VEGAS RESTAURANT ROUNDUP: Rio’s Carnival Buffet Closes, 3 Italian Joints Recognized

Posted on: April 12, 2023, 02:13h. 

Last updated on: April 15, 2023, 05:07h.

The Carnival World Buffet at Rio, the most revered buffet in Las Vegas 20 years ago, is being torn down to become a food hall, exemplifying the “Bye Las Vegas Strip Buffets, Hello Food Halls” trend article published by last month. The Rio once also featured a Village Seafood Buffet, about where Kiss minigolf now stands. That  eventually merged with the Carnival World Buffet.

RIP Carnival World Buffet. (Image:

Scenes from 3 Italian Restaurants

Three Las Vegas restaurants have made Tasting Table‘s Top 20 Italian spots in the US:

  1. Esther’s Kitchen in the Arts District downtown, opened in 2018 by Chef James Trees
  2. Brezza inside Resorts World, opened in 2021 by Chef Nicole Brisson and her former business partner, Jason Rocheleau
  3. Carbone, the Greenwich Village eatery that chefs Mario Carbone and Rich Torrisi, along with restaurateur Jeff Zalaznick, imported to Aria in 2015

Comings & Goings

Green Fairy Garden, the communal dining terrace encircling the “Absinthe” venue at Caesars Palace, recently introduced a burger joint called No Pants and the Pier 17 Yacht Club, a speakeasy featuring $100 tots dusted with golden osetra caviar.

Vegas Test Kitchen, which opened during the pandemic as a downtown incubator for local chefs to try out new concepts, is closing for good on June 3. Located at 1020 Fremont St. #120, its current menus include Down 2 Earth Plant-Based Cuisine, Jawgogi’s American Asian, and Stay Tuned Burgers.

Resorts World is closing the lounge leading into its Chinese restaurant, Genting Place, to convert the space into the Golden Monkey Tiki Lounge. The casino hotel is making a big deal about it being the only tiki bar on the Strip. The similarly named and well-known Golden Tiki Lounge has been operating only 1 mile from the Strip, and 2 miles from the Resorts World site, since 2015.