Las Vegas is widely known as the entertainment capital of the world, but it is the dining capital of the world, as well – and no doubt Gonzaga, Washington State, West Coast Conference and Pac-12 basketball fans have overrun the Las Vegas Strip this week.
I lived in Las Vegas from 2008-19 before moving back to Spokane in April 2019 to take a job with The Spokesman-Review, and I consider Spokane and Las Vegas home. In fact, I went back to Las Vegas five times last year.
When I am in Las Vegas, dining at new restaurants is at the top of my list. Delilah at Wynn Las Vegas, Casa Playa in the adjoining Encore Las Vegas, Estiatorio Milos at the Venetian and Amalfi by Bobby Flay at Caesars Palace are four notable and outstanding new restaurants on the Las Vegas Strip.
So, for this Las Vegas-centric feature, indulge in these four elevated and fine-dining hotspots while you’re in Las Vegas for the 2022 WCC and Pac-12 basketball tournaments this week – or the next time you’re in Sin City.
By many accounts, Delilah is the hottest restaurant on the Las Vegas Strip right now, and after dining there in January, I can see why. Delilah is opulent and absolutely gorgeous, and the menu and live entertainment perfectly complement the elevated fine-dining experience.
The Great Gatsby ambiance is sophisticated, high-energy and fun. The exquisite dinner: Wagyu beef Wellington, a seafood tower called the Plateau, macaroni gratinee, carrot soufflé, black truffle pomme purée, a brownie and gooey cake for dessert and the cocktails Champagne Papi with Moet and Film Noir (Old Fashioned). I can’t wait to return!
Delilah, designed by Todd-Avery Lenahan, takes its inspiration from the supper clubs and showrooms of Las Vegas in the 1950s. Some singer named Justin Bieber performed at Delilah’s grand opening celebration. You’ll want to make reservations, and you’ll want to dress up.
If you go: Wynn Las Vegas, 3131 S. Las Vegas Blvd., (702) 770-3300, wynnlasvegas.com/dining/fine-dining/delilah.
Dinner at the new Casa Playa in the former Andrea’s, then Elio, in Encore in November was over-the-top because it was for two birthday celebrants. Chef Sarah Thompson’s excellent coastal Mexican and seafood cuisine, with Mariena Mercer Boarini’s always creative cocktails, included fritto misto, chips and salsa, guacamole, Wagyu tacos, fish tacos, octopus, tuna tartare, duck mole, a shrimp cocktail, cauliflower al pastor, branzino, short ribs and dorado (mahi mahi).
Also: Churros for the Table, tres leches cake, a pitcher of Casa Playa margaritas, a bourbon and tequila cocktail, Ornellaia Le Volte, Duckhorn Merlot and Hart Oldvine Zinfandel. After dinner, it was a nightcap at Delilah, where Mercer Boarinia also oversees the fantastic cocktail program. Favorites included the Kylie, Jojo and a strong Old Fashioned.
If you go: Encore Las Vegas, 3131 S. Las Vegas Blvd., (702) 770-5340, wynnlasvegas.com/dining/fine-dining/casa-playa
What’s old is new again, and if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Estiatorio Milos, formerly at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, is now open at the Venetian, and the popular three-course lunch special and fish and seafood display are still intact at the Greek and seafood restaurant.
What was new when I dined there last March: a large, open restaurant space in the former Aquaknox; a big, beautiful bar; a produce display; and a yogurt bar. The exquisite dinner: lightly fried zucchini, sashimi, grilled octopus, branzino, Colorado lamb chops, Greek yogurt, baklava, a surprise birthday dessert for yours truly and wonderful wine pairings.
Also at Milos: celebrity lookalikes of Usher, Mischa Barton, Ian Ziering, Josh Hutcherson and James Cameron. Ha!
If you go: The Venetian, 3355 S. Las Vegas Blvd., (702) 414-1270,venetianlasvegas.com/restaurants/estiatorio-milos.html.
Amalfi by Bobby Flay
Wrapping up a quick trip to Las Vegas for the grand opening of Resorts World in June, I dined at Amalfi by Bobby Flay, which opened that month in the former space of Flay’s longtime Mesa Grill in Caesars Palace. Dinner was roasted butterflied prawns, charred octopus, shellfish fritto misto, grilled whole filleted turbot, grilled whole branzino and three sauces served with the fish – Meyer lemon and capers, salsa verde and red pepper Calabrian chile pesto.
Also: bone-in ribeye, squid ink fettuccine, mascarpone polenta, the desserts Lemon, Lemon, Lemon and olive oil cake and the cocktails Limonata, Espresso Martini and Amalfi and Rosso spritzes. Dinner was exceptional – a home run for Flay and Caesars Palace.
And believe it or not, some of the dishes at Ethan Stowell’s Tavolata in downtown Spokane and Anna Vogel’s Italia Trattoria in Browne’s Addition are comparable to Amalfi, so there are plenty of reasons to be elated about the culinary scene in Spokane and Las Vegas.
If you go: Caesars Palace, S. 3370 Las Vegas Blvd., (702) 650-5965, caesars.com/caesars-palace/restaurants/amalfi
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