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.
Heath Cicerelli [Photo: Chelsea McManus]
Heath Cicerelli grew up in Pueblo, Colo., started his experience in the kitchen at age six, when he joined his grandmother at the stove. After graduating from Colorado State University, he became a food runner at Delmonico Steakhouse at the Venetian. Cicerilli enjoyed the in-house preparations so much that he requested a transfer to the back of the house at Delmonico Steakhouse and began training on the line, acquiring Emeril Lagasse's style and techniques of bold flavor. By 2004, he was promoted to sous chef and soon moved to Emeril's New Orleans Fish House at the MGM Grand. By 2007, he was promoted to chef de cuisine at the Fish House. Here, the Lagasse protege talks about the restaurants he would bet on in Las Vegas. ?
When I can sneak away from Fish House, I like to get out and experience the truly amazing dining selections that the city has grown to offer. When you think of all the great chefs and their talents that have gathered here in the desert it is mind numbing, although I can't say I've ever been disappointed with a meal, there a few that definitely keep me coming back.
This place is great for me because it's right across the street from my kitchen so if I have an early night and someone to watch my daughter, I like to hang out at the bar and enjoy a nice cold Estrella Damm Beer from Barcelona with one of the many great tapas options offered by one of the finest Spanish chefs and his team. Although I don't have a set order, everything is executed flawlessly and delicious. The seared scallops and Romesco sauce always find a spot in front of me; seared perfectly and paired with the nutty spice of the Romesco sauce really play nicely together. The huevos estrellados are a nice creation as well — I mean, who has a problem with eggs, Spanish ham, chorizo, potatoes and a cold beer? The staff is as energetic and warm as the atmosphere, making you feel welcome and taken care of.
Although I really like to cook for my family on the weekends, as they are part of my research and development team for the Fish House, sometimes it's nice to catch a nice quick but flavorful dinner at Pin Kaow, which is down the street from our house. The talented team over there puts out a great spread every time. Pair me up with a Singha Beer and wonton soup to start, then another beer with spicy duck and chili mint noodles (which I wimp out and keep at a six on the spice scale, but for the ones with a fortified love for spice they can definitely turn up the heat). They also have a great delivery option.
After a busy and late Saturday night at work, it's nice to enjoy brunch at DW Bistro. "Awesome" describes the unique style of island spice mixed into a southwestern fare. The bar does a great job with creative cocktails and a nice wine list — share a carafe of "The Hummingbird" and the day has already gotten better. As with Serrano's I don't really have a lock step favorite, but the chilaquiles, a spicy corn tortilla and chicken hash with eggs of your choice, and a great fresh made pico de gallo always hit the spot. The New Mexico slow cooked pork omelet with red chile and pepper jack cheese take me back to my southern Colorado home and favorite flavors.
Again, it is wonderful to live in a city with so many great people doing what they love and sharing that with others through great service, drink and food. Because of that I really feel Las Vegas has become one of the great dining destinations — heck, I'd bet on it.
· All Coverage of Emeril's New Orleans Fish House [~ELV~]
· All Dining Confidentials [~ELV~]