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Many publications attempt to tell you what you should do in Las Vegas during the annual Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, and there is certainly plenty to do. Take my advice, go here: www.nfrexperience.com. It’s the best source of all that is going on and contains the complete schedule of events, shows, and social activities.
That being said: Do you like food? Do you want to know where the best dishes in the city are?
Las Vegas is full of restaurants and sometimes the choices are daunting.
As a seasoned Vegas traveler who has been coming to Sin City for more than three decades, I have narrowed down the choices to what I think are some of the best dishes the city has to offer. These are the places I come back to time and again, and also the places I always recommend and bring my friends, family, and clients.
As a disclaimer, this isn’t the end-all-be-all list because there are hundreds of spots and to each his own. I’m pretty sure, however, that these selections will not disappoint as I have personally tested them all, many times over.
Give one, two, or all a try let me know what you think.
Peppermill 2985 S Las Vegas Blvd
What to eat? Anything! Everything is great and very, very big at this iconic Vegas diner! You will never come to Vegas again and not have breakfast here. A true classic! Be prepared to wait for a table. It’s definitely worth it.
Gallaghers – New York, New York
What to get: Dry-Aged New York Strip
Their signature bone-in steak’s arguably the best steak in Nevada! Also, start with the shrimp cocktail, with shrimp so big you could beat someone silly with just one! Best to make a reservation or you can eat at the bar.
Mon Ami Gabi – Paris Hotel
What to get: Steak and Frites
Like French food? Not sure? Try this one. Mon Ami Gabi, at the base of the Eifel Tower at the Paris Hotel, is an absolute favorite. Make a reservation or get there early and ask for a table on the outdoor patio overlooking the strip (if it’s not too cold!), as Mon Ami Gabi is directly across the strip from the dancing fountains of Bellagio, with a view and atmosphere that’s well worth the excursion. Let your waiter recommend a house-poured wine and order the steak and frites (my fave is the au poivre brandy-peppercorn sauce). Start with the mussels marinère and dip the incredibly warm and crusty french baguette in the sauce. Authentic!
Il Fornaio – New York, New York
What to get: Cristina Pizza
Il Fornaio’s wood-fired pizzas are some of the best in Las Vegas, and this outfit knows how to do it. Their Cristina Pizza is off-the-charts: fresh mozzarella, prosciutto, shaved Grana Padano, mushrooms, and wild arugula; drizzled with white truffle oil. Yowza! This is not a pizza joint, so it is best to make a reservation.
Il Fornaio – New York, New York
What to get: Pennoni Alla Vodka
Besides their wood-fired specialties, Il Fornaio is a master of imported pastas and you can make no mistake ordering the Pennoni Alla Vodka. Large pasta tubes with bacon, vodka-cream-tomato sauce, and Grana Padano. Molto Bene!
Best Quick Lunch
Wolfgang Pucks at the MGM
What to get: Chinois Salad
Wolfgang Pucks at the MGM serves up a quick lunch that keeps you marching. Their Chinois Salad with greens, candied cashews, crisp wontons, and a mustard vinaigrette is a show-stopper: delicious, healthy, and won’t bog you down. You can even order it to go!
Nobu – Hard Rock
If you are adventurous, Nobu is hands down the best sushi in Las Vegas. Be daring. Sit at the sushi bar, give the sushi chef a budget—say, $100—and tell him to surprise you! You won’t be disappointed! Get there early or make a reservation.
Holsteins – Cosmopolitan Hotel
What to get: The Rising Sun Burger
The rise in upscale burger joints in Vegas has grown significantly with burgers taken to a whole new level. Holsteins is right up there with an array of creative choices. Try the Rising Sun Burger with a bucket of fries and let your mouth go wow! Kobe beef, teriyaki glaze, nori furikake, crispy yam, spicy mayonnaise, and tempura avocado.
Joe’s Stone Crab – Caesars Palace
What to get: Cracked Stone Crab
Don’t conflate this restaurant with the Joe’s Crab Shack chain; no-siree! This one is a sister of the famous Miami Beach institution that serves of the most delicious cracked stone crab in the world. Stone crabs come with mustard sauce, and the combination is incomparable. Can get very expensive depending on the size of the claws that you order; start saving up now! Oh, and make a reservation. Special tip: There’s a valet parking area literally 200 steps from the restaurant. Look it up!
Let us know which ones you try, and how you like them at Cowgirl@cowgirlmagazine.com