Home to three of the nation's 10 largest convention facilities, Las Vegas has made no secret of its intention to nab as much convention business as possible. While in town, event-goers know there is plenty of entertainment muscle to help them woo new and existing clients. And with top chefs vying for space on the famed Las Vegas Strip, some argue that the city's world-class dining could make or break any business deal.
"It's not just about going to a restaurant to close a deal or make a contact. It's also about experiencing fine foods in a first-class atmosphere [that] a lot of other destinations can't offer," said Cathy Tull, senior vice president of marketing for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.
Here are five Las Vegas restaurants that entice with extravagant food and a unique atmosphere, great for entertaining clients.
Giada - The Restaurant
The Parisian-inspired Cromwell (formerly Bill's Gamblin' Hall & Saloon) debuted this summer. Inside this boutique hotel, Food Network star Chef Giada de Laurentiis impresses with Giada - The Restaurant. Business minds love this Italian (with a touch of California) dining spot for its views of the Bellagio fountains and Caesars Palace. The vibe is bustling yet private, and the signature lemon spaghetti, orzo meatballs, and lobster Arancini come highly recommended. This is a hot spot, so make reservations well in advance.
Giada Tucson Rib Eye
Bazaar Meat by José Andrés
Andrés perfected this concept in Beverly Hills and South Beach, earning a spot on the Conde Nast "Hot List," among other honors. The indoor piazza and open grill environment along with displayed curing meats make for an ambiance that can get conversations started. The food is creative and flexible in what some may view as a simple steakhouse concept on the surface; but we quickly learn that SLS Las Vegas Hotel’s Bazaar Meat is so much more with sea urchins, quail and mussels complementing more traditional chicken and beef plates. The service and attention to detail is also top-notch. "The food is excellent, and they really come at things from the Beverly Hills angle," said Stowe Shoemaker, dean of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas's world-renowned college of hotel administration who also studies the local dining scene.
The first ever Nobu Hotel, located inside the former Centurion Tower at Caesars Palace, opened in 2013. Now, Chef Nobuyuki "Nobu" Matsuhisa's Las Vegas restaurant inside the hotel is the go-to spot for sushi on the famous Las Vegas Strip. Japanese lanterns and understated dark wood decor, along with circular eating spaces, make for a tranquil, quiet environment with the bustle of Vegas only steps away. Yellowtail sashimi with jalapeño and the shrimp tempura don't disappoint.
Nobu Rock Shrimp
Some convention attendees are up for the nightlife and the food. Hakkasan, located inside the MGM Grand, delivers on both fronts. The Strip's best dim sum is found in a surprisingly low-tempo, relaxed environment, right next to the city's hottest nightclub. Even if you skip the club, the dining experience holds its own. The dim sum is great, but the Chilean sea bass catches plenty of attention too, and the small dishes are perfect for tasting and sharing with clients.
Piero's Italian Cuisine
Some clients are seeking a little Las Vegas nostalgia. For them, Piero's, open since 1982, most certainly delivers with Rat Pack hangout vibes. Located off the Strip near the Las Vegas Convention Center, rock legends including the Rolling Stones, locals like Mike Tyson, and presidents George Bush and Bill Clinton, have dined at Piero's. Sure the pasta is good, but patrons also brag about the steak and desserts, too. "It's perfect for a business traveler trying to get a taste of old Vegas," said Jeff Pressman, CEO of ConvExx, a Las Vegas-based exhibit and event company.