Sin City is home to a lot of restaurants and bars, but there are tons of hidden gems that the majority of Las Vegans aren't unearthing. To help guide us to these potential discoveries, we've enlisted some of our city's food players to share their recommendations for a weekly feature dubbed Dining Confidential. Know a chef who wants to share some top dining spots? The tipline is open.
Barry Dakake [Photo: Chelsea McManus]
Barry Dakake got into cooking at an early age, going to the market with his father twice weekly to pick produce used to prepare his grandmother's Syrian and mother's Italian dishes. He left Providence, R.I., to work with Charlie Palmer at Aureole in New York City, then came to Vegas in 1999 to help open Aureole at Mandalay Bay, followed by Charlie Palmer Steak, the first independently owned restaurant ever to be housed in a Four Seasons. Then, Michael Morton and Scott DeGraff of the N9NE Group asked Dakake to open N9NE Steakhouse at the Palms. Now guests can find some of Dakake's family favorites on the menu, such as Rhode Island "Chowda" and the Rhode Island Lobster Fritters. Here, he shares some of his favorite places to dine when he's not in the kitchen.
Where do you enjoy eating when you're not working?
Lotus of Siam, New York Pizza & Pasta and Luv-It Frozen Custard.
What dishes are most memorable?
Lotus of Siam's Thai basil duck is my favorite. It's a crispy duck topped with homemade fresh chili and Thai basil. The duck is fried perfectly every time and isn't greasy. I loved the blast of flavor that comes from the chili mint leaves and basil.
New York Pizza & Pasta has the best Italian Wedding Soup in Las Vegas. It is the perfect combination of chicken, carrots, onions, celery, meatballs, escarole and acini de pepe pasta. It reminds me of my childhood.
Nothing comes close to Luv-It's atmosphere and custard!
Why do you enjoy going there?
Lotus of Siam always treats me great and it doesn't hurt they have an extensive Riesling wine collection.
Jimmy and his wife, Laura, at New York Pizza & Pasta make food that reminds me of my mom's cooking.