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.
For Michel Richard’s first 24-hour restaurant, he needed someone with experience running that type of business. Fortunately, Augustus Cafe at Caesars Palace, the former restaurant in the Central Michel Richard space, had Todd Harrington, now the executive chef of Central. This young rising star had stints at the now-defunct Nero’s Steakhouse and at Encore Las Vegas before landing at Central. 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?
Forte European Tapas Bar and Restaurant for Russian/Georgian tapas, Bachi Burger, a gourmet, chef-driven burger place, and Alizé at the Palms with its French roots and great consistent food made by passionate people.?
What dishes are most memorable?
Forte has a handmade dumpling that’s Russian with potato and onion sauteed. It is amazing. Very authentic cuisine?
Why do you enjoy going there?
I like that Forte is a small, growing, independent restaurant focused on chef clientele to be there after a long day at work. ?Bachi Burger is a chef-driven restaurant and they pay respect to the food in every dish. It’s such a great concept. Every time I go there, I try something different.?
I am friends with Andre (Rochat at Alizé) and he is one of the nicest, and most talented chefs in the industry. It is a pleasure and I am honored to enjoy his food on special occasions.??Would you like to include any other information??If I go out to eat, I look at the things that mean the most to me. The service, because it reflects on the employees’ attitude while they work and whether they respect what they are serving. And the passion in the dish, because that reflects on the chef's attitude and whether he/she respects his/her profession. Flavor is very obvious and it is too wide of a spectrum to judge a single restaurant on. I am in this industry for passion. I just expect to see it from other chefs in the industry. This is why I chose these restaurants on my free time.
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Todd Harrington [Photo: Central Michel Richard]