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.
Megan Shaver has a long history with the JW Marriott, working at the resort from 2007 to 2014 and returning in 2018 to work at Hawthorn Grill as the executive chef for a year before taking over the kitchen at Spiedini Ristorante after the resort acquired it. Shaver grew up in upstate New York and became interested in food when she found out her neighbor starred on Mr. Food. She earned a bachelor’s degree in nutrition from Russell Sage College and later a degree from the Culinary Institute of America. Shaver studied abroad at the University of Puerto Rico and then went on to work at Fig Restaurant and Five Fifty-Five. She spent time and Art Hotel and Inverness Hotel & Conference Center in Colorado, then traveled to the Virgin Islands, where she was at Marriott’s Frenchman’s Reef from 2016-2017. She also worked at the Four Seasons Hotel in Manele Bay in Hawaii, among other places. Here she shares some of her favorite places to dine in Las Vegas.
Eater Vegas: Do you remember your first trip to Vegas? What happened that was memorable?
Megan Shaver: My first trip to Las Vegas was in 2006. My partner and I were living in Hawaii and came for a getaway. We stayed at the Four Seasons, ate at Veranda, Mon Ami Gabi, Charlie Palmer Steak, and saw Aerosmith at the MGM Grand.
What made you decide to move to Las Vegas?
We decided to move to Las Vegas from Lanai, Hawaii. It is a small island, only about 3,000 people, I was getting a little bit of Island fever and wanted a change. I saw a career opportunity at JW Marriott and decided to go for it. My partner had family here, so it seemed like a good move.
Where do you like to eat breakfast in Las Vegas?
The Egg & I is always a go to for breakfast. I also really like Rise & Shine. The chicken chorizo burrito is one of my favorites. Peg’s Glorified Ham n Eggs is on the top of my list, with the vegan skillet being my regular. When I just want something quick, Ronald’s Donuts is ridiculously good! You can never go wrong there.
What about lunch?
For lunch, the kimchee fried rice at Island Sushi is killer! I also frequent John Mull’s Meat for unpretentious barbecue done well. Also, the spinach curry at Curry Zen is always delicious. Rooster Boy Cafe has the shakshouka and the Frenchy, which I love. My favorite poke place is Poke Express in North Las Vegas, the best shoyu ahi and tako poke, totally worth the drive.
If you’re going out for dinner, which restaurants do you like to frequent? What makes them special? Any dishes you can recommend?
When going out for dinner, I really like Nittaya’s Secret Kitchen. I like the family-style dining and the pad woon-sen and the basil eggplant are two of my favorites.
Where do you like to dine for a special occasion?
For a special occasion, I like Echo & Rig, Julian Serrano Tapas, and Vintner Grill.
Are there any brunches in town you like to frequent?
The best brunch is at Hamptons in Tivoli Village — lemon ricotta blueberry pancakes, green chile pork stew, so good.
Let’s say you want to hang out with your friends after work. Where do you like to go?
After work, I usually end up at Hamptons. They have a great jalapeno margarita and the overstuffed bacon and eggs are amazing.
• All Coverage of Spiedini Ristorante [ELV]
• All Dining Confidentials [ELV]