Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, Bobby Flay, Gordon…wait, what? Yep, there is a new breed of celebrity in Las Vegas these days, and our taste buds are better off because of it.
When Wolfgang Puck opened Spago in 1992 at the Forum Shops at Caesar Palace, it marked a radical departure from the cheap, greasy spoons and $5 dinner buffets that the city had become famous for. Puck ushered in the era of the celebrity chef, transforming Las Vegas into a culinary hot spot, and one of the best fine dining cities in the United States. Las Vegas is now filled with so many eateries by celebrity chefs that it can be hard to tell the diamonds from the cubic zirconias. But fear not, we’ve got you covered. These five celebrity chef restaurants are so good you’ll have a hard time not breaking Sin City’s famous rule: “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.”
Don’t let the giant bronze steer in front of the restaurant fool you, CarneVino offers so much more than your typical steakhouse, and arguably does it better than anyone else in Las Vegas. Dry-aged steaks cooked to mouth-melting perfection are definitely a highlight of this Mario Batali restaurant. But then again, so are the fresh pastas, organic veal and pork, and seafood dishes, which are complimented by an equally magnificent list of fine wines, beers and spirits. Make sure to try the lardo, a delicious spread made from pork fat, all spice, ginger and rosemary.
Average main: $50 | Website: CarneVino Italian Steakhouse
How do you follow up one of the best sushi restaurants in Las Vegas? Well, if you’re celebrity chef Nobu Matsuhisa, you open up another one at the base of your new hotel tower at Caesars Palace. While Nobu Hard Rock is still as lively and delicious as ever, Matsuhisa’s new restaurant, Nobu Caesars Palace, is his largest yet and the first to feature teppanyaki-style cooking (think Benihana). In addition to sushi and sashimi, Matsuhisa also brings his signature items, like rock shrimp tempura, yellowtail sashimi with jalapeno, black cod with miso and squid “pasta” to his new restaurant as well as a dedicated sake menu filled with the chef’s personal picks.
Average Main: $70 | Website: Nobu Caesars Palace
Michelin three-star chef Guy Savoy brings the brilliance of French cuisine to the Las Vegas Strip at his namesake restaurant on the second floor of the Augustus Tower in Caesars Palace. The menu features many of Savoy’s classic dishes, such as artichoke and black truffle soup garnished with toasted mushroom brioche and truffle butter, and American prime beef tenderloin with carrot paleron cannelloni. Prices are steep and can reach obscene levels when you start digging into restaurant’s 15,000-bottle wine cellar, but this two star Michelin restaurant has made the grade among toughest critics and foodies alike.
Average Main: $165 |Website: Restaurant Guy Savoy
Great cocktails and creative dishes are the hallmarks of celebrity chef Bobby Flay’s Mesa Grill in Caesars Palace. Flay blends southwestern flair with contemporary twists and the results are divine. Signature dishes like ancho chile-honey glazed salmon with spicy black bean sauce and roasted jalapeno cream have earned Mesa Grill the AAA Four Diamond award and a spot on the Conde Nast Traveler’s Hot 100 list.
Average Main: $48 | website: Mesa Grill
Gordon Ramsay was not the first or second or third (you get my drift, right?) celebrity chef to open a hamburger restaurant in Las Vegas, but he has perfected it. Ramsay takes his burgers to the next level by cooking the patties over an open flame fueled by hard woods—the only gourmet burger joint in Las Vegas to use this technique. But burgers are only part of what Ramsay brings to the table. The menu is rounded out nicely by appetizers—the fury chicken wings are to die for—and a good selection of beers, cocktails and milkshakes.
Average Main: $27 | Website: BurGR