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Shake Shack's Mark Rosati Shares Three Favorite Las Vegas Restaurants

The culinary director got to know the city's food scene while he was opening Shake Shack at New York-New York.

Mark Rosati
Mark Rosati
Amelinda B Lee

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.

Mark Rosati spent a lot of time dining out in Las Vegas when he helped Shake Shack open its first location in Las Vegas at New York-New York in January. The culinary director for the Shake Shack empire was born in Connecticut and grew up dining at the roadside seafood and burger shacks on the East Coast. But his move into the culinary industry didn’t catch on right away. He studied film and television, earning a degree from New York University. A meeting with chef Tom Colicchio at Gramercy Tavern opened his mind to food and beverage. He ended up working at Gramercy Tavern and worked his way through every station in the kitchen. By 2007, he became the manager of Shake Shack’s original location in Madison Square Park. He helped open the Upper West Side Shack in the fall of 2008 as a manager. His love of the kitchen kept him tinkering with new recipes, many of which became menu items and specials over the years. By the summer of 2010, it was clear that Rosati’s true calling was menu development, and he was named Shake Shack’s culinary development manager. Now he’s the culinary director, most recently creating his special edition "MeisterShack," named Best Burger at the 2014 South Beach Wine and Food Festival Burger Bash. Here he shares three of his favorite restaurant discoveries in Las Vegas.

Which restaurants do you turn to when you’re not working?
I’m a tremendous fan of Chada Thai & Wine, Lotus of Siam and Gimme Some Sugar.

What dishes are most memorable?
At Chada Thai, I always look forward to digging into the spicy herbs spring roll and the soft shell crab stir fried with soy sauce, garlic, black pepper and green onion. Both pack quite a flavorful punch.

Two musts haves for me when I visit Lotus of Siam are the crispy duck with chili mint leaves and the marinated raw prawns when on the specials menu.

When the need for a sugar fix arises, I jump into the car and head over to Gimme Some Sugar in Henderson for their oversized macaroons and ultra-rich and fudgy brownies. Perfect.

Why do you enjoy going there?
I love that all of the above restaurants above offer delicious and truly inspired food in a laid-back environment that offers a great alternative to the high energy atmosphere of the Strip.

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