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 feature dubbed Dining Confidential.
Christophe De Lellis became the executive chef of Joël Robuchon at the age of 27, making him on of the youngest chefs to head up the kitchen under the Chef of the Century. The Parisian-born chef cooked at Le Cardinal in the City of Lights before being brought to the Paris’s Marriot Hotel to be on the opening team of La Brasserie Renaissance; a two-year stint that ultimately led to his crossing the Atlantic to join chef Joël Robuchon’s eponymous Michelin Three-Star restaurant. He spent four years as a sous chef, rotating through each of the stations. In 2014, he moved over to Shawn McClain’s Sage at Aria as the chef de cuisine. Within a year, he got the call to return to Joël Robuchon Restaurant as chef de cuisine. Here he shares some of his favorite places to dine in Las Vegas when he’s not creating French cuisine extraordinaire.
Which restaurants do you turn to when you’re not working?
When I’m not at work I surprisingly enough don’t have far to walk; L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon, the secondary restaurant by Joel Robuchon in Las Vegas, is easily one of my favorite places to dine. Unpretentious approach to a high quality French fine dining that’s easy to go with friends “just because” or on a more special, romantic date night with the wife.
Moving off Strip, I absolutely love Raku, which is off Decatur and Spring Mountain: a very honest approach to Japanese cuisine that is financially approachable and really tasty. One venue I’m really looking forward to trying is Meraki, a Greek restaurant with rice bowls, gyros and other classically Greek foods that targets the American palate.
What dishes are most memorable?
The tartare is one of my favorite dishes in L’Atelier — it is a classic approach to a tartare — and really embodies what Mr. Robuchon believes: that it is hard to make something simple great — and it is great every time.
For Raku, easy, the agedashi tofu with a crispy exterior, nori and ikura in a dashi broth.
At Meraki, Greek rice bowl with (among others) feta, kale, marinated garbanzo beans and pepperoncini (for a little spice) which surprisingly enough really balances well with the tzatziki.
Why do you enjoy going there?
I believe I sort of began answering this earlier with L’Atelier. It is such a comfortable place to go enjoy a great French meal in an uptempo atmosphere. The tasting menu there is fabulous but I prefer just picking a bunch of small plates and allowing the chef to send them out when he pleases. As a true escape from not just the lights of the strip but also Las Vegas in general, stepping into Raku and hearing the traditional Japanese greeting yelled at me as I open the door is as good an entrance as I’ve ever had. As for Meraki, I truly believe in what Mr. Robuchon has said time and again that to make something simple great is difficult — and yet extremely satisfying.
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