Vintner Grill

When Vintner opened five years ago, people complained that they couldn’t find the place, hidden as it is in a generic office mall. These days, customers jockey for parking spaces, as the restaurant has become a de facto social club for upscale west-siders.

Chef Matthew Silverman, a rock since Day 1, has added a few wrinkles to increase the appeal. First, he’s actually making his own cheese—goat, Camembert, Stilton, creamy goat-milk feta—all of which he serves gratis during the restaurant’s happy hour, 5-6 p.m. weekdays. Second, he’s added elegant creations to what is already one of the city’s most diverse and appealing menus. Most of us were already addicted to his innovative Moroccan spiced lamb ribs and wood-fired flatbreads. Now he’s doing a full-on French-style bouillabaisse and Cornish game hen on mesquite on a busy grill in the back.

There is a giant by-the-glass wine list, a joint effort of able sommelier Troy Kumalaa, and the restaurant’s personable general manager, Peter Varela. And décor is sleek and comforting, with lots of sofas and chairs that you can sink down into. On balmy nights, request a cabana outside—yes, it’s in an office parking lot, but it’s still one of the nicest eating spots in the city.

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The night was Sept. 7, 2001. The culinary community of Las Vegas and beyond came together in a ballroom at the Rio to support one of its own. Napa restaurant’s chef Jean-Louis Palladin had been diagnosed with lung cancer, and it wasn’t looking good. Upon his death just two months later, The New York Times honored Palladin as “a chef’s chef whose boundless creativity and relentless pursuit of the best and freshest ingredients set an example for countless other cooks.” His inspiration lives on today in the lives he personally touched as well as in the culinary scene at large.