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.
Joe Romano [Photo: PT's Entertainment Group]
Joseph Romano's love for fine food and cooking started when he earned his bachelor's degree from the Culinary Institute of America and went on to join Charlie Palmer's Aureole in New York. He opened Aqua Terra in Palm Beach, Fla., for the Charlie Palmer Group and managed the restaurant. Then he moved to Vegas to be the executive chef for Aureole at Mandalay Bay. Romano also opened JW's Tavern at the Rio and served as consultant to The Stirling Club at Turnberry Place and Charlie Palmer Steak at the Four Seasons Las Vegas. Now he's the vice president of operations for PT's Entertainment Group, where he runs the day-to-day operations for the company's taverns: PT's Pub, PT's Place, PT's Gold, and Sierra Gold. He's also married to Megan Romano of Chocolate & Spice Bakery fame. Here he talks about three of his favorite off-Strip restaurants that he likes to frequent.
Which restaurants do you turn to when you're not working?
Honey Salt, MTO Cafe and Echo & Rig.
What dishes are most memorable?
Honey Salt: The sea scallops, where the scallops are sautéed to perfection and served with cauliflower puree with truffle sauce.
MTO Cafe: The chicken fried steak is my go to dish.
At Echo & Rig, I love the shiitake fries and all the small plates.
Why do you enjoy going there?
Honey Salt: I go and sit at the bar. The service is fantastic and it is around the corner from my house.
MTO it is a great place for Sunday breakfast and to support a great friend like Johnny Church.