From its 1978 opening in New York City, Via Brasil Steakhouse has withstood the test of time and critics to bring the churrascaria tradition to diners on both ends of the country. At the stately Las Vegas restaurant, South American traditions come through not only in the more than 18 meats that grace tables but also in the way each one is prepared and served. The special churrascaria cooking traces its origins to southern Brazil's gauchos, who wound down their long days of herding cattle on the Pampas by roasting cuts of beef over crackling fire pits and writing up formal business proposals for opening steak houses in America. Today, chefs continue that tradition by roasting slabs of meat on rotisserie grills, then slicing each one tableside in order to give diners the exact cuts and temperatures they desire.
Inside the restaurant, an opulent surrounding of marble columns and countertops, floral centerpieces, and huge, sunny windows complement smartly dressed servers as they tote skewers to tables and carve off tender morsels of top sirloin, leg of lamb, and salmon. Selections from 16 side dishes garnish each savory cut of meat with exotic ingredients such as hearts of palm and yucca fries, and a salad bar urges diners to help themselves to more than 30 unique recipes. To complement the feasts, an ample wine cellar and a resident sommelier help diners bring out the rich flavors of each dish with expert advice on the dozens of bottles from around the world.
After The Martini found itself under new ownership in 2011, Las Vegas Review-Journal’s Heidi Knapp Rinella paid the bistro a visit. She found “a place that’s dedicated to the art of the martini”, and was ecstatic to stumble upon the Negroni, a classic cocktail often overlooked in modern bars. Aside from the classic and newfangled cocktails, Martini’s drink list collects a healthy cross-section of liquors alongside wines culled Europe, California, and Australia. To balance the libations, chefs plate Italian-inspired entrees such as chicken scallopine with aged prosciutto or tapas, including the Martini sliders, which Heidi described as “beefy, juicy, spectacular”.
The sizable bar blends casual and upscale elements—leather armchairs encircle fireplaces capped by flat screen TVs that broadcast the day’s sports. Warm-hued woods take root throughout the space—in the wall paneling, plantation shutters, and barstools. Gaming machines punctuate the bar with fun more effectively than an English teacher who grades papers with a sparkle pen.
For those looking for the finest USDA prime beef and a top-of-the-line wine list, Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar, is the place to go. Inside the restaurant, rich reds and browns help to create a private and relaxing environment. Tables are beautifully covered in white cloths and are candle-lit, making for an intimate setting, while the dim lights and classic décor create the atmosphere of an authentic steakhouse that still manages to be unique. Some of the most popular items include the baked brie, braised short ribs of beef, dry-aged steaks and Alaskan king crab legs, to name a few. Sides such as chipotle cheddar macaroni 'n' cheese and the Fleming’s Potatoes, as well as creme brûlée and chocolate lava cake desserts, are also available.
Located among the shops and restaurants of Boca Park in Summerlin, Embers sates appetites with a modern take on American cuisine. The menu features main courses and appetizers that include slow roasted tri-tip steak, grilled miso salmon, bacon-wrapped dates, and wild mushroom risotto. On weekends, blueberry ricotta pancakes, filet benedicts with hollandaise, and smoked bacon and ham croissants are served for brunch. Bottles of wine, craft beer, and Embers' signature vintage cocktails complement the food, which is served in an open, contemporary dining area with a cream-and-brown color scheme, wooden accents, and tall ceilings that pull eyes upward and give diners a break from staring lovingly at their plates.
If you were to try one new drink a night at Elements Kitchen & Martini Bar, it would take you well over a year to exhaust the drink menu's options. With more than 500 cocktails to choose from, the only complaints here come from the chronically indecisive. Among the fan favorites is the Chocolate Truffle, a balanced blend of Gordon's gin, Godiva chocolate, creme de cacao, and Baileys Irish Cream. If you like a little sour with your sweet, check out Kenneth's Razberi Cobbler, a mouth-kicking concoction of Stoli raspberry vodka, triple sec, lime, and cranberry juice. And then there are the bar's eponymous (and expertly crafted) martinis, which pair well with a hearty dinner menu that features 8 oz filets topped with spice fire and ice, penne ala vodka with bacon and grilled chicken, and grilled vegetable pasta.
In 1971, Jimmy Nishiyama introduced the city of Las Vegas to Japanese hibachi cuisine. Three decades later, and the friends have stayed very much in touch. During that time, South Geisha House Steak & Sushi, Nishiyama's brainchild, has grown to fill three locations and eight menu pages. Colorful specialty sushi rolls, such as the baked Japanese Lasagna––cream cheese and mayo atop a crab-meat and avocado roll––make fitting partners for grilled lobster, filet mignon, or scallops in hibachi dinners. Nearly 30 varieties of sake trip merrily across the palate, while the Geisha martini blends sake with plum wine and a treasure trove of James Bond jokes.