Let’s be honest: the centerpiece to any fabulous Vegas getaway is the food. Las Vegas is home to world-class dining and there’s no better way to sample The Strip than by indulging in a cornucopia of culinary pleasures to heighten a stay and play adventure.
For nearly 25 years, Caesars Entertainment has showcased the celebrity chef experience. Wolfgang Puck’s creations debuted here in 1992 and, since then, an impressive line-up of culinary stars have opened their doors and welcomed guests. From Bobby Flay to Guy Fieri, there’s a menu for everyone, no matter your tastes.
During my stay at Flamingo Las Vegas (http://flamingolasvegas.com), I was delighted to be right next door to GIADA by celebrity chef Giada De Laurentiis (http://www.giadadelaurentiis.com/vegas). Located in The Cromwell, the restaurant offers amazing views of Las Vegas Boulevard, where the Bellagio fountains take center stage. My spouse and I were seated at a table that also offered incredible views of Caesars Palace fountains and statues.
While the restaurant is upscale, the décor and atmosphere is warm and comfortable with intimate table-for-two window seats or grand tables for larger gatherings. The menu boasts Italian cuisine with a touch of Californian character. The dinner menu includes selections such as lemon spaghetti or marsala herb chicken meatballs. For a full GIADA experience, you may want to indulge in the dinner or brunch Tasting Menus which provide a three-course experience, accompanied by dessert.
For breakfast, my spouse and I sampled a few of Giada’s classics. We started with Marinated Olives and enjoyed the herb and citrus flavors. I enjoyed the Breakfast American with scrambled eggs, lemon smashed potatoes, and the most amazing sweet sausage meatballs. I couldn’t resist sampling my spouse’s Muffuletta sandwich with a hearty mix of mortadella, finocchiona, porchetta, prosciutto cotto, and aged provolone. Our entrees were perfectly presented with enticing aromas luring us in for the grand experience. On a future visit, I’m likely to try the Strawberry Polenta Waffle with fresh strawberries, grilled pineapple, and Nutella.
GIADA was a fabulous way to start the day with a beautiful breakfast, but dinner was just around the corner. I was tempted by the menu at Gordon Ramsay Steak and the strip-facing patio of Guy Fieri’s Vegas Kitchen & Bar, and several other celebrity chef venues, but ultimately took a seat at Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill, located inside Caesars Palace (http://www.gordonramsayrestaurants.com/pub-and-grill-las-vegas).
While the restaurant can accommodate nearly three hundred guests, I found Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill to be incredibly intimate for a late night dinner. My spouse and I were seated at a comfortable booth within sight of the impressive bar that offers 36 beers on tap and another 63 bottled varieties. Our server suggested Innis & Gunn, noting this is “Gordon’s favorite,” and I was delighted with this choice and how well it paired with our menu selections.
To start, we sampled Maine Lobster & Shrimp Roll Minis with a lemon-garlic mayo on quite possibly the freshest Brioche I have ever tasted. The seafood was flavorful and garnished well, and I would say this was one of the best lobster rolls I’ve had coast to coast—and I have eaten more than my share of lobster rolls. The Mixed Green Salad was a welcome addition with just the right amount of white balsamic vinaigrette and sweet roasted cashews for a delightful flavor combination.
From the oak fire grill, we ordered a 12oz Grilled NY Strip with peppercorn brandy sauce. The steak, ordered medium-well, was delicately charred on the outside and outstandingly juicy on the inside. The sauce wasn’t necessary for how beautiful the steak was prepared, but the peppercorn brandy sauce was light and a pleasant accompaniment. For a side, I couldn’t resist the Lobster Mac ‘N’ Cheese, which had an amazing combination of Gruyere with English cheddar and parmesan. This was a true comfort food experience with a unique twist on a classic dish.
Our table service was attentive and friendly, and helpful in suggesting some of Gordon Ramsay’s personal favorites. We saved barely enough room for dessert and sampled the Eton Mess Parfait—a vanilla bean custard with red berry fool, strawberry-rhubarb sorbet, and meringue—which was so light and airy, while still presenting a perfect touch of sweetness. The “write home about” dessert was the Sticky Toffee Pudding. I’ve sampled a few desserts that claim to accomplish what Ramsay’s Sticky Toffee Pudding does so expertly, but never have I tasted such perfection in a dessert. This was a melt-in-your-mouth experience with buttery warm toffee and an almond brittle that hit all the taste buds. I’m already making plans to return to Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill if only to order a second helping of the Sticky Toffee Pudding. This dessert, by the way, is also offered in a Hard Shake with a dose of Jameson Irish Whiskey.
Later this fall, Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill is debuting new menu options, but many of the fan favorites and Ramsay classics will continue on. For a look at the current menu, visit http://www.caesars.com/caesars-palace/restaurants/gordon-ramsay-pub-and-grill.
The Las Vegas Strip is home to an amazing assortment of celebrity chef restaurants and after sampling GIADA and Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill, this is an experience I recommend to friends and will definitely continue to explore on my own. Some of my dining was provided by hosts at Caesars Entertainment, though all opinions shared are my own based on my individual dining experience.
For more menu information and to make reservations at these celebrity chef restaurants, visit http://www.caesars.com/las-vegas/restaurants/celebrity-chefs.
Photography by CT Shier.
Gordon Ramsay Fish & Chips opens this fall on the The Linq’s Promenade. The restaurant will feature Ramsay’s signature fish and chips, and provide a takeaway-style dining experience where guests will be able to view the chefs in action.