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.
Flower Child executive chef Sean Rainaldi hails from New Mexico, making the move to Las Vegas to attend culinary school and kick off his career. He worked as Bobby Flay’s executive chef for three years at Mesa Grill in the Bahamas’ Atlantis Paradise Island Resort and then. at Flay’s New York City Bar Americain. He moved back to Las Vegas in 2017 to help open Robert Irvine’s Public House at the Tropicana. Before that, he was the assistant executive chef for Michel Richard at the now-closed Central Michel Richard at Caesars Palace. He has also worked closely, or crossed paths with, chefs such as Eric Ripert, Jonathan Waxman, David Chang, Daniel Boulud, and Guy Savoy over the years. Here Rainaldi shares some of his favorite dining discoveries in Las Vegas.
Do you remember your first trip to Vegas? What happened that was memorable?
My first trip to Vegas I was 21. Isn’t that everyone’s first trip at that age? I remember going to my first PT’s off Sunset Road and falling in love with the bartenders. I also had an amazing dinner at Benihana in the Las Vegas Hilton when it was still called that.
What made you decide to move to Las Vegas?
I moved to Las Vegas after attending college at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces to proceed with culinary school at Le Cordon Bleu in Summerlin. At the time I felt, and still feel to this day, that Las Vegas’ culinary field was just as good as the bigger cities like LA, New York City and Chicago.
Where do you like to eat breakfast in Las Vegas?
Egg Works of course. Chicken fried steak skillet all the time.
What about lunch?
Best lunch by far is still In N Out Burger. It’s a staple and my daughter loves it, although I do love Danny Meyer’s Shake Shack and Bobby’s Burger Palace.
If you’re going out for dinner, which restaurants do you like to frequent? What makes them special? Any dishes you can recommend?
My go to restaurant for dinner is Anthony’s in the M Resort. The ambience is beautiful, overlooking the pool and southwest Las Vegas. Shout out to chef Matt and his crew. He comes up with wonderful specials on the daily. Dry-aged rib-eye is my recommendation by far.
Where do you like to dine for a special occasion?
I love taking my special someone to Honey Salt or Sparrow & Wolf. The food at both places is different in its own way, but amazing.
Are there any brunches in town you like to frequent?
You might see me at Andres’s Bistro & Bar for a croque Madame or Mon Ami Gabi. I’m still a sucker for old school French techniques.
Let’s say you want to hang out with your friends after work. Where do you like to go?
Hanging with friends and colleges we meet up in Chinatown of course. Ichiza for honey toast or Pho Kim Long, then perhaps some karaoke.
• All Coverage of Flower Child [ELV]
• All Dining Confidentials [ELV]