On the Strip: Ambra Italian Kitchen + Bar
Ambra is Italian for “amber.” It calls to mind a unique luxury—rich, honey-colored gemstones; a Mediterranean sunset; and, in this case, a contemporary Italian restaurant on the Strip. Having debuted this summer in the former Fiamma space, Ambra Italian Kitchen + Bar (MGM Grand, 702.891.7600) does what Vegas does best: serve up fun, approachable luxury.
The menu is laden with indulgent Italian favorites, including handmade pastas like spicy rigatoni Amatriciana seasoned with Calabrian chilies and a meaty macaroni Bolognese. For the full experience, begin with hot and cold antipasti, such as the signature prime beef tartare and meatballs al forno. Sample the luscious bluefin tuna from the crudos menu or splurge on the Ambra tower, which offers all the gifts of the sea: crab, lobster, shrimp.
When it’s time for dessert, the server will roll out an amaro cart to complement tiramisu topped with gold leaf and a dark chocolate disk. –C. Moon Reed
Off the Strip: Tim Ho Wan
The Palms’ vast restaurant reinvigoration is now complete with the arrival of Tim Ho Wan (702.990.8888), the Hong Kong-based dim sum outpost that recently made its Vegas debut with an expansive, family-friendly dining room in the refashioned resort’s updated west wing. This traditional Chinese meal is stirred and shaken with the addition of an exclusive craft cocktail menu, because you can’t brunch Vegas-style without a little kick. Sample a selection of made-to-order bites like spicy Szechuan pork dumplings, steamed har gow shrimp dumplings, sticky rice in lotus leaf, braised beef brisket with thick, chewy noodles and Tim Ho Wan’s signature sweet-and-savory baked barbecue pork buns. –Brock Radke
#trending: Bacchanal Buffet
Looking for pro tips to strategize your plan of attack on the most talked-about buffet on the Las Vegas Strip? We’ve got you covered. Hit the Bacchanal Buffet (Caesars Palace, 702.731.7928) for breakfast or brunch, when the lines are a bit shorter but the selection of fresh-made dishes are just as diverse and wondrous. The lump crab avocado toast and red velvet pancakes are among the a.m. favorites, and if you indulge properly on brunch dishes like fried chicken and waffles and Chinese barbecue pork, there’ll be no need for dinner. –BR