Mesa Grill

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Mesa Grill

Mesa Grill owner-chef Bobby Flay is hip, TV-star handsome, a cookbook author and a superstar on the Food Network -- and is totally dedicated to all things culinary.

Mesa Grill restaurant at Caesars Palace is a namesake of the original Mesa Grill in New York City. The resemblance, however, stops there. Mesa Grill at Caesars Palace was the peripatetic chef's first restaurant beyond New York.

Mesa Grill at Caesars Palace is a beauty. Flay waxes poetic when he talks about the overall space, the massive eye-catching signature rotisserie, the relaxed elegant décor and the handsome redwood accents.

"This is my first-ever new kitchen," he said during an interview. "Mesa Grill at Caesars is my own design."

Who knew that when this privileged street-smart kid with the sassy mouth grew to adulthood he would be recognized as one of the nation's greatest culinary talents?

Not his elegant, cultured family who feared for his future. Somewhere along his journey, he stepped into a kitchen and fell in love ...

Flay calls it Contemporary Southwest. The ingredients may be familiar, but the spin is new and exciting. Heat levels are temperate, a rarity in these days of palate-searing excess.

Mesa Grill Chef Tournant Anthony Fusco named a few of the most requested dishes, and I was pleased to discover that I had eaten and enjoyed the same dishes: Black Angus New York strip steak with house-made Mesa steak sauce; pan-roasted wild striped bass; tiger shrimp with a roasted garlic corn tamale with corn-cilantro sauce. These dishes appear regularly.

Warm weather calls for lighter fare; cold weather menus include game as well as beef and other meats. A personal favorite is the blue-corn pancake filled with barbecued duck and sauced with a habanero chile sauce. It's all super delish.

Mesa Grill's desserts are scrumptious. Can't decide? Have a dessert sampler for two or more people. The incredible smoked vanilla roasted-pecan flan with coffee caramel is not to be missed -- if it's on the menu.

Mesa Grill chef/owner Bobby Flay was awarded the 2007 James Beard Foundation Rising Star Award. vegas.com

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