A few minutes before the newest resort hotel in Las Vegas threw open its doors Wednesday night, Sophie Gayot of the gayot.com website peered over her Champagne glass at me and confided, "not much fine dining here." It stopped me short, because I had been thinking that the Cosmopolitan had hit the target pretty solidly with its lineup of restaurants, which we were about to sample along with about a thousand other invited guests.
Grouped in one corner of the third floor are outposts of chef Scott Conant's Scarpetta, Costas Spiliadis' Estiatorio Milos and the Bromberg brothers' Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar & Grill, all from New York; José Andrés' Jaleo from Washington, D.C., and David Myers' Comme Ça and the STK steak house from Los Angeles. To any knowledgeable foodie, that constitutes an all-star lineup.
But on reflection, I realized Gayot's comment hit the mark. None of those restaurants was designed to challenge Joël Robuchon, Guy Savoy or Julian Serrano's Picasso for supremacy in Las Vegas' haute-cuisine sweepstakes. They are, in concert with the overriding trend in dining in America, places that serve really good food in comfortable and casual surroundings.
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