Dealing with clients is a delicate balance. You never know what type of Vegas experience they’re looking for, but you’re expected to guess exactly what’s in their heads at any moment. So when it comes to booking dinner, it can be almost as stressful as planning the entire meeting/trade show/LARPing convention itself. That’s what we’re here for.
Whether you’re with a group that wants the classic Vegas experience of dinner leading into a whole night out, or the client who keeps complaining about the lack of wifi in casinos and why everything is so loud, we have you covered. Here are 15 corporate-card worthy spots we know everyone will like.
You’ve been stuck listening to panel discussions for hours and when they finally end, you need dinner as soon as possible, but at a restaurant other than the three within walking distance. Take a quick ride to Sparrow + Wolf (about 10 minutes from most of the convention centers). You’ll find creative dishes like duck with seared foie gras and salted plum, and beef cheek and bone marrow dumplings with lemon ash, as well as cocktails made with things like hazelnut orgeat and mulled wine syrup. The majority of the small plates are under $20, but they can add up, so this is best with a group that’s willing to share.
Just because it’s a business dinner doesn’t mean that you want to explain a four-digit bill to the finance department. Going to Esther’s Kitchen, a casual Italian spot in the Arts District, is the answer when you still want to impress the person who somewhat directly impacts your livelihood without spending a ton. Start with a charcuterie board and then order a few pizzas and pastas. From the bright walls and chairs to the wood paneling, this place feels comfortable and your client will appreciate the chance to check out the area afterward.
There are two things you need to know when you make a reservation at Estiatorio Milos. First, make sure you book a spot on the open terrace with a view of the Strip because even if the conversation starts to stall, you can play I-Spy until you come up with something better to talk about. And second, you’re about to spend some money. This Greek place in The Cosmopolitan is known for their (expensive but great) seafood and you can pick out your exact fish from the selection displayed on an expanse of ice. They also have a 45-minute, three-course lunch for $30 if you’re in a hurry or need to sneak in a quick meeting while you eat.
There are the clients who want to time travel by way of big hunks of meat and ice-cold martinis, and then there are the ones who want to try something new. Bring the second group to Bazaar Meat in the Sahara. The majority of the menu is focused on larger portions of high-quality meat, but the starters are where you’ll find interesting takes on Spanish tapas. This means dishes like cotton candy foie gras, chicken and bechamel croquetas, and jamon iberico tacos with nori and fish roe. There are also light fixtures in the shape of moose heads with antlers, a painting of the countryside with birds and very large people, and fake alligator heads hanging from the ceiling so it’s a fun place for when dinner’s just the beginning of a long night.
Aside from strapping on water shoes and wading right in (which we assume you know is a bad idea and probably illegal), Spago has the best view you can find of the Bellagio fountains. Make a reservation on the patio and pause the conversation every 30 minutes while a massive amount of water shoots out of the ground. The menu is a bit all over the place, with Spanish-influenced appetizers, seafood towers, and homemade pastas, and can get pretty pricey. But it’s basically dinner and a show all wrapped up in one and you won’t have to put 17 tickets to Cirque du Soleil on your card for after.
You want to have a really big night - a capital “B,” capital “N,” Big Night. That’s when you reserve the private room at Partage (for up to 12 people). Not only does this French restaurant serve some of the best and most beautiful dishes in the city, but you can also do things like project everyone’s name or picture on each plate. It might sound a bit gimmicky, but it’s a nice way to show off your attention to detail. You can choose between the five, seven, or nine-course dinners and since you’ve already established the level of the night, go for the wine pairing as well.
When you want to have a very small group dinner, or the chance for a one-on-one with someone you usually see as a small avatar on your computer, go to Kabuto. Located in Chinatown, this sushi spot has three omakase options, the least expensive of which is $48 and includes a small sake drink, an appetizer, 10 pieces of nigiri, a handroll, and dessert, and is always enough food to fill us up. You’ll be able to hold a full conversation in the quiet, small space, though odds are you’re going to get distracted every time a piece of sushi is placed in front of you.
When you’ve received a few too many warnings from Paul in accounting about your T&E, heading to EDO and ordering the $45-per-person tapas tasting menu is one of your best options. You’ll get to try 10 different dishes, from croquetas with kimchi pisto to clams with beef lemon glaze and sake. This is a place where the food will be at the center of the conversation, so you can save the ice-breaker index cards for the next time your brother-in-law invites you to go fishing with him.
Manzo is an Italian butcher restaurant inside Eataly in the Park MGM and it’s where you bring people from the company that’s focusing on sustainability and has worked the idea of paper straws into every deck alongside at least one photo of a very sad turtle. The menu lists the farms they source their ingredients from, and you really can’t go wrong with any of the choices, but we love the agnolotti del plin, pork and veal-filled pasta with bone marrow and black truffles, and the NY steak.
The people at this company have so many dietary preferences and restrictions that they’ve created a deck to send around to streamline the process. Americana might be a 30-minute drive from the Strip, but they have a five-course tasting menu, a vegan tasting menu, and a weekly-changing harvest menu that comes with endless house wine pairings. Plus, the patio overlooking Lake Jacqueline will be a nice break from the perpetually blinking lights and forced socialization that involves lanyards with names on them and that guy Sean who opens every new conversation with “If you were an appetizer, what would you be?”
Lotus of Siam is where you bring the clients who have been saying they want a huge, classic Vegas night for months, even though you know they’ll all make up some excuse to go back to their hotel rooms around 11:30pm. This Thai spot just off the Strip feels sort of like one big party in itself, so no one will feel guilty for calling it a night after splitting some khao soi, red curry, and Northern larb. Just know that Lotus is extremely popular so be sure to make a reservation at least a week in advance.
Every time you’re in the same place as this group, you worry about your liver and whether you’ll be late to the first meeting tomorrow (spoiler: you will be). The Kitchen at Atomic is the perfect built-in one-two punch. Come to this Downtown spot for everything from a cauliflower steak to a porterhouse, and when you’re done, go next door to Atomic Liquors, one of Vegas’s oldest freestanding bars for cocktails and a wide range of local beers on tap.
You consider this client a good friend of yours - they always bring you gifts and you know everything about their breakup with the father of their cats. So when you need somewhere you can sit and catch up for a while, drink a little too much wine, and eat reasonably-priced pasta, this Henderson spot is where you should go. It’s a charming space with yellow walls and quirky art, and their homemade pasta dishes, like the pepper pappardelle with sun-dried tomatoes and mushrooms in a cream sauce and the linguine with clams, are perfect to eat while hearing how bad online dating is and their complaints about why there was never the obvious sequel Must Love Cats.