Everyone knows the Las Vegas Strip offers one of the most dynamic restaurant landscapes in the world, but only locals and sharp visitors understand the delicious evolution of the off-Strip food scene. Today, well-known celebrity chefs are getting off Las Vegas Boulevard and into the neighborhood—Summerlin, to be specific. Wolfgang Puck already operates a restaurant at Downtown Summerlin, and now Chopped favorite Scott Conant is getting ready to open Masso Osteria at Red Rock Resort in February.
“I feel like Las Vegas is one of the prime restaurant markets in the country, and I believe in it from a business perspective,” says Conant, who previously opened Scarpetta and D.O.C.G. at the Cosmopolitan. “But I’ve also spent a lot of time ingratiating myself there. It’s been eight years since I [started in Vegas]. My daughter learned to walk in Vegas while I was opening there. It’s a special place to me.”
Conant says he’s excited to be part of a new wave of restaurant developments at Station Casinos properties, which includes his famous friend Michael Symon, who is working on a restaurant at the Palms and helped connect Conant to the company.
Masso, Conant says, will be somewhere between Scarpetta and D.O.C.G., “a little more casual with a very approachable design.” He’s taking the space of the former Salute restaurant, which has a striking exposed kitchen and wood-fired grill, of which he plans to take full advantage.
“I think we’ll do a lot of grilled items and wood-roasted items, and I have to have a flatbreads section on the menu,” Conant says. “I want to have a nice wine bar section in the front space. Overall, I want people to feel comfortable whether it’s a special occasion or drinks and bites after work. I’m looking for a sense of conviviality.”