by robert haynes-peterson | February 9, 2015 | Food & Drink
Brunch is arguably even more critical to the denizens of a city that stays up all night than in other places. Luckily, Vegas has no shortage of new options—both glam and homey.
Giada at The Cromwell.
Brunch has (thankfully) evolved in Las Vegas into a fashionable scene that not only fulfills our critical need to lounge, mimosas in hand, in the company of fabulous people, but also pushes the culinary envelope along with the rest of the city’s dining.
At Giada (The Cromwell, 702-777-3777), currently one of the best places in town to conspicuously consume, celebrity chef/author Giada De Laurentiis recently instituted a brunch menu, available from 8 am to 2:30 pm each day, that includes the restaurant’s complete breakfast and lunch offerings. The polenta waffles—either savory (with pancetta and eggs) or sweet (with fresh strawberries, pineapple, and Nutella)—are winners here, as is the salmon cake Benedict. Of course, mimosas and other cocktails are available, but fresh-pressed juices like the Rise & Shine (with spinach, carrot, apple, celery, lemon, and ginger) or The Palm (pineapple, apple, lemon, and mint) can assist in your revival. If, on the other hand, you’re ready to get the party started all over again, Distill—A Local Bar (10820 W. Charleston Blvd., Summerlin, 702-534-1400) serves an early brunch, 8 am to 2 pm on Saturdays and Sundays. Wrap your chicken and waffles, custom pastas, or French toast around $10 specialty cocktails. It’s here you’ll also find The Cure, a hangover-busting burger stuffed with fontina cheese and topped with soy-marinated onions, jalapeño jelly, and fried parsnips.
Hearthstone Kitchen & Cellar.
In January, chef Brian Massie’s Hearthstone Kitchen & Cellar (11011 W. Charleston Blvd., 702- 693-8300) launched an already buzzed-about brunch program, whose tempting menu features three different “egg bennies” (crab cake with peekytoe crab, chorizo béarnaise, and creamed lobster spinach); salted caramel French toast with hazelnuts and banana maple syrup; and breakfast pizzas like the Carbonara, made with pancetta, soft poached egg, and onion, or the Abe Froman, with fennel, garlic, and white-wine sausage. While you’re there, don’t forget to drink your Wheaties, a beer cocktail made with Chopin wheat vodka, Thai basil, and lemon added to a crisp Sierra Nevada Kellerweiss.
MOzen Bistro’s build-your-own miso soup.
It’s easy to take brunch staples for granted, although you won’t at Made L.V. (450 S. Rampart Blvd., 702-722-2000), the Tivoli Village hot spot opened last year by chef Kim Canteenwalla and his wife, Elizabeth Blau, whose new brunch menu highlights the social aspects of group dining. “The Made L.V. brunch is designed for sharing,” says Canteenwalla, “so it’s a great way to start your day with family or friends.” And the convivial main dining room and patio are both terrific places to rediscover classic dishes, served in new and delightful ways. Look for savory twists like the Big Easy Benedict, incorporating the restaurant’s popular bacon cheddar biscuits with country ham and Creole hollandaise, or “Old Fashioned” French toast sticks, evoking the popular cocktail with cherries, maple syrup, and an orange bourbon drizzle. Trend-forward dishes include breakfast tacos made with chicken chorizo and signature salt-and-vinegar butcher’s style chicken wings.
Sangria at Buddy V’s.
At Buddy V’s (Venetian, 702-607-2355)—the constantly packed restaurant from Buddy Valastro, star of TLC’s Cake Boss—an Italian-American buffet-style brunch runs Sundays from 10:30 am to 2:30 pm. Choose from a range of classic Italian antipasti, like a salumi board or a panzanella salad, along with main dishes including panettone French toast, a roast vegetable frittata, and orecchiette and Italian sausage. A Venetianstyle sweets table and Kids’ Corner, with chicken fingers, meatballs, chicken Parmesan, and more, will ensure the whole family is as well fed here as at Nonna’s casa.
A blue corn pancake with barbecued duck at Caesars Palace’s Mesa Grill.
Bobby Flay’s Mesa Grill (Caesars Palace, 702-650-5965) recently marked its 10th anniversary, and its scene is no less hot now than it was a decade ago. Help celebrate each Saturday and Sunday from 10:30 am to 3 pm with a smoked salmon quesadilla with dill crème fraîche or an eggs and aged strip-loin tortilla with avocado relish from the à la carte menu. Of course, the signature Mesa Burger (with horseradish mustard and grilled Vidalia onions) is available, as are contemporary riffs on brunch classics, like the blue corn buttermilk waffle with blackberry bourbon syrup. Or take a virtual trip east to the elegant MOzen Bistro (Mandarin Oriental, 888-881-9367), specializing in contemporary pan-Asian cuisine. The $64 Sunday Jazz brunch features a sushi station, dim sum murgh makhani with garlic naan, and fresh seafood selections, along with Asian-inf luenced American standards like a matcha waffle with a lychee compote and green-tea sugar. Unlimited Perrier-Jouët Champagne is available for an additional fee.
Churro tots at Border Grill.
Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger of Bravo’s Top Chef Masters and Food Network’s Too Hot Tamales are hardly new in town; their Border Grill has been a brunch standard-bearer in Mandalay Bay for 15 years. Their location and open kitchen in the Forum Shops (Caesars Palace, 702-854-6700) are new, however, as are some dishes the pair created exclusively for this spot. Look for the roasted cauliflower with crispy kale and puffed quinoa, plus a rich hibiscus glazed duck breast with Marcona almond mole. And if brunch to you means as much sustaining food as you need to soak up the previous night’s damage, the unlimited small plates of the Border Brunch may be just the ticket (think red velvet johnnycakes, Yucatan eggs Benedict with Manchego cheese biscuits and achiote-roasted pork, and Peruvian shrimp and grits). Start strong with the location’s new Jalisco Burro, which combines Corralejo reposado, Ancho Reyes chile liqueur, fresh lime, and ginger beer. If that doesn’t wake you up, nothing will.
photography by the Cromwell (giada); bill milne (buddy V’s); Courtesy of Caesars palaCe (blue Corn panCakes); courtesy of the border grill (churro tots); courtesy of mandarin oriental, las vegas (mozen bistro)