Locals and visitors to Las Vegas do know that fine dining has in recent years made strong inroads into the city's restaurant milieu. Most of them are located in the Strip resorts or their adjacent shopping emporiums. The historically affordable meal remains available, it's the gourmet edition that has been added to the global menu.
With fine dining comes higher prices is the assumption. The Zagat Guide for Las Vegas proves that correct with a firm assertion. In its latest edition Las Vegas moves to number one for the most expensive restaurant city in the nation. Average meal here costs now $44.44 which easily beat the perennial list topper New York at $39.46. The next three were Long Island, Miami and San Francisco.
The reasons to the increased prices are various. The Strip resorts nowadays compete in a passionate manner which of them can next successfully recruit a world-famous chef to open a new fine dining spot on their premises. The bigger the name, the higher the cost to bring him on. These restaurants typically serve more people than is the norm, so they need larger kitchens and storage spaces and more staff, which naturally push the expenses higher.
Most of the ingredients are flown in, if not daily, at least several times a week. The greater Las Vegas area has a very limited supply of anything going into these exotic menus, seafood being a prime example of that. Besides, the high-end bistro wants to hire and keep gourmet-level service staff and that forces them to pay above union-scale wages, otherwise common in most of the large resorts.
Simply put, to do business here costs more and that shows up on the menu pricing.