Las vegas restaurants

Scott Conant shares his favorite restaurants in Las Vegas

Sin City is home to plenty of restaurants and bars, but there are tons of hidden gems that the majority of Las Vegans don’t find. To help guide readers to these potential discoveries, To eater Vegas called on some of the city’s food players to share their recommendations for a feature film titled Confidential Dinner.

Scott Conant is probably best known as a judge on the Food Network’s Chopped. Las Vegas got to know its Italian cuisine better when it opened its doors Scarpetta and DOCG Enoteca at the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas in 2010. While DOCG closed last year and Conant is parting ways with Scarpetta, he is now presenting Summerlin to his spaghetti and budino caramel at his new restaurant, Masso Osteria, at the Red Rock Resort. Here, the chef shares some of the restaurants he enjoys exploring now that he’s spending more time in Las Vegas.

Do you remember your first trip to Vegas? What has happened that is memorable?

I actually do. It was later in my life, about 12 years ago, during Halloween. I was cooking at a private event and was introduced to a select group of Las Vegans. I got to know some of them well and developed lasting relationships. It was a really special introduction to Las Vegas.

What prompted you to spend more time in Las Vegas?

I think it’s a rite of passage. There are a lot of fantastic restaurants and extremely professional people who spend a tremendous amount of time making sure customers are happy which I have so much respect for. And it’s good to surround yourself with this level of professionalism.

Where do you like to have breakfast in Las Vegas?

I think it’s fantastic what Eggslut is doing at Cosmopolitan. And whenever I have some spare time, I like to order room service and have my breakfast in the comfort of my hotel bed. And I can’t wait to have dinner at Pronto by Giada.

What about lunch?

For someone like me who sometimes can’t make up his mind on what to eat, I love going to China Poblano. You just get the best of Mexican and Chinese cuisine side by side. What’s not to like?

I spend a lot of time in Summerlin now and love to explore what this neighborhood has to offer. Love going to Honey Salt and Blue Ribbon Fried Chicken in downtown Summerlin.

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

I love Lotus of Siam and the new location is fantastic. I just go with what Penny (Chef Saipin Chutima’s daughter) sends me – even though I don’t feel like I can handle the same level of spice she can! And I never had anything that I didn’t like there, but some of the most memorable dishes are Nam Kao Tod, Rom Kah Kai, one of the curries, and Pad Thai.

Where do you like to dine for a special occasion?

Ah, there are many places in Las Vegas that are special. I think Prime Steakhouse in Bellagio is fantastic. And I love going to Cut at The Venetian – the GM, Johnny, is one of my oldest friends.

Are there any brunches in town that you like to go to?

I love Michael Mina and the brunch they do at Brasserie Bardot. You can’t go wrong with this French toast or the King Crab Pancake.

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

Everywhere downtown. I think this side of town is so cool and hip and there are so many great cocktail bars. The one that comes first is the Downtown Cocktail Room.

• All the coverage of Masso Osteria [ELV]

• All confidential dinners [ELV]

1770 Festival Plaza Dr, Las Vegas, NV 89135
(702) 329-9300