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Grape Street's John McKibben Likes Wine on Nights Off

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.

John%20McKibbon%20top%201-15-14.jpgJohn McKibbon [Photo: Cal Bingham]

John McKibben just celebrated 16 years with his Grape Street Cafe in November, quite an accomplishment for a restaurant in Las Vegas. The UNLV graduate worked his way through college at Carluccio's Tivoli Gardens in Liberace's Plaza, where owner Chuck Harris taught him everything from fixing air conditioning to books and payroll. He completed his front-of-house requirements for his degree at the Excalibur and then returned to Carluccio's, where he worked as head chef before opening Grape Street, his Italian, Mediterranean and California bistro-style restaurant where guests can purchase bottles of wine to go for 50 percent off or 60 percent off for a case. Here, he shares some of his favorite places to dine when he's not keeping Grape Street a neighborhood favorite.

John%20McKibbon%20inside%20Grapestreet%20Cafe-1-15-14.jpgWhich restaurants do you turn to when you're not working?
I love Honey Salt, Le Thai, The Palm and my ultimate go-to restaurant is Chada Thai & Wine.

What dishes are most memorable?
At Chada, I usually get the PAD KEE MAO: flat rice noodles with hot chili, garlic and basil. I love that there's so many options to pair it with: sea bass, lobster tail, crispy duck or the rib eye steak.

Another favorite would be the MOO HONG: braised pork belly with soy sauce, palm sugar and black pepper.

Why do you enjoy going there?
The food is simply amazing and the wine list is extensive. Plus, I love the intimate "hole in the wall" atmosphere.
· All Coverage of Grape Street Cafe [~ELV~]
· All Dining Confidentials [~ELV~]
John McKibbon [Photo: Cal Bingham]

Honey Salt

1031 South Rampart Boulevard, , NV 89145 (702) 445-6100 Visit Website

Le Thai

523 Fremont St., Las Vegas, NV 702-778-0888

Grape Street Cafe

7501 W. Lake Mead Blvd., Las Vegas, NV