Going to Vegas! Where Are We Eating?
In this digital world, few restaurant guidebooks remain, but Las Vegas is lucky! Eating Las Vegas is not only a dedicated guide to some of the best eateries in the United States, it’s written by the widely recognized expert on the Vegas food scene, the inimitable John Curtas.
After consideringand eating athundreds of contenders both inside and out of the city’s dozens of world-class resorts, John has assembled this exclusive guide to the “52 Essential” restaurants in Las Vegas. And he doesn’t stop there. In addition to the top 52, this 2018 edition features sections on the burgeoning Chinatown district, the potentially best-in-the-country roster of steakhouses, French restaurants, and burger joints, the batch of recently arrived chain restaurants, and John’s list of the city’s “Bottom 10.”
In addition, quick-reference lists highlight the best bets for buffets, Italian and pizza, Mexican, sushi, desserts, cheap eats, late-night dining, and more. And new to this edition are topical essays, including “The Job of a Restaurant Critic,” “The Glories of Dining Alone,” “Chef Worship,” “Twenty Suggestions for Dining Out in Style,” and, after upwards of 12,000 Vegas restaurant experiences in 25 years, John’s “Perfect Meal.”
Now in its sixth edition, Eating Las Vegas has become the premier source for Las Vegas dining information. With reviews ranging from some of the Strip’s most lavish dining rooms to hole-in-the-wall ethnic gems, this 2018 volume puts the city’s entire extraordinary dining experience in your hands.
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About the Author
John Curtas has been covering the Las Vegas restaurant scene since 1995, for 15 years as a restaurant/critic commentator on KNPR -Nevada Public Radio and also as a critic for Las Vegas Life , CityLife , and Las Vegas Weekly magazines. He appears regularly on KLAS TV ( CBS ) Channel 8's "Dishing and Dining," and KVBC TV ( NBC ) as a guest commentator, and as a judge on Food Network 's "Iron Chef America."
Read an Excerpt
The Glories of Dining Alone
The Roman general Lucius Lucinius Lucullus Ponticus was one of the richest men in ancient Rome. He was known for his elaborate banquets and feasts, and so elaborate were they (for dozens and sometimes hundreds of guests), that Pompey and Cicero refused an invitation to dine with him, fearing for the expense he'd incur for even a simple dinner.
A famous story tells of Lucullus taking his chief cook to task for a modest repast placed before the general as he dined alone. "As there were to be no guests, I thought my master would not want an expensive supper," said his chef by way of an apology.
"What?" the general exclaimed. "Dost thou not know that this evening, Lucullus dines with Lucullus?"
If you're one of those who dreads, avoids, or maybe just hasn't mastered the art of dining alone, you're truly missing something special. Eating alone, especially in a good restaurant, is one of life's great pleasures.
I didn't always feel this way, of course. Like many of you, I used to be embarrassed to sit alone in a crowded eatery, feeling pathetic and stared-at the whole time. Rushing through the meal, I savored little and cringed a lot at my sad, lonely life. But then I saw the light.
When you make the decision (or the decision is made for you) to dine alone, look at the freedom and the unbridled hedonism that lie before you. When you dine alone:
- You can order what you want, when you want.
- There's no menu bartering with your dining companions. ("If you're having the pompano, and she's taking the salmon, I guess I'll have the sole, just for the halibut.")
- You can get as stewed as you want (as long as you're not driving).
- Table manners? Why bother?
- You can fill up on bread, or, even better, scarf down butter or olive oil with impunity. I'll admit that I enjoy shamelessly dipping a host of breads into the butter with no regard for knife or dish. Barbaric? Well, yes, but, oh, so satisfying.
- Red wine with fish? No problem. Three gimlets before the degustation? Why not?
- Eating salsa is so much easier. We all know how everyone has to finesse dipped chips into their mouths, avoiding the dreaded double-dip. Well, shoveling your salsa solo eliminates all that, and you don't have to share.
- You can flirt shamelessly with the hot hostesses, waitresses, or waiters, depending on who's floating your boat that evening.
- You can eat with your fingers, mix up stuff on various plates, even drink up the sauce.
- On a more serious note, you save money. The cost of a meal at gourmet destinations like Le Cirque, Savoy, or Robuchon is prohibitive. Go alone and you can concentrate on the food, discussing it in depth with the highly knowledgeable wait staffs (at least those you're not trying to pick up). Chatting up the staff becomes an education and a way to make a new friend, at a pittance of the price if two or more are present.
So the next time you truly want to luxuriate in a great meal, try remembering that the word "luxurious" comes from the name of the noble Roman, who had no greater dining companion than when he, Lucullus, dined with himself.
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