When visiting a new city, there is nothing better than having a trusted source or two who can suggest the best restaurants for various occasions. Because most of us don’t have gourmand friends in every city we visit, Celebrated Living has turned to some well-known chefs, foodies, and concierges to suss out the best eats in some of our favorite destinations.Las Vegas
Twist by Pierre Gagnaire (inside Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas
With celebrity chefs in all of the major casinos, Las Vegas has turned into the American mecca for food lovers. Taking the gamble out of dining there are Bruce Bromberg (chef/co-owner of Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar & Grill at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas) and Michael Morton of La Cave Wine and Food Hideaway in Wynn Las Vegas.
When Bruce Bromberg is in the mood for a cutting-edge meal, he dines at Twist by Pierre Gagnaire: “The chef, Pierre Gagnaire, whom I trained with 20 years ago, amazes me with his ability to put together ingredients that seem random but actually are not. He does a langoustine with verbena that is unbelievable. We had a dessert of couscous with pineapple, which was spectacular. Pierre finds the absolute essence of whatever product he is working with.” 3752 Las Vegas Blvd. South (inside Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas), (888) 881-9367, mandarinoriental.com/lasvegas
StripSteak inside Mandalay Bay
To satisfy his steak craving, Bromberg goes to StripSteak: “I had a very good meal at Michael Mina’s StripSteak. I just ordered a piece of regular, corn-fed rib eye (I was in the mood for a steaky-tasting steak — so I didn’t go for anything too fancy). The restaurant is very good about selecting and aging its beef, which is then cooked in clarified butter. I had excellent duck fat fries when I sat down, not much else on the side, and I left feeling very satisfied.” 3950 Las Vegas Blvd. South (inside Mandalay Bay), (702) 632-7414, mandalaybay.com
After a night of clubbing, Michael Morton squeezes into Stratta’s see-and-be-seen setting: “Stratta is open until 6 a.m. and it becomes a madhouse when the clubs let out. I like to get the thin-crust pizza. Plus, there are excellent meatballs and pasta dishes. It’s late-night comfort food and the people watching is just perfect.” 3131 Las Vegas Blvd. South (inside Wynn Las Vegas), (888) 352-3463, wynnlasvegas.comNew York
Landmarc in the Time Warner Center
New York is a fabulous restaurant town, with so many fine eateries that it’s almost impossible to pick just one. Eric Ripert (chef at Le Bernardin) and Jill Zarin (co-star of The Real Housewives of New York City) do their best to clue us in on their favorite spots.
If Jill Zarin is looking for a good brunch, she heads to Landmarc: “They have the best French toast in the United States. It’s about 5 inches thick and real crispy. Landmarc is in the Time Warner Center with a great view of Central Park. … I never even look at the menu. Then, after I’m done eating, I go shopping.” 10 Columbus Circle, (212) 823-6123, landmarc-restaurant.com
When Eric Ripert wants a romantic meal, he makes a reservation at Daniel: “Rather than eating in the dining room, I eat in the lounge, which is more casual, and you can order from the main menu there. Daniel [Boulud] cooks whatever is in season and it is always superb. At a memorable dinner there, I had the finest grouse I’ve ever tasted. Everybody should eat the grouse when it’s in season, which is the fall, at Daniel.” 60 E. 65th St., (212) 288-0033, danielnyc.com
For a late-night meal, Ripert dines at Balthazar: “I love the space, and the energy is fantastic. Very often, I eat the same thing there: steak tartare; a shellfish platter with clams, oysters, and king crab; and french fries, which are out of this planet. When I order espresso, they bring me a canele, a French cookie that is crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. So I feel the love.” 80 Spring St., (212) 965-1414, balthazarny.com