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Dining

Spiffy new patio reminds us: Central is great

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Central’s cool new patio is the perfect place for a late morning (or late night) meal.
Photo: Andy Marx

It’s easy for restaurants on the Strip to slip off the radar; there are so many, and there’s always something new to taste. But some deserve a perpetual place in the limelight.

Michel Richard’s Central—you know, the restaurant attached to the lobby bar at Caesars—recently renovated its patio space, adding plush chocolate-and-vanilla couches, bright green planters and white umbrellas. It’s cozy and intimate, shielded from the crazy boulevard and a great place for a late breakfast or later dinner. The second-best thing about Central: it’s open around the clock.

This ain't your daddy's Caesar salad. There's a lot of goat cheese.

The best thing is the food, an assortment of American favorites twisted with Richard’s whimsical style, perfectly prepared by executive chef Todd Harrington and his team. (They also change the menu every few months, so you’ll never get bored.) Dinner here is comfort food refreshed, starting with potato chip nachos or anchovy-topped deviled eggs and moving into a brilliant, bright yellow tomato gazpacho ($11) and a revolutionary take on Caesar salad ($18) that’s infused with goat cheese and served in a beautiful, crunchy-cool pillar.

Entrees are just as fun, from the crispy, lemon and caper-topped disc that is the chicken schnitzel ($25) to a classic spaghetti Bolognese ($22). Harrington’s recipe for beef short ribs ($38) adds carrots and cumin, or stick to solid steaks or Central’s quirky, lovable burger. Michel’s Chocolate Bar is a must for dessert, so order coffee and linger on that patio a while.

Central by Michel Richard. Caesars Palace, 650-5921. 24/7.

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Brock Radke is Las Vegas Weekly's food editor and author of the Strip-focused column The Incidental Tourist. He has written ...

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