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.
Jean Georges Steakhouse executive chef Sean Griffin worked under Rick Tromonto, Charlie Trotter and Thomas Keller during his career. Back in 2003, Griffin made his way to Vegas as chef de cuisine for the now-defunct Nero’s Restaurant at Caesars Palace, where he made a name for himself preparing whimsical dishes. Then he took a detour to Michael Mina’s Bourbon Steak in Scottsdale, Arizona, where he served as executive chef. Back in Vegas he served as the chef of Prime Steakhouse at the Bellagio, Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s first restaurant in Las Vegas, before he moved over to Jean George, which just went through a makeover at Aria. Griffin shares his favorite places to dine in Vegas when he’s not in the kitchen.
Do you remember your first trip to Vegas? What happened that was memorable?
My first trip to Vegas was when I was a little kid. My mom took me and my sister to see Siegfried and Roy at the Mirage. I loved magic, so I was in a state of amazement for the entire show. It was unlike anything I had ever seen before.
What made you decide to move to Las Vegas?
My family and I had relatives in Las Vegas and every time we would come to visit they would ask when we were moving. After working in California for a few years, I decided on a whim to send my resume to several hotels in the city and ended up with a new job a few weeks later.
If you’re going out for dinner, which restaurants do you like to frequent?
I like to try new things and see what chefs throughout the city are doing so my list of go-to places changes frequently. Currently, it includes Sparrow & Wolf along with Black Sheep. Also, Chada Thai & Street is always a sure bet.
Where do you like to dine for a special occasion?
If I’m looking for a memorable dining experience, I swing by Bellagio to visit my friends Julian Serrano and general manager Christian Pollock at Picasso. The atmosphere is always so welcoming and the food is unforgettable.
Are there any brunches in town you like to frequent?
Bardot Brasserie at Aria is my go-to spot for brunch. Josh Smith and his team do an amazing job. #frenchtoast
Let’s say you want to hang out with your friends after work. Where do you like to go?
I like to keep it casual outside of work with delicious food in a relaxing setting. District One is a great place to hang out with friends and enjoy a unique take on Vietnamese cuisine.
• All Dining Confidentials [ELV]