Las Vegas Dining and Entertainment News 12/29/23

In this weekly update, food and beverage reporter Bob Barnes fills us in on noteworthy restaurant openings and closings, dining news, culinary events and entertainment news worth knowing about. 

Pick of the Week

Black Tap Craft Burgers & Beer opened in 2018 at The Venetian. Situated in the casino adjacent to the poker room and sports book, it continues to live up to its name with unique casual comfort food offerings and a beer list featuring local breweries.

As you walk in, you’ll instantly be drawn to the oodles of cool neon, and if you’re as old as me you’ll be reminded of your youth, with retro neon boomboxes, cassette tapes and old-style cameras. There are also subway tile walls (a nod to its NYC roots), a custom shake making booth (more on that later), mosaic floor inlay, and an outdoor patio area sporting a panoramic view of the Vegas Strip on one side and The Venetian’s Campanile Tower on the other.

As the name suggests, the menu is highlighted by craft burgers, which are layered with two slices of cheese and griddled (not grilled). 11 choices include The Mexico City with Prime burger, pepper jack cheese, pickled jalapenos, chipotle mayo and crispy onion ring; the Greg Norman with ½ lb. wagyu beef, house buttermilk-dill, blue cheese and arugula; and All-American Burger with Prime burger, American cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickles and special sauce. If you like your burger and salad in one bite, check out the Black Tap Burger Salad with Prime burger, bacon, cucumber, pickles, lettuce, tomato and cheese. Vegans aren’t left out with The Vegan Falafel Burger with falafel patty, vegan feta, lemon humus and tahini. Rounding out the menu are spicy Korean BBQ wings; Nashville Hot Tossed Tenders served with house buttermilk-dill; snacks of fried mozzarella, crispy Brussels sprouts and fries and onion rings that come with choice of eight house sauces.

The restaurant lives up to its name with a quality beer selection, highlighted with several local beers including Big Dog’s Las Vegas Craft Lager, CraftHaus seasonal sour, Lovelady Love Juice IPA and Bad Beat I Love NV Amber Ale and Bluffing Isn’t Weisse.    

Shakes are taken quite seriously here, so much so that the restaurant has devoted a portion of its space in the center and heart of the restaurant to the CrazyShake Bar made of glass candy display cases, which contains all the fixings for creating some of the wildest shakes imaginable and where you can view the shake master in action. The dessert menu consists entirely of the aforementioned shakes which are a combination of dessert and milkshake that give new meaning to the phrase “over the top.” Called Crazyshakes, several varieties include concoctions such as The Cakeshake—cake batter shake with vanilla frosted rim with rainbow sprinkles topped with a funfetti cake slice; and Golden Knights—(named for the Vegas NHL team) with vanilla frosted rim, topped with VGK cupcake, black and gold sixlets candy, whipped cream, black and gold sprinkles and a cherry. You can also design your own shake and choose from nine flavors such as Oreo cookies & cream, caramel pretzel, brownie batter and Fruity Pebbles. If you so desire, you can have alcohol added to make your shake boozy.

This restaurant group founded and owned by husband-and-wife team Chris Barish and Julie Mulligan that began as a 15-seat burger shop in the SoHo neighborhood of Manhattan in 2015 now has more than 20 locations in the US and worldwide in cities including Dallas, Miami, Nashville, Geneva, Singapore, Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Riyadh. A new variant called Tender Crush focusing on chicken fingers, sandwiches and wings will be opening in the first quarter of 2024 in the Rio Canteen Food Hall.

