Opening a restaurant in any economy is a challenge. Opening one in a pandemic, when many were just trying to maintain business, even more so. Though for some the impacts were far too great to continue, Las Vegas has welcomed a fair share of new establishments over the past year.
That proprietors maintained and executed on their vision to open new dining destinations in 2021 in and of itself was a feat. But beyond just opening their doors, some of Las Vegas’ newest establishments have quickly become standouts among an ever-growing selection of great culinary options.
From a local Italian Trattoria to Upscale Modern American on the Strip, these are a few of our favorite new restaurants to make their mark in Las Vegas in 2021.
Superfrico – Fresh Vision
Suitably located next to the renowned OPIUM adult stage show, Superfrico is a mind-bending experience to challenge all your senses. The psychedelic interior styling plays a crucial role in letting you know this isn’t your typical restaurant since visionary creativity is cultivated and explored by cutting-edge chefs, unleashed on the menu with astonishing results.
Perhaps its proximity to the iconic show influences the stylings of the establishment. Walls, floors, and everything in between is adorned with artwork and items to stimulate your senses. Like OPIUM, the interior visual identity of Superfrico is stunning. The site boasts over 20 original works from some of the world’s best contemporary artists like Mark Ogge and Adehla Lee.
As for the food, hugely talented chefs here pay homage to classic Italian American cuisine in their unique stylings by the head Sicilian chef, Anthony Falco. Some of the most amazing tastes, textures, and techniques are creatively re-imagined like a direct reflection of the sensory cabaret-burlesque style surroundings that turn the established image of dining on its head.
Reinventing Italiana is a task in itself. How do you improve perfection? Well, you can’t. What you can do is source the highest quality ingredients possible and pay respect to your produce by crafting meals with the same love and artistic expression that covers the walls outside. And that’s precisely the concept behind this astonishingly stylish take on modern dining.
For instance, when you gluttonously devour Chef Falco’s Calamari, all the flavors you expect are there. But the added dimension of grilled scallions, tangerine honey, and yuzu koshō is a beautiful addition that ultimately elevates your flavor senses to provide a palate-pleasing experience. It is combinations like this that turn an expected classic dish into a legendary one.
Casa Playa – Contemporary Classical
There are many ways to discover your bliss at Wynn Las Vegas. Wynn resort is a premier luxury experience for those who want a little more from life. Golf, pools, spas, and entertainment abound. There’s no place better if you want it all. And with fine living comes fine dining. Lucky for you, Wynn is also home to a Mexican restaurant experience a far stretch from LA street food.
Located in the heart of Wynn Las Vegas, Casa Playa offers a heavenly slice of fine classical Mexicana with a contemporary twist. Stylish, modern, and relaxed, the soiree atmosphere of this establishment in no way indicates a lax attitude towards your dining experience even though Casa Playa feels more like a high-end nightclub than an eatery enjoyed by couples and friends.
Head Chef Sarah Thompson offers delectable delights prepared in authentic Mexican style. Plump and juicy seafood platters, luxury Wagyu beef tacos (best-sellers), and classic ceviche are offered. And for those concerned with current issues, all of the beautifully fresh oceanic ingredients are responsibly and sustainably sourced from the Mexican Pacific coastline.
But we can’t mention Mexican cuisine without carnitas. And boy, does Playa Casa come through. Chef Thompson’s signature suckling pig carnitas are like nothing you have tried before. Crispy skin and soft meat are brought together with the mind-blowing background flavors of smoky agave and chipotle, cooled with house-made slaw and charred cucumber salad.
And as if Sarah Thompson isn’t a treat enough, Casa Playa offers not one but two of the most respected experts in the business. Master mixologist Mariena Mercer Boarini offers unique cocktails based on some of Mexico’s beloved spirits. Additionally, renowned cicerone Noah Arenstein offers a personally sourced selection of Mexico’s famous mezcal and tequila.
Delilah – Americana Slice
Of course, Wynn Resort has more than one delectable restaurant experience on offer. There’s a myriad of dining options to choose from when you visit. Sinatra offers Italian classics inspired by Frank himself. Allegro will fire up a wood-burning pizza oven for the best slice this side of Naples. And then there’s the classic American piece of the 1950s at Delilah.
The American Dream is long forgotten. Yet, it is being kept alive as a highly collectible and uniquely stylish concept by hobbyists, the art world, and eateries. From the exclusive Tower Suites Enclave, Delilah presents a traditional American dining experience. The kind Las Vegas is built on. Follow in the footsteps of iconic jazz artists, Hollywood actors, and Presidents.
