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.
Chef Jason Neve has his hands full as the culinary director of all three of Mario Batali’s restaurants in Las Vegas. Born and raised in Cape Canaveral, Fla., Neve grew up around the water and fresh seafood. He went on to the Culinary Institute of America, graduating in 2003 and moving to New York to work for chef Didier Virot at AIX Restaurant. Then he went on to be a part of the opening team at Del Posto, where his aptitude in the kitchen and his passion for cured meats led him out west to Las Vegas in 2007. He started out here running the kitchen at B&B Ristorante for five years. Now he runs B&B Ristorante and OTTO Pizzeria at the Venetian and Carnevino Italian Steakhouse at the Palazzo. Here he shares his favorite places to dine when he’s not running the Batali empire.
Where do you enjoy eating when you’re not working?
Crab Corner, Bit and Spur right outside of Zion National Park and Soyo.
What dishes are most memorable?
At Crab Corner, crabs, crab cakes, crab dip, it’s all good.
At Bit and Spur, I like the pork carnitas burrito topped with chili verde.
At Soyo, I order the Albap — Kimchi vegetables and fish roe on top of rice in a hot pot.
Why do you enjoy going there?
Crab Corner reminds me of being back home on the East Coast and is a great place to hang out with friends, eat with your hands and drink cheap cold beer. If you can just imagine Eastern Avenue as a bay or river, it’s almost perfect.
If you consider Zion National Park your backyard like I do, then Bit and Spur is still local. There’s nothing better than hiking all day, hanging out by the river and then stopping at the Bit and Spur for icy cold margaritas and a humongous carnitas burrito topped with chili verde. Finishing it is sometimes painful, but it’s like biting into hot pizza, you still do it every time. Oh yeah, and you can sit on the patio and take in the awesome views.
Whether you just need a quick bite at the end of a long day or you are hanging out WAY too late with other degenerates, the Albap at Soyo dish is perfect. Spicy kimchi, a variety of different sweet fish roe — it’s everything you want late at night, not to mention it cooks and eats in the same dish. Just be sure to have some patience and let it sit before you dig in.
· All Coverage of Carnevino [~ELV~]
· All Coverage of B&B Ristorante [~ELV~]
· All Coverage of OTTO Pizzeria [~ELV~]
· All Dining Confidentials [~ELV~]
Jason Neve [Photo: B&B Hospitality Group]