All the foodie attention in Las Vegas focuses on The Strip and the celebrity chefs who set up outposts in the casinos. But locals know that you don’t have to drive to Las Vegas Boulevard to find cuisine that will knock your socks off. Here’s a look at the Haute 5 restaurants that locals love, and you should try, too.
Ferraro’s Italian Restaurant & Wine Bar
For 20 years, Ferraro’s Italian Restaurant & Wine Bar has been serving up Italian cuisines on the west side of town. Earlier this year, the culinary destination took up shop across from the Hard Rock Hotel and business has been booming since. The father and son team of Mimmo and Gino Ferraro built this menu based on family recipes and Mimmo’s time working for the chefs of Tuscany. The list of 900 wines won the Wine Spectator Best of Award of Excellence award as well as the Most Diversified Italian Collection in the U.S. A pianist entertains nightly.
Place your order: It’s hard to go wrong on this menu. The osso buco, lamb chops, prime steaks, rabbit and Mediterranean fish all earn high marks. Pastas and breads are made on the premises. Be sure to order Momma Ferraro’s potato gnocchi.
Ferraro’s is open for lunch Monday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and dinner daily from 5 to 11 p.m.
Ferraro’s Italian Restaurant & Wine Bar, 4480 Paradise Rd., 702.364.5300.
Mix together a little of the flavors of New Orleans, the Deep South and the Midwest with some French for good measure and you have the delightful New American cuisine of Rosemary’s. You’re apt to find chefs and sommeliers dining at Michael and Wendy Jordan’s spot just 10 minutes from The Strip. The wine list won accolades from Wine Spectator with its breadth of artisan selections, and the beers get that same treatment.
Place your order: You’ll find a menu that changes with the seasons at Rosemary’s, but you can always catch Hugo’s Texas barbecue shrimp on the menu. Or try the pork chops, a thick cut slathered in a Creole mustard reduction sauce. Rosemary’s also offers a $28 three-course lunch.
Rosemary’s is open from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Fridays for lunch and at 5:30 p.m. daily for dinner.
Rosemary’s Restaurant, 8125 W. Sahara Ave., 702.869.2251
Todd’s Unique Dining
Down in Henderson sits one of the valley’s best-kept secrets, chef Todd Clore’s Todd’s Unique Dining and its eclectic menu. Clore flies in seafood from Cape Cod and Alaska for his sophisticated seasonal fare. The wine list features phenomenal values, and on Wednesdays you can bring your own bottle without paying the corkage fee.
Place your order: The goat cheese wontons are out of this world. You can find steamed mussels in a saffron-cream sauce or maple-roasted wild king salmon, depending on the season. Save room for the chocolate cake; it’s worth the calories.
Todd’s Unique Dining is open for dinner from 4:30 to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
Todd’s Unique Dining, 4350 E. Sunset Rd., Henderson, 702.259.8633
Lotus of Siam
Let’s start by saying that Lotus of Siam was called the “single best Thai restaurant in Northern America” by Gourmet Magazine 10 years ago, and the restaurant and chef Saipin Chutima have been packing them in ever since. Don’t let the location in the Commercial Center with its seedy stores give you pause. The food within is worth it. Choose from one of the menu’s excellent list of reislings, a perfect complement to the spicy foods. Chutima was a finalist for the James Beard Foundation Best Chef Southwest this year.
Place your order: Chutima specializes in Northern Thai fare, so don’t expect to order the pad Thai. Instead, choose the crispy rice and sour sausage salad, beef jerky, country sausages and fragrant hot pots. Before you start adding some of the famous Thai heat to your order, be sure to consult with your server. Bangkok hot, or a 10 on a 1-10 scale, can cause you to hallucinate. Even a 2 can be incredibly hot, depending on your tolerance.
Lotus of Siam is open for lunch and dinner Monday through Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. and dinner Friday through Sunday 5:30 to 9:30 p.m.
Lotus of Siam, 953 E. Sahara Ave., 702.735.3033
Get to Marché Bacchus early to wander through the aisles of the wine store and make your selection from one of the 950 labels from the bins. Then be sure to head out to the tiered patio next to Lake Jacqueline for a romantic dinner under the stars.
Place your order: Once you’ve selected your wine, be sure to order a charcuterie plate with pâté, French salami, prosciutto and red onion confit or the moules frites steamed in wine with Parmesan-crusted frites from Executive Chef Jean Paul Labadie, a former executive chef for celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse. You’ll want something to share in this setting.
Marché Bacchus is open for lunch Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., dinner Sunday through Thursday from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 5:30 to 10 p.m. and brunch Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Marché Bacchus, 2620 Regatta Dr., 702.804.8008