Grill 55 in the Renaissance Hotel, 3400 Paradise Road, began life as part of the hotel's Envy Steakhouse, which got its name from the abbreviation of Nevada. Grill 55 took it a step further and adopted the abbreviation for Las Vegas, "LV," which is also the Roman numeral for 55.
"Our food is rustic continental comfort food prepared in a gastro-pub kitchen style," says Will Primavera, the hotel's food and beverage director. "It's approachable and even the foodie will enjoy it. We are building our own identity."
Manager Marc Iwamoto says many of the recipes are put together by chefs, management and employees.
"We are very creative," he says. "Picasso's Nachos are served on a glass dish that's like a painter's palette and the food represents the colors on the palette."
"We make everything in-house," he adds. "We even pickle our own tomatoes and onions."
Grill 55 also prides itself on having one of the city's more unusual drink menus. For instance, its Sin-U-Rita margarita contains edible hibiscus. It also features "adult shakes," such as the Girl Scout, made to taste like a frozen Thin Mint cookie.
"A good cocktail list should have every spirit and be seasonal and balanced and ours are," Iwamoto says.
With both indoor and outdoor seating, Grill 55 seats 120 people, and a casual lounge area seats an additional 30 to 50. The restaurant is open daily from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m., with a happy hour from 4 to 7 p.m. Sunday through Thursday.
Specialties: three varieties of flatbread, including barbecue chicken, Margherita and B.A.T., consisting of honey-cured bacon, baby arugula, sun-dried tomatoes, and fontina and smoked Gouda cheeses ($16 each)
Appetizers: Devil's Eyes, flash-fried deviled eggs with voodoo cajun spices, chipotle honey mustard and jalapeno bacon ($8); Perfect Storm, lightly battered calamari, rock shrimp and bloody mary ketchup ($15); truffle reggiano fries with Parmesan cheese, chipotle ketchup and chive lime ranch dressing ($10); Picasso's Nachos with ahi tuna, avocado, chili aioli and sesame lava salt ($13)
Soups and salads: roasted tomato soup with crisped Jarlsberg cheese, split pea soup with Vermont cheddar cheese ($7 each); salad nicoise ($13), C-Zar (Caesar) salad ($12). Add chicken ($3) or ahi tuna ($5) to either salad.
Entrees: Signature 55 burger, half-pound spice-rubbed Angus beef with cheese, bacon, butter, lettuce, tomatoes and sweet red onion on a knot bun ($16); veggie burger ($13); food truck tacos, blackened grilled talapia, salsa, tequila lime crema on a soft tortilla ($16); prime rib on a baguette with blue cheese, fennel, watercress, red pepper vinaigrette, horseradish, aioli, au jus ($16). All grilled items come with fries or seasonal greens salad.
Desserts: seasonal creme brulee, Asian apple pie in a crispy wonton shell with candied ginger and vanilla ice cream, bittersweet warm chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream and crumbled bacon ($9 each)