Raku in Las Vegas' Chinatown attracts chefs from all over the city for its exacting and flavor-filled food. This small restaurant has made a big impact, appearing on a fair number of travel and food shows. Some of the menu's stars include pork ear and homemade tofu. Diners will find specialties usually only available in Japan. All of Raku's condiments are imported from Japan. The food here attracts the most dedicated food lovers with its wide menu of delights, which include Kobe beef in several preparations. This Japanese restaurant is a small place, so reservations are a must. Plan on a short cab ride from the Strip.
Recommended for Best Restaurants because: Raku's authentic, amazing Japanese food attracts chefs and foodies with its incredible cuisine.
Terrisa's expert tip: Each month Raku offers a sake sampler with three selections imported from Japan. Guests can also order a sake pairing with their meal--Raku carries about 85 types of sake.
Partage describes itself as a modern French dining experience, and its menu and sleek ambiance validate that description. Tasting menus are offered with five, seven and nine courses ($105-$160). There's no set menu, but each tasting menu features a seafood and a meat course, appetizers and dessert. Guests need to trust the chef's selections here, and they won't be disappointed. The Signature tasting menu (nine courses) also includes foie gras and cheese. Look for dishes like duck breast with kohlrabi and apple pie and cauliflower puree, or tuna seared in sesame crust with grilled baby octopus, baby corn and kiwi chimichurri. Desserts are made daily. A full selection of wine and unique cocktails is also offered.
Recommended for Best Restaurants because: With a stylish dining room, impeccable service and finely crafted cuisine, Partage provides everything needed for an unforgettable dining experience.
Terrisa's expert tip: Tasting menu add-ons include foie gras and caviar or truffle. Wine pairings are also available and are highly recommended--"five, seven or nine glass pairings are offered.
Esther's Kitchen is a modern, farm-to-table style Italian restaurant that has gained a loyal following for its flavor-filled dishes. Fans of seasonal, artisanal fare will find a lot to like at this popular downtown spot, which enjoys consistent acclaim because of its well-crafted and delicious dishes. Describing their food as "seasonal Italian soul food," Esther's Kitchen delivers a menu full of house-made pastas--spaghetti, chitarra, rigatoni, bucatini, you name it--house-made bread, an unrivaled meat and cheese board, pizzas and hearty entrees. Esther's Kitchen is named after the woman who taught the chef to cook, and Esther's home-style touch is apparent in every part of the restaurant, from the food to the inviting atmosphere.
Recommended for Best Restaurants because: Esther's Kitchen takes Italian food to the next level, with a fresh, flavor-packed farm-to-table approach.
Terrisa's expert tip: The Arts District is full of vintage shops, galleries and street art. You'll find plenty of places to explore in the neighborhood around Esther's Kitchen, all within easy walking distance of the restaurant.
Sparrow + Wolf's menu takes inspiration from Chef Brian Howard's travels, his training and his Midwestern upbringing. Seasonal ingredients, great drinks and a welcoming neighborhood vibe come together here. The regularly changing menu features a variety of dishes inspired by the seasons. Shareable plates might include dishes like oysters on the half shell, grass fed beef tartare, a house charcuterie board or Hamachi crudo. A tasting menu and a la carte options are available. The drink menu includes wine, beer and a selection of unique cocktails like A Little Less Conversation, crafted with Elvis whiskey, Cherry Heering, maple, black walnut and Angostura bitters.
Recommended for Best Restaurants because: With an intimate dining room and a menu filled with innovative, acclaimed fare, Sparrow + Wolf is one of Las Vegas' best restaurants.
Terrisa's expert tip: The Chef's Tasting Menu is a steal at $135 per person. Look for dishes like oxtail hummus, pan roasted Hudson Valley foie gras, coal fired Spanish octopus and wood roasted duck breast.
Chef Bobby Flay is one of the most well-known chefs around, so it's no surprise that Amalfi by Bobby Flay was garnering buzz before it even opened. The space at Caesars Palace where Flay's Mesa Grill was located has been transformed into a space reflective of the Amalfi Coast in Italy. A fish and seafood display is the centerpiece of the new space, and the menu reflects that focus with an emphasis on fresh Mediterranean fish and handmade pasta. Fish and shellfish options are extensive and include selections like golden snapper, red snapper, black bass and branzino, among others. Market-driven whole fish and shellfish are offered and served grilled whole or filleted with a choice of Meyer lemon, capers, red pepper, Calabrian chile pesto or salsa verde. Steak and chicken are also available.
Recommended for Best Restaurants because: The fresh, delectable fish, seafood and pasta dishes at Amalfi by Bobby Flay are full of Mediterranean flavor.
Terrisa's expert tip: Be sure to check out the beverage menu at Amalfi. The selection of tasty adult drinks has a definite Italian slant, especially the wine list, which only carries vintages from Italy.
