Choosing a restaurant after a long day on the trade show floor can sometimes be a challenge, particularly if you’re entertaining clients. Dietary restrictions and sensitive palates can put a number of menus off-limits. Tapas bars or other establishments where small plates are shared may be a little too informal for an icebreaker with a new prospect. And getting any business done in a crowded, noisy eatery can be a bit of a challenge.
Vegas is one of those trade show destinations where evening dining and business talk go hand-in-hand. Here are our recommendations if you’re looking for a group-pleasing venue after a day in the exhibit hall:
CLASS & CONVENIENCE
Located right by the Las Vegas Convention Center, Piero’s Italian Cuisine has been an exhibitor favorite since 1982. Guests can choose from traditional northern Italian pastas to a variety of salads or meat and seafood entrees. If you’ve brought a number of staff to town or are entertaining a larger group of clients, Piero’s can also host your private event, with moveable walls in their banquet facility to accommodate parties of various sizes — great marketing move to hold influencing sessions outside your booth space.
Located inside The Venetian near the Sands Expo Convention Center, Chica is the first Latina-run restaurant to hit the Vegas Strip. Having achieved celebrity status from her time on Top Chef Masters, chef Lorena Garcia brings an eclectic Latin menu, fusing cuisines from Argentina, Brazil, Peru and beyond. Thrillist describes the menu as “approachable enough for the trade-show attendees…yet vibrant and adventurous.”
STEAKS THAT WON’T DRIVE A STAKE THROUGH YOUR BUDGET
Looking for American fare, without the high prices of the Strip? Download the Uber or Lyft app and hail a ride to Echo & Rig, in the charming Tivoli Village just off of Summerlin Parkway, about 15 minutes from either convention center. While we wouldn’t necessarily recommend Echo and Rig for impressing new clients, it’s great for unassuming business friends who prefer an authentic local experience, or for those on your team who want quality food without exorbitant Strip prices. Most entrees are in the $20-$25 range, and their steaks range from $20 to $40. While steaks are the draw here, the salads and other vegetarian offerings are equally superb. Echo and Rig is very popular with the locals (especially on weekends), so reservations are recommended.
DETOX IN THE DESERT LANDSCAPE
Do you have a client who loves to golf? Take them to Cili at Bali Hai Golf Club, a conveniently located power lunch and business meeting venue on the Strip. Combining contemporary American fare with bold Asian flavors, Cili lets you dine with a view of the renowned fairways and desert landscape. Best of all, you can impress the socialites back at the office by telling them you went “clubbing” on the Strip.
PICTURE WITH PICASSO
Featuring dishes inspired by the regional cuisine of Spain & France, the elegant Picasso restaurant is named after the array of original paintings and ceramics by Pablo Picasso that grace the interior. Located at the Bellagio, Picasso gives patrons the option of dining outdoors in view of the world-famous fountains. This two-star Michelin restaurant is an excellent place to make a lasting impression on a VIP client.
GRAB A BEER AND A DOG… AND A PAINTING OFF THE WALL
Located in the heart of downtown Las Vegas is ReBar, the only bar where everything is for sale. Take a piece of the vintage artwork home with you, or just enjoy the beers and hot dogs. This quirky downtown bar has everything you could need for a fun night out.
HANG OUT WITH THESE CELEBRITY CHEFS
Kerry Simon, nicknamed the “Rock ‘n Roll Chef” by Rolling Stone
Try these addictivetly homey dishes by Kerry Simon at Carson Kitchen — urban casual eatery, inside the re-purposed mid-century John E. Carson Hotel — a skeleton of Downtown Las Vegas' yesteryears, now home to its eclectic mix of tenants including a sushi bar, tattoo parlor, pilates studio, creative agencies, donut & coffee bar and Chef Simon's playful interpretations on American comfort food — "the 60-seat room is frequented by rock royalty, who come for the addictively crispy fried chicken skins with smoked honey to glazed donut bread pudding soaked in three-rum caramel with vanilla crème anglaise."
True to the reputation, Spanish superchef José Andrés Vegas restaurants include Jaleo and the notoriously difficult-to-obtain table at é by José Andrés and China Poblano. His new Bazaar Meat in SLS is an ode to Iberico ham, with flaming grills right in the center and major dishes.
Michael Mina’s beautiful new Bardot Brasserie in Aria takes classic French fare – onion soup, duck a l’orange, steak frites – and elevates it so flawlessly, you’ll wonder why you bothered with all the other high-concept fare on the Strip. For instance: onion soup bubbles with aged Gruyere covered in Perigord truffles and studded with braised oxtail.
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