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.
Edmund Wong [Photo: Bellagio]
Born in Hong Kong and raised in Vancouver, Edmund Wong began his culinary career with a formal European-style cooking apprenticeship with Westin Hotels and Vancouver Community College. He spent nine years with Four Seasons Hotels beginning in Vancouver and taking him to Berlin, Melbourne, Australia, and in 2001, to New England, where he worked as the executive sous chef at Aujourd'hui at the Four Seasons in Boston. As executive chef of the Bellagio, Wong oversees all culinary operations of 20 food and beverage outlets, including a team of 900 cooks, menu development and food preparation. He also helped create the Tuscany Kitchen, the Bellagio's show kitchen where on Saturday, he shares grilling secrets and demonstrates the art of creating a fun and festive three-course barbecue menu, paired with artisanal craft beer selections by Bellagio assistant director of beverage and master mixologist Ricardo Murcia. Tickets for that are priced at $95 per person are available at 1-866-906-7171. Here, he shares three of his favorite restaurants in Las Vegas.
Which restaurants do you turn to when you're not working?
Tonkatsu Kiyoshi, Settebello and Noodles at the Bellagio.
What dishes are most memorable?
Tonkatsu Kiyoshi specializes in Japanese cutlets and my go-to dish is the Rosu Katsu, which is a thick cut pork loin breaded in panko. The special katsu sauce is mixed with fresh sesame seeds that each guest does themselves with a mortar and pestle. The meal is accompanied with a steaming bowl of rice, miso soup and Japanese pickles. Add lightly fired and salted shishito peppers to start and you have a winning combination!
Settebello prepares a Neapolitan style pizza and there are so many amazing selections. My favorite pizza is the Bianca, topped with shaved prosciutto, arugula, parmesan and mozzarella. A classic!
At Noodles, when I am in the mood for a wok fried noodle, I order the XO crabmeat vermicelli, served with jumbo lump crab, egg, bean sprouts and a hint of spice from the XO sauce. For a soup noodle, nothing beats the roast duck and won ton noodles: fresh won tons filled with shrimp and perfectly barbecued duck, in a traditional broth. And they have a great selection of dim sum too. The Dan Tat or egg tarts are my favorite indulgence.
Why do you enjoy going there?
Tonkatsu Kiyoshi is a small family-owned restaurant where every guest is truly treated like a member of the family. You are always greeted with a genuine welcome and a smile.
Settebello is fun where the whole family can get together and share amazing pizzas. My kids love watching the pizzas cook in the wood burning ovens.
Noodles is a fast-paced restaurant where you can always grab a quick, delicious meal. More importantly though, as a kid, I grew up with many of the flavors that Noodles offers so it reminds me of home. And did I mention I love Dan Tats…Noodles has the best!
Anything else you want to add?
When I'm not dining out, I really enjoy cooking barbecue and grilling in our backyard. Sunday dinner is often a whole roasted lemon thyme chicken with herbs straight from our garden.
I look forward to seeing guests at the July 5 BBQ & Beer event at noon in Tuscany Kitchen. At this event, I will tell guests all they need to know about the art of preparing delicious barbecue. Additionally, director of wine and master sommelier Jason Smith will host the event and Bellagio's assistant director of beverage and master mixologist Ricardo Murcia will pair craft beers with each course. It's going to be a fun culinary experience!
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