Each week Neon spotlights a different cuisine in the Dining Guide, with New American restaurants this week. Restaurants are rated on a letter-grade scale, from A to F. Opinions by R-J critic Heidi Knapp Rinella (H.K.R.) are indicated by initials. Price symbols are based on the cost of an average entree: $ = entrees less than $10, $$ = entrees $10 to $20, $$$ = entrees $20 to $30 and $$$$ = entrees more than $30.
DOUBLE HELIX WINE &WHISKEY LOUNGE
Town Square, 6605 Las Vegas Blvd. South; 702-735-9463
I was mostly confused by the menu at Double Helix, which is pretty much limited to small plates but isn’t extensive enough to allow for the creation of a tapaslike feast. On the other hand, the place is a cozy spot for a glass of wine before or after a movie right across the street, and we liked our arancini, Brie in a Blanket and the cleverly named Shrimp Hailing a Cab. (1/20/12 H.K.R.)
6115 S. Fort Apache Road; 702-527-5200
Signature dishes: jerk chicken lollipops, New Mexico-style slow-cooked pork.
740 S. Rampart Blvd.; 702-778-2160
The crowds that were dining at Boca Park on the evening of our visit weren’t dining at Embers, which was a shame, because this place has quite a bit going for it. That includes starters of ahi tuna and bacon-wrapped dates, entrees of miso salmon, a grilled steak salad and a slow-roasted tri-tip, and a rich, fudgy dessert. (6/8/12 H.K.R.)
Bellagio, 3600 Las Vegas Blvd. South; 702-693-8300
Signature dishes: Bobby Baldwin Burgers, Very Adult Mac &Cheese.
Mandalay Bay, 3950 Las Vegas Blvd. South; 702-632-7200
Small plates — aka tapas — have found popularity in Las Vegas in large part because of the flexibility they allow and the camaraderie they engender, and at Fleur they’re done particularly well. We found the Heirloom Gazpacho with Watermelon Pop Rocks to be full of both whimsy and flavor, and also liked the pan con tamate, goat cheese flambe and flatiron chimichurri, although the In the Shower Mac and Cheese needed more assertive cheese flavor, less assertive lobster flavor. (10/26/12 H.K.R.)
Caesars Palace, 3570 Las Vegas Blvd. South; 702-731-7778
Signature dishes: Colors of Caviar, crispy veal sweetbreads.
1031 S. Rampart Blvd.; 702-445-6100
One of the things we liked most about Honey Salt was the flexibility of a menu that would enable one of us to have a pizza Margherita, the other a lamb Porterhouse — and a kitchen with the skills to prepare both of them flawlessly. We also liked My Wife’s Favorite Salad, with its arugula, frisee, duck confit, pomegranate seeds, pine nuts and poached egg, and the homey goodness of the Brown Bag Apple Pie. (5/31/13 H.K.R.)
Four Queens, 202 Fremont St.; 702-385-4011
Signature dishes: Hot Rock Specialty, Cellars Champion Chateaubriand and Lobster for Two.
MGM Grand, 3799 Las Vegas Blvd. South; 702-891-7925
Signature dishes: truffle langoustine ravioli, pan-fried sea bass.
L’ATELIER JOEL ROBUCHON
MGM Grand, 3799 Las Vegas Blvd. South; 702-891-7358
Signature dishes: free-range quail with foie gras, mashed potatoes.
Mandarin Oriental, 3752 Las Vegas Blvd. South; 888-881-9367
The Mandarin Oriental is, by definition, both exclusive and expensive, but Mozen Bistro is not only approachable for a large swath of the populace, it’s excellent on all levels. Worthy of note: the Five-Spice Pork Belly, Hong Kong grouper, thai green curry and cherry cordial cloche. (5/9/14 H.K.R.)
OFF THE STRIP
10670 Southern Highlands Parkway; 702-202-2448
Signature dishes: meatloaf, house-made cheesecake.
Bellagio, 3600 Las Vegas Blvd. South; 702-693-8865
Signature dishes: warm quail salad, sauteed medallions of fallow deer.
The Mirage, 3400 Las Vegas Blvd. South; 702-792-7800
Signature dishes: Hot Rocks, Adult Tater Tots.
TODD ENGLISH P.U.B.
Crystals at CityCenter, 3720 Las Vegas Blvd. South; 702-489-8080
Signature dishes: soft hot pretzels, brisket from the carvery.
TODD’S UNIQUE DINING
4350 E. Sunset Road, Henderson; 702-259-8633
Todd’s is one of the few remaining gourmet rooms in the suburbs and it’s doing a fine job of upholding the tradition, with a steady stream of regulars attesting to that. We liked the classic goat cheese wontons with raspberry sauce, beet salad, beef short ribs with jalapeno-flecked mashed potatoes and pork tenderloin with stuffing. (1/18/13 H.K.R.)
Town Square, 6635 Las Vegas Blvd. South; 702-948-8006
Signature dishes: Cuban sandwich, Sanibel chicken.
VIC’S NEW AMERICAN CUISINE
2450 Hampton Road, Henderson; 702-522-7200
The short ribs at Vic’s were so good as to be truly memorable, and even better because they were accompanied by parsnip puree and crispy potato strings. And the goodness didn’t end there; we also liked the novel Caramel Apple Pork Chop, which wasn’t as sweet as it sounds, and the slightly — slightly — dry Meatloaf Spring Rolls, another creative idea. (11/1/13 H.K.R.)