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Shellfish in the Desert? Sin City has the Answer

LAS VEGAS (MainStreet) -- Delectable shellfish dishes are making a splash on summer menus all around Las Vegas. TravelsinTaste has rounded up the best of these delicacies for you.

Downtown, the D Las Vegas has introduced Lobster Palooza at Courtyard Grill, a summer menu available through September that celebrates the season with a menu full of great eats starting at under $10. The fresh lobster dishes are sure to make taste buds and wallets happy all summer long.

Putting a spring in your step as you start the day, the lobster Benedict features sweet fried lobster atop an English muffin bathed in green chili hollandaise sauce. Lobster tail and golden fried shrimp served with lightly seasoned fries is a classic favorite for lunch or dinner. Not interested in fried food? The lobster tail and shrimp scampi -- a mini lobster tail and perfectly seasoned shrimp served with al dente angel hair pasta -- is sure to tickle your taste buds. If you want a little turf with your surf, try the lobster tail and ribeye, a grilled ribeye steak served with a smoked and seasoned mini lobster tail.

Special dishes including a lobster quesadilla, lobster artichoke dip and lobster tacos put a twist on old favorites by incorporating your favorite crustacean. Lobster Sliders put the fun back in sandwiches with lobster tossed in roasted garlic and sweet chili aioli served on three mini buns. And for an extra splurge and a true East Coast meal, you can select a live 1.25- to 1.5-pound Maine lobster prepared in front of your eyes at the "choose your own" lobster bar. "Being from Hawaii, I'm all about fresh seafood," executive chef Gene Villiatora says. "I'm really excited to bring these fun dishes with a twist to downtown Las Vegas."

If your love for seafood extends to more than lobster, head down the street to the historic Golden Gate Hotel and Casino for Vegas' original shrimp cocktail, served since 1959 when Frank, Sammy and Dean frequented this downtown property.

When your shellfish cravings take you to the Strip, there are many options. Stop by American Fish by Michael Mina in Aria for delicious homestyle shrimp and grits. Looking to spice up your love life? Try an aphrodisiac. Richard Camarota's market oysters, made with Piquillo pepper and Tobasco sorbet in an aged tequila mignonette at Sage, also in Aria, is sure to fire up your evening.

After a day at the tables you can savor either a 2- or 3-pound succulent pan-roasted Maine lobster with black truffle emulsion at Wolfgang Puck's Cut in the Palazzo, a contemporary take on the classic steakhouse. Alternatively, at L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon in the MGM Grand you can delight in the chef of the century's crispy langoustine fritter with basil pesto, poached baby Kusshi oysters with French salted butter or Maine lobster in a spicy broth and shaved lime.

For light and healthy shellfish options, head over to Wynn's Society Cafe Encore for Kim Canteenwalla's new menu, which includes caramelized seared scallops with pea puree, micro fennel, bacon and pistachio gremolata; black garlic prawns with young artichokes, ratatouille, charred tomato vinaigrette; poached rock shrimp salad with Napa cabbage, arugula, radish, rice cracker, miso and yuzu dressing; and a lime and cilantro lump crab salad including charred corn, jicama, hearts of palm, avocado and tomatillo salsa. The surprising menu addition? A lobster fried rice side dish that puts to shame the conventional fried rice dishes served at Chinese restaurants.

If you really want a feast straight from the ocean floor, try Rick Moonen's rm seafood's The Kitchen Sink featuring two lobsters, 12 oysters, six clams, six shrimp, mussels and Dungeness crab -- a bite of shellfish for everyone in the desert, whatever your shellfish craving.

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