What’s new on the Vegas dining scene

The Las Vegas dining scene changes more often than J-Lo changes outfits during her show.

Something new is always opening and something bigger and better is always planned for the future. Here’s our guide to restaurants that have opened recently and what you can expect in the next few months:

Recently opened

Loaded masa fries at Loco Cantina, photo courtesy of Loco Cantina.

Loaded masa fries at Loco Cantina, photo courtesy of Loco Cantina.

Loco Cantina at Town Square
Loco Cantina
opened last month and serves modern Mexican street food in a casual and fun atmosphere with live entertainment nightly.

The menu is simple, but packed with flavor. Guests can order appetizers including housemade guacamole, chicken taquitos, ceviche and chorizo fries with cheese, chili, candied jalapenos and fried egg. For main entrees, there are a variety of tortas, tostadas, fajitas and tacos including roasted chicken, carnitas, barbacoa, crispy shrimp and pastor.

Stoned N Baked, Downtown Container Park
Stoned N Baked opened in January at Downtown Container Park and serves everyone’s dream combination of food — pizza and brownies. The stoned part of the name refers to the stone oven-baked pizzas. The baked part of the menu is the brownies, which are heavenly. Be sure to try the turtle brownie topped with caramel and nuts.

Guy Fieri will open El Burro Borracho this spring at the Rio, photo courtesy of Caesars Entertainment.

Guy Fieri recently opened El Burro Borracho at the Rio, photo courtesy of Caesars Entertainment.

El Burro Borracho at the Rio
Restaurateur, chef, author and television host Guy Fieri opened El Burro Borracho last weekend. The restaurant is Fieri’s second Las Vegas restaurant and serves authentically prepared Mexican dishes with upscale touches and the flavorful flair you would expect from Fieri. Crispy Mahi Mahi Juan Tacos, Flaming Queso Fundido, Acapulco Gold Salad, Drunken Fish Tacos, Lava Rock Shrimp, signature tortas, enchiladas, burritos and an array of house made, signature salsas are just a few of the items available on the menu.

Libre at Red Rock Casino Resort and Spa
Libre, which took the spot formerly occupied by Mercadito, opened in Feburary. The restaurant serves south-of-the-border Mexican favorites with a modern twist using fresh ingredients and herbs and spices.

Taco fans can indulge in traditional al pastor chicken, carne asada steak and chipotle mahi mahi tacos. There are also street tacos including achiote chicken and al pastore pork. Other things on the menu include short rib molcajate, fajitas, chicken tamales, a grilled fish plate, a variety of burritos and chili rellenos.

Alder & Birch at The Orleans
Alder and Birch
is the new steakhouse at Orleans where you can find prime steaks and other classic American entrees. House dry-aged steaks include filet mignon, grass-fed ribeye and Wagyu coulette sirloin. Prime steaks include a flat iron steak, bone-in ribeye and New York strip. Top your steak with mushrooms, mustard cabernet sauce, creamed horseradish, Maytag bleu cheese and more.

If steak’s not your thing, you’ll also find double cut Kurobata pork chop, Jidori chicken breast, Colorado lamb rack, sea bass, wild Pacific salmon and Australian lobster tails.

The Beer Park bar and seating, photo by Anthony Mair, courtesy of Beer Park.

The Beer Park bar and seating, photo by Anthony Mair, courtesy of Beer Park.

Beer Park at Paris Las Vegas
Beer Park
is a new rooftop bar and restaurant, complete with an outdoor grill, picnic tables, and a huge variety of draft, can and bottle beer selections.

All-American cuisine is served from the menu and from roaming carts serving concession-style offerings, as well as meats and other foods prepared on a custom-made Budweiser Beechwood Grill. Snack on things like pretzels, fried pickles, mac & cheese egg rolls, burgers, ribs, and fish & chips.

Of course the star of Beer Park is the beer. There are more than 100 draft, can and bottle beer selections including 36 beers; wine; and craft beer cocktails on tap.

Photo courtesy of Herringbone.

Photo courtesy of Herringbone.

Herringbone at Aria
Chef Brian Malarkey’s new ocean-to-table restaurant, Herringbone, serves California-inspired coastal cuisine. The fresh seafood is complemented with responsibly-sourced meat options and farmer’s market produce. Main dishes include a skate wing schnitzel with spatzle, sea beans and Hen of the Woods mushrooms, and roasted Colorado lamb rack with squash, corn, basil, piquillos, padrons and harissa aioli.

Farmer's Salad at Harvest By Roy Ellamar, photo courtesy of Bellagio.

Farmer’s Salad at Harvest By Roy Ellamar, photo courtesy of Bellagio.

Harvest By Roy Ellamar at Bellagio
Harvest by Roy Ellamar
serves seasonally-inspired and sustainable dishes made with local and regional ingredients.

