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.
Beauty & Essex executive chef Kyle Kingrey has seen the world during his career as a chef. He apprenticed at Beano’s Cabin at Beaver Creek, Colorado, before moving to the Grove Park Inn at age 20. Then it was off to Asheville City Club in Asheville, North Carolina. In 1993 he was the executive chef for the Buccaneer Resort on St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands, and later moved to another part of that island as pastry chef for the Villa Madeleine Restaurant. In 2004 he opened his own restaurant, Vespa and Bar Vespa in Toronto, Ontario. In 2008, he helped open Lavo at the Palazzo before moving on to help debut the M Resort and then Fornelleta at the Borgata in Atlantic City. Kingrey returned to the Tao Group family to help Chris Santos build the menu for Beauty & Essex in New York City in 2010. In 2013, he joined the Thomas Lee Management Group as a consultant for Seven Stars Resort in Turks & Caicos. He returned to Beauty & Essex in 2016 to oversee the restaurant at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas and in Hollywood. Here he shares some of his dining discoveries in Las Vegas.
Do you remember your first trip to Vegas? What happened that was memorable?
My first trip out to Vegas was to open Lavo, where I worked with Chris Santos for the first time. The memories haven’t stopped. This is my third stint in Las Vegas and I love this town.
What made you decide to move to Las Vegas?
I just wanted a break from New York City for a bit. After opening Lavo, I returned to New York to open the original Beauty & Essex.
Where do you like to eat breakfast in Las Vegas?
Either the Peppermill or Bagel Cafe, love them both.
What about lunch?
If you’re going out for dinner, which restaurants do you like to frequent?
One of my favorite restaurants in Vegas is Paid in Full. Jason Olsen is a friend and super talented. I always get the Kurobuta corn dogs when I go there.
For Korean barbecue, I love Honey Pig. Get the Set #1 BBQ and enjoy.
For late-night bites and sake, I go to Izakaya Go. The pork kimchi stew with poached egg is my favorite dish.
I also love Umiya Sushi. Their sunrise roll is amazing.
Where do you like to dine for a special occasion?
Carbone. The service is impeccable.
Let’s say you want to hang out with your friends after work. Where do you like to go?
Golden Tiki or The Sand Dollar are my local dive bars.
• All Dining Confidentials [ELV]
• All Coverage of Beauty & Essex [ELV]