Elegant and alluring, you can experience the glitz and glamor of a Las Vegas supper club. The fittings and furnishings blend the best the ’40s, ’50s, and ’60s had to offer. Yet, a glimpse into the past belies the stunningly contemporary cuisine as you are entertained by the best jazz performers around. And in the authentic style of the times, service continues into the small hours.
Delectable delights available for sampling include some of the most delicate dishes and concoctions associated more with Royalty. Elite Americanism shines through without a hot dog in sight, highlighting so much more to the United States’ varied cuisine than fast food. Rich caviar, vintage steak tartare, and tender New England crab cake grace the Appetizers menu.
Delving deeper into the delightful, Gatsby-Esque menu, your culinary odyssey through fine American dining continues. Head Chef Joshua Smith’s affectionately crafted signature dishes include an addictive King Crab Caesar salad with a caper aioli you won’t soon forget. Additionally, the Short Rib “Surf & Turf” has what you might expect, yet a stunning shallot jus raises the classic.
Harlo – High Steaks
Close to Red Rock National Park lies a secret Las Vegas likes to keep from the tourists. The bright lights and glitzy ads of The Strip are a far cry from the breathtaking residential community of Summerlin. Just 10 miles from the tourist-heavy Las Vegas metro, Summerlin offers a slower pace of life in one of the most stunning conservation areas in the USA.
With all the potential money to be made on The Strip, you would think it would appeal to a talented chef wanting to open a high-end steak house. But there’s one chef who has taken “high steaks” (sorry) gamble. Renowned Las Vegas chef, Gina Marinelli, has chosen Summerlin for her new project. Harlo is a meaty chunk of premium beef from the very best sources.
The plump and juicy cuts on offer at Harlo include Western Reserve fillet steaks, renowned Allen Brothers ribeyes, and Icon XB 60-day wet-aged Wagyu shipped all the way from Australia. And while a dish is only as good as its ingredients, it also takes a premier chef and a dedicated kitchen team to use such delightful and desirable cuts of meat respectfully and appropriately.
Fortunately, Chef Marinelli and her skilled team know exactly what to do. The meaty and marbled glorious cuts of Harlo’s signature dishes are confidently cooked over an authentic wood-fired grill that adds another dimension of flavor. And you are spoiled for choice with more than meat. Harlo also offers seafood classics like clams, mussels, king crab, and lobster.
Al Solito Posto – La Dolce Vita
Backed and developed by the same hospitality giants as Harlo, Al Solito Posto shows you the real genius behind Italian cuisine. The Lev Group specializes in offering the best to the forgotten residents and communities just outside of Las Vegas. Also located off-strip, this spectacular fine slice of the boot serves the good residents of Tivoli Village, next to Summerlin.
Like Harlo, the passionate team headed by Executive Chef, Steve Young, treats lovers of an often overlooked and snubbed cuisine. Unlike French, the essence of Italian cooking is simple dishes made from the very best ingredients. Yet, this is an absurd oversimplification. Italian food is rich yet light and incredibly fresh, with proficient technical skills required.
For example, signature dishes like linguini and clams with white wine, parsley, and lemon sound easy to prepare. Yet each ingredient must be added at a specific time to cook appropriately. And a glamorous presentation with any pasta takes years to learn. Additionally, Al Solito Posto will remind you how lucky you are with a slice of la dolce vita from its dessert and drinks menus.
What would an Italian restaurant be without tiramisu? The classic dessert of trattorias and ristorantes all over the world. Yet the velvety coffee and mascarpone mousse in this particular establishment is something to behold. Rather than a simple layered cake of flavor, you are represented with a deconstructed floral design more like a Masonic, golden ratio masterpiece.
Further to enjoying indomitable Italian classic dishes, Al Solito Posto boasts an extensive cocktail menu. When In Rome, as they say, tempts you into trying something new. In this case, it’s the name of a pallet-popping concoction of prosecco, with martini, italicus garnished with cinnamon, grapefruit, and lemon. A stunning drink to try before you die.
Las Vegas is a stunningly international and inclusive city. And this is highlighted no more than the smorgasbord of cuisine variety. Some of the most incredible food available, from classic American Delilah to beloved Mexican of Casa Playa, is available on The Strip, where Superfrico delights.
Yet you can travel a little further afield to sample some of the most sumptuous dishes by talented chefs in welcoming towns such as Summerlin for the steaks of Harlo and Tivoli Village for an unforgettable Italian experience at Al Solito Posto.