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Mr Chow and farm-to-table Harvest join Las Vegas' restaurant scene

It’s apparently time to up the ante in the Vegas food game, as two iconic hotel-casino resorts, Bellagio and Caesars Palace, unveil new and decidedly different restaurants.

Esteemed restaurateur Michael Chow recently launched his seventh Mr Chow location, inside Caesars Palace. At the same time, up-and-coming chef Roy Ellamar has opened his first restaurant, Harvest, across the street at Bellagio.

Chow opened his first Beijing-cuisine eatery in London way back in 1968, and his portfolio has expanded to include restaurants in Beverly Hills and Malibu.

Guests to the Caesars location can enjoy a glass of champagne in an entry lounge on the casino floor before traveling to the restaurant itself by private elevator.

Don’t expect many surprises on the menu; only one-quarter of Mr Chow’s offerings have changed over the past five decades.

Classic appetizers include chicken satay ($7.25) and turnip puff with ham ($14.50). Popular longtime entrees include green prawns ($39) and the ever-popular Beijing duck that’s carved tableside. It’s priced at $74 per person with a three-person minimum.

Reservations: Mr Chow Las Vegas, (702) 731-7888.

Farm-to-table cuisine is obviously tricky when your restaurant is in an inhospitable place like the desert that surrounds Las Vegas, but Ellamar is rising to the challenge at Harvest.

The emphasis at his restaurant is on locally and regionally grown ingredients.

His signature Farmer’s Salad ($13), a feast for the eyes as well as the taste buds, changes each week to adapt to what’s fresh. Ellamar relies on a Southern Nevada grower, Herbs by Diane, for much of the salad’s colorful content.

Other straight-from-the-garden offerings are the roasted baby beets ($12), topped with pickled pear and spiced yogurt.

Main courses include fisherman’s stew ($36), which features Maine lobster and Florida Gulf shrimp, both delivered daily. Landlubbers may prefer the braised lamb shank ($48) with grits and grapefruit gremolata.

Reservations: Harvest, (702) 693-8865


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