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.
Vincent Pouessel joined the Lettuce Entertain You in 2016, taking over the kitchen at Mon Ami Gabi at Paris Las Vegas. It was one of the first restaurants he visited when he moved to the United States from France in 2001, and it has been a favorite for him and his wife to celebrate special occasions ever since. Pouessel grew up in a family of butchers in a small town in France known for seafood. He started his career as a cook at Chez la Mère Pourcel in Brittany before working in Bordeaux and Paris, where became the executive sous chef at Le Jules Verne, the Michelin-starred restaurant inside the Eiffel Tower. In 2001, he moved to Las Vegas, where he worked as a sous chef at The Mansion at MGM Grand, and then as the executive chef at Aureole in Mandalay Bay, followed by DB Brasserie at the Venetian. Here he shares some of his favorite restaurants in Las Vegas.
Do you remember your first trip to Vegas? What happened that was memorable?
Yes of course! I had never been to Vegas when I arrived in July 2001 and started to work at The Mansion at the MGM Grand. This was truly spectacular because of the no-limit and upscale approach given to the guests of the villas. Lots of great memories there. It’s where I met my wife Lelhani, and the rest is history.
What made you decide to move to Las Vegas?
I met chef Phillipe Rispoli in a restaurant in Paris and he told me he was moving to Vegas and asked me if I wanted to join him. I said yes and a couple month later I had my visa and landed in Las Vegas in the summer of 2001. I’ve been here ever since.
Where do you like to eat breakfast in Las Vegas?
Weiss Deli on East Sunset, I go there a lot. I sit down and they know just what I want. It’s super good the owners are very nice and there working every day. It’s my comfort zone destination.
What about lunch?
Honey Salt is a great spot for lunch. I love the relaxed atmosphere and they have really great salads.
Eiffel Tower Restaurant for lunch is a great spot. Same view, same food, but such great deal for lunch.
Estiatorio Milos at the Cosmopolitan is still the best lunch in town, hands down.
Echo & Rig is a great place for lunch, great food.
If you’re going out for dinner, which restaurants do you like to frequent?
I love to go to The Black Sheep, her short ribs are the best and so everything else she put on a plate.
My girls love Tacos El Gordo on Charleston. Their el pastor is the bomb.
Sparrow & Wolf is always great, solid food great cocktails love what Brian is doing. Love his duck and sweet breads.
I am dying to see my friends at Locale Italian Kitchen, Nicole Brisson and Andrew Hooper’s new restaurant. I am really looking forward to that.
Where do you like to dine for a special occasion?
I love to go to Buddy V’s Ristorante. What Bryan Forgione is doing with Italian comfort food is great.
I love to go for a great dinner with the view at Rivea. I love his gnocchi and chickpea fries. Those are the best.
Are there any brunches in town you like to frequent?
Border Grill in Mandalay Bay. I love the Hot Tamales [Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken]. Chef Mike Minor’s the best.
I visit my buddy Pierre at Café Breizh on Sunday for pastries and galettes. I can’t function too long without his mille feuilles, chausson aux pommes, and gallettes.
Black Sheep is now open for brunch and you have to go there.
Let’s say you want to hang out with your friends after work. Where do you like to go?
Any healthy restaurants that you like to dine at in Las Vegas?
Eatt Gourmet Bistro on Sahara is very tasty and simple and they serve the right portions to keep me on track.
How about French restaurants?
• All Dining Confidentials [ELV]
• All Coverage of Mon Ami Gabi [ELV]