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.
Bruce Bromberg — one half of the chef, founder and brother duo of Blue Ribbon Restaurants — has been a guiding force behind the Blue Ribbon brand with his Eric since 1992. After studying at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, Bromber apprenticed at Le Recamiér, Bistro du Louvre ,and the Michelin two-star restaurant Duquesnoy. In 1990, he learned how to bake bread at Boulangerie Poilâne in Paris and then haute cuisine at Michelin three-star restaurant Pierre Gagnaire in Saint-Etienne. Bruce and Eric opened Blue Ribbon Brasserie in 1992 on Sullivan Street in Manhattan with an eclectic menu and a casual atmosphere that became an industry meeting ground for chefs. Now the duo owns and operates restaurants from New York to Los Angeles, including Blue Ribbon Brasserie at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, Blue Ribbon Fried Chicken at the Grand Bazaar Shops and Downtown Summerlin, and Brooklyn Bowl at the Linq Promenade. All, of course, feature a variation of their most famous dish — fried chicken. Here, Bruce Bromberg shares some of his favorite restaurants in Las Vegas.
Do you remember your first trip to Vegas? What happened that was memorable?
In 1986, I was in school at the University of Colorado and my band had booked some gigs in California. Of course, Vegas was the logical pit stop along the way. We lost our bass player for a whole day; there was no sleep but many unforgettable moments. We all somehow made it to LA for our show.
What made you decide to move to Las Vegas?
I decided to move to Vegas when we were opening at the Cosmopolitan. It was the first restaurant that we opened outside of New York City and my brother and I didn’t want to just put our name on the marquee and hope for the best. My family and I decided to move to Summerlin for six months to escape the New York City winter. Six months turned into nearly five years!
Where do you like to eat breakfast in Las Vegas?
I have always liked Eat. When we were working on Life is Beautiful, I think we met there almost every day. It become our unofficial office.
What about lunch?
Echo & Rig! Chef Sammy Marvin and I went to Cordon Bleu together more than 25 years ago. One day, my wife Kerry and I went to check out the new place in our neighborhood, not knowing it was his restaurant. Halfway through the meal I said, “This place is the real deal! There must be a classically trained chef in the kitchen.” About five minutes later, Sammy walked out of the kitchen. I hadn’t seen him in 15 years!
If you’re going out for dinner, which restaurants do you like to frequent?
I love Sage at Aria. It works for every mood. You can blow it out for your birthday or grab a quick bite at the bar after a long night of work. The food is always excellent and the sweetbreads are about my favorite dish in Vegas.
Where do you like to dine for a special occasion?
Kerry and I always go to Joël Robuchon for our anniversary. The place is just so consistent and great. You forget about the outside world for a while and that is priceless!
Are there any brunches in town you like to frequent?
I am not a big brunch guy but a leisurely lunch at Estiatorios Milos always does the trick. A bottle of crisp Greek wine and impeccably grilled fish, with top-notch ingredients is the perfect way to start any day!
Let’s say you want to hang out with your friends after work. Where do you like to go?
Brooklyn Bowl. It has absolutely everything you could want. Quiet lounges, great bars and a huge stage with great bands, and of course, you can bowl the night away.
• All Coverage of Blue Ribbon [ELV]
• All Dining Confidentials [ELV]