American Fish is Michael Mina’s fifth restaurant in Las Vegas. It debuted with the grand opening of City Center’s Aria in December. Located on Aria’s promenade level, American Fish lures diners with a diverse menu devoted to seasonal ingredients and seafood raised in U.S. waters. Guests will be welcomed by friendly staff and led into the rustic yet stylish dining room or lounge. Before long you’ll be enthralled by the open kitchen or the bar’s infinity birch forest. You will be left yearning for fresh surf or aged turf, or perhaps a cocktail. The bar is known to mix great classics like a gimlet or an old fashioned.
Mina has put the restaurant in good hands with executive chef Sven Mede. The two began their working relationship more than five years ago at Nobhill Tavern. Mede played a key role in achieving Nobhill’s five successive AAA Four Diamond Awards. Together, at American Fish, they have perfected signature cooking methods in order to deliver the finest cuisine and rival the competition. The entire menu is prepared one of four ways: poached in ocean water, baked in sea salt, grilled in a cast-iron skillet, or wood grilled and smoked. The flavor that these cooking methods impart allows the dishes to shine.
A meal can easily cost a small fortune (a tasting menu is available for $95 per person); however, you don’t need to drop all that coin to enjoy a great sampling of American Fish’s temptations. Happy hour and the pre-theater menu are two ways to make this an affordable splurge. Happy hour is available at the bar and lounge Sunday-Friday from 5-7 pm; it offers $5 small plates, $4 beers and select cocktails and wines by the glass for $7. The pre-theater menu provides a three-course meal for $55 from 5-6 pm. Last week, my husband and I opted to dine in the lounge to take advantage of happy hour. The full dinner menu is served, as well, so we also made selections from the pre-theater menu. We customized our meal and shared several plates. Our server was very accommodating.
We began with shrimp and grits, Maine lobster corndogs, and a prime rib sandwich. All of which were from the lounge menu, and each was delicious. I honestly couldn’t pick a favorite. The grits were wonderfully cheesy. The corndogs are playful and far tastier than you might expect. The prime rib is tender and it bursts with fresh flavors. Next, we noshed on Louisiana crawfish chowder. Fried okra, spicy chorizo and tender crawfish tails swam in a large bowl of velvety chowder – nom!
Following those scrumptious selections we moved on to the mixed grill, it includes blue prawns, scallops, squid, catch of the day and bratwurst. In addition to the proteins there is also a medley of cauliflower, potatoes and other root vegetables. Each bite had a lovely smoked flavor and everything was well executed. However, the fresh fish, scallops and bratwurst were standouts.
We concluded our dinner with Valrhona chocolate custard. It was delightful as it sounds. Cocoa nib ice cream and red velvet cake bathed in the luscious custard, and then it was dressed with buttery pecans. All in all, we left pleasantly full and eager to return.
American Fish is open for dinner 5:00pm – 10:30pm. Please note it is closed Tuesdays.