If you’ve visited the Riviera Hotel & Casino before, you already know we’re classic Vegas: we’ve been around for more than five decades, which means we know Vegas through-and-through. And we’re about to let you in a secret. A whole bunch of secrets and less-frequented attractions, in fact, as we introduce our readers to some secret, hidden and less-frequented sides of Vegas through a four-post series:
- Secret Vegas: Dining
- Secret Vegas: Attractions
- Secret Vegas: Deals
- Secret Vegas: Tips
Now, let’s dish: we’re going to start by highlighting some lesser known culinary treats in our already-gourmet city.
Secret Menu: Ellis Island Restaurant
Ellis Island isn’t fancy, but it offers some dining deals to savor. As one TripAdvisor reviewer noted: “Dirt cheap, above average.” Perfect for dining on a budget.
It also offers some secret items not listed on the regular menu, like a secret steak dinner served with a house-made beer from the on-site brewery, or a steak-and-eggs breakfast combo. The portions are generous, and the steaks juicy and delicious. Unfortunately, the restaurant isn’t so secret among locals, so try not to hit the place at the dinner rush – it could be crowded. Thankfully, it’s open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Secret Dining Landscape: Marche’ Bacchus
We’ve written about Marche’ Bacchus before as a dining hotspot favored by Vegas locals. It features amazing French cuisine combined with an on-site wine store, whose entire contents make up your wine list for your meal. What we didn’t mention: the view. Located 10 miles from the Strip, Marche Bacchus sits on the shores of Lake Jacqueline, meaning this place doesn’t just prepare delectable meals, it offers a feast for the eyes as well.
Secret Bottomless Wine Glass: Battista’s Hole in the Wall
Zagat describes this spot as “an old Vegas Italian landmark.” They serve a full menu of classic Italian dishes in a dining room overflowing with ambiance, often accompanied by the dulcet tones of master accordionist Gordy Jaffe. That alone might be enough to get you try to place, but how about this tidbit to up the ante: for one price, diners can get unlimited house wine, soup or salad, bread, dinner and an amazing cappucino to round off the meal.
Secret Celebrity Performances: Bootlegger Bistro
Formerly known as Celebrity Karaoke, Strip performers would hit this little Italian Bistro for special, otherwise unremarked performances. The weekly event (Tuesdays starting at 9 p.m.) has since be re-christened “Kelly Clinton Open Mic Cabaret.” Clinton, the event’s founder and host, explains: “It was never really karaoke; it’s just a name that stuck.” Regardless of what it’s called, what you’ll find are local, professional Vegas performers, in a mix with talented amateurs, putting on a delicious show for the price of a generously-portioned meal.
Secret Cheap Draft Beer: Le Bistro Bar
In celebration of the Riviera’s 58th Anniversary, our own Le Bistro Bar is offering a special Pabst Draft for just 58 cents! Available through April 30, you need wander no further than our own doors to find one of the best deals in Vegas.
Bonus: Not-So-Secret World-Class Restaurant: Lotus of Siam
Saveur food critic Jonathan Gold made a bold claim about this place, saying “it was the best Thai meal I had ever eaten.” The restaurant is located near the Strip (actually less than a 5 minute drive from the Riviera), hidden away in a nondescript strip mall. Yet the thoroughly authentic northern-style Thai food prepared by Saipin Chutima alongside her husband has earned it Gold’s glowing assessment: “the best Thai restaurant in Las Vegas – and maybe anywhere.”
Next time: Secret Vegas Attractions.