Las Vegas, NV 89117), cozy and inviting eatery Rosemary’s serves as one of our favorite picks for best restaurant in Las Vegas. Not only does it combine top-notch food and drinks with an affordability factor unbeknownst to The Strip, it also prides itself on exceptional service in a completely unpretentious atmosphere.

Chefs Michael and Wendy Jordan create an authentic dining experience completely unique to the bustling, over-the-top Vegas that we know so well by providing fare gastronomically inspired from regions like New Orleans, the Midwest and the Deep South. The cuisine also draws from the rich culinary flavors of the French which is evident in many of their award winning dishes. Naturally, Chef Michael Jordon worked under acclaimed Creole creation expert Emeril Lagasse and relocated to Las Vegas to become executive chef for his restaurant Fish House in the MGM Grand.

Aside from the restaurant’s caring wait staff and charming ambiance, the food is one factor that speaks for itself. As dedicated Rosemary’s patrons, we admit that we’ve eaten it all here. With that said, we recommend ordering an array of appetizers instead of the traditional one appetizer, one entree meal so that you can experience the menu’s entire flavor diversities. Chief among our favorite dishes is the wild mushroom and goat cheese gnocchi topped with a chiffonade basil and roasted garlic sauce, which is melt in your mouth delicious. Another top contender is the roasted rack of lamb served with a rosemary bodelaise sauce and kalamata olive mashed potatoes. Other specialties include buttermilk onion-crusted halibut accompanied by garlic spinach and pan-roasted sea scallops with apple beurre blanc served with a parsnip potato puree. As if that isn’t enough, the fish served at Rosemary’s is always undeniably fresh and appetizing, which only adds to the perfect dish.

Rosemary’s also houses a dessert menu which features sweets like chocolate beignets, a luscious creme brulee and lemon ice box pie with raspberry sorbet. They also offer an extensive wine and beer list in order to adequately complement their ingenious cuisine.

On any visit to Las Vegas, do not be deterred by the cab ride to West Sahara.  Rosemary’s Restaurant is well worth the trip.

2. Nobu

Acclaimed eatery, celebrity hotspot and trendy hipster favorite Nobu, located in the chic Hard Rock Hotel and Casino (4455 Paradise Road, Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas, NV 89109) is a serious nominee for our favorite Las Vegas restaurants.

The brainchild of Chef Nobuyuki Matsuhisa, Nobu is a direct replica of his original restaurant in TriBeCa, and features the same stunning Asian inspired interior of wooden birch trees, bamboo pillars, and a wall of gleaming black river rocks.

Although Nobu is primarily home to sushi and sashimi, many of their dishes are prepared cooked or otherwise prepared in a fashion that makes ordinary sushi an extraordinary experience. The sashimi is an innovative creation made of shrimp, oyster, scallop, salmon or whitefish marinated in a flavorful blend of chive, garlic and ginger puree and is a preference for customers who favor their fish cooked.

Kobe beef medallions served atop hot stones and all of the marinated fish entrees are at the top of our list, but our personal favorite is the rock shrimp tempura, which are popcorn shrimp battered and fried in a light tempura batter then tossed with aioli and garlic-chile paste and mixed with a tangy citrus juice. The house specialty, three day marinated black codfish seared and served with a sweet and spicy miso sauce in butter lettuce cups, also deserves considerable attention.

For dessert lovers, Nobu offers a scrumptious variation on classics like a flourless chocolate cake served with green tea ice cream and topped with a white chocolate sauce in a bento box, and a caramelized banana almond cake served with a soy caramel glaze and almond ice cream. An off the menu option is available for desserts which costs around $50 and features a sample tasting of each dessert.

Sure dinner at Nobu may mean losing out on approximately $150 per person, (we recommend splitting food for a more economical alternative), but anyone will tell you that it’s worth the hype and price.

3.  Prime

Located inside the dazzling Bellagio Hotel and Casino, exclusive restaurant Prime (3600 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89109; (702) 693-7223) is far and away the best steakhouse in the country.  It sits head and shoulders above any other marquis restaurant bar none.  Those are strong words, but they are true and come from a Texan who knows his beef.

Prime is the conception of four-star chef and restaurateur, Jean-Georges Vongerichten and features supreme dishes, outstanding service and elegant decor (think old school 1930′s Hollywood glamour) set off by distinguished artwork. Lush velvet drapery, glittering Baccarat chandeliers and a breath taking view a just a few features that made this the Best Steakhouse in Las Vegas by Las Vegas Life Magazine.

Aside from the lavish ornamental interior, Prime is first and foremost all about the dining. The steak is outstanding: a tender and flavorful blend of fat-marbled prime beef aged in highly controlled conditions and is intensified by a wide assortment of sauces and wines that both flow abundantly at Prime. Some stand out dishes are the warm asparagus salad, ribbons of tuna appetizer set in a ginger marinade and our personal favorite, the unprecedented winner, truffled mashed potatoes. Other specialties include the juniper-crusted rack of lamb in a Pinot Noir reduction, served with spetzle and butternut squash and the slow-baked salmon covered in a cherry- tomato vinaigrette.

Although it is hard to leave room for dessert, we have had the opportunity to sample two sweet treats beginning with the soufflé.  Although it was beautifully arranged, we lacked enthusiasm for the orange flavored ice cream which accompanied the dish. We did not, however, share the same problem with the warm Valrhona chocolate cake filled with a gooey molten chocolate center and topped with a vanilla bean ice cream. If you are looking for a place to enjoy dessert while visiting the Bellagio, we’d put Le Cirque one spot higher than Prime, but you shouldn’t be disappointed with either choice.

The wine list, as expected with a restaurant the caliber of Prime, is sufficiently extensive and thorough.  And likewise, you won’t be surprised to learn, is expensive.  What surprised us was the fact that there is such a wide range of varietals and regions offered.  All of the usual suspects are present, along with many unusual options to choose from.  Additionally, there are a number of little-known wines that we were impressed to see.  One of our favorites is the 2007 Ironstone Zin which comes at a bargain for $17 per glass.

Finally, a warning; Prime is pricy (dinner for one, with two glasses of wine and dessert, was $170, including tip) and outrageously worth it.

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