Long known as the locals’ casino brand of choice, Station Casinos took a big step when they built Red Rock Casino in 2006. However, recent developments have finally seen the company, founded by Frank Fertitta, Jr., reach out to “foodies” for the first time. Whether east, west, north or south, it seems like the company has is creating something new and different. Focusing on two ventures out of New York, the approaches are quite different though the results are equally impressive.
Starting first at the aforementioned casino in Summerlin, an area long dominated by chains, 2018 saw celebrity Chef Scott Conant leave The Strip in favor of the suburbs, his Masso Osteria replacing Salute at Red Rock in February. Famous for his appearances on Chopped, and a skilled Chef who made Scarpetta a sensation in Manhattan before it opened at The Cosmopolitan, Masso breathes fresh air into standard “red sauce” by focusing on top quality ingredients and technique without overcomplicating the process.
Headed by Victor Rodriguez and managed by Christian Pollock – with his fine dining background bringing professionalism to a staff that is friendly and educated – this spot boasts a wide-ranging menu in which diners are invited to indulge. Some suggestions to start include housemade stromboli stuffed with smoked cheese, or crispy focaccia and pizzas. Those looking for something healthier should certainly consider the kale parmesan salad topped in finely crushed nuts and avocado vinaigrette.
Digging deeper, Conant signatures such as pasta al pomodoro and creamy polenta with plenty of butter plus mushrooms – both must-haves – any pasta offered is also a safe choice. For those dining with a friend – or several – another can’t-miss item arrives in the form of a $65 veal chop pounded thin and topped with tomatoes, sauce and fresh burrata, the result unparalleled even on Las Vegas Boulevard and, at Masso Osteria, several dollars cheaper than the competition.
Not a place to skimp, though the family-style tasting offers a great bargain, Masso’s dessert selections also fare wonderfully. Whether one chooses Scott’s salted caramel budino, banana sticky toffee pudding or a tableside tiramisu, taste buds are bound to be delighted. On Sundays, you can also consider stopping in for brunch, when the space offers a la carte or buffet-style dining, including panettone French toast or 100-layer lasagna.
Traveling almost due east, a newly renovated Palace Station brings Long Island to Las Vegas. Owned and operated by Ralph Perrazzo, B.B.D.’s sees the former chef at Bradley Ogden inside Caesars return to Las Vegas with his concept from Rocky Point, touting “Craftsmanship you can taste.” The acronym stands for Beers, Burgers and Desserts, and the eatery offers all that and then some.
No stranger to Sin City or the world of fine dining, Perazzo also trained in the Michelin three-star kitchen of Jean-Georges Vongerichten, and guests visiting B.B.D.’s will quickly note that Station has put a lot of money into creating something special in the new space. From paintings to menus and a room for on-site butchery, the restaurant with indoor and outdoor entrances makes no mistakes in letting folks know what they are in for.
Focused on high-quality ingredients and scratch-made everything, it seems only right to first examine beverages: beer in cans, bottles and kegs running a gamut of styles at prices far lower than one might expect in such a well-designed space, while the cocktail list also spans wide with top-shelf spirits. Also not skimping on sodas or shakes – the later available in versions both boozy and virgin – suffice to say that Perrazzo cuts no corners in sourcing his ingredients. Soft serve made on-site offers textures that are velvety and flavors that are pure, without additives.
Offering no shortage of snacks to go with burgers and entrees, B.B.D.’s again casts a wide net with three types of wings – chicken, duck and vegan – while additionally seeking to perfect other bar staples such as onion rings served a la French onion soup, or a full 1-pound Bavarian pretzel. B.B.D’s is not about to skimp on cheesy options – including mac, nachos and sticks – but also offers healthy choices such as salads. Those looking for spuds also won’t come up short, as the menu offers tots or fries beneath a variety of toppings.
From steakhouse-style to griddles and steamers, the burger selection from Perrazzo’s team looks to outdo the competition, not only in terms of variety and quality, but also on account of their house-butchered meat, good buns as the base and a la carte options allowing for utmost customization. Additionally serving an “Impossible burger,” plus vegan “Cheese Fake” and falafel on a bun, those not averse to meat will also wish to take a look at steaks finished with butter, plus other regional specialties such as chicken sandwiched by waffles or house-butchered lamb “gyro tacos.”
Not forgetting desserts, B.B.D.’s third eponymous item, the aforementioned shakes and soft-serve sundaes are just the start. Additional options include housemade cinnamon rolls and s’mores, plus the Instagram-friendly passion fruit sunflower. Another smart choice, which cites former Jean Georges Pastry Chef and mentor, Eric Hubert, is Ralph’s take on molten chocolate cake. And what would a concept from New York be without a really good cheesecake?