With the ocean’s fare just an airline ride away, Vegas is renowned for its breadth when it comes to fresh seafood. Enter the raw bar, perched at the front of a restaurant with its seafood on display and kept fresh on ice. You can watch as your oysters, shrimp, mussels, crab and lobster are prepped before your eyes, delivered to you as if just caught. Buy them by the dozen or go for one of the monster-portioned platters meant to be shared. Here’s a look at the top five raw bars in Las Vegas.
1 Seablue by Michael Mina
When a chef brings his creations to Las Vegas from San Francisco, you know fresh seafood will make an appearance on the menu. Seablue by Michael Mina at the MGM Grand takes its inspiration from the Mediterranean ports with its sea-centric decor balanced by a wall of water. Look for a bustling atmosphere from the open kitchen and a raw bar with shellfish jetted in daily. During happy hour, you can find treats such as shrimp and oysters for $1 each.
Seablue by Michael Mina is located at the MGM Grand, 702.891.3486.
2 Rick Moonen’s RM Seafood
Consider this your sustainable seafood destination. Rick Moonen’s RM Seafood at Mandalay Bay lets you go casual downstairs and more formal upstairs. Downstairs you can find the raw bar with dishes such as white shrimp cocktail and Escabeche (calamari, mussels, shrimp, king crab and garlic). And keep in mind it's open for lunch, too.
Rick Moonen’s RM Seafood is located at Mandalay Bay, 702.632.9300.
We love this hidden treasure tucked away in the Venezia Tower at the Venetian. Thomas Keller’s Bouchon offers up a raw bar in addition to the French cuisine from the one of America’s best chefs. Order up fruiti de mer — shrimp, crab legs, oysters, mussels and lobster — by the half-dozen, or just throw abandon by the wayside and pick the Grand Plateau with its lobster, 16 oysters, eight shrimp and clams, nine mussels and seasonal crab. Everything about this French bistro from the paper on the tables to the zinc decor makes this the perfect setting. In nicer weather, dine al fresco by the pool.
Bouchon is located at the Venetian, 702.414.6200.
4 Morels French Steakhouse & Bistro
Perched overlooking Las Vegas Boulevard and Sands sits Morels French Steakhouse & Bistro at the Palazzo. Don’t overlook this divine dining experience from Executive Chef J.L.Carrera, which pairs a classic steakhouse with an iced seafood bar, a cheese and charcuterie bar with more than 30 farmhouse and artisanal cheeses from around the world along with handmade salamis and meats and complemented by a more than 60 wines-by-the-glass and more than 400 varieties of French and California wine-by-the-bottle. From the raw bar, you can find oysters from the East and West Coasts, wild Baja California prawn, Maine lobster and Dungeness crab, all served with sauces such as tarragon aioli or Morels’ cocktail sauce. Try the Grand Plateau de Mer with a lobster, eight shrimp, 12 oysters, octopus ceviche and a half Dungeness crab.
Morels French Steakhouse & Bistro is located at the Palazzo, 702.607.6333.
5 Todd English P.U.B.
Keep it casual with the raw bar at Todd English P.U.B. at Crystals at CityCenter. English’s pub concept serves up oysters from both coasts, little necks, shrimp, lobster and stone crab claws. Swill it down with one of the 30 beers behind the bar.
Todd English P.U.B. Is located at Crystals at CityCenter, 702.489.8080.