Every restaurant on the Strip has to try hard. Even by those competitive standards, however, the options in fine dining can be spectacular It's as if every restaurant on the world's most glamorous stretch has a contribution to make to your experience of the city. If you're looking for a push in the right direction, here are the top ten.
There is no other fine dining venue in all of glitzy Las Vegas that possesses the three Michelin stars of Joël Robuchon of the MGM Grand. In dining experiences that bring both the innovative and the traditional together, Joël Robuchon offers both signature dishes as well as meals that sprawl to 16 courses. Against a backdrop that can only be described as palatial, the restaurant does let you grasp why fine dining is an art.
Top of the World
Top of the World is the only restaurant in the city to offer diners a 360-degree view of the city. Perched nearly 1,000 feet above the Strip on a revolving platform atop the Stratosphere Hotel and Towers, the spectacular setting isn't meant to compensate for a weak menu (as it sometimes turns out with glamorous establishments). So many of the restaurant's gourmet steaks, seafood creations and vegan dishes are top-notch. The four-course tasting menu and the wine list are award-winners.
If you are a follower of celebrity chefs, you've probably hoped to experience the culinary skills of three-star chef Pierre Gagnaire, at some point. The Mandarin Oriental is the only establishment in the entire country that allows you to do so. You get to choose from a la carte dishes to six-course spreads. With a stunning views from the 23rd floor, this is a wonderful place for special occasions.
Founded in 2008 by an award-winning chef Mario Batali and winemaker Joe Bastianich, Carnevino at Palazzo serves the finest aged steaks in this town. Every meat dish served is hormone- and antibiotic-free, and it shows in the natural taste that is likely to remind of the way food tasted when you were little. This restaurant isn't experimental or innovative; what it does do, is to reproduce traditional recipes in the finest way possible. If this is how you define fine dining, you should come.
Located at the Mirage, Heritage Steak is celebrity chef Tom Colicchio's latest creation. Heritage has a unique offering -- everything cooked here is done on wood-burning grills. It all calls to mind the way restaurants in Buenos Aires display their wares. Everything from lamb ribs to octopus and steak is chargrilled the natural way, and it is irresistible.
This traditional Michael Mina French bistro at the Aria Resort on the Strip does traditional French foods such as steak tartare, and has received rave reviews. Most ingredients and condiments are made in-house. The restaurant is unique in its atmosphere, too -- it would be completely in place on a Parisian street corner, and it pulls in fans in their droves.
The Anchor Bar
Not every fine dining restaurant is European. The Anchor Bar from Buffalo, New York, is the place credited with the invention of buffalo wings, and it is now part of the Venetian in Vegas. Everything from the New York institution, including their blue-ribbon fried chicken, is on the menu, and it's very popular.
The Burger Bar
Continuing with the informal theme, Mandalay Bay's Burger Bar puts some of the most innovative gourmet burgers on the menu, including vegan and vegetarian creations. There's nothing that stops you from trying a sweet burger, either. It's a place that has received fanatic fans for years.
Hole in the Wall
Admittedly, not many fine dining restaurants would call themselves a "Hole." This Italian restaurant has been in business for three decades, however, and stands right up there with the best Italian and French restaurants, even if its offerings are what one might call low-brow -- soups, salads, pastas and house wine. It's a place you have to go to if you want to feel good about life.
Located within the Cosmopolitan, this is another restaurant that's fanatic about the quality of its commoner (all-burger) menu. Every ingredient, the buns and condiments, included, is made right there, and it all goes with great new beverages such as their alcohol milkshakes.
While it's hard to list a top 10 of the best restaurants on the Strip, one has to start somewhere. If you are new to the city, this list is a great way to get off to a running start.