French culinary master Joel Robuchon helms the only restaurant in Vegas that holds three out of three coveted Michelin stars. The space is classy and intimate, with limited tables, plush purple banquette couches, and a crystal chandelier overhead. Although there's an a la carte menu and several prix-fixed options, many diners opt for the restaurant's 16-course tasting menu ($385 per person) that covers everything from lobster, to veal, to frogs legs, to risotto and scallops. And this being Vegas, every inventive dish is served as a piece of art.
Restaurant Guy Savoy
The only U.S. outpost of a French restaurant by the same name, Restaurant Guy Savoy seamlessly blends gastronomic excellence with Vegas showmanship. Guests are often greeted by Guy's son Franck (who runs the show here) and are always dazzled with over-the-top carts pushed around the room: one each for bread, champagne, cheese, and dessert. The restaurant's crown jewel is its 10-course Menu Prestige, which is served over three to four hours and includes house specialties like artichoke black truffle soup and Colors of Caviar -- layered varieties and preparations of caviar served on a mother of pearl spoon.
Chef Alessandro Stratta brings French Riviera cuisine to Las Vegas at this two-Michelin-starred restaurant. Chef Alex's traditional French cooking incorporates foods from around the world -- items like Wagyu beef, ahi tuna, and Maine lobster accompany frogs legs, veal sweetbreads, and squab on the menu. In a formal dining room complete witfh sconces and iridescent swathes, diners can choose from a three-course prix-fixed menu for $125 or can opt for the $185 tasting menu.
Eleven real Picasso paintings line the walls; Picasso's dining room might be the closest equal to a fine arts museum on the Vegas Strip. Chef Julian Serrano cooks up traditional French fare served with mostly-traditional presentations. Pigeon, deer, foie gras, and poached oysters all make an appearance on the menu, which can be enjoyed several different ways, including a five-course tasting menu for $123 or a four-course prix-fixed a la cart dinner for $113. Downstairs, the cellar holds 1,500 different wines.
L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon
The genius of Joel Robuchon is impressive enough to land him on our list twice. "L'atelier" means workshop in French, but don't be fooled by the name: Robuchon has his cuisine, served here mostly as small plates, down to a delicious science. His creative tasting-size dishes run the gamut from mahi mahi carpaccio, to a steamed egg in a macaroni ring, to foie gras stuffed quail served with truffled mashed potatoes. If you sit at the bar facing the open kitchen, you can watch his science in action.
Restauranteur Sirio Maccioni brings the success of his New York mainstay to Las Vegas, dishing up classic French food with a side of whimsy. Dover sole, roasted chicken, beef tenderloin -- all the usuals are here. But the presentations are eye-catching and colorful, painted monkeys swing from the edge of the plates, and tasteful swathes turn the ceiling into a subtle circus top. For a real standout, order the tasting menu to try the risotto with alba white truffles.
Most of the restaurants on our list are French, but Michael Mina (the restaurant and the man) is American through and through. The menu features classic dishes (ahi tuna tartare, American Kobe ribeye) alongside Mina's more playful inventions like lobster pot pie, ice cream lollipops, and a mini root beer float. A vegetarian tasting menu will keep herbivores happy (with items like potato soup with tempura of foraged mushrooms); fine dining can be tough for vegetarians in this steak- and raw bar-obsessed town.
Chef and restauranteur Nobu Matsuhisa has built an empire around his modern Japanese cooking (there are now 19 Nobus around the world). The sushi is fresh, the space is intimate and decorated with bamboo, and the specialties that have garnered Matsuhisa with so much acclaim line the menu: lobster ceviche with citrus flavors, rock shrimp tempura with spicy sauce, and three-day marinated black cod with sweet miso sauce, to name a few.
San Fran Bay Area chef Bradley Ogden has been a pioneer of the farm fresh and organic movements in America, which won't be a surprise when you see the foods that wind up on his tables. Ogden and his son man the kitchen and turn out delights like Maytag blue cheese souffle with quince puree and candied walnuts, oak-fired pork chop with gala apple ragout, and hot and cold foie gras with kumquats. Plus, a three-course a la carte prix-fixed menu is available for a not-too-outrageous $59.