The sterile, glossy black and metal touches of THEhotel have disappeared, making way for more natural, warm and elemental décor, as if the Delano wanted to blend in with its surroundings, starting from the giant boulder sourced from the Mojave desert and dropped in the newly renovated hotel’s entry. As such, the Delano’s dining offerings seem less like they’re intended to be flashy to lure in Las Vegas visitors, but more like where you would hang out if you were home.
With friendly baristas, comfy seating and people on laptops soaking up the wi-fi, 3940 Coffee + Tea is pretty much your favorite neighborhood coffee spot—if your neighborhood was the Strip. Although some may love it more for its fancy, filter-drip coffees imported from South American, I’m all about the killer iced mocha. To eat, there’s an eclectic selection of pastries, such as macarons, cinnamon rolls and scones, but the sandwich game is on point as well. The perfect grab-and-go bite for me was the porchetta panini: a toasty and crusty thin, slow-roasted pork sandwich dressed with Fontina cheese and arugula.
While we’re discussing sammys, the humble toasted cheese sandwich was apparently one of FDR’s favorites (the other—no lie—hot dogs), so it dish features prominently on all Delano menus (I sampled it while at Della’s Kitchen), and it’s a people pleaser, made with melted cheddar on soft white bread that was golden brown on the outside. As toasted cheese’s BFF, tomato soup accompanies it, and while it was robust with herbs and well seasoned, the thickness reminded me more of a marinara sauce—all the better to dip the sandwich in, of course.
Della’s Kitchen had touted itself as an “urban kitchen,” and after eating here, it finally dawned on me what that truly means. Much like 3940 Coffee + Tea, Della’s Kitchen is what you’d want out of a brunch spot in your ‘hood: It’s cool, comfortable and familiar, and doesn’t feel jam packed with conventioneers, even when it is. It’s a spot that makes an effort to present honest and locally sourced ingredients for well-executed dishes such as carne asada huevos rancheros (although the carne asada was more rib-eye steak than Mexican-influenced, but I’m not complaining), and comforting sides such as Portuguese sausage.
When you’re ready to move from daytime meals to dinner, take the elevator to Mix. The restaurant by Alain Ducasse remains one of the most stunning dining rooms on the Strip: stark white and modern, with its signature glass bauble installation that makes you feel like you’re in a glass of Champagne. Ducasse will retain his prime real estate on the 64th floor of the tower, along with its sweeping views of the city, when Mix transforms into Rivea next summer. French haute cuisine will make way for more earthy, Mediterranean-inspired fare, but with the same flair for elegance and simplicity.
It seems like Las Vegas is always looking for the next great neighborhood dining experience. Who knew we’d find it on the Strip?