The small, charming Carson Kitchen in Downtown Las Vegas was among the first restaurants to take root in efforts to transform the downtown area in a chic, trendy place to hang out. So far, those efforts have been very successful. Carson Kitchen's quiet ambiance is wonderful for a meal that includes a conversation and a glass of great wine to go along with the delectable food. In addition to an indoor seating area, Carson Kitchen also has an outdoor rooftop bar area and a courtyard, all excellent spots for enjoying a cocktail or a meal. Popular "Social Plates" include "Devil's" Eggs, topped with crispy pancetta and caviar, or crispy chicken skins with smoked honey. The menu is updated frequently here and selections are always delicious and inventive. The drink menu includes a wide selection of wines and beers, along with a selection of finely crafted cocktails.
Recommended for Best Restaurants because: Carson Kitchen consistently offers well-crafted food and drinks along with an inviting ambiance.
Terrisa's expert tip: Brunch is served on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and includes dishes like breakfast tacos, Spam Benedict, donut French toast or chicken and waffles. Don't miss the drink menu, which features cocktails like That's My Jam, with bacon jam vodka, fresh lime and house-made Bloody Mary mix.
You'd expect nothing less than a fabulous steakhouse at Wynn, and SW lives up to that expectation. Overlooking the Lake of Dreams and designed with sleek accents of marble, leather and wood, SW gives diners the perfect ambiance to go along with an elegant meal. Charred steaks are the featured item on the menu, which includes all the regular cuts of beef like bone-in rib eye, New York Strip, filet mignon, bone-in New York and a Porterhouse for two. Authentic Japanese Wagyu comes in tenderloin, New York Strip, rib eye and rib cap cuts. A Pepper Crusted Chateaubriand is also served. If steak alone isn't enough, add an accompaniment like Maine Lobster Tail, Peppercorn Shrimp Scampi or Smoked Bacon & Shallots to your meal. Other menu items include seafood, lamb and veal.
Recommended for Best Restaurants because: SW Steakhouse is one of the Strip's most notable restaurants, with an elegant interior and a menu full of fine steaks, seafood and more.
Terrisa's expert tip: SW Steakhouse offers one of the best views of the Lake of Dreams show, a multimedia experience that happens on the lake every half an hour from sunset until 11:30 p.m.
Lotus of Siam has enjoyed a long history of culinary acclaim in Las Vegas. Regarded by many as one of the best Thai restaurants in the United States, Lotus of Siam has earned a place on many serious foodies' bucket lists. It has two locations, and the Flamingo location is closest to the Strip. One visit is all it takes for visitors to understand why this small, family-owned restaurant is so well-regarded. Noted dishes include the sa-tay, their prawns (in any style they serve), stuffed chicken wings, and Thai jerky. Their signature Northern Thai style is what sets them apart from other Thai restaurants. If you've never ventured beyond Pad Thai, this is the place to try something new. Lotus of Siam's Chef Saipin is a James Beard Award winner, and the restaurant has received acclaim from all corners of the culinary world.
Recommended for Best Restaurants because: Lotus of Siam serves acclaimed, authentic Northern Thai food that comes from traditional family recipes passed down for over 100 years.
Terrisa's expert tip: Lotus of Siam offers an acclaimed wine selection to go along with their memorable Thai food. They offer over 300 vintages and have been lauded for their wine list.
The memorable menu at Michael Mina offers contemporary, refined dishes of seafood and American cuisine. The beautifully designed interior provides a setting worthy of the expertly crafted cuisine. The seafood selections are, as you might imagine, vast, and they're flown in daily. From the dinner menu, options include mouthwatering dishes like the phyllo-crusted sole with crab brandade, pea sprouts and mustard beurre blanc, or the Lobster Pot Pie in brandied-lobster cream with black truffle and baby vegetables. Caviar, hot and cold shellfish and a selection of starters are offered. A 12-ounce New York Strip steak and 8-ounce filet mignon are also on the menu. Guests will find an extensive international wine list, and Michael Mina's desserts are legendary.
Recommended for Best Restaurants because: Michael Mina offers fresh, finely prepared seafood dishes with fish and shellfish flown in daily.
Terrisa's expert tip: Guests must walk through the Bellagio's Conservatory and Botanical Gardens to get to Michael Mina. Be sure to take some time before or after your meal to stroll through the current display.
Joel Robuchon's namesake restaurant in Las Vegas gives diners a chance to experience the chef's renown French cuisine in a setting reminiscent of Paris in the 1930s. A meal here is an elaborate event - and a splurge. Guests can enjoy a lavish reception area, elegant main dining room, landscaped garden-designed dining room and intimate bar. The tasting menus showcase precise portions of perfect French Nouvelle cuisine, using only the finest meats, seafood and produce available. Diners are treated to amazing dishes like Le Caviar Imperial, Osetra caviar served in crustacean gelée with cauliflower puree, or La Langoustine, truffled langoustine ravioli served with simmered cabbage and foie gras sauce. Each dish is a masterpiece at this acclaimed restaurant, and guests will likely talk about an evening here for years.
Recommended for Best Restaurants because: The masterfully prepared French dishes at Joel Robuchon are elegant, innovative and award-winning.
Terrisa's expert tip: The quiet, luxurious setting and high-end French cuisine at Joel Robuchon are geared toward adults. If you have young children, you'll probably want to get a sitter for the evening.