The skinny on the shows and places to have fun after hours.
Want to kill two birds with one stone and avoid yet another taxi line? Try Andrea’s at the Encore, a partnership between Wynn Las Vegas and Sean Christie’s Las Vegas Nightlife Group.
This story first appeared in the August 14, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
This hip Asian hot spot combines fine dining and nightlife into one environment.
The menu runs from classically prepared steaks to seafood, poultry and vegan options. Chef Joseph Elevado’s signature dishes include the five-spice garlic lobster ($58), Wagyu beef sliders ($24), and truffled Ponzu rock shrimp tempura ($19). Most items are sharable, making the venue ideal for a lively group.
“I am creating dishes that complement Andrea’s fun, high-energy and interactive dining experience,” said Elevado. Andrea’s offers a full menu until 11 p.m. and a late-night menu until 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights, when there is a free flow between Andrea’s and Surrender Nightclub, where diners can enjoy special privileges including line bypass.
Interior designer Todd-Avery Lenahan created Andrea’s modern and feminine decor that molds dining and nightlife into one seamless environment. “So much of what men and women wear is lost in a nightclub. The shadowless lighting in Andrea’s helps accent the guests’ outfits and is designed to make everyone look beautiful,” said Lenahan. The interiors are accented in cream, cognac, pearl and gold hues with luxurious finishes. Guests can lounge on the velvet sofas in the step-up dining area under the glow of 1,000 Champagne-tinted Venetian glass teardrops.
DJ Steve Angello (formerly of Swedish House Mafia) directs Andrea’s music, curating sounds for all times of the evening — with volume levels set for unhindered conversation.
— Tyler Everhart
Encore Las Vegas
3121 Las Vegas Boulevard South
Hours: Sunday to Thursday, 6 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 6 p.m. to 2 a.m.
GOURMET WITH A TWIST
As the seasons change, so does the menu at Twist by Pierre Gagnaire, the only restaurant in the U.S. where diners can enjoy the French celebrity chef’s cuisine. The restaurant, located inside the Mandarin Oriental hotel, showcases the best local American products as well as specialty ingredients from Europe and Japan.
Twist’s menus offer unique combinations of textures, flavors and ingredients. One highly recommended dish is Chef Gagnaire’s famous foie gras, part of a two-course meal for $85 or a three-course meal for $110. Due to the delicacy’s ban in California and other cities, some diners make the trip to Las Vegas solely for this dish.
Located on the 23rd floor, the dining room provides the perfect backdrop for Twist’s ground-breaking menu of classic French cuisine with a contemporary edge. Featuring floor-to-ceiling windows and a dramatic glass staircase leading up to a suspended wine loft, the restaurant’s most striking feature is arguably its lighting, which incorporates more than 300 gold globes designed to look as if they’re floating across the ceiling. Cracked plaster art walls resemble broken eggshells and a dark plum-colored custom carpet with cool gray undulating lines reinforces the patterns of the broken eggshells.
During MAGIC, Chef Gagnaire will be at Twist offering the Taste of the Continents menu, available from Aug. 19 to 26. It will feature entrees from his London, Tokyo and Paris restaurants. Guests may indulge in Tokyo’s pan-seared dorade filet in chili-spiced butter, Paris’ traditional steak au poivre, London’s free-range chicken breast grilled-on-the-bone en crapaudine, and more within the eight-course menu, which, at $325, includes wine pairings.
Wine director Will Costello has chosen vintages of 1996, 2002 and 2005, each year corresponding to the years in which Gagnaire’s restaurants opened in Paris, London, and Tokyo. The wines come from the U.S., France, Australia, Italy, Germany and a few other countries.
Twist by Pierre Gagnaire
3752 Las Vegas Boulevard South
Hours: Tuesday to Saturday, 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Long lines at the door often have clubgoers wondering what’s so special inside.
At XS, tucked inside the Encore, perhaps it’s the recent sightings of stars such as Leonardo DiCaprio, Nicole Richie, Kelly Osbourne, Rob Lowe, Michael Phelps, Usher and Paris Hilton. Or it could be its lineup of celebrity DJs, including Afrojack, Avicii, Bassnectar, David Guetta, Diplo, Rusko and Wolfgang Gartner.
The club doesn’t disappoint visually, either, with an illuminated outdoor pool and island bar, highlighted by a 10-foot rotating chandelier. The club boasts 95 VIP tables inside and 30 outdoor cabanas around the pool. With more than 40,000 square feet of indoor-outdoor space, XS offers varied environments to keep each visit unique.
The interior was inspired by the curves of the human body, and features concave gold-leaf torsos that line the left and right sides of the club. Other unique elements include dance poles that look like lanterns, mirrored mosaics, gold crocodile-embossed leather, black galaxy mosaics and gold resin bar tops.
