As is the tradition at Eater, our closeout of the year is a survey of friends, industry types and bloggers. This year, we asked the group eight questions, from Meal of the Year to Top Newcomers. All will be answered by the time we turn off the lights at the end of the week. Responses are related in no particular order; all are cut, pasted and unedited herein. Readers, please do add your survey answers in the comments.
Spago [Photo: Jeff Green]
Q: Name your top restaurant standbys of 2013 — the restaurants you returned to most.
Robin Leach, gossip columnist for the Las Vegas Sun: It's always either Spago in the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace because of the salmon and caviar pizza or its sister Postrio in the Venetian because they'll make it for me too if I ask nicely.
Elaine and Scott Harris, Cuisineist.com and The Daily Meal: Our standby restaurant is SushiSamba. It doesn't matter if it's lunch, dinner or just happy hour, the service and food is always consistent.
Grace Bascos, food writer for Vegas Seven: I embraced eating at the bar this year, so definitely the bars at Sage at Aria and Comme Ça at the Cosmopolitan.
Off the Strip: Monta Ramen on Spring Mountain, and then they opened the Monta on Eastern, which I affectionately refer to as New, No-Line Monta. Also Goyemon Sushi.
Erik Chudy, VegasBurgerBlog: I hated on it in last year's Year in Review, but I'd have to go with Honey Salt this year.
Mitchell Wilburn, food critic for CityLife: Every time I go to Carnevino, it somehow tops itself. Not only for the staple Batali dishes, but also for the creative, very in-season dishes Exec Chef Nicole puts together. Everything from smoked ribs and a negroni at the bar with good ol' Cooper, to a nine-month-old dry-aged riserva steak and grilled ramp pesto on burrata, I'm always very impressed. And I'm always sure to hit the Amaro and Grappa cart after any meal.
E.C. Gladstone, food critic for CityLife: I'm not big on 'standbys' because I'm always trying new places....but one place I unhesitatingly recommended many times was Comme Ca in the Cosmopolitan. And another place that surpassed my expectations in multiple visits was Andrea's at Encore.
Xania Woodman, senior editor, nightlife, beverage and food, Vegas Seven: SkinnyFats. The fact that it's within walking distance of my office is a plus in a city where we habitually drive to strap on the feedbag. But even if I did have to drive, I love the side salad, fresh baked goods, flat chix with greens and especially the chicken tacos from the kid's menu. Don't judge.
Second choice: Herbs & Rye. Butchered in-house, steaks here are fantastic here, especially when they're half off during happy hour, which happens to start right after I get off work. As soon as I walk in, they start my Brandy Crusta. Just that, the steak and a side of Brussels sprouts and I'm a happy camper. (Not to mention the Fernet Branca on tap...)
Bob Barnes, editorial director of Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional: Honey Salt
Max Jacobson, food critic for Vegas Seven: Milos
Susan Stapleton, editor of Eater Vegas: Getting back to restaurants is rough with the amount of work and dining out I have on my plate. I couldn't get enough of the arepas at Viva Las Arepas. Sheridan Su's short rib grilled cheese at Fat Choy is something I recommend to everyone. Anything for breakfast or lunch at Natalie Young's Eat. If I could have the crispy duck salad at Hakkasan on a weekly basis, I would. Spago, Spago, Spago. I've never had a bad dish there and the cocktails are out of this world.
· All Coverage of Year in Eater 2013 [~ELV~]