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.
Stephane Chevet [Photo: MGM Grand]
Yes, a Frenchman runs the Japanese restaurant Shibuya at the MGM Grand. Before you raise an eyebrow, know Stephane Chevet grew up in the south of France, where summer vacations on his grandparent’s farm sparked his interest in cooking when he helped his grandmother select garden ingredients for their meals. Then he enrolled in a hospitality program at Tain L’Hermitage Cooking School at age 16 to earn a chef’s diploma.
His apprenticeships took him around the world, working with Jean-Andre Charial, master chef of the Michelin star-rated L'Oustau de Baumaniere, and Michel Chabran at his renowned Michelin Star relais gourmand in Tournon. His travels through Europe, Asia, Central and South America expanded his knowledge of international cuisine and added new dimensions to his cooking style.
Then in 2004, Chevet opened Shibuya as executive chef. Here, he shares his favorite places to dine when he’s not in the kitchen.
Where do you enjoy eating when you’re not working at your own restaurant?
Although they are for different occasions, Raku, Hot N Juicy Crawfish and L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon are my top three.
At Raku I really enjoy most of chef Mitsuo Endo’s Robatayaki items, especially pig ears and liver. I also enjoy all the special exotic offerings like sashimi and grilled whole fish.
At Hot N Juicy Crawfish, I enjoy shrimp and corn cooked in lemon pepper butter or Louisiana style.
At L’Atelier, my problem is that there are so many great choices that it’s hard to make up my mind. All the dishes are not only top notch and prepared with the best ingredients on the market, but also executed to perfection. Because of this I usually leave it to chef Steve [Benjamin] to make a selection for me. The whole menu is yummy; Le Ris de Veau (sweet breads) with a laurel sprig and milk foam; L’oeuf: The egg cocotte, parsley puree and Cream of Mushroom trio that includes Black Trumpet, Chantrelle and Shimeji are just divine.
Why do you enjoy going there?
Raku is tiny and offers a warm atmosphere with laid back and kind service. They also have a good sake selection and I like the tapas bite style that allows you to try a bunch of different things just like you are at a tasting.
Hot N Juicy Crawfish is just a great concept. I am fine with sharing my bag of shrimp “hands down” with my little Joe and my wife Bonny. “She gets her Spicy sauce on the side.” Everyone is happy and has a good time when “we go fishing there.”
L’Atelier is of course for special occasions! I am just in love with the whole concept! The atmosphere is very elegant and attractive but not stuffy. There’s always a great ambiance as you are usually surrounded by foodies when you sit at the bar-like set up. From this spot you can also see what’s going on in the kitchen. I like this ability to observe and that’s topped with attentive service, a great selection of wine and the extreme hospitality of chef Steve Benjamin.
· All Dining Confidentials [~ELV~]
· All Coverage of Shibuya [~ELV~]