The newest eatery to open at Caesars Palace is celebrity chef Brian Malarkey’s a finalist on Top Chef who went on to host ABC’s The Taste 4th Searsucker location, and his first to open in Las Vegas. Situated off of the casino next to the sports book and Omnia Nightclub in the former space of Munchbar, an eclectic cowboy décor features brown leather booths, antler chandeliers, rope-strung Edison lights, whimsical food paintings, neon “Eat” signs, wood flooring and rustic wood and marble tables; and a lively atmosphere prevails amidst an open kitchen and the front part of the restaurant open to the casino and outward-facing bar that’s perfect for people watching.

Heading the kitchen is the very talented John Paul Labadie, a celebrity chef in his own right who brings more than 20 years experience, having held chef positions at prestigious restaurants including Emeril’s Fish House at the MGM, Table 10 at The Palazzo, off-Strip at Garfield’s and Marche Bacchus and at Todd English P.U.B. in Crystals at CityCenter.

The shareable menu is divided into Bites, Smalls, Greens, Ocean, Ranch and Farm, but the stars of the menu will be found in the Smalls. I found several favorites that were exploding in exquisite flavor and uniqueness, like Squid “Sweet Heat,” calamari steak with a sweet & sour heat; Eggs & Bacon, which sounds unexciting until you discover it’s a decadent eggs Benedict-like mixture of poached egg, toasted brioche, hollandaise sauce and pork belly that’s been brined in apple cider vinegar and spices for 24 hours; Bone Marrow with a Fresno chili/Bulleit Bourbon glaze and served with fried brussel sprout leaves; and Crab Cake with jumbo lump crab, fennel, lemon verbena aioli and a very creative Tabasco “caviar” made with gelatin and agur. Of the larger portion entrees, worthy choices are the Scallops “East Coast” served with Israeli couscous with golden raisins, almonds and citrus vinaigrette; and Hanger “Butcher Steak” with a chimichurri base, smoked fingerling potatoes, herbs and cippolini onion.

You won’t regret splurging on a side or two, such as the jalapeno-chorizo “corn off the cobb” or deep fried brussel sprouts enhanced with walnuts. Desserts are all made in-house, and include the “Ermahgerd” the sound you’ll utter when you taste it Sundae with peanut butter gelato, peanut coffee “rocks,” caramel, brownies and brûléed banana; S’mores Bar—a compilation of graham and salted caramel ganache, honey chocolate mousse, marshmallow, cookie crumble and chocolate ice cream; and the simple but very addictive Cookies and Milk—soft, warm melt-in-your-mouth chocolate chip cookies which arrive straight from the oven and with a glass of cold milk.

If you’re fortunate enough, you’ll be seated in the section of Server Chris Murphey, a very efficient and personable Morro Bay, CA area transplant whose fine dining experience includes time spent at the MGM’s Fiamma.

Prices for the most part are less than what you’d expect in the high rent district of the Vegas Strip, with the Smalls ranging from $10-$18 and Greens, with generous portions, $13-$16. Furthermore, a daily happy hour from 4:30-6 p.m. offers 13 choices priced from $2-$10, such as the Squid “Sweet Heat”; Strawberry, Champagne, Walnut and Goat Cheese Salad; Street Tacos; Duck Fat Fries; and drink specials of $5 beers, $6 wells, $7 house wine and specialty cocktails for $8.

Searsucker is open daily for dinner and for Late Night on Tue., Fri. and Sat. To check out the complete menu, visit searsucker.com/las-vegas.

New Brunch Menu at Sammy’s Restaurant & Grill

Sammy’s Restaurant & Grill in Green Valley has introduced a new brunch menu. Featured items include Eggs Benedict in versions of Traditional, Sautéed Artichokes and Spinach, and Sliced Salmon and Capers; Bacon & Mushroom Pizza topped with egg, tomato, onion, cheddar and mozzarella; Lemon & Fresh Blueberry Pancakes; Brioche French Toast filled with Orange Di Stafano Mascarpone; Breakfast Tacos 3 loaded with Spanish chorizo, eggs, pepper jack, green chili, salsa fresco and cilantro; and brunch cocktails such as Mojito Italiano with Prosecco, fresh mint, Captain Morgan White Rum and lime juice. The brunch is served Sat.-Sun. from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. To view the complete brunch menu, visit www.sammysgreenvalley.com.