L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon

***** (5 stars)

We’ve been to l’Atelier in New York, London and Las Vegas, and it’s one of our favorite restaurants. Designed a bit like a sushi bar, the best tables place you at a counter facing into the kitchen, where a half dozen chef’s efficiently and quietly prepare your meal as you watch. Across the counter from you, your dedicate server acts as a friendly and knowledgeable host. We had the tasting menu, ten or so small plates with a half dozen matching wines. Everything was superb, but the knockouts for me were: all the breads, the little pizza-like thing with a quail egg and bacon on it, and the partially smoked salmon. We loved the foie gras parfait amuse bouche. We’ve also been to the more formal Joel Robuchon next door, but it is stuffy and the food seems less interesting than at l’Atelier.

L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon
3799 Las Vegas Blvd S
Las Vegas, NV 89109
(702) 891-7358
http://www.yelp.com/biz/l-atelier-de-joel-robuchon-las-vegas-4

Jean Georges Steakhouse

**** (4 stars)

Jean Georges is a favorite restaurant in New York, but I was dubious about yet another top name chef doing a Vegas steakhouse. But everything was great, and as it turned out no one had steak. The highlight was the teriyaki short ribs, which were like candy on the outside. The wine list is expensive, but there are a few hidden gems.

Jean Georges Steakhouse
3734 Las Vegas Blvd S
Las Vegas, NV 89109
(877) 230-2742
http://www.yelp.com/biz/jean-georges-steakhouse-las-vegas

Lotus of Siam

***** (5 stars)

This is the greatest wine list in Las Vegas, and the best Thai restaurant I’ve ever been to by a wide margin. Located in a dumpy strip mall off of Sahara Boulevard, it serve astonishingly good Thai food; in fact, the chef won the James Beard award last year! Best of all is an award winning wine list where many of the wines are priced below retail. We put our group in the waiter’s hands, and he delivered eight or ten terrific appetizers and shared entrees, each better than the last. I took the opportunity to pillage the wine list, and although some of my selections couldn’t be found, we ended up with some stunners. Where else can you find an affordable Clos de Tart from a great year? That bottle alone was over $1000 on the list at Picasso, a fifth that here.

Lotus of Siam
953 E Sahara Ave
Las Vegas, NV 89104
(702) 735-3033
http://www.yelp.com/biz/lotus-of-siam-las-vegas

Picasso

***** (5 stars)

I’d been to this restaurant before and wasn’t that impressed with the food, but this time it was a home run. Two of us had the Menu Degustation, while one had the Prix Fixe. That was problably the best best, as the snapper, in particular, was deliciously seasoned and perfectly cooked. The highlight of the five-course degustation was probably the foie gras, although it was all excellent.

Picasso
3600 S Las Vegas Blvd
Las Vegas, NV 89109
(702) 693-8105
http://www.yelp.com/biz/picasso-las-vegas

Yellowtail

**** (4 stars)

It’s trendy and a bit louder than I’d have liked, but conversation was possible. We had the seven-course Omakase, where you put yourself in the chef’s hands, and he didn’t fail us. Standouts were the tuna pizza with truffle oil and the teriyaki kobe beef shortribs, which were really tasty without being too rich.

Yellowtail
3600 S Las Vegas Blvd
Las Vegas, NV 89109
(702) 730-3900
http://www.yelp.com/biz/yellowtail-las-vegas-2