In a world-class city like Las Vegas, there are world-class restaurants to match. This fall, hot new players are joining the energetic scene at famed Strip casino resorts like The Venetian and Caesars Palace while restaurant veterans are stepping up their game with inventive concepts and TV show appearances that keep the crowds coming. Modern Vietnamese cuisine, Amalfi-inspired fare, and glitzy Thai street food: These are Las Vegas’s must-try restaurants of fall 2021.
The Black Sheep (Southwest)
This casual Vietnamese-American restaurant is reenergizing its diners with chef and co-owner Jamie Tran’s Top Chef appearance in the latest season. Since the restaurant joined the neighborhood, Tran’s Vietnamese cuisine prepared with French techniques has gained critical acclaim — namely, Eater’s Restaurant and Chef of the Year in 2017. Artfully plated dishes come in the form of herb chicken with yellow curry couscous, hot chicken on honey toast, and slow-braised short rib with kimchi fried rice. The name, Black Sheep, is a nod to Jamie’s rebellious personality and desire to break through a male-dominated industry.
Estiatorio Milos (The Strip)
The internationally renowned Mediterranean restaurant by chef Costas Spiliadis reinvents itself inside its new $10 million space at The Venetian — formerly Estiatorio Milos stood on the Strip for 10-years — designed by the restaurant’s go-to architect Alain Carle. The new 13,000-square-foot space, opened in March, features an open kitchen, bar, and private dining rooms with luxurious accents of stone, wood, and marble — a signature at all Milos locations. The iconic fresh fish counter lets diners choose from the day’s catch, served with Santorini capers and ladolemono sauce, while appetizers such as grilled octopus served with capers, onions and yellow split pea purée are also classics. For sweets, the Greek yogurt with thyme honey from Kythira island is rich and fragrant. The deal is the same here — fresh Greek eats in an upscale atmosphere — but the new space is a must-see.
Amalfi (The Strip)
Celebrity chef Bobby Flay is raising the bar with his newest restaurant Amalfi, which opened in a 9,000-square-foot space in Caesars Palace this May. As the name hints, the Mediterranean restaurant focuses on Southern Italian fare inspired by Flay’s travels to none other than the Amalfi Coast. The impressive seafood display is attended to by a fishmonger with fish flown in from the Mediterranean Sea. Handmade pasta such as paccheri and agnolotti sit alongside fresh antipasti, and entrées include market-driven fish and shellfish served with your choice of lemon and capers, Calabrian chile pesto, or salsa verde. Over in the lounge and bar, diners sip away on an Amalfi spritz, negroni, or a glass of Italian wine.
Night + Market (Paradise)
Chef Kris Yenbamroong’s hit Los Angeles restaurant Night + Market opened its newest rendition in Sin City as part of a slew of new openings at Virgin Hotels this March. Ten years since the opening of its LA location, the James Beard Award semifinalist chef whips up Thai street food with Las Vegas extravagance — think uni fried rice, larb ped salad, and Thai-style wagyu steak frites. The sleek space is decked out with dazzling disco balls and brightly colored posters, creating a fun atmosphere for friends to eat and drink from the menu described as “aharn glam lao,” or drinking food, all pairable with selections from the award-winning natural wine list.
Casa Calavera (Paradise)
Another opening in the Virgin Hotels in late March, this culinary cantina concept from the Hakkasan Group lets you literally step in sand as you dine under beach umbrellas on the outdoor patio. The Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead)-themed interior is brimming with Mexican calavera wall murals, flower walls, tile art, candles, and more photo-worthy spots. Tacos are the center of this menu with pork carnitas, carne asada, and baja fish varieties, and on Tuesdays they’re just $3 or $5. For hungry diners, the enchilada plates with a taco, rice, and beans will be sure to leave you satisfied.
El Luchador Mexican Kitchen + Cantina (Mountain’s Edge)
Locals’ neighborhood restaurant options just got a whole lot more exciting with El Luchador joining the lineup in southwest Las Vegas this January and a second location in Henderson opening in early November. Hospitality powerhouse Andy Hooper (president of &pizza and partner at The Black Sheep and Locale Italian Kitchen) teamed up with chef Aaron Bryan to create this casual ode to SoCal-inspired Mexican cooking. Comfort food is churned out in nachos, quesadillas, chimichanga, tacos, enchiladas, fajitas — you name it. Happy hour means $3 tacos and drinks from $4 draft beer to $8 margs, and weekend brunch provides bottomless mimosas and breakfast tacos.
Executive chef German Castellanos and pastry chef Alessandro Stoppa — who first met at Valentino restaurant and then started a catering business together — teamed up again to open Aromi this April. At their latest venture, they tap into Castellanos’s more than 30 years of experience in Italian kitchens in dishes such as spaghetti neri (squid ink spaghetti with lobster, scallops, and creamy bisque sauce) and wild mushroom ravioli with short ribs and demi-glace. Dessert features a classic tiramisu, white chocolate and yogurt panna cotta, and carrot cake verrine. It’s clear in every aspect of this hot spot — from the house-made pasta and fresh seafood and steak to the traditional desserts — that Aromi’s goal is to bring a piece of Italy to the desert.
Tried them all? Check out other options here.