CRUSH Celebrating 10-Year Anniversary with Nostalgic Menu Honoring Favorite Dishes  

CRUSH, Morton Group’s American grill at the MGM Grand, is celebrating its 10th anniversary. To commemorate the milestone Morton Group Executive Chef William DeMarco has curated a special menu available throughout January showcasing a selection of popular dishes that made their debut in 2013. Appetizers, priced at $24 each, include Sea Scallop Benedict—sunny-side quail egg, chorizo and chipotle hollandaise sauce; and Red Wine Veal Bolognese with creamy polenta. The signature Date and Artichoke Woodfired Pizza topped with jalapeños and caramelized onions, will also return to the menu, priced at $24. Entrées include two past favorites: Cavatelli Pasta with ground Italian sausage, broccolini, fennel and roasted garlic, priced at $32; and the 2-pound Pepper-crusted Braised Bone-in Short Rib paired with an Asian pear salad, priced at $45. At the end of the month, Morton Group will donate a portion of proceeds to ASAS, which helps provide free after-school programs to children and young adults in Las Vegas. 

Reservations are recommended and can be made at or by calling (702) 891-3222. 

Carson Kitchen Introduces Winter Menu

Salmon and Japanese Yam at Carson Kitchen, Las Vegas, NV

Carson Kitchen Chef/Owner Cory Harwell has crafted new fresh winter menu offerings for the Downtown Las Vegas location. “Bok Choy is one of my favorite vegetables and grilling it enhances both the flavor and texture, creating the perfect twist on a traditional salad,” said Harwell. “Our Pork Meatloaf sandwich challenges the norm, with pork taking center stage as beef is the traditional protein option.

Some of the new menu selections include:

  • Duck Tacos made ga pao style with basil cream ($16)
  • Pork Meatloaf with molasses glaze and tobacco onion ($18)
  • Salmon with togarashi honey and Japanese yam ($28)
  • Bok Choy Wedge with miso ranch, bacon and blue cheese ($14)
  • Shrimp Campanelle made with hemp seed pesto and mozzarella ($18)
  • Root Veg with gochujang miso and roasted cashew ($14)
  • Short Rib Flatbread with smoked gouda and pickled red onion ($16)
  • Latte Cheesecake made with cold brew liqueur and chestnut ($12) 

Included in the new menu are some fun and unique hand-crafted cocktails, including: 

  • ‘Shut Up, Cory!’ with vodka, spiced cranberry syrup, lime and ginger beer ($15)
  • ‘Everybody Loves Monica’ with gin, Pernod, orange curacao, lemon, egg white and fennel bitters ($15)
  • ‘Piper’s Choice’ with vodka, espresso liqueur, xocoatl bitters, cinnamon cream ($15)

Carson Kitchen is open daily for lunch and dinner including a featured brunch menu on Sundays.

New Restaurant

William B’s Steakhouse, named for Boyd Gaming’s co-founder William “Bill” Boyd, is now open at the Suncoast Hotel and Casino. Located in the former space of Salvatore’s Italian Restaurant, highlights of the décor are a large scale wooden louvered façade and a custom 20-foot-long contemporary Murano glass chandelier. Featured starters are the Seafood Tower with Maine lobster, king crab, gulf shrimp, Atlantic scallops, little neck clams, mussels and calamari; and Baked Onion Soup with caramelized onions, aged sherry, and gruyere. Prime cuts of filet mignon, ribeye, NY and Australian wagyu can be accompanied with peppercorn cognac cream, red wine, chimichurri, bearnaise and house-made steak sauces. Also on the menu are Pan-roasted Chicken Breast with citrus beurre blanc, sea scallops with citrus corn puree and Pacific Swordfish with little neck clams. Signature cocktails include the Stardust with Grey Goose vodka, passion fruit puree, Madagascar vanilla and fresh lime, named for the original home of William B’s Steakhouse before the casino implosion in 2006.

  • Black Tap Craft Burgers storefront photo courtesy of Black Tap © 2023
  • Carson Kitchen photos courtesy of Eugene-Dela-Cruz, OneSeven-Agency © 2023
  • CRUSH entrance photo courtesy of CRUSH © 2023
  • Crush Food photo by Peter Harasty © 2023
  • Black Tap Oreo Shake by Jessica Duncan © 2023

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