Its signature cocktail, The Ono, matches the club’s decadent atmosphere. The $10,000 cocktail consists of Charles Heidsieck Champagne, aged since 1981, infused with Louis XIII de Remy Martin Black Pearl Cognac and comes with men’s sterling silver cuff links embossed with a sting ray and a woman’s 18-karat white gold chain with a black pearl pendant and XS logo.
Ronn Nicolli, executive director of nightlife marketing for Wynn Las Vegas, recommends that guests experience the Sunday night swim party at XS in conjunction with Project’s kick-off party on Aug. 18.
— Ariel Sayre
On the Esplanade at Encore
3131 Las Vegas Boulevard South
Hours: Friday to Monday, 10 p.m. to 4 a.m.
Cover: $20 women, $30 men
JUST SAY YEAH
Alt-rock trio the Yeah Yeah Yeahs will bring a bit of post-punk edge to the Cosmopolitan on Aug. 19, when denim brand Big Star USA hosts an exclusive concert to celebrate the opening night of Project. Industry guests will be housed in a VIP area, while general admission tickets are on sale via Ticketmaster. The band will perform high above the Strip at The Boulevard Pool — a swimming pool by day and an intimate outdoor concert venue by night, complete with luxury cabanas.
Lead vocalist and pianist Karen O and drummer Brian Chase met at Oberlin College in the Nineties, and with guitarist and keyboardist Nick Zinner, formed the Yeah Yeah Yeahs in 2000. They identified with the garage-rock revival scene of Ohio and cited it as the initial inspiration for their grungy post-punk sound. They were nominated for Best Alternative Album at the Grammy Awards in 2004, 2007 and 2010.
The Boulevard Pool at the Cosmopolitan
3708 Las Vegas Boulevard South
Enquiries for pool cabanas: NightlifeMarketing@cosmopolitanlasvegas.com or 702-698-7778
General admission tickets: $33.50, available online at cosmopolitanlasvegas.com or through Ticketmaster at 800-745-3000
Show time: 9 p.m.
TO THE MOON
For those seeking a boutique boîte experience rather than a megaclub atmosphere, Moon Nightclub, located in the penthouse of the Palms Fantasy Tower, combines an exclusive party vibe with a killer view of the Strip 52 floors below.
The futuristic venue features a dance floor covered with glowing glass tiles that change colors as guests dance under a massive retractable roof that opens every hour, revealing the desert sky. VIP booths line the perimeter of the main space, and the Satellite Bar in the rear of the club provides a spot to relax on retro lounge furniture while listening to the latest electro-beats.
Moon also features a catwalk that extends out from the dance floor for resident go-go dancers to strut their stuff. Patrons who order bottle service are treated to a choreographed spectacle as the dancers present the bottles with glow sticks and confetti.
Project is hosting an event at Moon on Aug. 20 with production company Karma Loop featuring DJ Jazzy Jeff, but on all other nights, due to the intimate nature of the venue, director of VIP services Pasquale Romano recommends that patrons arrive early to guarantee entry and avoid lines. Hotel guests’ admission is covered before midnight while non-hotel guests can expect to pay a $20 entry fee for women and $25 for men.
Penthouse of the Palms Fantasy Tower, 4321 West Flamingo Road
Hours: Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday: 10:30 p.m. until the wee hours.
Cover: $20 women, $25 men
JOE SENT ME
For those looking to escape the chaos of the Strip, look no further than The Laundry Room, a hidden speakeasy that feels decades away from the typical Vegas experience.
The Prohibition-era-themed bar within a bar is located on downtown’s Fremont Street, but reservations are required for this 28-person maximum capacity spot and a heavily guarded phone number breeds the exclusivity that The Laundry Room prefers.
Finding The Laundry Room is an experience in itself. To get there, patrons walk through another bar, The Commonwealth, one of the rowdier bars on Fremont Street. The juxtaposition of the two is like a 180-degree twist: Guests are led through a narrow passageway from a chaotic party scene into what feels like a time machine to the Jazz Era.
To create an ambience reminiscent of a true speakeasy, The Laundry Room boasts era-specific decor, music and of course, cocktails. Mixologist Juyoung Kang recommends that first- time patrons try the Sazerac: Rye whiskey with a sugar cube and peychaud bitters, served chilled with an absinthe rinse and a lemon twist ($15). If an absinthe rinse sounds a little too daring, Kang also recommends the Double Max Sun, named after the Vampire Weekend song. This cocktail boasts a 15-year-old Glenfiddich whiskey mixed with rose syrup, honey, and chocolate bitters.
— Ariel Sayre
The Laundry Room at The Commonwealth
525 East Fremont Street
Hours: Wednesday to Sunday, 8 p.m. until the wee hours.