If there's one thing you can say definitely about Vegas, it's that things change a ton over the course of a year. Luckily, that means in 2015 there will be... um, no more Britney Spears (hopefully!), and there will definitely be a slew of epic new restaurants, at least if this list of the 11 best new restaurants of 2014 is anything to go by...
Red Rock Hotel & Casino
This spot just opened its doors like 5 minutes ago. It built a slow and steady buzz throughout the summer, thanks in part to the fact that 90% of the dishes are wood-roasted in one of two oversize hearth ovens (now you know how the place got its name), but mostly 'cause they've got apps like truffle popcorn, a meat-/cheese-heavy charcuterie menu, and entrees like poached Alaskan salmon and Wagyu short ribs.
SLS Las Vegas
There are more than a few cool new restaurants at the new SLS Las Vegas, but if you have to blow the money that you just won at the tables, do it at Bazaar Meat. Chef José Andrés makes sure that there’s plenty to keep a carnivore satisfied, from carpaccios and tartares to a deep selection of steaks from the best ranches across the country. It’s also the only place where you’ll likely find foie gras cotton candy.
You could be visiting The Cromwell to party on the roof or to check into one of those cool rooms with the two-way mirror, but chances are you just want to see what all the fuss is about at Giada. The famous Food Network cook is serving Italian-/Californian-inspired cuisine that lives up to the hype, and the resto has the perfect view of the busiest intersection on the Strip, too.
The Vegas Nocturne variety show may be long gone, but the restaurant and lounge continues to offer a social club atmosphere, delicious draft cocktails, and an impressively diverse menu that includes a unique caviar selection, plus other classic eats reinvented in small-plate form. Oh, and there’re still a few entertainers around who aren’t shy about dancing on your table.
One side of the menu is American, the other is Japanese... but somehow it all seems to work within the casual, modern atmosphere at the new Downtown Summerlin shopping and entertainment district. Whether you’re chowing down on the Bamboo Bite specialty roll or the Chicken Apple Sausage flatbread, don’t be surprised if this becomes your new go-to restaurant on the West side.
Kerry Simon is the first celebrity chef to hit the Fremont East District, which suggests the next phase of Downtown rejuvenation will follow him to Carson Ave, but for now he's ahead of the game with this casual restaurant that comes with a perfectly comfortable patio on the roof and creative dishes like the Crispy Chicken Skins, which could be the best new appetizer of 2014.
The Mirage Hotel & Casino
Onda Ristorante dropped its name, hired a new chef, completely reinvented itself, and became one of the best Italian joints on the Strip. They fly fresh ingredients in directly from Italy and turn them turn into creative dishes like a Chicken Rollatini Parmesan.
The foodie friendly tavern is already a popular social spot thanks to dishes like Black Truffle Cheese Fondue and Smoked KC Style BBQ Ribs, which you can follow with a Bag of Donut Holes for dessert before working off all those calories by playing the vintage arcade games near the bar.
Red Rock Hotel & Casino
Mercadito has some of the best mango guacamole you’ll find in the West Valley... but the real draw is the wide selection of Mexican dishes they're serving tapas-style. That means the food comes out when it’s ready. So don’t worry if your date got her Queso Fundido before you got your Corn Masa Quesadillas.
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1. Hearthstone Kitchen & Cellar11011 W Charleston Blvd, Las Vegas
2. Bazaar Meat2535 Las Vegas Blvd, Paradise
3. db Brasserie3355 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas
4. Yusho3770 S Las Vegas BLVD, Paradise
5. Giada3595 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas
6. Rose. Rabbit. Lie.3708 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas
7. CRAVE Restaurant10970 Rosemary Park Dr, Las Vegas
8. Carson Kitchen124 S 6th St Ste 100, Las Vegas
9. Portofino3400 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas
10. Made.LV440 S Rampart Blvd, Las Vegas
11. Mercadito11011 W Charleston Blvd, Las Vegas
90% of the dishes are wood-roasted in one of two oversize hearth ovens at this appropriately named rustic eatery on The Strip. Hearthstone also offers great shareable appetizers truffle popcorn, meat and cheese charcuterie; entree selections include poached Alaskan salmon and Wagyu short ribs.
If you have money to blow after hitting the casino floor, spend your chunk of change at Bazaar Meat. A luxe, shadowy and chandelier laden den of a restaurant, chef José Andrés makes sure that there’s plenty to keep high-rolling carnivores satisfied, from prime aged carpaccios and tartares. This spot also the only place where you’ll likely find foie gras cotton candy.
Internationally acclaimed chef Daniel Boulud is the mastermind behind this sleek, luxurious French eatery tucked away inside the Venetian. He's serving up modern takes on French eats, with classics like Pâté de Campagne bourguignon and Parisian steak tartare, but he's also shaking things up with American takes like California white sea bass and the Frenchie Burger (an angus beef patty with morbier cheese, confit pork belly and arugula on a black pepper bun).
Chef Matthias Merges brings Yusho to the Monte Carlo, where you can score Japanese bites inspired by street food, like steamed buns, various types of noodles, and assorted kimchi.
This new Italian- and Mediterranean-inspired resto has floor-to-ceiling views of the busiest intersection on the Strip. Call for a reservation because everyone else wants eat here too.
Not your typical restaurant, Rose. Rabbit. Lie. features a waaaay more than just the extra punctuation. This social club experience combines fine dining with next-level performances featuring contortionists, dancers, actors, and more, all in the heart of The Cosmopolitan.
One side of the menu is American, the other is Japanese... but somehow it all seems to work within the casual, modern atmosphere at the Downtown Summerlin shopping and entertainment district. Whether you’re chowing down on the Bamboo Bite specialty roll or the Chicken Apple Sausage flatbread, don’t be surprised if this becomes your new go-to restaurant on the West side.
This Downtown rooftop bar has quite possibly the best appetizer menu in Vegas-- shareable plates like veal meatballs, short rib sliders, crispy chicken skins, and deviled eggs topped with caviar are all on order. If that weren't enticing enough, Carson Kitchen offers a well curated selection of cocktails and regularly hosts live bands on their swanky outdoor patio.
An alum of other Strip spots like Bouchon and Alex, Chef Michael LaPlaca brings his coastal Italian cuisine to the Mirage Resort & Casino with romantic Portofino, where he uses ingredients imported from Italy to create modern takes on traditional dishes, such as crab cake arancini and meatballs topped with cheese-stuffed squash blossoms. The Tuscan-influenced restaurant hand-crafts its pasta, too, which you can try in plates like pork-cheek ravioli and ripatelli with wild-boar bolognese. LaPlaca even keeps his gluten-free customers in mind with a separate menu of pasta made from arborio rice flour.
This pub and restaurant is casual and relaxed with food made with fresh farm-to-table ingredients. Get the bacon and eggs -- made with thick cut bacon, deviled eggs, red onion jam, and grilled multigrain bread.
This new resto in the Red Rock is putting a twist on traditional Mexican fare, with blackened swordfish and pork belly tacos as well as a mango guacamole that's so addictive you could be hospitalized for a potassium overdose.