Tucked into the corner of a courtyard between Aria and The Shops at Crystals, Toca Madera is a new Mexican steakhouse offering an innovative menu. Toca Madera strives to use locally-sourced ingredients, and they're shooting for big, bold flavors. The ambiance has Day of the Dead touches throughout, and the menu includes Mexican standards like tacos, enchilada and quesadilla. The steak section of the menu is where Toca Madera distinguishes itself, with domestic American Wagyu and Japanese A5 as well as Prime beef. Extras for the succulent steaks include foie gras, fresh truffle, prawn and lobster tail. A creative and artfully illustrated cocktail menu provides plenty of adult beverages to enjoy.
Recommended for New and Popular Restaurants because: Toca Madera offers a new take on the steakhouse, blending Mexican dishes with fine steaks.
Terrisa's expert tip: The vegan menu at Toca Madera includes chile roasted cauliflower, tostaditas, eggplant steak and an Impossible Burger. Vegans have a nice selection of hearty dishes here.
Wakuda is the creation of Chef Tetsuya Wakuda, acclaimed for his Japanese cuisine. Part of the inspiration here was Tokyo's Shinjuku ward, with the goal of joining old-world elements to modern fare. The distinctively upscale Wakuda offers omakase, izakaya, sushi and a host of finely prepared dishes. In addition to an extensive selection of fish and seafood dishes, Wakuda also offers Japanese A5 Wagyu steaks. Later in the evening, Wakuda transforms, offering a late-night menu and a DJ. A cocktail, spirits and wine menu round out this restaurant's impressive offerings. Chef Wakuda is the recipient of two-Michelin stars, having earned international recognition for his use of French techniques on Japanese dishes, and Wakuda showcases his considerable talents.
Recommended for New and Popular Restaurants because: Wakuda offers fine Japanese dining that brings together traditional elements and modern techniques in an art-filled space.
Terrisa's expert tip: The omakase room at Wakuda offers guests an exclusive experience with the chef. Ten to 15 courses are served for only eight diners in this intimate room.
The chef behind Half Bird - Chicken & Beer is Brian Howard, who is well-known in Las Vegas for the refined Sparrow + Wolf in Chinatown. The new Half Bird is a fast-casual spot that's just a short distance away. Here, Chef Howard has turned his skills on a focused, inexpensive and accessible menu full of tasty chicken dishes. You'll find rotisserie chicken, plus a choice of flavorful sauces. Chicken sandwiches include a hot chicken and a classic fried chicken. A vegan option is also available. Chicken 'nuggs' come in 10 or 20 pack sizes, and the family meal serves four people with a whole chicken, togarashi rolls, fries, mac and cheese, and two sauces. Look for sides like the chili garlic cheese fries, roasted broccoli and cilantro rice.
Recommended for New and Popular Restaurants because: Chicken is the focus of the new Half Bird - Chicken & Beer, a fast-casual restaurant from a noted local chef.
Terrisa's expert tip: Don't forget to pick up a can of local brew while you're at Half Bird. Selections include CraftHaus, Able Baker and a handful of other local standouts.
Celebrity couple Guiliana and Bill Rancic recently opened RPM Italian at The Forum Shops at Caesars Palace. The sleek, contemporary design of the restaurant provides an inviting ambiance for the shareable dishes. Pasta is house-made daily, and the menu also offers antipasti, steaks and seafood. Look for traditional dishes like spaghetti and meatballs and eggplant or chicken parmesan. Seafood selections include choices like grilled tiger prawns, Mediterranean branzino, and Maine lobster fra diavolo. A solid selection of cocktails and wine is available, and the dessert menu features tempting sweets like tiramisu and house-made gelatos. RPM Italian is open daily for lunch and dinner.
Recommended for New and Popular Restaurants because: At RPM Italian, guests will find well-crafted classics as well as dishes offering a fresh take on familiar fare.
Terrisa's expert tip: Definitely try the truffled garlic bread, a crowd pleaser that wins rave reviews. Many people find it to be habit-forming, so it's quite fortunate that they've make the recipe available online.
The swanky Harlo Steakhouse and Bar offers guests an upscale experience, with an intimate dining room and a menu of delectable food. Notable dishes include roasted bone marrow and a 40-ounce Bistecca alla Fiorentina made with 28-day dry aged beef. A variety of seafood and shellfish is available, as is caviar service. Look for main courses like the New Zealand elk, Chilean sea bass, wood-grilled branzino or 16-ounce Kurobuta pork chop. Several cuts of beef are available, as well as pasta dishes. The cocktail menu is full of finely crafted drinks, and the large wine list includes domestic and international selections. The elegant ambiance at Harlo makes it an excellent choice for a date night or special occasion.
Recommended for New and Popular Restaurants because: Harlo Steakhouse and Bar has quickly earned a well-deserved reputation as one of Las Vegas most acclaimed new restaurants.
Terrisa's expert tip: If you feel like one of Harlo's delicious steaks needs a little something extra, you can add a lobster tail, crab, prawns, seared foie gras or scallops to it.
