You can definitely tell that Spring is in full swing, thanks to plenty of asparagus, green peas and ramps popping up on menus. The sea’s seasonal offering is halibut, which at Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak and Stone Crab (in Forum Shops, 702-792-9222), eats like a steak. The hearty, pristine fish comes from Alaska and Joe’s portions it out as a T-bone cut, specifically butchered this way for the restaurant, then broils it with only lemon, black pepper and olive oil. Green vegetables shouldn’t get to hog all the glory this season.
Dining and sports emporium Lagasse’s Stadium (in The Palazzo, 702-607-2665) offers a meal special that’s larger than life, much like its namesake celebrity chef. The Big Burger Meal, Emeril’s Triple Crown is mouthful of a title, but lives up to its wordiness. The centerpiece is the Stadium Cheeseburger, which for this deal tips the scale at 2 pounds—four times the size of the original on the a la carte menu. The behemoth patty is crowned all-American style, with four slices of Tillamook cheddar, applewood smoked bacon, onion rings, sweet and spicy pickles. But if 32 ounces of burger isn’t enough for you, the meal comes with a mound of Creole-seasoned french fries topped with Lagasse’s own “kicked up” cheese sauce and beef and bean chili, as well as your choice of a chocolate, vanilla, strawberry or coffee milkshake.
The sweets are more sultry now that cocoa now takes center stage where bedazzled lollipops once sparkled for celebrities. HEXX Kitchen and Bar (702-331-5100) has replaced candyland Sugar Factory at Paris Las Vegas, but the 24-hour restaurant keeps a killer view of the Fountains of Bellagio. The “approachable American cuisine” comes from a menu developed by Vintner Grill’s Matthew Silverman and executive chef Matt Piekarski. Silverman, who was making his own cheese, has dipped his hand into the chocolate game, touting HEXX as the state’s first bean-to-bar craft chocolatier. The custom confection is made only from two ingredients: organic palm sugar and cocoa beans sourced no further than 20 degrees north or south of the equator, so you can taste the difference in varieties from regions around the world. As HEXX resides on the Strip, the fare is approachable for sure, but using high quality ingredients, including a classic Kobe burger topped with aged Wisconsin cheddar, grilled king salmon with clam chowder and spaghetti carbonara with house-cured pancetta. It’s nice to come down off a sugar high every once in awhile.