It is now time — drumroll, please — to announce the winners of the 2016 Eater Awards in Las Vegas. These winners comprise a diverse group of the finest and most interesting chefs, restaurants and bars in the city. They’ve defined this year in dining, and we applaud them.
First, a quick recap: Eater’s local editors in 23 cities nominated candidates for five major categories: Restaurant of the Year, Chef of the Year, Bar of the Year, Off-Strip Restaurant and Prettiest Restaurant. These awards are geared toward places that have opened in about the past year, or people who have become involved in new ventures or otherwise changed the game in that time, which is why many renowned veterans don’t appear.
Eater readers then voted on winners, while Eater editors made their own choices. The national winners can be viewed here, but now, without further ado, here's who came out on top in Las Vegas. For winners across the Eater universe, head here.
Chef of the Year: Daniel Krohmer, Other Mama
Since opening in April 2015, Daniel Krohmer's Other Mama has become the off-Strip darling of Las Vegas. But the restaurant really hit its stride in 2016. GQ profiled Other Mama in August, calling it "one of the best restaurants you’ll find anywhere in America." In November, Krohmer introduced a seven-course meal, with a menu that will change monthly, available every Friday and Saturday evening in limited numbers. The tasting menu features a rotating selection of uncommon and sustainable products for adventurous Las Vegas diners discovered in his travels to Japan, for $75 per person. Read more about Daniel Krohmer here.
Chef of the Year Readers’ Choice Winner: Roy Ellamar of Harvest at the Bellagio
Restaurant of the Year: Costa di Mare
It's never easy to take over a beloved restaurant from a legend, but Mark LoRusso did just that when he converted Paul Bartolotta's restaurant at Wynn Las Vegas into Costa di Mare last year. One year later, he's introduced a wide range of uncommon seafood options off the coast of Italy to diners, as well as new pastas and even a cordials cart. Read more about Costa di Mare here.
Restaurant of the Year Readers’ Choice: Beauty & Essex at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas
Design of the Year: Libertine Social
Everyone deserves a story when then dine at a restaurant in Las Vegas, and Libertine Social delivers. The restaurant at Mandalay Bay from James Beard Award-winning chef Shawn McClain teamed up with design firm Studio Munge to create a decor that reflected an extended layover at LAX that brought the partners to Venice Beach's Abbot Kinney neighborhood. There they explored dive bars interspersed with galleries and consignment shops to come up with a story for Libertine Social, based on a fictional persona dubbed "Kyle," the host of Libertine Social’s social scene. Read more about Libertine Social here.
Design of the Year Readers’ Choice Winner: Beauty & Essex at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas
Off-Strip Restaurant of the Year: Yui Edomae Sushi
Former Kabuto chef Gen Mizoguchi opened his own restaurant in Chinatown dubbed Yui Edomae Sushi with his painstakingly sourced Japanese fish flown in for the delightful sushi he creates here. The restaurant focuses on Japanese traditional omotenashi service wth a Wagyu beef experience in the back. Read more about Yui Edomae Sushi here.
Off-Strip Restaurant of the Year Readers’ Choice Winner: Other Mama
Bar of the Year: Herbs & Rye
Herbs & Rye was named the Best American High-Volume Cocktail Bar at Tales of the Cocktail. Owner Nectaly Mendoza told the Vegas Seven: "To be the first [Las Vegas bar] to ever make it to the Top 4 was enough for us. To actually win — it was surreal." Damn fine Prohibition era cocktails can be found at this locals’ favorite. Read more about Herbs & Rye here.
Bar of the Year Readers’ Choice: Libertine Social at Mandalay Bay
Comeback of the Year: Bratalian
Carla Pellegrino’s Bratalian Neapolitan Cantina in Henderson returned to the dining scene in October eight weeks after a truck plowed through the restaurant in August. On Aug. 15, an SUV crossed over five lanes of traffic, hit the strip mall's sign and landed inside Bratalian, taking down walls and windows, and as Pellegrino wrote, "crushing into my dining room and women's bathrooms walls in the back of the restaurant; leaving behind a track of material destruction and ripping apart the livelihoods of 15 employees." Read more about Bratalian here.