On the Strip: Michael Mina

A flurry of flashy new restaurants have arrived to close out the year, a frequent occurrence on the Las Vegas Strip where there’s a constant struggle for the dining spotlight.

But one of our favorite new experiences of 2018 remains the remaking of a classic; Michael Mina’s eponymous fine dining room (Bellagio, 702.693.8865) reopened in early 2018 after a fresh, bright remodel and a wholesale refocusing of the menu. Don’t worry, your favorite dishes are still here, but the best way to discover what’s new is the Market Fish Tasting Menu. You’ll sample delicate cucumber-lime marinated hamachi with ginger and holy basil, an innovative hot charcoal-grilled shellfish platter, a Mediterranean spice-crusted catch of the day and much more. These oceanic delights are hard to find anywhere else, each treated with care and plated with precision.

Mina and Bellagio have taken a 20-year-old favorite and created something that feels and tastes brand new. –Brock Radke

Off the Strip: Mordeo Boutique Wine Bar

Khai Vu’s first pair of restaurants (District One and Le Pho) reflect the Vietnamese heritage of the local chef and restaurateur. But his latest endeavor, Mordeo Boutique Wine Bar (5420 Spring Mountain Road Suite 108, 702.545.0771) is a much different and highly creative affair: Spanish tapas with Japanese influence in a modern wine bar setting. When you visit, don’t miss the uni bites, where the chef effortlessly melds these cuisines with sweet, succulent sea urchin layered atop buttery brioche with a garnish of minced jamón de Ibérico contributing hints of nuttiness and a contrast in textures. It’s a destination dish. –Jim Begley

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Smoky drinks are usually made with whiskey or bourbon. Heritage Steak (The Mirage, 866.339.4566) mixes things up with its La Caja cocktail. Patron Roca Reposado is added to muddled sugar cubes, cherries, walnut bitters and an orange wedge. Presented tableside in a box with smoked white oak chips, it has a rich taste that’s approachable without overpowering the tequila. It’s a drink with magnificent ambition, too—it was created to complement the white oak grill used in the kitchen. –Rob Kachelriess