At Boom Bang Fine Foods & Cocktails, a notable culinary team has created a neighborhood eatery serving exceptional fare. Elia Aboumrad-Page of "Top Chef" and her husband Christian Page are at the helm in Boom Bang's kitchen, turning out dishes that have garnered acclaim since the restaurant's opening. The menu is filled with French influence and fun takes on American food, like the corn dog starter, made with artisan frankfurters and a special mustard sauce. Main courses include steak frites, duck confit and short rib. A raw bar is offered, along with other seafood selections. The drink menu includes a selection of tempting hand-crafted cocktails, beer, cider and wine. The interior design at Boom Bang is bright and whimsical, with plenty of cacti as an accent, and seating is available inside or on the patio.
Recommended for New and Popular Restaurants because: Boom Bang Fine Foods & Cocktails brings on the big flavors and serves them up in a bright, welcoming space.
Terrisa's expert tip: Happy Hour happens Monday through Friday from 4 to 6 p.m. and features $9 cocktails, thin-crust pizzas for $12 and a selection of small plates under $10.
Few types of cuisine are more hotly debated than barbecue, but Las Vegas seems to agree that Mabel's BBQ is a delicious new addition in town. Located at the recently re-opened Palms, Mabel's is the creation of Chef Michael Symon. This is some serious barbecue, with masterfully smoked brisket, turkey breast, pork spare ribs and pulled pork. The menu offers sandwiches, salads, and all the expected sides--beans, coleslaw, greens, mac and cheese--along with a selection of wine, beer and cocktails. Combos serve from one to four and include two or more meats and at least one side. The meats are all house smoked and are sourced from humanely raised animals that are antibiotic free.
Recommended for New and Popular Restaurants because: Mabel's BBQ is open again and serving mouth-watering barbeque, home-style sides and plenty of great beer.
Terrisa's expert tip: If you enjoy locally made brews, look for the tiny, Nevada-shaped symbol on the beer menu. Able Baker's Atomic Duck IPA is one of the stand-out choices.
Crossroads Kitchen is another stand-out restaurant from the new Resorts World Las Vegas, bringing high-end vegan dining to the Strip. This outpost of the famed Los Angeles restaurant features items made especially for Las Vegas, like the caviar and chips (potato chips and French onion dip) and chestnut foie gras. Other signature dishes include stuffed zucchini blossoms, pizza and pasta. Look for items like the black mission fig pizza with arugula, blue cheese and a balsamic glaze, or the spicy rigatoni with vodka sauce. Crossroads is Mediterranean-inspired, and aims to satisfy all types of guests, whether they're vegan or not. Each dish is artfully presented, and the restaurant offers a relaxed, inviting ambiance. An robust cocktail, wine and spirits menu is available.
Recommended for New and Popular Restaurants because: At the new Crossroads Kitchen, vegan dishes are the foundation of an elevated fine dining experience.
Terrisa's expert tip: The seasonal tasting menus offer several courses of fine vegan fare, a glass of champagne and a meet and greet with the Chef. Prices are very reasonable.
The Bedford by Martha Stewart is the first full-service restaurant from the renowned celebrity, and its opening has generated quite a buzz on the Strip. The setting is designed to resemble Stewart's farmhouse in Bedford, New York, with a subdued color palette and an upscale, understated ambiance. Look for high-end selections here at a premium price point. The house-made bread basket is one of the most popular appetizers and features flatbreads, sour cherry-rosemary focaccia and warm Parker house rolls. Entrees include fish, chicken, a hamburger and steak, with side dishes like creamed spinach, fries or seared Shishito peppers. Fans of Stewart will find a great deal to appreciate here, and the low-key, elegant setting strikes a contrast to the Strip's generally boisterous vibe.
Recommended for New and Popular Restaurants because: The Bedford by Martha Stewart is one of the Las Vegas Strip's newest and most anticipated restaurants.
Terrisa's expert tip: Golden Osetra caviar is offered for an extra charge for the buckwheat crepes, Big Martha's Pierogis and the smashed baked potato. Caviar portions are served in one-, two- and four-ounce sizes, with costs ranging from about $100 to over $280.
Carversteak at Resorts World Las Vegas is a contemporary steakhouse with a sleek décor and a menu filled an abundance of fine beef and seafood. Steak lovers will be in heaven here, with American beef and domestic Wagyu, as well as Japanese and Australian Wagyu. A 42-ounce tomahawk is one of the highlights of the menu. Shellfish and raw bar selections include seafood platters, jumbo prawn cocktail and yellowtail sashimi. Look for tasty steak-house-style sides, like mac & cheese gratin and crispy hot honey Brussels Sprouts. Naturally, an impressive selection of hand-crafted cocktails is offered, along with an extensive wine list and whiskey selection. The bright, eye-catching design is inviting and chic, creating the perfect backdrop for an unforgettable meal.
Recommended for New and Popular Restaurants because: Carversteak offers a refreshed version of the steakhouse experience, with a sophisticated interior design and an outstanding menu.
Terrisa's expert tip: Guests who enjoy al fresco dining should request a table on the patio, which is open year-round. The beautiful, garden-like area overlooks the Las Vegas Strip.