Heavy hitting designers have made the dining rooms in restaurants some of the must-see environs of Las Vegas. Here, a look at 18 restaurants that should be on any list of places to see just for the design. And sometimes, the food rivals the decor.
Beijing Noodle No. 9
Inside this casual Northern Chinese restaurant at Caesars Palace sits two enormous aquariums that hold hundreds of goldfish at the entrance. Inside Beijing Noodle No. 9, designed by BWA Architecture + Interiors, a modern metropolitan design set off by contemporary cafe-style furniture and floral finishes on a white-on-white palette.
Settle into the soaring confines of a Parisian bistro at Bouchon in the Venezia Tower of the Venetian. Chef Thomas Keller selected designer Adam D. Tihany to recreate the original Bouchon’s vibrant environment only in blue in Las Vegas. The restaurant features a classic mosaic floor, a magnificent pewter bar that only wears with stories as it ages, antique light fixtures, and hand-painted murals by French artist Paulin Paris. Find additions to the menu hand-written on blackboards throughout the restaurant.
Cut by Wolfgang Puck
Todd-Avery Lenahan, the founder of local design firm TAL Studio, created the original design for Cut when it opened in March 2008 and worked on the renovations that bring a lounge that doubled in size. The lounge now accommodates 90, while an extended bar seats 20. Also new? A shellfish and crudo bar on ice that sits at one end of the bar. The bar top now features a leathered stone bar, custom seating, acrylic table tops, textured walls and ceilings, wood flooring, and a redesigned banquet room. The modern space features a basket woven felt wall high above bronzed mirror walls and acid-etched glass. On the floor, white limestone, walnut wood tiles and custom-designed carpeting. Custom-designed lighting fixtures give the feel of lamplight while leather seating and leather table tops framed in brushed metal offer a contrast to the English Windsor wood slab tables that occupy the center of the space.
Opulent 1950s supper club Delilah from L.A.’s H.wood Group tips its hat to the golden era of entertainment and dining. Todd-Avery Lenahan, president and chief creative officer of Wynn Design & Development, created the look of Delilah, taking cues from the original location in Los Angeles, regal supper clubs of the past, and a safari trip to Africa. Diners enter through the Little Bubble Bar, a 34-seat intimate lounge with settees upholstered in vintage Hermès fabric. Two sweeping sets of staircases adorned with bronze sculptures that were commissioned for Delilah funnel down to the Anchor Bar with its view of the stage, brass palms trees, and vintage feel. Overhead, the ceilings use more than 30 hand-finished plaster molding segments. Seating uses embossed silk velvets, French linens from Pierre Frey and Hermes Rich, piano finish walnut burl with ebony inlay on the walls, and more than three dozen commissioned paintings and sculptures along with vintage cubist works from around the world. Diners can get up and dance on the fumed oak and zebra wood flooring with a chevron pattern. On either side of the main dining room sits outdoor courtyards that whisk diners away to the Amalfi Coast with lanterns for lighting and 75-year-old magnolia trees. To one side of the patio sits the Chef’s Table, a secret dining room with its own bar that those who want some privacy can access via the kitchen. Breathtaking.
é by José Andrés
Hidden inside of José Andrés’ Cosmopolitan restaurant Jaleo is é, where the chef’s table can seat eight people for a 20-course dinner. Chefs roll out course after course, many cooked right at the table and meticulously plated with tweezers, dry ice embellishments, and novelty dish ware, including plaster replicas of Andrés’ hands. A dramatic red glass wall and red velvet curtains, a nod to the chef’s concept of cooking as performance, accompany a ladder that seems to climb to nowhere.
Stepping into Giada at The Cromwell is almost like walking into chef and namesake Giada de Laurentiis’ living room, only with an antipasto bar, a pasta station, a bread station, and a pizzetta bar. The room has a very airy and spacious feel with cantilevered windows overlooking the busiest intersection in Nevada and the Bellagio fountains. Six lights with the phrase, “Taste a little bit of everything and not a lot of one thing,” emblazon and give diners a direction for ordering. Giada’s touch is found everywhere, from almost antique looking red water glasses to her name or just “G” emblazoned on the menus, napkins, and plates. On the walls find movie posters such as Barbarella from her grandfather Dino De Laurentiis’ production days.
Gordon Ramsay Steak
Gordon Ramsay’s first restaurant in Las Vegas features a mock Chunnel leading from Paris Las Vegas into Gordon Ramsay Steak. The 7,500-square-foot restaurant that features an open kitchen, serpentine booths, a second floor with three private dining rooms, and a Union Jack flying overhead with a red neon sculpture modeled after his cooking gestures in the kitchen. Two staircases lead upstairs, giving diners a stunning view of the restaurant and bar area.
Pierre-Yves Rochon designed this decadent room to look like Paris in the 1930s. A black-and-white tiled foyer lit by a crystal teardrop chandelier greets diners as they enter Joël Robuchon at the MGM Grand. To the left, a small bar area. In the tiny dining room that seats 42, soaring 17-foot ceilings set the stage for the black and purple room with spots of turquoise, all decadent, decadent, decadent. To the right of the dining room, an ivy-covered patio that serves as a secondary dining room.
L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon
Chef of the Century Joël Robuchon opened this more casual restaurant designed by Pierre-Yves Rochon in 2005 at the MGM Grand. Inside L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon, the boundaries between kitchen and dining room are crossed as diners watch their meals created in front of their eyes in this dramatic red and black space. Request seats 1 and 2 for a perfect view of the action.
