The menu for the newest fine dining restaurant at Resorts World Las Vegas provides no footnotes to denote which dishes among the foie gras, calamari fritti, or fettuccine alfredo are vegan or vegetarian. That’s because the entire menu at Crossroads Kitchen is vegan.
Crossroads Kitchen, which bills itself as the first fully vegan fine dining restaurant on the Las Vegas Strip, opens on Saturday, along with quick-service outpost CB Crossroads Burgers.
The restaurant omits the usual indicators of many vegan restaurants. The hum of juicers is replaced with rock ‘n’ roll music. Photographs of those bands hang on the walls where one might have expected to see, say, images of smiling broccoli.
In Los Angeles, where Ronnen opened Crossroads Kitchen in 2013, tables come with white tablecloths, cozy booths, and chandeliers overhead. He plans to incorporate similar touches at the new location, inside the former Marigold space.
“We feel that good food is good food and doesn’t need to have a label,” says Ronnen. “So there are no obvious cues on the menu or in the decor or anywhere in the Crossroads experience that you’re eating no animal products.”
Chef Tal Ronnen’s newest expansion, is similar to the original Crossroads location in Southern California, with a predominantly Mediterranean menu, with some additional dishes exclusive to the Las Vegas location.
This is hardly Ronnen’s first brush with Las Vegas. He previously collaborated with the Wynn and Encore hotels to develop vegan menus for each of their restaurants. He is also well-known for co-creating the Kite Hill brand of vegan dips and spreads, and for catering high-profile events, like Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi’s wedding and a U.S. Senate dinner.
One highlight of the menu is a chestnut foie gras, made with roasted chestnuts, porcini mushrooms, shallots, and white wine.
“It’s a very luxurious dish,” says Ronnen. “Same with the chips and caviar. It’s classic, right for Vegas to have some sort of caviar service.”
An English pea and ricotta anolini uses a ricotta that Ronnen previously made for Kite Hill that uses macadamia nuts and a high-protein varietal of almond. He seasons mushrooms with nori and Old Bay Seasoning to produce a convincingly briny flavor in the calamari.
The Israeli-born chef will also serve an eggplant filet, dehydrated to create a chewy texture and then marinated in a beet ponzu, as well as a pasta carbonara complete with a runny tomato-based “egg” yolk.
Meanwhile, the casual CB Crossroads Burgers will offer vegan burgers and fries — and sausages with a casing that Ronnen says snap like the real thing.
“I always say I’m not cooking for vegetarians, I’m not interested in cooking for vegans,” says Ronnen. “I’m interested in cooking for people who love food, and people who can benefit from eating plant-based food from time to time. You don’t have to be vegan full time to reap the benefits of eating vegan occasionally.”
Crossroads Kitchen will be open daily for dinner from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. CB Crossroads Burgers will be open daily for lunch and dinner from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.