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.
Joel Gonzalez gets to taste a little of every cuisine on a daily basis as the executive pastry chef at the J.W. Marriott. After all, the resort features nine dining options spanning a wide variety of cuisine including Mediterranean, Italian, American and Japanese and his desserts make their way into the Carmel Room, the Rampart Buffet and Sunday brunches at Ceres. In January, Gonzalez competed on the Food Network's Sugar Dome, where cake makers, sugar specialists and masters to create themed dessert displays. Gonzalez created a 1980s-themed sugar display, and his team took second place. Here he shares his favorite places to dine when he's not getting sweet.
Which restaurants do you turn to when you're not working?
Zaytoon Mediterranean Restaurant, Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill and T-Bones Chophouse.
What dishes are most memorable?
At Zaytoon, the chicken kabobs with babaganoush, basmati rice, homemade sesame flatbread and red chili oil.
At Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill, the steamed mussels and clams with fennel and saffron broth.
At T-Bones, the shellfish tower of oysters, crab, lobster and shrimp with horseradish and cocktail sauce.
Why do you enjoy going there?
Zaytoon has excellent service and food and it's cheap.
Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill has great atmosphere, attention to detail and modern presentations.
At T-Bones, I like the freshness of the seafood, friendly staff and great flavors.
I am always willing to try new restaurants to discover new tastes and flavors I have yet to experience.
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Joel Gonzalez [Photo: J.W. Marriott]