As with most years dining around Sin City, there was no shortage of great food. From Henderson to Summerlin and the Strip to downtown Las Vegas, the hits just keep coming, whether the meal is breakfast, lunch or dinner. Below is a list of the ten best items from 2018 that locals and tourists alike can still find around town.
Bardot Brasserie - Beef Wellington for Two: A staple of Chef Josh Smith’s dinner menu since 2017, Bardot Brasserie’s Beef Wellington is not only gorgeous, but also thoroughly delicious. A show-stopping plate in terms of size and flavor, what makes this version better than the rest is its golden crust, which Chef Smith protects from becoming soggy by placing a thin layer of Prosciutto between it and the Duxelle before adding rich sauce. Having traveled from café to brasserie and bistro across America, this is but one reason this restaurant from Michael Mina remains the best of its class.
Carson Kitchen - Pork Tenderloin: Nothing less than the restaurant that made downtown a place worth eating, Carson Kitchen’s seasonal pork dish might be their best plate to date. Created by Cory Harwell and Scott Simon, the impact of this dish begins with carefully sourced tenderloin that is then brushed with mustard before being coated in pretzels. Crispy outside and tender within, the salt is then balanced by maple syrup with a bit of sage for fragrance.
Herringbone - Crispy Fish of the Day: Although the fish may change based on market availability, this plate from Chefs Marty Lopez and Christian Concepcion is a sharable star on Herringbone’s market-fresh menu. Reliant on complex spicing and great care, this ‘fried fish’ is nothing like its breaded cousins, thanks to a quick gluten-free dredge, while roasted and pickled vegetables build layers of flavor atop the tangy curry.
Jean Georges Steakhouse - Mishima Ranch Smoked Wagyu Brisket: While steakhouses have always reigned in Las Vegas, it was not until Sean Griffin took the reins at Jean Georges Steakhouse that a clear-cut king was established. From clever sides to A5 Japanese Wagyu and the city’s best fried chicken the elder statesmen of Aria’s second floor seemingly knows no boundaries, but the best dish of them all comes in the form of barbecue. Simply described as Smoked Wagyu Brisket, this incredible piece of meat is in fact an intricate slab of beef and char that cuts like butter. Alone or with added bean sauce, be ready for lots of umami, and be sure to bring some friends.
Shiraz – Fesenjan: A new restaurant from Raja Abdul Majid, Shiraz took the place of Habib’s this summer, and tapping the talents of Jainine Jaffer, the menu ranges from Indian to Persian effortlessly. Guests will surely wish to check out some of the French-trained Chef Jaffer’s childhood favorites, from the Indian menu, but the real star hides about midway down the back as fesenjan. Part shredded chicken and part stew, with the tender bird bathed in pomegranate, what truly sets this Iranian classic apart is the variability from bite to bite, thanks to carefully ground walnuts.
Masso Osteria - Sticky Toffee Banana Pudding: When celebrity chef Scott Consant left the Strip for Summerlin, most were rightfully excited about his signature spaghetti. What fans probably never imagined was that Masso Osteria would also offer a great collection of desserts, including this unique blend of regional sweets. Part pudding in the British tradition, served piping hot and dense with fruit, it is through the addition of boozy sauce that the plate takes on New Orleans’ bananas foster, and although rich enough for two it may be better to order one each and avoid fighting over the final bite.
Rosallie - Almond Croissant: A perennial favorite, one may wonder what makes owner Jonathan Pluvinet’s take on the timeless viennoiserie any better than the rest. The answer lies in almonds that are ground on-site and used to fill layers of flour and butter. Shattering on each bite before yielding contents not overly-sweet with frangipane, this is as close to France as one will find in Sin City and quite possibly the entire United States.
Mr. Lucky’s 24/7 - Cookies & Cream Cakes: Though the fate of ever eatery at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino hangs in the balance with Virgin taking over, this plate from Chad Castanino and Mickey Harden needs to stay. Built on Mr. Lucky’s sweet cream base, and infused with cocoa there will be no syrup necessary as three fluffy disks come loaded with airy mascarpone riddled with crumbled Oreos.
New York Bagel N Bakery – Rainbow Cookie: Serving locals for decades under the Montesano family name it was late-2017 that the brothers returned to action. Once known for pasta and pizza on South Eastern Ave., their newest venture sees the boys and sister Lucille selling housemade bagels, schmears and sandwiches but the real star comes in house-made Italian cookies. From befanini to golosoni and those dotted in cream cheese the choices stretch far and wide, but for those in the know none are better than the cake-like cubes of almond flour and raspberry jam dipped in dark chocolate.
Kitchen at Atomic – Beefy Monkey Bread: Not entirely sweet, this brunch starter from Chef Justin Kingsley Hall will nonetheless impress the adventurous. Built on a flaky base of biscuits generously shellacked with honey, it is through high-temperature baking that fat and flour form a caramelized crust. On top of this, The Kitchen at Atomic subsequently slices Bresaola to form a dish that shows why those 21+ should be at downtown’s oldest bar before noon on weekends.