Black-and-white portraits of Sophia Loren stare down at diners as sunlight bounces off the mirrors lining one wall of Gio's Italian Restaurant. After inspecting wine bottles lined up against the wall or arm-wrestling a date to determine who gets the tallest chair, guests can dig into sautéed fish or chicken, fresh salads, or Italian classics such as penne alla vodka.
For Las Vegas Cafe owner Francies Vega, cooking is about putting smiles on people's faces. So when she designed her menu, she didn't stick to just one cuisine, but instead incorporated all the dishes that make her happy. The result is a fusion of Cuban and Italian recipes such as chorizo spaghetti, vegetable breakfast crepes, and Cuban-style fried rice sprinkled with ham, peppers, and eggs. Vega's signature dish is the chancellor fish fillet stuffed with ham and cheese and fried until it's as crisp as the first day of autumn.
The Bricks serves up a menu of unconventional comfort cuisine in a laid-back, edgy setting. Taste-bud-teasing starters such as the kinky tuna, a wasabi pea and pistachio crusted ahi, seared rare and topped with lemongrass cream ($12), segue finely into main courses such as the bird and pig sandwich, which nestles its tastily terraformed layers of roasted chicken, bacon, brie, crispy apples, and agave nectar between Hawaiian sweet bread ($8). Alternately, the amsterdam clothes a naked baguette with a delicious ensemble of crunchy organic peanut butter and melted, smoked gouda ($5). Feel free to customize your own crusts by mixing and matching breads, spreads, and toppings at the peanut butter bar ($3–$4.50).
At Big City Grill Co., patrons can experience metropolitan life without journeying far from home. The eatery reconstructs American dining by presenting a menu packed with signature foods from throughout the country, like Hawaiian honey-glazed chicken and Boston fried shrimp. Additionally, the dining areas capture urban life with black-and-white cityscape murals, subway-car replicas, and tourists shuffling around the room asking each other for directions.
Texas de Brazil blends the steak-centric cuisine of Texas with the traditional churrasco method of slow-roasting meat over an open flame grill to form a luscious meaty mélange. The full dinner ($39.99) marches out a cavalcade of choice cuts, allowing diners to welcome continuous windfalls of flavorful proteins. Brandish your table's provided card, green on one side, red on the other, and it will function as a meat traffic light that summons servers to either send stacks of seasoned beef, pork, or lamb skewers or halt plate traffic like a decorated culinary crossing guard. Or feel free to substitute greens for the grill by stepping into the sprawling salad-bar conga line ($24.99), two-stepping through toothsome goodies such as imported cheeses, steamed asparagus, and dozens of other hors d'oeuvres.