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Greene St. Kitchen’s Joseph Zanelli Shares His Favorite Las Vegas Restaurants

Go on and off the Strip with the veteran chef

A chef with his arms crossed
Joseph Zanelli
Clique Hospitality [Official Site]

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.

It seems like Joseph Zanelli has heard up some of the biggest restaurants in Las Vegas over the years. Most recently, Zanelli joined Andy Masi’s Clique Hospitality in December 2018 as the executive chef of Greene St. Kitchen at the Palms. After attending the New England Culinary Institute in Vermont in 1995, his first stop was the World Trade Center in Boston under chef Tom Barton. Zanelli then moved to San Francisco and worked for Annie and David Gingrass at Hawthorne Lane. After working his way through the kitchen, he took his knowledge to Las Vegas, where he had a stint working for Wolfgang Puck at Spago while waiting for the Bellagio to open. He opened Aqua at the Bellagio as a sous chef under chef Michael Mina and chef de cuisine Mark LoRusso. He moved to New York City in 2000 to work with Laurent Tourondel at Cello, Asian Seafood Restaurant AZ under Patricia Yeo, Café Boulud with chef Andrew Carmellini, and Pazo with Patricia Yeo. He returned to Las Vegas In January 2003 to work at the Mansion at MGM Grand, then Lutece at the Venetian, followed by New American Steakhouse at Wynn Las Vegas, and then as chef of the garde manger kitchen at the resort. He moved on to in room dining at Encore Las Vegas, and then Lakeside at Wynn Las Vegas. By September of 2012, he joined Elizabeth Blau’s restaurant group as head chef/partner of Honey Salt. He returned to Wynn in 2015 to open Jardin. Here he shares some of his favorite restaurants on and off the Strip in Las Vegas.

Eater Vegas: Do you remember your first trip to Vegas? What happened that was memorable?

Joseph Zanelli: Yes, I was passing through and won $1,500 playing blackjack at the casino that my father Joe Sr. ran. It was 1997, and the food scene was still up and coming.

What made you decide to move to Las Vegas?

I moved to Las Vegas from San Francisco to work for chef Laurent Tourondel originally, but ended up opening Aqua at the Bellagio with the hardest working chef I know, Mark LoRusso.

Where do you like to eat breakfast in Las Vegas?

The green avocado smoothie from Greens & Proteins is the extent of my breakfast.

What about lunch?

The grilled chicken plate at Meraki Greek Grill, grilled artichokes at King’s Fish House, vegetable curry at Archi’s Thai.

If you’re going out for dinner, which restaurants do you like to frequent? What makes them special? Any dishes you can recommend?

I’ve never been disappointed with Kabuto. The sushi is always super fresh. It’s very small with only 12 seats. I usually select the mid-range tasting menu.

Where do you like to dine for a special occasion?

Vetri Cucina or Sage are my two favorites for special occasions.

Where do you like to dine that includes good wine, maybe off the Strip?

Hearthstone Kitchen & Cellar always has great deals on wine!

Are there any brunches in town you like to frequent?

Bouchon and Veranda still hold the title for brunch.

Any off-Strip favorite restaurants that are neighborhood gems?

Yes, several of them now. For Italian, La Strega. For pizza, Settebello in Henderson. For seafood, Shark. For modern American, Sparrow & Wolf, gastropub, The Kitchen at Atomic. They all do a standout job from service to food.

What about classic restaurants? Do you have any you like to visit?

My absolute favorite is L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon at MGM. For classic French, I usually go for any of the seafood entrees, the squab and real pistachio or chocolate souffle.

Let’s say you want to hang out with your friends after work. Where do you like to go?

Mr. Coco is the best hidden gem in town and the level of service and refinement of the cocktail program is unparalleled in the city. Francesco the great!

All Coverage of Green St. Kitchen [ELV]

All Dining Confidentials [ELV]

Kabuto

5040 Spring Mountain Road, Las Vegas, NV 89146 702-676-1044 Visit Website

Greens & Proteins

8975 S Eastern Ave, Las Vegas, NV 89123 (702) 541-7800 Visit Website

Settebello Pizzeria Napoletana: Henderson

140 South Green Valley Parkway, , NV 89012 (702) 222-3556 Visit Website

Encore Las Vegas

3121 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89109 (888) 320-7110 Visit Website

Kings Fish House

2255 Village Walk Dr, Henderson, NV 89052 (702) 835-8900 Visit Website

The Kitchen at Atomic

927 Fremont Street, , NV 89101 (702) 534-3223 Visit Website

Green St. Kitchen

4321 Flamingo Road, Las Vegas, NV 89103 Visit Website

MR. COCO

4321 West Flamingo Road, , NV 89103 (702) 942-7777 Visit Website

Sage

3730 South Las Vegas Boulevard, , NV 89109 (702) 590-8690 Visit Website

L'Atelier De Joel Robuchon

3799 South Las Vegas Boulevard, , NV 89109 (702) 891-7358 Visit Website

Veranda

3960 South Las Vegas Boulevard, , NV 89119 (702) 632-5121 Visit Website

La Strega

3555 South Town Center Drive, , NV 89135 (702) 722-2099 Visit Website

Spago

3600 Las Vegas Blvd. S., Las Vegas, NV 89109 702-693-8181 Visit Website

Meraki Greek Grill

4950 South Rainbow Boulevard, , NV 89118 (702) 202-1002 Visit Website

Honey Salt

1031 South Rampart Boulevard, , NV 89145 (702) 445-6100 Visit Website

MGM Grand

3799 South Las Vegas Boulevard, , NV 89109 (877) 880-0880 Visit Website

Sparrow & Wolf

4480 Spring Mountain Rd Ste 100, Las Vegas, NV 89102 (702) 790-2147 Visit Website

Las Vegas

, , NV

Shark

4321 W. Flamingo Road, Las Vegas, NV 702-942-7777 Visit Website

Bouchon

3355 Las Vegas Boulevard South, Las Vegas, NV 89109 702.414.6200 Visit Website

Michael Mina

3600 South Las Vegas Boulevard, , NV 89109 (866) 259-7111 Visit Website

Jardin

3131 Las Vegas Boulevard South, , NV 89109 (702) 770-3463 Visit Website

Archi's Thai Bistro

6345 S Rainbow Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89118 (702) 870-5558 Visit Website

The Venetian

3355 South Las Vegas Boulevard, , NV 89109 (702) 414-1000 Visit Website

Greene St. Kitchen

4321 West Flamingo Road, , NV 89103 (702) 942-7777 Visit Website

Wynn Las Vegas

3131 South Las Vegas Boulevard, , NV 89109 (702) 770-7000 Visit Website

Lakeside

3131 South Las Vegas Boulevard, , NV 89109 (702) 770-3310 Visit Website

Atomic Liquors

917 East Fremont Street, , NV 89101 (702) 982-3000

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