If you want to start your meal with an appetizer, the restaurant’s “snack wagon” will visit your table, displaying several small dishes for you to choose from, dim sum-style. The main menu is divided into several distinctive categories like garden, ocean and ranch, which includes things like duck confit buns topped with foie gras, smoked beef brisket with sauerkraut on rye bread, and cocoa-rubbed lamb ribs.

If you thought the snack wagon was a cool way to start your meal, just wait for the sweet wagon that ends your meal.

Green prawns, photo courtesy of Mr. CHOW.

Green prawns, photo courtesy of Mr. CHOW.

Mr. CHOW at Caesars Palace
Mr. CHOW
opened its seventh restaurant location at Caesars Palace in late December. The menu features beloved dishes such as the chicken satay, green prawns, hand-pulled Mr. CHOW Noodles and famed Beijing duck. Not only does the menu feature signature Mr. CHOW dishes, but also a selection of specialty cocktails made with fresh ingredients and carefully crafted by a team of mixologists.

Fondue at F. Pigalle, photo courtesy of F. Pigalle.

Fondue at F. Pigalle, photo courtesy of F. Pigalle.

F. Pigalle, 508 Fremont St.
F. Pigalle, named for Paris’ red light district, started serving traditional fondue in a swanky, sexy setting in December. The restaurant has a very simple menu. You can either order cheese, steak or spicy shrimp fondue as well as chocolate fondue for dessert. They also have amazing fries (and trust us when we tell you that they’re even more amazing if you dip them in the cheese fondue). That’s pretty much the entire menu. All meals are served with unlimited white or red wine.

Coming soon

The Still at The Mirage
The Still is set to open later this month. The restaurant, from Clique Hospitality, will serve classic food from the kitchen of an Airstream trailer located within the 8,000- square-foot space.

While The Still will have a full bar that offers craft cocktails, the highlight of the beverage program will be its extensive selection of domestic and imported beer. More than 50 craft beers from around the world will be offered to pair with meals. Menu offerings include street tacos and sliders, as well as appetizers that range from flounder fish and chips, complete with black truffle tartar sauce, to fresh oysters and lobster rolls.

Donut Bar, 124 S. 6th St.
The award-winning San Diego-based Donut Bar will soon replace the recently-closed O Face Doughnuts in the John E. Carson Building downtown. Donut fans will be able to choose from flavors like caramel latte, mud pie, birthday cake, maple bacon, spiced chai and more.

Burger Lounge at Aria
Southern California burger chain Burger Lounge opens its first Vegas store in March. The burgers are made with fresh American grass-fed beef, perfectly seared and served on a toasted handmade bun with lettuce, tomato, organic aged white cheddar and house-made Thousand Island dressing. There’s also a free-range turkey burger made with fresh basil, a healthy organic quinoa veggie burger and a long line-caught albacore burger. The signature Lounge Bun is baked daily and delivered by local bakeries.

Beauty & Essex, photo courtesy of The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.

Beauty & Essex, photo courtesy of The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.

Beauty & Essex at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas
Beauty & Essex is a partnership between TAO Group and Chef Chris Santos that is set to open in April. The New York outpost of the restaurant has been extremely popular, serving innovative, communal shared plates. Dishes at the New York restaurant include tuna poke wonton tacos, hand cut steak tartare, oysters, roasted bone marrow, crispy eggplant pizzetta, kale and apple salad, and steaks. The menu is complemented with hand crafted cocktails, beer and wines.

The Park
The Park, set to open April 4, is a new dining and entertainment district located between New York – New York and Monte Carlo leading into the new T-Mobile Arena. It will be home to several new restaurants.

Photo courtesy of Sake Rok.

Photo courtesy of Sake Rok.

Sake Rok will serve Japanese and fusion dishes and will be open for lunch and dinner starting April 4. By night, Sake Rok will transform into a high-profile social dining extravaganza. Inspired by Japan’s vibrant pop culture and fashion movements, interactive servers will invite guests to partake in restaurant-wide sake bombs while doubling as entertainers, breaking into dance and lip-sync serenades. In addition to the first floor bar, dining room and sushi bar, Sake Rok will offer a mezzanine that overlooks the main dining room.

Beerhaus, an American beer hall set to open at The Park April 4, will boast pours from Vegas-local breweries such as Joseph James alongside beloved domestic crafts and international beers. The drinks will be complemented by artisanal eats that are hormone-free and regionally sourced. Bar food will include savory roasted sausages and rotisserie sandwiches with premium meats such as porchetta, beef brisket and free-range chicken.

Also set to come to The Park, with no official opening dates, are Bruxie, a fast-casual, gourmet waffle restaurant, and California Pizza Kitchen, which offers signature hand-tossed, hearth-baked pizzas, inventive main plates and shareables, unique pastas and salads.

