Nanny Mac’s Shepherd’s Pie at McMullan’s Irish Pub
This pub near the Orleans offers live entertainment on weekend nights and is a great place to go even when it’s not St. Patrick’s Day. A big reason in the winter: this traditional Irish dish, which consists of ground sirloin, carrots and sweet peas in a broth with a mashed potato crust. The hearty meal also comes in a lunch portion. $11.95 lunch, $13.95 dinner, 4650 W. Tropicana Ave., 247-7000.
Pizza Settebello at Settebello Pizzeria Napoletana
Brad Otton fell in love with his VPN (vera pizza Napoletana, meaning “real Neapolitan pizza”) concept while on a mission for the Mormon church in Naples. So he brought back a stone oven, a pizza man and several recipes, and the rest is Vegas legend. You don’t slice this baby; it’s meant to be torn apart by hand. Expect thin, chewy crust and toppings such as salamis from Mario Batali’s dad in Seattle. $12.99, 140 S. Green Valley Parkway, The District at Green Valley Ranch, 222-3556, settebello.net.
Tableside Guacamole at Cabo Mexican Restaurant
This casual Baja eatery will excite your taste buds before you reach your entrée. After being presented with a selection of fresh ingredients, your server will fuse all your choices into a vibrant guacamole masterpiece right there in frzont of you. Ingredients include avocados, Roma tomatoes, green serrano chiles, sweet red onions and freshly squeezed limes. The chips are pretty good, too! $8.99, Red Rock, 797-7540.
Sea Bass Anticuchos at Sushisamba
Japanese, Brazilian and Peruvian cuisine each have had a great impact on the culinary world, and here is where they deliciously merge. The sea bass anticuchos are skewered and miso-glazed and cooked on a robata grill. They are served with Peruvian corn that is marinated in butter and lime. By the way, the restaurant now has a “Sake-oke Superstar” competition every Wednesday. $16, Palazzo, 607-0700.
Chocolate Chip Babka at Freed’s Bakery
Freed’s is well-known for wedding cakes decorated to the nines, but I go for their humble selection of traditional Jewish-American pastries, such as Black and White cookies and Racetrack coffee cake. Their chocolate chip babka must have 1,000 calories, made from dough so dense it wouldn’t float in the Dead Sea. A tiny slice weighs a lot more than you think, so ask the counter person to go easy with the knife.$12.95, 4780 S. Eastern Ave. and 9555 S. Eastern Ave., 456-7762, freedsbakery.com
Crème Brûlée at Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill
The restaurant’s interior colored-glass designs and open dining area in front of the casino action give Puck’s place a contemporary but laid-back feel. And this dessert is a perfect fit for the atmosphere. Pastry chef Kenny Magana describes it as “still familiar but modern and, most important, fun. We wanted to break the mold of crème brûlée always served in a dish … and make it whatever shape we wanted.” And it tastes even better than it looks. $9, MGM Grand, 891-3000.
Ahi Tuna Sliders at LBS
After stepping inside LBS and seeing the handblown glass steer head and the American flag comprised of 3,500 license plates on the ceiling, you will know you are not in an ordinary burger joint. This retro-style roadhouse, inside Red Rock, serves gourmet beefy burgers loaded with toppings and health-conscious items for burger lovers who don’t want to miss out on the taste. The ahi tuna sliders are a perfect solution made with seared rare ahi tuna, chili mayo, Asian slaw and teriyaki glaze, all in a mini bun. $8, Red Rock hotel-casino, 835-9393.
The Garbage Salad at N9NE Steakhouse
This bold, innovated steakhouse— a favorite among celebrities and hip locals—has a lot of amazing things come out of its 1,200-degree oven, but it also features salads that can compete with the heartiness of any steak. This dish is a zesty case in point, with ingredients that include romaine lettuce, salami, shrimp, Maytag blue cheese, cucumber, tomato, hearts of palm, artichokes and olives in a Dijon vinaigrette. With an abundance of diverse flavors, it’ll make you want to take in the Garbage. $12, Palms, 933-9900.