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.
If it’s a sexy French accent you desire, Christophe Tassan is your man. Oh, how those French wine names roll off his tongue. He can make Franzia sound good.
But he’s more than just a voice. The wine director at Mix at Mandalay Bay worked his way up at his family’s restaurant in France. He nabbed sommelier status in 1983 after graduating from University of Wine at the Château de Suze la Rousse and soon earned a Ruinart trophy for Best Young Sommelier in Provence Côte d´ Azur. Then he went on to create Les Domaines, recognized in Michelin and Gault & Millau guides, with his two brothers. Then came his own wine consultancy, which led to his swanky gig at Alain Ducasse’s gem at the top of Mandalay Bay. Tassan shares his favorite places to dine (with some wine pairing tips) when he’s not helping you pick your wine.
Where do you enjoy eating when you’re not working at your own restaurant?
Julian Serrano at Aria, L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon at MGM Grand and Burger Bar at Mandalay Place.
What dishes are most memorable?
My preferred dish at Julian Serrano is the Avocado Cannelloni. It is a gift from nature in color and taste and is presented in such a unique way. (Don’t forget to enjoy this dish with a glass of Manzanilla). It is made with beautifully sliced avocado roulade surrounding fresh Scottish salmon and seaweed salad and is served with a side of guacamole and rocoto mayo to highlight the dish’s freshness and add a hint of spice.
At L’Atelier, I love the Kusshi oysters from Vancouver Island, British Columbia, with melted salted butter. Within seconds of taking my first bite, the flavors transport me right to the shore. Sometimes I feel as though I can hear and smell the waves.
If you don’t want to build your own burger at Burger Bar, you must try the Classic Burger. It’s made with Black Angus Beef, (ask for it medium rare to keep it juicy), a sesame seed bun, bacon, cheddar, purple onion, lettuce and tomato. Also try the skinny (and crispy) French Fries with Béarnaise sauce. Anchor Steam beer is the best way to complete the meal making it a goal, or touchdown, or home run, or whatever sports term you prefer! It’s delicious.
Why do you enjoy going there?
Julian Serrano at Aria. I love it for plenty of reasons! You can just have a quick bite at the bar from the large tapas style menu, which is very affordable and always tasty, or you can enjoy a full meal at a table for lunch or dinner. It is a beautiful place to relax.
L’Atelier de Jo?l Robuchon at MGM. The concept is fantastic, and chef Steve Benjamin never compromises flavor in any element of a dish. L’Atelier maintains a high gastronomic level in a casual environment.
Burger Bar at Mandalay Place. I specifically love going there when there is a soccer game on TV. It creates such a high energy atmosphere. Not to mention the perfectly cooked juicy burgers and hundreds of possible combinations available to create your own burger!
Anything you want to add?
YES! With so many options in town choosing three preferred dining spots is not fair. There are so many others that I wish I could include. Since space is limited I’d like to include a few of my other favorite dining experiences.
Great service is an important component of a memorable dining experience. I must mention the perfect service I had at Guy Savoy. The table side work and flavorful menu made my experience extraordinary.
While buying your vegetables and meat cuts at Whole Foods Market, order a brick oven minute made pizza with New York crust, marinara tomato sauce, ham, mozzarella, ricotta and gruyere cheese. Eat it on-site, hot from the oven. It is simply delicious.
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