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.
Scott Conant is probably best known as a judge on the Food Network’s Chopped. Las Vegas got to know his Italian cuisine better when he opened Scarpetta and D.O.C.G. Enoteca at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas in 2010. While D.O.C.G. closed last year and Conant part ways with Scarpetta, now he’s introducing Summerlin to his spaghetti and caramel budino at his new restaurant, Masso Osteria, at Red Rock Resort. Here, the chef shares some of the restaurants he likes to explore now that he’s spending more time in Las Vegas.
Do you remember your first trip to Vegas? What happened that was memorable?
I actually do. It was later in my life, about 12 years ago, during Halloween. I was cooking at a private event and was introduced to a core group of Las Vegans. I got to know some of them pretty well and developed long-lasting relationships. It was a really special introduction to Las Vegas.
What made you spend more time in Las Vegas?
I think it’s a rite of passage. There are a lot of fantastic restaurants and extremely professional people that spend a tremendous amount of time making sure customers are happy, which I have so much respect for. And it’s good to surround yourself with that level of professionalism.
Where do you like to eat breakfast in Las Vegas?
I think it’s fantastic what Eggslut is doing at the Cosmopolitan. And whenever I have a little downtime, I like to order room service and have breakfast from the comfort of my hotel bed. And I am really looking forward to dining at Pronto by Giada.
What about lunch?
For someone like me, who sometimes can’t make up my mind about what I want to eat, I love going to China Poblano. You just get the best of Mexican and Chinese cuisines side by side. What’s not to love?
I am spending a lot of time in Summerlin now and enjoying exploring what that neighborhood has to offer. I love going to Honey Salt and to Blue Ribbon Fried Chicken at Downtown Summerlin.
If you’re going out for dinner, which restaurants do you like to frequent? What makes them special? Any dishes you can recommend?
I love Lotus of Siam and the new location is fantastic. I just go with what Penny (chef Saipin Chutima’s daughter) sends me — although I don’t feel like I can handle the same level of spiciness she can! And I have never had anything I didn’t like there but some of the most memorable dishes are the Nam Kao Tod, the Rom Kah Kai, any of the curries, and the Pad Thai.
Where do you like to dine for a special occasion?
Ah, there are some many places in Las Vegas that are special. I think Prime Steakhouse at Bellagio is fantastic. And I love going to Cut at The Venetian — the GM, Johnny, is one of my oldest friends.
Are there any brunches in town you like to frequent?
I love Michael Mina and the brunch they are doing at Bardot Brasserie. You can’t go wrong with that French toast or the king crab crepe.
Let’s say you want to hang out with your friends after work. Where do you like to go?
Anywhere Downtown. I think that side of town is so cool and hip and there are so many good cocktail lounges. One that comes top of mind is the Downtown Cocktail Room.
• All Coverage of Masso Osteria [ELV]
• All Dining Confidentials [ELV]