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.
Michael Kennedy is the director of food operations at South Point overseeing the food and beverage department there. He’s in charge of the hotel’s 13 restaurants, concessions and the hotel’s wine program. He’s also the chairman of Epicurean Charitable Foundation, a local nonprofit charity that provides scholarships and mentoring opportunities to financially-in-need Clark County students who are interested in pursuing careers in hospitality or culinary arts. Here he shares three off-Strip restaurants he likes to frequent when he’s not working.
Which restaurants do you turn to when you’re not working?
I love Rachel’s Kitchen in Summerlin, Marche Bachus and Smith & Wollensky Steakhouse.
What dishes are most memorable?
The signature pasta at Rachel’s Kitchen is my favorite. It includes penne pasta with sautéed chicken breast, eggplant, sundried tomatoes and mushrooms with a tomato cream sauce.
At Marche Bachus it’s definitely the red-wine braised beef. It’s served with delicious candied shallots along with light and fluffy mashed potatoes.
And the Cajun ribeye at S&W is one of my all-time favorite steaks anywhere — prime beef dry-aged for about 28 days and marinated in Cajun spices for at least 48 hours to make it tingle on your tongue with every bite!
Why do you enjoy going there?
Rachel’s Kitchen is a great place to take my kids and we can even walk there from my house. I just wish this location sold wine.
At Marche Bachus, I truly believe that the ambience of the waterfront location makes the food taste even better. Because let’s face it — you eat first with your eyes.
And full disclosure, I opened S&W back in 1998 and travelled the country with the company. Anytime I walk into the restaurant, it feels like home. Speaking of "home," I actually met my wife while she was working as a server at S&W. Without this restaurant, I would not have the most beautiful and amazing family that I have today, let alone an amazing work experience and friends for life.