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.
Devin Zendel is one of those people who takes a meal from pedestrian to memorable. The head sommelier at DB Brasserie at the Venetian earned a bachelor’s degree in hospitality administration from the University of Nevada Las Vegas and an advanced level diploma from the Court of Master Sommeliers. Zendel started as a busser for Wolfgang Puck at Trattoria del Lupo at Mandalay Bay, where he discovered his love of wine. He moved on to Vintner Grill and later Carnevino at the Palazzo and Eiffel Tower Restaurant. When not pursuing his master sommelier diploma, Zendel spends time with his wife Virginia traveling, running, doing downward dogs in yoga and cheering for the Dodgers. Here he shares three of his favorites places to dine in Las Vegas that happen to have great wine lists to accompany their food.
Which restaurants do you turn to when you’re not working?
Khoury’s Mediterranean, Marche Bacchus and Sage
What dishes are most memorable?
Khoury’s — Vegi grape leaves with citrus. I discovered I love grapes leaves at Khoury’s about five years ago and automatically order them as soon as the server comes over. Me and the missus are pretty much guaranteed to order a kabob of some sort with the scented rice and a fatoosh salad as well. And, oh, the warm pita bread, as good as pita gets.
Marche Bacchus — I usually switch it up, but have really enjoyed the mussels the last few times. It is so far away or I’m sure I would go for the Bacchus (assorted charcuterie and fromage) platter with a bottle or two often.
Sage — Some of the best food in the city. My lovely wife (the sassy red head) works there, so no menu for me. Just bring me whatever they want.
Why do you enjoy going there?
Khoury’s — Unique dining out of my usual comfort zone. It is super casual with a lovely patio. And if I’m in the mood, they have a very unique assortment of Mediterranean wines, we just drank an Israeli wine from Golan Heights the other night.
Marche Bacchus — Best wine pricing in Las Vegas. Unquestionably the best view/patio off the Strip and friendly proprietors.
Sage — True fine dining. Very elegant, great service, sophisticated cuisine. The head somm there has an awesome BTG program and my flute never runs empty.