The Required: Las Vegas

The Required: Las Vegas

A definitive guide to Las Vegas' tried and trues, as chosen by over 5000+ of the nation's top chefs, sommeliers, bartenders, & other food and beverage pros.

August 4, 2020
The Required: Las Vegas

The Required: Las Vegas

A definitive guide to Las Vegas' tried and trues, as chosen by over 5000+ of the nation's top chefs, sommeliers, bartenders, & other food and beverage pros.

August 4, 2020

Las Vegas. Sin City. The gambling capital of the world. Home to some excellent food, and now part of our Required club. 

The Required is our expert version of a "best list," comprised of the stand-out restaurants that have garnered the all-time most recommendations from our expert community. That's 5,000+ all-star chefs, sommeliers, bartenders, and more — no black box of food editor committees or user surveys, just plain, crave-able cred.

Read on to plan your next trip — or just to be sure you've checked all the boxes on your home turf. 

Spago Las Vegas

The Story: O.G. Celebrity Chef Wolfgang Puck, made famous in the 1980s for his restaurant Spago in Los Angeles, was also one of the first players to put Las Vegas on the map as a culinary destination with Spago at The Bellagio. Still going strong and consistently rated one of the best restaurants in the country, it’s worth popping in to this culinary institution. 

What to Eat: Many of our Experts head to Spago when they want their handmade pasta fix, in particular the Seasonal Agnolotti “They always have Agnolotti on the menu and it's the reason I go to Spago. In the summer they have my favorite, the sweet corn Agnolotti with Parmigiano-Reggiano and sage. It's absolute perfection!” says Expert/Chef Steven Fretz. Expert/Chef Sally Camacho says “"I've seen them make it, and it's perfect every day. The Agnolotti are always made with seasonal fillings like chestnut, corn, or squash. It's worth just going to the bar and ordering it for a quick Agnolotti fix." For lunch their Smoked Salmon Pizza with Dill Cream and Salmon Pearls recalls 1980’s Beverly Hills. 

What to Drink: Craft cocktails and European wine. 

The Vibe: An elegant dining room with views of the Bellagio fountain and lighting fixtures that remind you that you’re in Fancytown darling, sit up straight and don’t forget to put your napkin in your lap. 

When to Go: Open daily from 11:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., if you’ve got your heart set on going reservations are always a good idea. 

BARDOT Brasserie

The Story: Located inside the ARIA Resort & Casino, Expert/Chef/Benevolent Culinary Genius Michael Mina serves classical French cuisine at BARDOT Brasserie. 

What to Eat: Expert/Chef Kathy Casey is all about the King Crab Crêpe: “"A buckwheat crȇpe is filled with succulent king crab, amazing wild mushrooms and topped with a Normandy beurre blanc. Amazing presentation and flavor!” Expert/Chef Kim Canteenwalla loves the Duck L’Orange: “This is my favorite dish here. I love the use of confit and glazed duck wings, which are very seldom used. They serve it with a maltaise sauce in a blood orange cup, but the duck a l’orange doesn't need it because it stands on its own.”

What to Drink: Fabulous cocktails served in early 20th Century inspired glassware. Pinkies up! 

The Vibe: From the black and white tile floors, to the bistro tables, to the opulent brass accented bar, you could swear you’d been transported to Paris in the 1920’s. 

When to Go: Open daily with some variation in hours, you’d do best to check their website and make reservations before going. 

Esther's Kitchen

The Story: Las Vegas born and raised Expert/Chef James Trees named Esther’s in honor of his great aunt, who supported his culinary education and in 2016 left him a nest egg with which he started his own restaurant. Located at 1130 S. Casino Blvd., Esther's Kitchen is a local favorite for new Italian cuisine and a great spot to stop off the strip. Craft cocktails and colorful, artfully presented seasonal salads, pasta, pizza, and main courses are served on hand-made ceramic plates. 

What to Eat: Our Experts recommend the Yellowtail Crudo with Charred Radish, Apple, Pomegranate Yuzu and Basil. The Mary's Chicken Under a Brick with Charred Veg, Root Vegetable Mash and Sherry Jus also gets high marks for its crispy skin and the flavors of its accompaniments. At Brunch the Ricotta Pancakes with Lemon Butter and Blueberry Hibiscus Compote are a must. 

What to Drink: Seasonal specialty cocktails and a carefully curated wine list featuring Italian imports. 

The Vibe: A casually elegant neighborhood eatery, great for meeting up with friends or going on a laid back date with your sweetheart. 

When to Go: Open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on the weekdays for brunch, lunch and dinner, and 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, reservations, especially for weekend brunches are a good idea. You’ll likely have more luck walking in and getting seated without a huge wait on a weekday. 

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