1. The Strip
Essential restaurants: Restaurant Guy Savoy, Carnevino, Bazaar Meat, Portofino, Estiatorios Milos
There's no other way around it: the Strip is not only the culinary center of Las Vegas, but arguably of the United States. Every big-name chef wants to open a place here, and Vegas features the only American restaurants by international heavyweights like Restaurant Guy Savoy, Joel Robuchon, and Pierre Gagnaire -- not to mention the only restaurant anywhere for Giada de Laurentiis, and four each for Gordon Ramsay and Mario Batali. Walk through the MGM Grand, for example, and offerings from Michael Mina, Wolfgang Puck, Tom Colicchio, and Robuchon are just steps from each other... with a new spot from Masaharu Morimoto opening soon. And if you haven't tried Jose Andres' Bazaar Meat or Costas Spiliadis' Estiatorio Milos, you need to ASAP. While Vegas loves star power, it also loves local chefs who rise above the competition, including Roy Ellamar (Harvest), Michael LaPlaca (Portofino, LVB Burgers & Bar), and Rick Moonen (RM Seafood, RX Boiler Room). There's a little bit of everything done exceptionally well, from tacos at Border Grill to fried chicken at Yardbird. If you're complaining about the food on the Strip, let's just say the problem isn't the restaurants.
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