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.
Eric Lhuillier just came on board at The Barrymore, the little restaurant from Block16 Hospitality at the Royal Resort after Pinot Brasserie closed at the Venetian. The new chef de cuisine has more than 20 years of experience that started when he was 16. He worked in kitchens in France, where he was classically trained in French cuisine, but spent much of his culinary career with the Patina Group's umbrella of restaurants including Patina, a Relais & Châteaux property, and Kendall's Brasserie. Here, although he admits that he doesn't have a lot of time to dine out, he shares his favorite restaurants in Las Vegas.
Which restaurants do you turn to when you're not working?
When I'm off, I typically don't dine out like I used to. But here a few restaurants that I love to visit when I do eat out. Raku, Monta, Bar Forte European Tapas, Echo & Rig, Eat and Sambalatte (not a restaurant but a great coffee spot), are a few of my favorites.
When I was working inside the Venetian (and before I joined Block16 Hospitality) I used to be a regular at Public House. Great food and even greater beers.
What dishes are most memorable?
Raku: I love their foie gras custard served with duck breast and the house-made fresh tofu, served with a flavorful consommé and salmon roe.
Monta: Their ramen noodle and broth are a "can't miss" for me after working out!
Echo & Rig: I love the concept restaurant/butcher block, and the Bavette steak is wonderful (it's also hard to find a restaurant that serves Bavette).
Bar Forte European Tapas: I love this restaurant because there's always a great mix of flavors, that are simply a lot of fun to eat. From beef stroganoff to Adjarksi Khachapuri, served with pickles cheese and egg, and Bulgarian Eastern Lamb - there are just too many delicious bites to try in one evening.
Eat: This is my first stop for a great, simple breakfast - nothing wrong with egg, ham and potato!
Sambalatte: They have exceptional drip coffees. They grind the beans to order and pour it on front of you. Also, I like to sit down and enjoy my cup of joe. It reminds me of Europe.
Why do you enjoy going there?
I love to eat at these places because I've never been disappointed by any of them. The food is consistently great, and each venue is unique.