British-born jet-setter Robin Leach—best known as the charismatic host and executive producer of the television classic Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous—has made Las Vegas his home for the past 13 years, covering the local dining scene in print, on TV and for his Vegas Deluxe website. Leach’s appetizing assignments take him to an endless array of restaurants, and he believes it’s nearly impossible for discerning diners to be disappointed in Sin City. “We have more star chefs in this city than in any other city on Earth,” says Leach. “It’s possible to find a big and bold restaurant in each one of our major hotels on The Strip. And not one of them is overhyped.”
You cannot visit Vegas without eating steak. Our steakhouses here are phenomenal. We have everything from Old Homestead at Caesars Palace to Gordon Ramsay Steak at the Paris. Star chefs like Emeril Lagasse and Mario Batali have their own steak restaurants here, as well. And anybody who comes to Vegas should also visit one of the seven Wolfgang Puck restaurants. Each one is different and they are great places to start since Puck brought celebrity cooking to the U.S.
My top three are all owned by French chefs. The first is Joël Robuchon at MGM Grand, where you can enjoy everything from a five-course dinner to a 19-course dinner. The second is Guy Savoy at Caesars Palace. It’s so exclusive and so private, you feel like you’ve stepped into a world of your own. The third is Twist by Pierre Gagnaire [at Mandarin Oriental]. When you order a dish there, you get it presented in three different ways.
Sometimes you have to step off The Strip and into the shadows to find something you shouldn’t miss. Lotus of Siam is in a dingy [downtown] shopping mall, and it’s the perfect example of “never judge a book by its cover.” It’s extraordinary Thai food, but it doesn’t get much attention from out-of-town visitors.
Other Off-The-Strip Delights
For cheap eats visit the Chinese restaurants on Spring Mountain Road.
For something spicy try La Comida, a Mexican place in the downtown area.
For sweet treats go see chef Megan Romano at her Chocolate & Spice Bakery on West Sahara.
Ultimate Food Day Itinerary
Morning: Start with breakfast at Thomas Keller’s Bouchon at The Venetian, then get an 11 a.m. coffee at Tea Lounge in the Mandarin Oriental.
Afternoon: For lunch, head to the terrace of either the Four Seasons’ Verandah restaurant or Mon Ami Gabi at the Paris.
Night: Enjoy dinner at Wolfgang Puck’s Cut, in The Palazzo, then dessert at Restaurant Guy Savoy in Caesars Palace and late-night cocktails at Hakkasan Restaurant’s Ling Ling Lounge in MGM Grand.