Shake Shack has also announced it will set up a branch at the new T-Mobile Arena that will serve a smaller version of the restaurant’s menu. (Don’t worry – you can get the full menu at the New York- New York location.) Customer favorites like the Shack Burger, Shack Stack, hot dogs and chicken dogs, custard scoops and fries will be available at the arena. Shake Shack will join local restaurant Ferraro’s Pizza Forte, which will also open a restaurant inside the arena.

Eggslut at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas
If you’re an egg sandwich fan, you’re in luck. Eggslut will open this spring, serving beloved breakfast items day and night. The menu is a balance of comfort and innovation with unique twists on breakfast sandwich favorites. Eggslut at The Cosmopolitan will be the brand’s first expansion outside of the Los Angeles market.

A rendering of Virgil's Real BBQ at the LINQ Promenade, photo courtesy of Caesars Entertainment.

A rendering of Virgil’s Real BBQ at the LINQ Promenade, photo courtesy of Caesars Entertainment.

Virgil’s Real BBQ at the LINQ Promenade
Barbecue lovers will get a treat later this summer when Virgil’s Real Barbecue opens at The LINQ Promenade. The Las Vegas location of Virgil’s will span 14,000 square feet and be highlighted by live music nightly, private dining rooms and three outdoor spaces, including a poolside patio at The LINQ Hotel & Casino. The menu from Executive Chef Neal Corman features the tastes of Tennessee, Kentucky, Texas, the Carolinas and Missouri. Virgil’s also offers traditional sides like barbecue beans, coleslaw and cheese grits and Southern-style desserts like banana pudding and Key Lime and sweet potato pies.

Cracker Barrel at Silverton
The beloved Cracker Barrel chain is finally coming to Vegas in July. One restaurant will be at the Silverton and one will open in North Las Vegas. The restaurant is famous for its down-home cooking and dishes like chicken and dumplings, U.S. farm-raised catfish and sugar-cured ham. Cracker Barrel also serves breakfast all day. Each restaurant displays American artifacts, memorabilia and signs collected by a team of experts, and features a country store.

Wahlburgers at the Grand Bazaar Shops at Bally’s
The popular fast-casual burger restaurant founded by brothers Mark, Donnie and Paul Wahlberg and subject of A&E Network’s reality show, will feature gourmet burgers and specialty drinks when it opens later this year. The 5,000-square-foot restaurant, bar and retail store will be located adjacent to the Grand Bazaar Shops’ Starbucks and steps from the main pedestrian entrance to Bally’s. A retail shop, located on the Strip sidewalk, will open prior to the restaurant and offer branded Wahlburgers merchandise, including T-shirts, keychains, shot glasses and more.

Burgers will include the BBQ Bacon Burger; the Thanksgiving Day, made with fresh ground seasoned turkey, stuffing, Paul’s orange-cranberry sauce, roasted butternut squash and mayo; and the Wahlburger’s signature burger, among others.

Momofuku at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas
Momofuku, from Chef David Chang, is coming to Vegas in late 2016. Chang opened Momofuku Noodle Bar in New York in 2004 and his empire has grown to include restaurants in Sydney, Toronto and Washington, D.C. The restaurants have gained world-wide recognition for their innovative take on cuisine, and Momofuku Ko in New York has retained two Michelin stars for the past eight years.

Milk Bar at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas
Also coming to The Cosmopolitan in late 2016 will be Milk Bar, the highly acclaimed bakery (a sister restaurant to Momofuku) founded by chef and owner, Christina Tosi. She’s best known for her innovative creations, including cereal milk ice cream, Compost Cookies and Crack Pie, all of which have gained world-wide recognition. Tosi is a two-time James Beard award winner. She is also a judge on “MasterChef” and “MasterChef Junior.”

Zuma at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas
Zuma, scheduled to open in fall 2016, will feature modern Japanese cuisine and cocktails in an elegant and sophisticated environment. The menu is designed to be shared and offers dishes from a sushi counter, main kitchen and a robata grill. Zuma is from Chef Rainer Becker and is inspired by informal izakaya-style dining in which dishes are brought to the table continuously throughout the meal.

Comments

It’s not that warm in Minnesota. I know this from spending half my life freezing in the northern part of the state. So 20 years ago, I decided to thaw out and traded in scarves and mittens for tank tops and flip-flops (Take that, polar vortex!). I swapped snow for 300 days of sun a year. I may not have been born here, but there are hotels that haven’t lasted in Vegas as long as I have. The Sands, Hacienda, Aladdin, Desert Inn and the Stardust too. I've been to my fair share of implosion parties. (Yeah, that’s a thing.) As a writer for Vegas.com, I've applauded hundreds of shows, explored every major hotel in town and raised a few glasses at most of the city's bars and clubs. Now I'm the resident foodie here. I write about all things dining — from $3.99 shrimp cocktail at the Golden Gate to the finest sushi at Nobu, and everything in between.