Sin City is home to plenty of restaurants and bars, but there are tons of hidden gems that the majority of Las Vegans don’t find. To help guide readers to these potential discoveries, Eater Vegas brought in some of the city’s food players to share their recommendations for a feature dubbed Confidential Dinner.
Hearthstone Kitchen & Cellar Executive Chef Lee Davidson grew up in Syracuse, New York, before studying and graduating from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, in 2006. His career has spelled it out. leads to Phoebes in New York before moving to Las Vegas in 2011 to run the Foundation Room in Mandalay Bay, then train the heads of the Foundation Room in the United States. Here, the chef at Red Rock Resort shares some of his favorite places to dine in Las Vegas.
Eater Vegas: Do you remember your first trip to Vegas? What has happened that is memorable?
Lee Davidson: My first trip to Las Vegas was when I was 13. I came with my parents on vacation. My mom and I used to go swimming pool from hotel to hotel. It was great! I remember back then the Luxor was the coolest hotel and Dive! was my favorite restaurant.
What made you decide to move to Las Vegas?
I am from Syracuse, New York. The food there is very local and fun, but only so far can you get it. My wife and I decided to move here primarily for her studies at UNLV, but also to really take my culinary career to the next level.
Where do you like to have breakfast in Las Vegas?
DW Bistro or Le Bagel CafÃ©. These are my two favorites.
What about lunch?
Rocco’s NY pizza for sure! In North Vegas!
If you are going out to dinner, which restaurants do you like to frequent? What makes them special? Any dishes you can recommend?
Thai Style Noodle House is the most authentic Thai food in town. Their Pad See Yue and Pad Thai are amazing and the dumplings are a must every time.
Old School Pizzeria is a great pizza place! Vegas Meets Italy pizza is the best!
John Mull’s Meats & Road Kill Grill is the best barbecue in town. Fingers in the nose.
Where do you like to dine for a special occasion?
We usually go to a good steakhouse, the Prime Steakhouse at Bellagio, the StripSteak at Mandalay Bay, or the Steak House at Circus Circus.
Where do you like to dine with good wine, maybe off the Strip?
Nora’s Italian cuisine has a great wine selection and amazing Italian food!
Are there any brunches in town that you like to go to?
Honestly, the DW Bistro does a great job but, I’m always so busy making our brunch in Hearthstone that I can’t go out with any of them!
Are there any favorite restaurants off the Strip that are neighborhood gems?
Thai style noodle house on Wynn and Spring Mountain. Best Thai food ever, and I’ve been to Thailand.
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