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.



3355 Las Vegas Blvd. South; 266-9977

This is clearly not your parents’ Italian restaurant; überchef Mario Batali and partner Joe Bastianich forgo the Sinatra for the screamin’ guitar and breathe fresh air into their fare, such as a roasted beet salad, prosciutto San Daniele Riserva, orechiette with sweet sausage and rapini, grilled lamb chop with eggplant, roasted cherry tomatoes and a limoncello and poppy seed torta. (9/28/07)

Overall: A- $$$$


6375 S. Rainbow Blvd. (also at 9340 W. Flamingo Road); 898-9998

Adding some fusion rolls and some "American" dishes to the menu has broadened Kobe’s appeal in this growing neighborhood. Worthy of note: the Monkey Special (crab and spicy tuna on banana tempura), the Omelet Roll (crab, avocado, cucumber, rice and nori wrapped in a thin omelet), potstickers, edamame, Mozzarella Chicken and banana tempura with ice cream. (8/17/07)

Overall: A $$


2101 S. Decatur Blvd.; 257-1330

Mediterranean/Middle Eastern restaurants are becoming as common in Southern Nevada as wing joints in Buffalo, but Lily’s — which is Persian (Iranian) in provenance — rises above many of the others with well-prepared food and a serene atmosphere that belies its strip-center location. We liked the artfully presented Souvlaki, the Khoresht Fesanjan, the shish kabob, a combination appetizer plate of hummus, stuffed grape leaves and baba ghanoush, and baklava for dessert. (11/2/07)

Overall: A – $$


25B6 Miracle Mile Shops, 3663 Las Vegas Blvd. South; 405-4700

Umbrella drinks aside this is not your father’s Trader Vic’s; the pan-Asian menu and subdued decor reflect a more sophisticated American diner. We liked the Hawaiian poke, the Kalua pork sliders, Trader Vic’s Fried Rice, tofu Thai red curry and nine-spice roasted half chicken; the authentic throwback (which is to say, not too sweet) Mai-Tai made things even better. (1/3/08)

Overall: A- $$

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