Although it survived its initial June 2013 expiration date—sticking around for another five months—Valentino’s closing was still a bummer for longtime fans of Piero Selvaggio’s Italian restaurant. Thankfully, Daniel Boulud came to the rescue, as his DB Brasserie took over the space and certainly has picked up where the award-winning Valentino left off (see Best New Fine Dining Restaurant and Best Chef-Strip). Also, to our delight, former Valentino chef Luciano Pellegrini is still in town making award-winning gelato (see Best Great Domestic Product).
When news that Boulud’s return to Las Vegas was going practically next door to Joachim Splichal’s French spot, everyone asked: Can the Venetian support two brasseries? The answer: no. Despite the best efforts of executive chef Eric Lhuillier and sous chef John Courtney, Pinot Brasserie quietly ended its 15-year run in June.
Michael Mina’s space in Aria is shifting from American to French, as the contemporary grill-focused seafood restaurant gave way to Bardot Brasserie this winter. Mina’s fish will still make an appearance, though, in a roving cart that weaves its way around the dining room, which will lose its lodge aesthetic and transform into a Parisian café.
The home of the Sterling Brunch was completely transformed from a classic (some might say outdated) steakhouse into the decidedly more modern, brighter BLT Steak. Thankfully, Sterling Brunch is still alive and well.
After Hecho en Vegas opened in MGM Grand last year, it was only a matter of time before we’d say adios to Diego, the modern Mexican restaurant tucked into the property’s restaurant row. Did you know chef Rick Bayless was a consultant for the restaurant when it opened?