Las Vegas is home to the stars — Michelin stars, that is. Once a land of steak-and-egg buffets, Las Vegas has evolved into a foodies’ paradise, with an ever-expanding roster of celebrity chefs and 17 restaurants earning coveted Michelin stars in 2009. Quantity is on the rise as well, with some mega resorts hosting upwards of 15 eateries. So to earn a spot on this best Las Vegas restaurants list, a hotel must deliver a good variety of cuisines as well as high quality.
Caesars Palace is one of the few hotels in Las Vegas to house so many top-tiered and Michelin-starred restaurants. The two-star Restaurant Guy Savoy serves inventive French dishes, such as artichoke and black truffle soup. Bradley Ogden's eponymous restaurant has one Michelin star, and Mesa Grill, the Las Vegas outpost of Bobby Flay's flagship New York restaurant, earned one in 2008. Mesa Grill serves Southwestern fare, while Bradley Ogden, winner of the James Beard Foundation's Best Restaurant of the Year award in 2004, serves up traditional American cuisine.
Among the 14 restaurants at the Wynn are two Michelin-starred restaurants and multiple James Beard award-winning chefs. Top among them is Alex, a two-star French restaurant and easily one of the best dining venues in Vegas. The tasting menu runs around $185; $295 with wine pairing. The other standouts include Chinese fusion restaurant Wing Lei, with one Michelin star, and Bartolotta, a seafood restaurant helmed by James Beard award-winning chef Paul Bartolotta.
The Bellagio is one of two hotels in Las Vegas that's home to three Michelin-starred restaurants. Le Cirque, the Vegas outpost of the famous New York flagship, earned one, as did Michael Mina. Picasso, which is decorated with actual Picassos, serves French dishes, such as roasted pigeon with wild rice risotto. It earned two Michelin stars. If none of those restaurants passes muster, the hotel gives guests nearly 20 other choices, including a buffet that's considered the best on the Las Vegas Strip.
The number of celebrity chef-led restaurants at the MGM is daunting. Joel Rubuchon, who was recently named "Chef of the Century" by the respected Gault Millau French restaurant guide, helms the eponymous Joel Robuchon, the only restaurant in Las Vegas to win three Michelin stars. The four prix fixe menus range in price from $89 to $195 per person. His second restaurant at the MGM, L'Atelier, won one Michelin star and serves dishes like fois-gras-stuffed free-range quail. The hotel's other notable restaurants are Nobhill Tavern and SEABLUE by Michael Mina; CraftSteak by Tom Colicchio; Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill by Wolfgang Puck; and Emeril's by Emeril Lagasse.
The Palazzo boasts an impressive roster of celebrity chefs, including Mario Batali, Emeril Lagasse, and Wolfgang Puck. The notable culinary highlights include Restaurant Charlie (as in celebrity chef Charlie Trotter), a seafood restaurant that earned a Michelin star, the dueling steak houses (Puck's CUT versus Batali's Carnevino), and the New American offerings of Lagasse's Table 10. The popular Dos Cominos serves what's been called the best guacamole on the Strip (at least 700 orders a night).
Aureole, opened by chef Charlie Palmer in 1999, has maintained its reputation for culinary excellence for a decade, winning a Michelin star in 2008 and 2009. Its menu of American cuisine changes seasonally and features dishes like monkfish osso buco and black angus New York strip steak. Mix, a French and American restuarant led by star chef Alain Ducasse, also received a Michelin star in 2009. Guests staying at the adjoining THEhotel and Four Seasons also have easy access to the 23 dining options in the Mandalay Bay complex, the most on the Strip.
As the Palazzo's sister property, the Venetian shares some of the same impressive celebrity chefs -- but has its own impressive stable of restaurants too, including Emeril Lagasse's Delmonico's Steakhouse, Mario Batali's B&B, the French bistro Bouchon by Thomas Keller, and David Burke by, yes, you guessed it -- David Burke. The restaurants of both properties are housed under the same roof, so they're easily accessible to both Palazzo and Venetian guests. Of the Venetian's 21 restaurants, eight are Italian eateries.