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A look at some of Las Vegas’ newest lounges and restaurants.
This story first appeared in the February 12, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Chef Mario Batali and restaurateur Joe Bastianich, who have both made careers of introducing Italian regional cuisine to bicoastal diners, have opened Carnevino — an American steakhouse with an Italian twist — in Las Vegas.
The restaurant is located in the swank Palazzo resort adjacent to the Venetian, where Batali and Bastianich also preside over Italian-themed eateries B&B Ristorante and Enoteca San Marco. Carnevino’s interior is modeled after an ornate Roman villa, with 16-foot-high ceilings and generous marble and wood accents.
Carnevino, which is a combination of the Italian words carne (meat) and vino (wine), marries high-quality American beef, lamb and pork with an old- and new-world wine list. And the menu is indeed American steakhouse gone Italiano. The house-aged steaks are rubbed in a traditional Tuscan blend of sea salt, black pepper and rosemary before charring. The restaurant also serves an array of antipasti and regional pasta dishes such as pappardelle with porcini mushroom trifolati ($39) and cannelloni with duck and amarone ($35).
Carnevino at the Palazzo, 3265 Las Vegas Boulevard South; 702-789-4141. Open daily for dinner, 5:30-11 p.m.
The 40/40 Club located in the swank new Palazzo hopes to attract fans of both fashion and sport.
For fashion credibility, the 40/40 Club is located in the hotel’s shopping arcade, a stone’s throw from Barneys New York. And the bar also can lay claim as the only sports lounge with a 24-karat gold and platinum floor, with a motif inspired by a Gucci chain.
The only fixtures that holler “sports bar” are 40/40’s 85 plasma sets tuned into ESPN and major sporting events.
Owners Jay-Z and partner Juan Perez strove for an environment more VIP than MVP. The 24,000-square-foot space has sleek Ultra Suede banquettes topped with some 14,000 pillows, a dance floor and five private lounges.
40/40’s extensive cocktail menu offers inventive drinks like the Vegas Snow Cone (a blend of cherry vodka, Malibu rum and watermelon schnapps) as well as Champagne and top-shelf spirits.
The kitchen serves up classic American comfort food with gourmet twists such as Angus mini burgers on fresh-baked buns, buffalo wings, pizzas and grilled shrimp skewers.
The Las Vegas 40/40 is the third location for the chain, joining outposts in New York and Atlantic City, N.J. (locations in Tokyo and Macau are set to open later this year). The lounge opened this past December with a blowout that hosted both hip-hop and sports royalty, including Beyoncé, Kanye West and Mary J. Blige along with New York Yankee Alex Rodriguez, who has a lounge in the bar named after him, along with a house cocktail — the A-Rod Steal, made with vodka, triple sec, orange juice and Sprite.
40/40 Club at the Palazzo, 3325 Las Vegas Boulevard South, Suite 101; 702-638-4040. Open Monday-Friday, 5 p.m.-5 a.m., and Saturday-Sunday, noon-5 a.m.
CatHouse restaurant and lounge aims to provide an intimate setting for couples and groups with a smidgen of naughtiness.
Vintage burlesque photos and smoky mirrors pepper the walls. And CatHouse, as its name implies, has a turn-of-the-century French bordello-inspired interior that makes use of yards and yards of brushed red and blue velvet.
The 10,000-square-foot space also boasts a “loungerie” where guests can sip signature cocktails while viewing dancers in lingerie under blue chandeliers. Corridors have peepholes, inviting guests to stop and watch an erotic vignette.
Chef Kerry Simon, who oversaw Jean Georges Vongerichten’s Mercer Kitchen in New York, composed the menu. Simon believes people will flock to CatHouse for the food, a mixture of classic French bistro and nouvelle American, featuring dishes such as pigs in a duvet, mussels marinière, a savory gougeres pastry with Gruyère cheese, duck confit salad and lobster roll sliders. Small plates run $10 to $18 and entrées from $19 to $44.
“CatHouse definitely hits with an adult feeling but really it’s a lot of fun,” said Simon, who also co-owns Simon LA in Los Angeles and Simon at Palms Place in Las Vegas, set to open later this year.
CatHouse at the Luxor, 3900 Las Vegas Boulevard South; 702-262-4228 or 888-777-0188. Open for dinner, Sunday-Thursday, 5:30-10 p.m., and Friday-Saturday, 5:30-11:30 p.m. The lounge is open Monday, Friday and Saturday, 10 p.m.-4 a.m.