Tasting Las Vegas

Diamonds Are A Chef’s Best Friend: Las Vegas’ 2010 AAA Four and Five Diamond Award Winners

January 14, 2010 · Leave a Comment

One of the most coveted awards for a restaurant in North America to receive is a nod from the annual AAA Diamond Awards.  With even more of a readership than Tasting Las Vegas (for now!), restaurants see a great deal of business based from AAA’s recommendations.  AAA reserves their Four and Five Diamond appointments for only the finest restaurants, and Las Vegas can proudly boast being one of the best-represented cities in the U.S.!  Only Chicago beat out Las Vegas’ impressive 5 Five-Diamond Award winners this year with their astonishing 7 individual restaurants.  And yes, in the on-going battle between Las Vegas’ and New York City’s claims to culinary superiority, Las Vegas put an old fashioned whoopin’ on New York’s paltry 3 Five-Diamond Award winners!  Don’t you just love it when the Manhattanite snobs take one in the gut?  Ahh…the glory….

Anyway… In regards to the process of how AAA chooses who gets how many Diamonds they’ll dole out, first a prospective property needs to file for an application.  Once an application is received, AAA will send one of its 65 full-time evaluators out to the property unannounced to first label the candidate “AAA Approved” and then will designate the appropriate number of Diamonds, one to five.  The properties are re-evaluated annually by AAA to keep their ratings current.

The highest of all, the AAA Five Diamond Award, has the following description by AAA:

Establishments are renowned and consistently provide a world-class experience. This is “haute cuisine” at its best. Menus are cutting edge, using only the finest ingredients available. Food is prepared in a manner that is highly imaginative and unique. The combination of technique and ingredients is extraordinary, reflecting the impeccable artistry and awareness of highly-acclaimed chefs. A maître d’ leads an expert service staff that exceeds guest expectations by attending to every detail in an effortless and unobtrusive manner.

Without further adieu, here are Las Vegas’ own AAA Five Diamond Award Winners:

Restaurant Name


# of Years Award Received

Alex Wynn Las Vegas 5
Joël Robuchon MGM Grand 4
Le Cirque Bellagio 7
Picasso Bellagio 9
Restaurant Guy Savoy Caesars Palace 2

The Five Diamond Award winners are old news (published back on November 6, 2009), but pre-dates the arrival of Tasting Las Vegas, so we thought we’d include them.  The new news, however, comes with the announcement of the Four Diamond Award winners, updated January 13, 2010.

AAA describes their Four Diamond Award winners with the following:

Establishments are geared to individuals in search of a distinctive fine-dining experience. Often orchestrated by an executive chef and an accomplished staff, menus reflect a high degree of creativity and complexity, using imaginative presentations to enhance high-quality, market-fresh ingredients. The proficient service staff demonstrates a strong desire to meet or exceed guest expectations. A wine steward is typically available to provide menu-specific knowledge. The ambiance is highly refined, comfortable, and well-coordinated, incorporating quality materials and a variety of upscale design enhancements to give a first-class impression. The overall dining experience is typically expensive.

The impressive collection of 29 Four Diamond Award winners in the Las Vegas Metropolitan area (3 are in Henderson, YAY Henderson!) shows how deep the bench is for Las Vegas’ dining quality.  And the AAA Four Diamond Award Winners are…

Restaurant Name


# of Years Award Received

Alizé The Palms 4
Andre’s at The Monte Carlo Monte Carlo 6
Aureole Mandalay Bay 10
Bartolotta Wynn Las Vegas 4
Bradley Ogden Caesars Palace 2
Craftsteak MGM Grand 4
CUT by Wolfgang Puck Palazzo 1
Daniel Boulud Brasserie Wynn Las Vegas 1
David Burke Las Vegas Venetian 2
Eiffel Tower Restaurant Paris Las Vegas 10
Fiamma MGM Grand 4
Fleur de Lys Mandalay Bay 5
Hank’s Fine Steaks & Martinis Green Valley Ranch 4
Jasmine Bellagio 4
L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon MGM Grand 4
Marssa Loews at Lake Las Vegas 3
Medici Café and Terrace Ritz Carlton Lake Las Vegas 7
Michael Mina Bellagio 2
Mix Mandalay Bay 3
Nobhill Tavern MGM Grand 5
Okada Wynn Las Vegas 4
Pearl MGM Grand 5
Prime Steakhouse Bellagio 5
Seablue MGM Grand 5
Sensi Bellagio 4
Shibuya MGM Grand 5
Stripsteak Mandalay Bay 3
SW Steakhouse Wynn Las Vegas 4
Wing Lei Wynn Las Vegas 4

What is regrettably missing from this fabulous collection of 34 fine restaurants are the establishments of equal or greater quality found in the streets of Las Vegas and Henderson.  Possibly because they don’t have the multi-million dollar budgets to decorate and appoint their restaurants as the Strip locations need to in order to survive, we are fortunate to have a local stable of restaurants more than worthwhile for hungry tourists to hop in a cab for.

Tasting Las Vegas is dedicated to bringing the full scope of Las Vegas area dining to you, whether it is among the sparkly lights of multi-billion dollar resorts on The Strip, or whether it is among the flickering electrical shorts of strip mall parking lot lights (mad props to you, Pasta Shop Ristorante!)

A hearty congratulations to all of those honored by AAA’s bling. You make those of us fortunate enough to reside among you proud of our little town!

Mike Dobranski is a professional musician, amateur blogger, eater of good food, poker junkie, master of the inappropriate comment and bad husband to a wonderful wife. Follow him on Twitter at @MikeDobranski.

Follow Tasting Las Vegas on Twitter at @TastingLasVegas.

Categories: Henderson Restaurant News · Henderson Restaurants · Las Vegas Fine Dining · Las Vegas Restaurant News · Las Vegas Restaurants · Las Vegas Strip Restaurants · Mike Dobranski
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