Restaurateur Michael Chow designed the opulent black-and-white space of Mr Chow on the second floor of Caesars Palace. Diners walk in through a champagne lounge on the casino floor, where they can sip on Krug Grande Cuveé or Dom Pérignon from the restaurant’s champagne trolley, while taking in the bright space and the Jeff Koons “Balloon Venus” sculpture on display. Private elevators head up to the restaurant, first taking customers through the 150-label wine room displayed in a floor-to-ceiling glass partition. Behind that, a lounge with bronze furniture and custom Clive Barker artwork. White Venetian plaster and Plexiglas line the dining room surround by outer banquette seating and overlooking a 150-plus lily floral arrangement in the center. A wooden bar with shelves extending to the ceiling come lined with spirits, large windows and French doors leading to the terrace overlooking the Garden of the Gods Pool Oasis. The nearly 250 seat restaurant includes three private dining rooms, bar seating and four terraces. Overhead, a kinetic sculpture, suspended from a 60-foot dome created by Chow and constructed by TAIT. The 3,800-pound fiberglass and aluminum framed sculpture dubbed “The Moon” looks like a full moon, but during service, a four-minute show changes its look.
Dine among the works of Pablo Picasso at his namesake restaurant at the Bellagio. Original pieces of the master’s art and pottery decorate the space. In addition, 16 tables sit on the Picasso patio for a remarkable view of the Fountains at Bellagio.
This jewel box of a restaurant from Jean-Georges Vongerichten at the Bellagio is decked out in plush velvet draping and powder blue marble floors, an ode to Tiffany & Co. The scene evokes a 1930s speakeasy chop house. On the walls at Prime Steakhouse at the Bellagio, three commissioned paintings by Carlo Maria Mariani, George Deem, and Michael Gregory, as well as a water-themed canvas screen created by Joseph Raffael.
Alain Ducasse’s Rivea at the top of the Delano features one of the best views of the Strip, peering north from its perch on the 64th floor of the resort. But inside, the lighted “Wave Wall,” made with hundreds of glass squares in a pattern that reflects the lapping motion of the Mediterranean garners diners’ attention. In a nod to the restaurant’s former decor, those 15,000 hand-blown glass spheres that made up the centerpiece custom-designed chandelier made in Murano, Italy, still sit in the center of the room. Plus inside the restaurant’s 50-seat private dining room find views of the Strip through floor-to-ceiling windows. There, a light fixture made from twinkling lights that mimic the constellations overhead may detract from Ducasse’s fare.
David Rockwell designed the seductive Strip House at Planet Hollywood Resort as a double entendre that refers to the restaurant’s signature cut of steak and to the series of Studio Manasse black and white nudes from the 1900s that pepper that space. Old-world glamour comes alive in this siren red space that boasts 763 photos throughout.
The look at SW Steakhouse at Wynn Las Vegas comes at the hands of Wynn Resorts executive vice president of design Roger Thomas, who looked to the Mojave Desert for inspiration from the horizontal lines found in the sandstone that surround the Las Vegas valley. Tucci marble from Italy and stone pieces carved in Jerusalem are found inside. Handwoven fabric panels installed in a geological formation randomly repeat. Thomas commissioned artists in Germany, France, Italy, Holland, and Southern California to create these panels. The bar area features Las Vegas artist Tim Bavington’s Full Fathom Five, his visual representation of the song Elephant Stone by the Stone Roses. The bar top constructed of metals woven together on an 18th century European loom were then transported to Oregon to be encased in glass. And that detail on the bar edge? A tip to Cartier Love bracelets. Out on the terrace overlooking the Lake of Dreams find an antique grill with white gold leaf, Thomas-designed carpet in Prince of Wales plaid, popularized by the Duke of Windsor, and the half-round centerpiece now made of resin instead of copper.
Tao Asian Bistro
Celebrities flock to Tao Asian Bistro at the Venetian, and the decor inside only adds to the experience. Designer Thomas Schoos created an Asian restaurant decked out in lush velvets and silks, waterfalls, and century-old woods and stones. An extensive collection of Buddha statues watches over every corner of Tao, including a unique reclining Buddha and Tao’s signature 20-foot Buddha that “floats” peacefully above an infinity pool complete with Japanese koi. Other decadent touches include a red neon entrance that nods its head to the red gates used to mark the entrances of Buddhist and Shinto temples, bathtubs filled with rose petals, a Zen garden complete with a raked rock pattern and boulder accents, and antique Asian opium pipes.
This Chinese restaurant at Wynn Las Vegas features a dramatic interior design influenced by early French-influenced Shanghai. Chinoiserie decks out the entire space at Wing Lei. Designer Jacques Garcia created the white onyx bar that greets diners as they enter. Throughout the main dining room and private rooms, numerous ancient Chinese motifs such as the dragon and flaming pearl are visible. The ceiling here features whorls and circles in lavender, deep blue, gold, celadon green, and more. Outside the restaurant, 100-year-old pomegranate trees line one entire wall of the dining room.
Zuma at the Cosmopolitan takes elements of earth, fire, water, and air to decorate the 9,000-square-foot space that cleverly combines a Japanese izakaya and robata grill as well. Noriyoshi Muramatsu of Tokyo-based Studio Glitt designed the space with neon lights and man-made structures. Organic materials, such as a feature wall composed of natural stone from Chiang Mai in Thailand, as well as a reception desk, bar, and sushi counter made of tree trunks, also sourced from Thailand, round out the decor here.
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