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 readers to these potential discoveries, Eater Vegas enlisted some of the city's food players to share their recommendations for a feature dubbed Dining Confidential.
Patrick Munster launched MB Steak at the Hard Rock Hotel from brothers David and Michael Morton earlier this year. The executive chef, originally from St. Louis, worked at SW Steakhouse at Wynn for 10 years, rising up to chef de cuisine. He went on to work as the executive chef of Bottigilia Enoteca at Green Valley Ranch. Munster graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park. Here he shares some of his favorite places to dine when he’s not making steaks.
Do you remember your first trip to Vegas? What happened that was memorable?
In 2000, I was attending the Culinary Institute of America in New York. Needing a break, I flew down to visit my brother in San Diego. We decided to high tail it to Vegas in the middle of the night. I remember seeing the lights from The Strip after driving in pitch black darkness for what seemed like forever. It was unforgettable. We spent two days here and I spent every dime I had. Not on gambling, or anything you’d expect, but at the Elvis-o-Rama museum.
What made you decide to move to Las Vegas?
Drawn by the memory of my first visit, I took an internship in Las Vegas while I was finishing college. It was then that I saw what Las Vegas was truly all about. Yes, there is gaming and neon and the perception of escape, but I also learned that this city is truly a world-class destination for great food that is constantly competing to be the best, and I knew I wanted to be a part of that energy.
Where do you like to eat breakfast in Las Vegas?
I’m in the kitchen at MB Steak pretty late so I’m not a big breakfast food guy, but I do love a great cup of coffee at Mothership Coffee Roasters. Their pastries are also excellent.
What about lunch?
Weiss Deli is my go-to lunch spot. I’ll typically order an Arlene Bianchi open-faced sandwich with the chicken soup. It’s phenomenal. I love that it’s a truly authentic Jewish deli. To wash it all down, a Dr. Browns Black Cherry. If I don’t eat there, I typically hit The Great Greek; order the Mezze Plate and you have everything you need for a fantastic lunch.
If you’re going out for dinner, which restaurants do you like to frequent? What makes them special? Any dishes you can recommend?
Pho Kim Long has been one of my favorites for a long time. I’ve been getting the No. 14 for more than 10 years. In my hometown of St. Louis, we have a tremendous Vietnamese restaurant called Pho Grand, and I never thought I’d find its rival, but I have with PKL. Downtown has some amazing spots, like La Comida. I can’t get enough of their al pastor tacos. Pizza Rock is a family favorite. Killer pizza and salads, especially The Diavola, one of the best pies on their menu. Fukumimi ramen is my ramen spot now that the Henderson Monta Chaya closed. Their gyoza and spicy miso ramen are some of my favorites.
Where do you like to dine for a special occasion?
Sparrow + Wolf is knocking it out of the park with their menu. The lamb bolognese is a must-try. Carson Kitchen is always a great date night spot. I order the gyro tacos and bacon jam, every time.
Let’s say you want to hang out with your friends after work. Where do you like to go?
Atomic Liquor is my favorite. The beer list is always up to date and blows me away. Starboard Tack also has a great vibe; the “Yacht Rock” decór makes me feel right at home.
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