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.
Vincent Pilon is at home in the world of chocolates and pastries. The executive pastry chef and master chocolatier at Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas has more than 20 years of experience. He trained at L’école Jean Ferrandi in France and then attended L’école de Paris des Métiers de la Table. After working in pastry and chocolate shops in France, he landed at Le Palais du Chocolat in Washington, D.C., in 1997, then headed to New York City to work with Francois Payard at Payard Patisserie & Bistro. For the past 15 years, he’s worked in Las Vegas resorts, including gigs as an assistant pastry chef at the Bellagio and assistant executive pastry chef at the Rio. Before coming to Cosmopolitan, he was the executive pastry chef at Mandalay Bay. Pilon helps develop Cosmopolitan’s banquet services, culinary in-room dining, Wicked Spoon, Va Bene and VIP dining. He’s won first place in the Food Network Challenge “Chocolate Series” in 2005, 2006, 2008 and 2009. In 2007 Pilon took home the first place metal from U.S. Chocolate Masters. He was also named one of the Ten Best Pastry Chefs in America by Pastry Art & Design Magazine in 2007 and 2008, and now judges the U.S. Chocolate Masters as well as several Food Network chocolate challenges. Here he shares three of his favorite places to dine in Las Vegas, and none of them have anything to do with chocolates or pastries.
Which restaurants do you turn to when you’re not working?
Pasta Shop Ristorante, Andrea’s at Encore Las Vegas and Grimaldi’s Pizzeria.
What dishes are most memorable?
At Pasta Shop Ristorante, I really like their saffron shrimp sauté made with black squid pasta and tiger shrimp in saffron cream sauce.
Andrea’s saikyo miso black cod is to die for! It was recommended by a friend of mine, and I was speechless at the first bite. The flavors were unexpected but done so perfect and with real thought behind the flavor combinations.
Grimaldi’s has great pizza. My wife and I like to change our toppings every time we go.
Why do you enjoy going there?
I like Pasta Shop Ristorante for their casual, intimate ambience and the relaxing experience. I also like the location since it’s conveniently away from the Strip.
With Andrea’s, they just have the most unique food offerings. I usually prefer more familiar flavors but this restaurant offers flavors far beyond my proverbial tastes.
I like to go to Grimaldi’s for their casual atmosphere. It’s a great place to have pizza, an ice cold Peroni and watch my Green Bay Packers.