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June File

Striking Gold in Vegas Want to dine like the Donald? Check out the new DJT.

June 01, 2008|leslie brenner

It may be home to some of the best dining in the West, but when you have to navigate through a smoke-filled casino, choking and weaving a path through flashing, clanging slot machines, a measure of gastronomic magic can be lost by the time you see your amuse bouche.

And so the arrival of DJT, the restaurant in the new Trump International Hotel & Tower, is a breath of fresh air in Las Vegas--there's no casino, and no smoking anywhere in the hotel. The civilized tone is set the moment white-gloved doormen show you in.

The restaurant is done in shades of eggplant and gray, with a glamorous 1930s feel. All 16 tables are prime--cushy circular banquettes that radiate from a central column and curtained booths that circle the room's periphery. All feel very private, and with service that coddles but doesn't smother, it's hard not to feel like a billionaire.

Chef Joseph Isidori, who was personal chef for the Trump family, turns out market-inspired cooking, and the menu prices aren't as awesome as you might expect for a top-drawer Vegas dining room. The real surprise? The adventurous wine list with down-to-earth prices, put together by sommelier Michael Shearin (fresh from a stint at Restaurant Guy Savoy at Caesars).

Slide into a booth, sip a glass of Pierre Peters Champagne, and dine on roasted California squab with Chinese black beans or king salmon with steelhead roe and grapefruit. Hard to trump that.--

DJT, Trump International Hotel & Tower Las Vegas, 2000 Fashion Show Drive; Las Vegas; (877) 878-6711, www.trump


More news on the Strip

[ pool with a cover ] Wet Republic, an adults-only lounge with eight pools, a "wet deck" and VIP bungalows opened at MGM Grand last month. The cover charge ($10 to $40) presumably keeps out the riffraff. Wet Republic, MGM Grand, 3799 Las Vegas Blvd. S.; (702) 891-3563, [ your 15 minutes of truffle ] If the bargain continental breakfast buffet hasn't drawn you to Payard Patisserie, maybe the new truffle clock will: Four times an hour, it produces chocolate truffles, yours to taste. It wasn't Francois Payard's first choice of attention-grabbers: He wanted a machine that would make guests' busts in chocolate. He nailed the technology, but says, "We couldn't do it in less than 45 minutes." In Vegas, that's an eternity. Payard Patisserie & Bistro, Caesars Palace, 3570 Las Vegas Blvd. S.; (702) 731-7110,

[ changing corsa ] Chef Alessandro Stratta has taken over Corsa Cucina, the casual Italian spot at the Wynn; later this month it will become Stratta. "It'll be straightforward, simple and rustic," says the standout chef. Look for wood-fired pizzette and handmade garganelle with roast duck. Stratta, Wynn Las Vegas, 3131 Las Vegas Blvd. S.; (702) 770-3463,

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