Let’s begin with supper clubs, or whatever they decide to call these shiny new restaurant-nightclub hybrids, shall we? You should probably start with Bagatelle (Tropicana, 701-0200) since it opened in October and really started this whole European-style club thing in St. Barth’s. It’s all about champagne brunch by the pool or truffle gnocchi under glamorous chandeliers, and then, dance. Do it all again at Andrea’s (Encore, opens December 28), only with hip Asian eats on the menu, which will be a real nice primer for the arrival of Hakkasan (MGM Grand, opens in April). This five-story behemoth must be more club than restaurant, and its massive pan-Asian menu looks kinda Tao-ish. Food fight!
Didn’t get enough protein in 2012? Grab a celebrity beefwich at Gordon Ramsay BurGR (Planet Hollywood, 785-5555) or a prime cut at Kelly’s (3900 Paradise Road, 791-7011), the 40-year-old Long Beach steak and seafood joint that recently opened where Ruth’s Chris used to be. Or you could hold out for the return of Ruth’s Chris (Harrah’s, opens in early 2013) or the arrival of Tom Colicchio’s still-unnamed steakhouse (Mirage, opens in summer).
You’ve resolved to try some exotic eats in the new year. Fine. First, rediscover Origin India (4480 Paradise Road, 734-6342) and the cuisine of its new executive chef, Vinod Kumar Ahuja. Then, sample the soupy goodness from the newbies on our local ramen scene at Fukumimi (4860 S. Eastern Ave., 631-2933) or, from the makers of Bachi Burger, Shoku Ramen-ya (470 E. Windmill Lane, 897-0978). Former Top Chef guy Angelo Sosa is almost ready to debut his take on an Asian gastropub at Poppy Den (Tivoli Village, opens January 1).
I know it’s hard to look deep into the future, but if all goes as planned, by this time next year you’ll be exploring the LINQ, the open-air entertainment district between the Quad and the Flamingo on Las Vegas Boulevard. It will have food. Lots of it. Local boys Block 16 Hospitality will be dropping their pizza-and-beer concept, Flour & Barley, and the sprawling live music, bowling and restaurant venue Brooklyn Bowl is in the mix, too. What’s on the menu? Giant sandwiches, French bread pizzas and fried chicken dinners from the guys behind Blue Ribbon at Cosmopolitan. It’s gonna be a good year.