By Grace Bascos
Sometimes restaurants are hard to get in to, especially right when they open. But once the hype dies down, only the truly special spots remain in demand. The bad news? In their original locations, you still have to know someone to score a table at these restaurants. The good news? It may be impossible to get a reservation to these stellar restaurants in any other city, but Las Vegas has you covered. Here, the only person you need to know is on the other end of the reservation line.
A-listers flock to the original New York location of Carbone—and it’s not just for the well-executed Italian menu that features classics like Veal Parmesan and Chicken Scarpariello. Everyone loves the captain-style service, where the tuxedo-clad waiters toss your Caesar salad or flambé your Bananas Foster right at the table. This throwback theme fits perfectly into the Las Vegas landscape, harkening back to an old school dining experience à la the Rat Pack. aria.com
MR. CHOW, CAESARS PALACE
This is the seventh MR. CHOW in the world—but that doesn’t mean it’s any less special than the original six. The first one opened in London in 1968, serving Beijing-style cuisine with European style service. It’s the Beverly Hills location in 1974 that put MR. CHOW on the map, becoming the go-to Chinese restaurant for the Hollywood elite. The tradition continued in New York, South Beach and Malibu as fashionistas and artists flocked to the modern Beijing restaurant to be greeted by its champagne trolley, followed by the Green Prawns or the famous hand-pulled MR. CHOW Noodles. caesarspalace.com
RAO’S, CAESARS PALACE
This Southern Italian favorite has the distinction of being one of the oldest restaurants in the country—it opened in 1896—that you will likely never get in to. The original East Harlem, New York location only has 12 tables, which makes the real estate prime to begin with. Then, when you factor in that each table has a standing reservation for each night of the week and that owner Frank Pellegrino, Sr.’s nickname is Frankie No, as in “No, I can’t get you in,” it’s pretty much impossible. Fortunately, the Caesars Palace location is larger and Frank Pellegrino, Jr., who runs the Las Vegas joint, is more flexible. You’ll be digging into their Traditional Rao’s Meatballs before you know it! caesarspalace.com