Robert Smith

Smith is the Susan Lucci of the wine world. He has been in Las Vegas since 1989 and at Picasso since it opened, has been a finalist for the Beard House’s Outstanding Wine Service an impressive four times, and four times has been passed over.

If you feel like the Beard Awards are New York-centric, get in line. “I don’t mind actually,” Smith says, “but I think Vegas deserves more recognition.”

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The Barrymore opened a few weeks ago at the Royal Resort, and it’s really the closest place to downtown that I’d call “plush modern.” There’s “hip” (The Beat Coffeehouse) and “Old Vegas” (Hugo’s Cellar), but this is a first: an elegant lounge with a white marble-topped bar and two gorgeous deco dining rooms, and featuring smart 21st- century cooking.

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