Summerlin, long the province of ladies who shop at Whole Foods in full bling, is becoming, dare we say…hip. Less than 20 miles west of the Strip, this master planned community exemplifies affluent suburban sprawl, the kind of place you’d see in the opening credits of Showtime’s Weeds. Now the area is home to culinary gems, Vinter Grill and Marché Bacchus. Here’s where else to go:
10820 West Charleston Boulevard
“No-holds-barred garish” seemed to be the design concept at Mexican standby Agave, whose fuchsia exterior anchored the Pavilion Center shopping area until its shuttering last year. B.R. Guest’s Dos Caminos has moved in, replacing that frantically festive atmosphere with a spot where you’ll want to hang out and have a prickly pear margarita (or three). There’s reclaimed barn wood on the walls, pendant lights suspended from the 28-foot ceilings, and candlelight and fire pits warming the patio. Expect all the Dos Caminos favorites: an expansive tequila selection, superfresh tacos, guacamole made to order (hint: add lump crab), and specialties like smoky grilled brisket enchiladas and sizzling shrimp cazuelas.
1031 South Rampart Boulevard
Blink and you might miss this corner restaurant, the newest from culinary mastermind and consultant Elizabeth Blau (she’s worked with One & Only Palmilla Resort, Montage Resorts and Wynn Las Vegas) and her husband, partner and chef Kim Canteenwalla, whose experience includes positions far (Toronto, Singapore and Dubai) and near (Society Café at Encore at Wynn Las Vegas). The space is charming. Light-green banquettes and perfectly weathered, mismatched chairs fill the room. Lining the walls are large-scale, wish-you-were-there photos of farmers’ markets in Cape Cod and Ojai. When it comes to the food, you’ll fall in love at first bite of the homey, fresh dishes presented with little twists, like a “backyard favorite” burger with Beehive cheddar, tomato jam and butter pickles (be sure to order it “Kim’s style,” with the addition of a farm-fresh egg). Other stellar appetizers include a scallop ceviche with avocado, and charred octopus with romesco sauce, patatas bravas and shaved celery. The entrées are fantastic – and don’t forget to accompany them with a side of creamed spinach made with Greek yogurt. Blau and Canteenwalla say this is how they like to entertain at home, and at Honey Salt, you’ll be glad to be their guest.
440 South Rampart Boulevard
This 700,000-square-foot shopping and dining complex offers up ersatz European (hand-cut stones and strollable space) in that way in which Vegas truly excels. Although its first phase opened in 2011, the place didn’t attract serious foodie buzz-until now. Angelo Sosa of Top Chef fame opened Poppy Den, an avant-garde Asian gastropub, and we’ll bet its outdoor patio becomes Summerlin’s new hot spot. Bradley Ogden, missed since he left Caesars Palace, is bringing back his award-winning farm-to-table fare to the forthcoming Ogden’s Hops and Harvest. But the food isn’t Tivoli’s only attraction. The elegant Ritual Salon and Spa features Liz Maier, the colorist who’s worth leaving the Strip for. At Jeff White Custom Jewelry, Danny White can find just about any diamond for you and help design the perfect ring. You’ll browse happily for hours among the repurposed antiques at Artifact LV, and the whole family will enjoy TheMarketLV, a mash-up of wine bar, swimwear store and cupcake shop.