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.
Nicolas Kalpokdjian, part of the trio behind the healthy restaurant Eatt Gourmet Bistro and French cafe Partage, loves opening new businesses, perhaps due to his two degrees in management and corporate finance from EDHEC Business School in France. Aside from working in France, Hong Kong, China, and Brazil with more than 30 chefs on the business side of operations, he founded Restolib.fr, a digital platform that provides all-in-one resources for corporate cooking events. Here he shares some of his top dining picks in Las Vegas.
Do you remember your first trip to Vegas? What happened that was memorable?
I was seven the first time I came to Vegas. It was 1991 and the Mirage just opened. I still remember the pool seemed huge in my kid eyes. I also had the privilege to see one of Siegfried and Roy’s shows. Since that day, Las Vegas always had a special place in my mind, and I knew I was going to come back.
What made you decide to move to Las Vegas?
I am passionate about hotels, restaurants, and casinos and it was a dream of mine since I was a kid to move here and start a business. When I graduated from business school in 2008, I started reading Las Vegas newspaper every day and it took me six years to put the right team together and finally move here in 2014.
Where do you like to eat breakfast in Las Vegas?
I like to grab some croissants and apple turnover at Café Breizh, it really reminds me of the breakfast I had back in Paris, where I was living before moving here.
What about lunch?
I love Greek food so I have to say that Meraki Greek Grill is my favorite option for lunch. The tzatziki is amazing, and the spanakopita reminds me of my trips to Greece. If I am close to the Strip, I like to go to Milos at Cosmopolitan as well for their amazing value lunch menu.
If you’re going out for dinner, which restaurants do you like to frequent? What makes them special? Any dishes you can recommend?
For dinner, depending on the occasion, there are a few places I like to go. For a casual dinner, I like to go to Echo & Rig. The butcher is doing a great job, and his burgers are the best. I like trying new restaurants too and our team goes out quite often to try what is new. I would also recommend Mordeo for the octopus and the carne asada, Sparrow + Wolf for the tasting menu, EDO Gastro Tapas & Wine for the authentic selection of tapas and the great hospitality by Roberto.
Where do you like to dine for a special occasion?
For special occasions, I would really recommend Marche Bacchus for their very impressive wine selections and the stunning patio. Also, Rivea and Skyfall offer a breathtaking view over our very own Las Vegas. Chef Bruno and Kevin, the general manager, are very talented and always make me feel welcome there.
Let’s say you want to hang out with your friends after work. Where do you like to go?
After closing the restaurant, we like to go with our team to Herbs & Rye for unique cocktails and nice ambiance. We like going to Lamaii as well for their duck panang. One of my personal favorites is Viet Noodle Bar, where I know that I can stop by at any time of the day or night to have great Vietnamese food that brings me back to my childhood when my grandmother and mother were cooking Vietnamese dishes every Sunday. The flank pho is my go-to dish during winter, and the pork bao bun would be my recommendation during summer.
Any healthy restaurants that you like to dine at in Las Vegas?
Not because we own the place, but our team at Eatt Gourmet Bistro does an amazing job at designing healthy and delicious recipes. I really recommend the chilled soups, the goat cheese tartine (the only item we kept on the menu since day one) and the duck entrée. Save room for amazing light and tasty desserts made by chef Vincent.
How about French restaurants?
I like to go to Le Cirque at Bellagio, where the general manager Ivo does an amazing job making us feel special. L’Atelier and Joel Robuchon are definitely must-try restaurants. Both restaurants’ kitchen are run by young and talented chefs, and we really like to support their creativity.
• All Coverage of Partage [ELV]
• All Dining Confidentials [ELV]