Heidi’s Picks

Heidi’s Picks is a weekly selection of restaurant suggestions from Review-Journal critic Heidi Knapp Rinella. Price symbols are based on the cost of an average entree: $ = entrees less than $10; $$ = entrees between $10 and $20; $$$ = entrees between $20 and $30; and $$$$ = entrees more than $30.

AQUAKNOX

The Venetian, 3355 Las Vegas Blvd. South; 414-3772

Settling into a booth at AquaKnox was a welcome escape from the chaos around the restaurant’s entrance (which is near the resort’s convention center) but the best was yet to come, as we experienced top-notch food and service at prices that weren’t — at least for the Strip. We recommend the Jonah crab claws, clam steamers, Ahi tuna, John Dory and Chocolate Martini, and even the peppery breadsticks with smoked-salmon-and-trout mousse served before dinner. (1/29/10)

Overall: A $$$$

LETICIA’S MEXICAN COCINA

7585 Norman Rockwell Lane; 445-7722

“No yellow cheese,” Leticia’s promises on its website and indeed it delivers good, authentic Mexican food, including a very good rendition of Mexican street corn — rare in Las Vegas. We also liked a puffy chile relleno, beef tamales offered as a daily special and queso fundido with mushrooms. (5/7/10)

Overall: A- $

SWITCH

Encore, 3131 Las Vegas Blvd. South; 248-3463

The unique interiors of this restaurant — yes, interiors in the plural, because the walls and ceilings periodically switch among three permutations, which is very cool — are spectacular, but don’t overshadow superlative food and flawless service. We happily recommend the risotto with champagne and Parmesan, oysters on the half shell (three from the West, three from the East), seared Arctic char, organic free-range chicken, gratin Dauphinois, creamed spinach and chocolate crunch bar. (4/10/09)

Overall: A $$$$

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