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Visit Las Vegas for Festive Foodie Fun

In addition to world-class entertainment, gaming, and shopping, Las Vegas is a definite go-to destination for food enthusiasts. With top notch hospitality in accommodations and dining, there’s an endless list of must-visit venues—which means you can visit Vegas several times a year and experience something new every single time.

On my most recent trip, I stayed at The Venetian—a sprawling resort full of celebrity chef cuisine, grab-and-go walk-ups, wine bars and beer pubs. The Venetian (http://www.venetian.com) has a regular rotation of promotional packages, and mine happened to include resort credit. That meant I had ample opportunity to try restaurants new-to-me, as well as those new to The Strip.

Sugarcane (http://www.sugarcanerawbargrill.com) is one of the latest additions to The Venetian and The Strip, so I was excited to sample their Miami-mastered selection of global cuisine. Their small plate offerings are perfect for sharing and savory selections from the grill include tender lamb chops and succulent cobia white fish. Plus, they have a fantastic cocktail list so this is a great spot for a quick upscale bite paired with a refreshing beverage.

If you’re craving celebrity chef selections, B&B Ristorante (http://www.bandbristorante.com) is a must for Mario Batali & Joe Bastianich’s fine dining experience. Start your meal with Grilled Octopus with Fagioli Marinati and Spicy Limoncello Vinaigrette, and share the B&B House Cured Salumi with Seasonal Pickles and Marinated Olives. Then move on to a sensational selection of entrees. Want something more casual? Try Batali and Bastianich’s B&B Burger (http://bandbburgerandbeer.com). The huge outdoor patio faces The Strip, so you can keep an eye on the action while enjoying a pint paired with fried pickles and the Mixed Grill app of pork belly and sausages.

Elsewhere on The Strip, I recommend Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill, tucked inside Caesars Palace (http://www.gordonramsayrestaurants.com/pub-and-grill-las-vegas). Here you’ll enjoy a relaxed atmosphere with a satisfying selection of Ramsay’s signature dishes. Whether you’re in the mood for bar bites or a several course meal, this is a great venue for gathering with friends in a laid back venue. For an afternoon pick-me-up, I suggest the Mac N Cheese app, which will wow your taste buds with a triple threat of flavor sensations. Hot day? The Hard Shakes are an absolute must. Whether you’re celebrating or not, try the Happy Birthday Surprise Hard Shake. The vodka packed shake is an extra special treat with cupcake, whipped cream, and sprinkle toppings. This is also where you’ll find the best Bloody Mary in town.

If you’re seeking escape from tourist-filled sidewalks, head to Beauty & Essex at The Cosmopolitan (http://beautyandessex.com). Once you pass through near-secret doors, you’ll find yourself in a relaxed lounge where the Fish & Chip Tacos are a great snack to pair with inventive cocktails. For a quiet brunch with a view, experience elegant cuisine from chef Giada De Laurentiis at Giada (http://www.giadadelaurentiis.com/vegas). If you enjoy classics, go for the Breakfast American: eggs, lemon smashed potatoes, and sweet sausage meatballs. Want something reflective of Giada’s Italian-Californian influences? Order the Muffuletta sandwich featuring mortadella, finocchiona, porchetta, prosciutto cotto, and aged provolone.

When a major hunger strikes, enjoy one of the best-voted buffets in Vegas at Bacchanal Buffet, inside Caesars Palace, where you’ll find a superb selection of seafood, dessert crepes, and more (http://www.caesars.com/caesars-palace/restaurants/bacchanal-buffet). The crab legs are steaming hot, and the small plates selection offers upscale offerings for an all-in-one price. For a globally inspired buffet menu, head to The Buffet at ARIA for Tandoor oven-fresh naan, made-to-order pasta, Mediterranean dishes, and more, along with the option to add-on an endless cocktail package. (http://www.aria.com/en/restaurants/the-buffet.html)

No visit to Vegas is complete without a stroll through the Fremont Experience (http://vegasexperience.com) and the district is full of fine and casual dining options. Midwesterners will appreciate American Coney Island on the bottom level of The D. Or, you can stretch your dollar at Binion’s Gambling Hall where you’ll find cheap eats and hard-to-find frozen custard at Binion’s Café. Got a big appetite? Test your coronary strength at Heart Attack Grill (http://www.heartattackgrill.com) with Flatliner Fries or any of the Bypass Burgers. While in the area, enjoy a canopy of LED lights with free shows and outdoor concerts, or up your adrenaline on the Slotzilla Zip Line.

Want an excuse to head off-strip? Make a reservation at Ferraro’s (http://ferraroslasvegas.com) for a wonderful fine dining experience and generous wine selection. The family-owned restaurant and wine bar will show you another side of Vegas full of tradition and old world charm. Reservations are recommended for dinner, where you can enjoy Chef Francesco’s selections—like Branzino (grilled Mediterranean Sea bass, porcini mushrooms, sweet potato, fig jus) or Brasato (braised short ribs, truffle Roman gnocchi, king mushroom, castelmagno cheese fondue). Short on time? Order a classic martini with extra olives.

What’s your craving? For more dining and travel planning ideas, visit http://viva.lasvegas.com and http://www.lasvegas.com.

Photos by CT Shier.

Where I stayed / started

The Venetian Las Vegas

http://www.venetian.com

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