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Home > DINING WITH CHEFS > Las Vegas Dining with Chefs > First Food and Bar (Part 1 of 3)

Executive Chef Sam DeMarco

First Food & Bar

We’ve followed Chef Sammy DeMarco’s career for many years and were deeply saddened when he left New York City. We perked up again, however, when we heard he was making his way to Las Vegas, one of our favorite culinary destinations! Because we couldn’t wait, we recently visited Chef DeMarco and took a personal tour of his new restaurant, FIRST Food & Bar at the Shoppes at the Palazzo, before it had even opened. We wanted to bring you this inside scoop first (no pun intended), so here it is! We’ll bring you a full listing after our next trip. [EDITOR'S NOTE: FIRST Food & Bar has opened. Please click here for the full listing.] If you’d like to read our interview with Chef DeMarco while he was at Fireside in New York City, please click here, or if you’d like a sneak peak at his cuisine you can read about our meal at Fireside. Otherwise, please read below to see how his new restaurant is progressing.

Located in the Shoppes at the Palazzo -- perched above the center strip right next to Barney’s, where crosswalk comes over from Treasure Island -- FIRST Food & Bar is over 10,000 square feet with 16-foot windows overlooking the Strip. While the view alone will be enough to lure us back to Vegas, we wondered what lured Chef DeMarco back, as he previously was part of the opening team at the Bellagio when Steve Wynn opened it. “I was born in Brooklyn and grew up on the island, where I had great accolades,” he told us. “This is really a dual move. It’s about family and everything. I’m 44 years old now and have had a healthy career doing exciting things; now I’m looking to create more of a balance. There are a lot of opportunities in Vegas. It is one of the few places you can really come to and be in the hospitality industry and make good money and have a good life off the Strip. People live well off the Strip and they have great houses; it’s really different than what you see as a tourist or visiting. When I originally opened the Bellagio with Steve Wynn I had seen that, and I thought, ’Wow.‘ After a long weekend or a couple of days here you get over the aspect of the party or the craziness. When I was out here before I felt if I ever had a family or a position to come back to here, this would be a great place. Then it all started happening.“

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