"Stretchy-pants week.” That’s how Three Square chief development officer Michelle Beck affectionately refers to Las Vegas Restaurant Week, the food bank’s largest community-driven fundraiser of the year.
Eating out at top-tier restaurants for insanely affordable price-points is a no-brainer in any city. But living in Las Vegas, a true dining mecca, we’re a little spoiled when Restaurant Week rolls around—June 6-17 this year—and it’s time to grub for a great cause.
“That’s one of the great things the chefs who are most successful do,” Beck says. “They design a menu that features some of their best items at a reduced price.” Which is why so many diners take advantage of a discounted opportunity to sample fancy spots they might have skipped until now.
That $80 filet mignon meal at Mario Batali’s Carnevino? It equals 18 meals Three Square can distribute to Southern Nevada’s 305,000 food-insecure residents. French classics like escargot and macarons made at Michael Mina’s Bardot Brasserie? The $50 prix-fixe dream will put 12 meals on the table across Clark, Nye, Lincoln and Esmeralda counties.
“This is something that we get to do that’s a win-win-win for everyone,” Beck says. “This is an opportunity for people to have a date-night or a night out with their friends. It benefits those personal relationships, the chefs and their restaurants are being highlighted and all the while, $4 or $5 or $6 from what they’re eating is letting us feed [our] hungry neighbors.”
Beck says Restaurant Week has raised more than $1 million since launching locally with 51 restaurants in 2007; last year’s installment resulted in $140,000 raised from over 31,000 meals purchased at 160 restaurants. And with the addition of some exclusive eateries and a new $80 price-point in 2016, there are even more options to fill your belly—and better yet, other people’s bellies. —Mark Adams
Food in your 'hood
RW eating opportunities abound across the Valley
ANDIRON STEAK & SEA If ever a restaurant was tailor-made for Summerlin, here ya go. You can go surf (Scottish salmon), turf (dry-aged ribeye) or cauliflower steak; Don’t skip the crème brûlée donuts. Downtown Summerlin, 702-685-8002.
FUEGO You can’t beat this price ($40) for this meal in Henderson: heirloom tomato salad with Nueske’s bacon, bone-in New York with a twice-baked potato, and warm butter toffee cake with crème fraîche ice cream. Fiesta Henderson, 702-558-7000.
ITSY BITSY Downtown is doing Restaurant Week, too, including this hip noodle shop under the Ogden. Go for lunch ($20) if you want miso ramen, or dinner ($30) if you want shoyu ramen topped with crispy chicken katsu. 150 Las Vegas Blvd. N. #100, 702-405-9393.
MRKT Way out in North Las Vegas, things are fresher than you’d imagine. MRKT uses lots of local veggies and herbs and presents pan-roasted chicken, filet and lobster tail or Atlantic salmon for its Restaurant Week main course. Aliante Casino, 702-692-7778.
TABLE 34 The southeast standard-bearer busts out some longtime favorite dishes like beet salad with goat cheese, lobster mac and cheese with asparagus and white cheddar, and the succulent signature pork ribs with sweet molasses glaze. Table 34 might be Table No. 1 when making Restaurant Week reservations. 600 E. Warm Springs Road, 702-263-0034. —Brock Radke
Tried and true
Restaurant Week is a great time to return to these Vegas classics
HANK’S FINE STEAKS & MARTINIS More than a decade in, the Henderson chophouse is better than ever. Its RW dinner ($50) is scallop carpaccio, a Niman Ranch New York strip steak and peach upside-down cake with cinnamon ice cream. Green Valley Ranch, 702-617-7075.
MARCHE BACCHUS If you don’t escape to Desert Shores to dine by the lake every few months, you’re not doing it right. Between lunch ($30) and dinner ($50) menus, treasured plates include a truffled goat-cheese Napoleon, steak frites and braised beef ravioli with oyster mushrooms. 2620 Regatta Drive #106, 702-804-8008.
MICHAEL MINA The Las Vegas restaurant where the San Francisco chef made his name is another remarkably consistent gem. Its diverse dinner menu ($80) includes white asparagus soup with a Dungeness crab fritter and phyllo-crusted sole with crab brandade and delicate pea shoots. Bellagio, 702-693-8199.
N9NE STEAKHOUSE The resort around it has changed, but the slick scene inside N9NE stays the same. Longtime chef Barry Dakake offers dinner ($80) options including Caesar salad, lobster bisque and a Delmonico ribeye you know you’re gonna get. Palms, 702-933-9900.
PASTA SHOP This homey Italian fave has been around since 1989, in Henderson since 2010, and serves up three different menus for Restaurant Week. We’re loving a lunch ($20) of salad, cannoli and cheese ravioli in brown butter with fresh basil. 2525 W. Horizon Ridge Parkway, 702-451-1893.
TAO Another decade-plus legend, Tao’s stellar cuisine always gets second-billing to its nightclub. Evidence it deserves the spotlight: the crunchy spicy yellowtail roll, soy-ginger glazed salmon with sesame eggplant, and those chocolate spring rolls. Venetian, 702-732-0118. —Brock Radke
Las Vegas Restaurant Week June 6-17, participating restaurants & menus at helpoutdineoutlv.org.