These restaurants might have famous fathers and famous stars, but what gets people in every night is the food. And no matter the price, guests flock in from all across the globe – or sometimes just down the street – for a taste of what everyone is talking about.
Mon Ami Gabi, Paris Resort
Executive Chef and Partner Terry Lynch knows he’s got it good when it comes to location. The French bistro’s patio, a sight for soar eyes in any case for Las Vegas, sits across from the Bellagio’s water fountain, a perfect host for diners enjoying Mon Ami Gabi’s traditional French cuisine. Lynch, who studied in Paris, admits “it just feels like a French bistro – but with, of course, the Bellagio in front of you.”
A seasonal chef, Lynch had a hand in creating Mon Ami Gabi’s menu for the States, swinging the company toward a framework surrounded by the changing seasons. A friend of Santa Monica Farmers Market regulars, Mon Ami Gabi changes the menu every week and offers weekly specials like favorites duck a l’orange and braised beef short ribs with chili relish. “I think it works the best when there’s new food all the time, because it keeps it vibrant and it keeps everyone on their toes so they don’t become complacent. It’s just a lot more fun that way.”
Jean Georges Steakhouse
It’s a name that precedes even its Las Vegas home – Jean Georges Vongerichten needs little introduction for foodies across the globe, particularly when it’s packaged inside something as traditional as a steakhouse.
The décor might not scream five star dining, with its dark hue trimming and mama’s-milk custom chandelier, but Jean Georges Steakhouse flirts with the idea that fresh cuisine trumps brilliant ambiance. That’s not to say that James Beard winner Jean Georges Vongerichten doesn’t have a taste for the details that other Michelin star rated chefs crave when starting a signature Las Vegas restaurant, but that kind of swift cut precision is left for the plate. From the sporadic Asian influences and seasoned side dishes that complement each protein like fresh leather does a sports car, with just a simple twist Jean Georges and his steak roughs the competition, daring to suggestion a side of vegetables or starch are just as important as the freshly delivered veal chop or Sablefish.
L’ Atelier de Joël Robuchon, MGM Grand
Thick French accents and platefuls of French fusion cuisine welcome guests into MGM’s L’ Atelier de Joël Robuchon, one of only a sprinkling of restaurants from the chef who has amassed 26 Michelin stars. But L’ Atelier is a bit different than what you’d expect from this French trained chef and master – almost in complete contrast to the simple flavors and design of others, L’ Atelier is bold with red and black accents and strong Japanese influence.
Like the rest of the chefs hosting their famed restaurants in the desert, Mr. Robuchon can charge a massive $500+ person to his place with entrees that are tapa in style, but bold in flavor. From the pommes puree to Le Rumsteack en Tartare et ses Frites à L'ancienne, Robuchon’s French background is still front and center but it’s the language of the Japanese, namely food prepared right in front of you for various tasting menus, that pulls the weight in this place.
Mastro’s Ocean Club
Standing out in Crystal’s CityCenter is Mastro’s Ocean Club, a dining experience that lives up to the visionary perfection within Las Vegas’ newest circle. Housed in a glass castle and more specifically, the interior garden Tree House, Mastro’s Ocean Club epitomizes expense. Serving platters of gold steaks, martinis and seafood towers, envision serenity within a plate full of freshly prepared seafood amid a maestro of chefs inspired by the master himself. The first in Nevada, the nationally recognized steak and seafood house handles precision with ease.
Mastro’s Ocean Club classics are present, like the lobster mashed potatoes, bone-in filet and Seafood Tower, but what makes this location so serene are its surroundings. Built for lavish parties, Director of Events Carly Smith handles parties of 12 to 300. The Tree House often remains the main draw to the Las Vegas location, while Mastro’s Ocean Club habitual customers will be pleased to see the familiar, and famed, three tiered iced seafood tower in full glory.
Le Cirque, Bellagio
It might look like the entrance to one of the Strip’s many Cirque du Soleil shows, but Le Cirque’s AAA Five Diamond menu is a far cry from the acrobatics that envelope most of Las Vegas’ stages. The subtle color notes make the site “more lush” than its New York brother, says GM Ivo Angelov, and become even more vibrant once filled with some of Le Cirque’s signature entrees from the opulent Dégustation Menu featuring five courses, to the pre-theater” preview menu.
While the three decade old company might have gained international attention for its former chef Daniel Boulud, James Beard nominee Gregory Pugin doesn’t have trouble retaining foodies with his unique spin. Aside from the traditional Le Cirque provisions, the Joël Robuchon understudy comes up with new dishes to compete with Boulud’s classics – including, notes Ivo, the sea urchin risotto delivered fresh from California.