John Curtas is …

Breaking: Palazzo Planning Palate-Pleasing Panoply

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ELV has it on good authority (and by “good authority” he means the principals involved), that the Palazzo is about to up its restaurant ante with a cadre of new concepts helmed by some of the biggest names in the business.

Some deals are set and some are in the final stages of negotiation but coming soon you can expect:

- At least 2 new concepts from the Batali/Bastianich group — one involving an Arthur Ave.-like ode to American-Italian food; the other a gastropub that probably will not have an Italian theme (whew!).

- A top-shelf sushi bar from “one of the world’s greatest sushi chefs.” (Jiro? Morimoto? The mind reels.)

- A very, very French bistro/charcuterie/brasserie concept from a very, very famous French chef who may or may not be someone we are sworn not to divulge, but whose initials just might be Daniel Boulud.

Each of these concepts will be taking over existing empty restaurants in the Palazzo and each promises to inject some much-needed life (and some imagination?) into our moribund Strip dining scene. (Sorry Caesars, but trying to revive Nobu’s fading brand doesn’t count.)

Yours truly spoke with Bastianich last night, and he said a lot of smart restaurant people are guessing that Vegas is on the verge of another boom. (And on this point, he would be right.)

Getting Daniel back would be a shot in the arm for our humble burg, and fingers are crossed that he can bring one of his wildly successful New York concepts (Bar Boulud, Boulud Sud…) to one of our top shelf hotels without all of the interference (and dumbing down) that drove him from the Wynn.

As for the sushi idea, it couldn’t happen a moment too soon and is sorely needed to round out Venetian/Palazzo’s restaurant collective.

Don’t be surprised if some of these joints open before summer.

We at ELV are already smacking our lips in anticipation.

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19 Responses to Breaking: Palazzo Planning Palate-Pleasing Panoply

  • Any news about a new venue by B&B is exciting, and any news about new venues filling spaces in Palazzo is exciting, and any news about Daniel coming back to Vegas is VERY EXCITING. Having said that…….. Wouldn’t it be so nice if the Vegas Strip resorts would do more than just repeat the same five restaurant concepts over and over? Is it not a little deflating to people coming from around the world to see such a limited culinary vocabulary? Is there market research that shows visitors want fewer choices in Las Vegas than in their home cities?
    As for B&B, wouldn’t it be a great idea if they brought a mini version of their hugely sucessful bazaar concept EATALY to Vegas?
    As for my good friend John Curtas, I don’t entirely understand why you are excited about another sushi restaurant at the Venetian, but somehow another sushi restaurant at Caesars is beneath your contempt. In all honesty, it would really be helpful if you could clarify that position.

  • ELV responds: We are still hopeful that a serious sushi bar will make it to a Strip hotel. Not Hakkassan (sp?); not Nobu (that hasn’t had an original idea in 15 years), not Buddakhan – …..no gimmicks….the real enchilada — serving serious rice and fish at a price for serious Japanese food aficionados. Hope springs eternal.

    all that’s going on at Caesars is a branding deal with LOTS of casino money behind it. 325 seats? PUh-leeze. It’s going to be Douchebag Centra.l

    Eataly is going to LA and Chicago, but it’s too sophisticated an Italian concept for Marge and Murray from Montpelier Mizzou — hence the “Arthur Ave. idea.

  • I would absolutely argue against the idea of Eataly being too sophisticated–it’s just a very nice food hall, a 200 year old concept. And Eataly New York’s success is thanks to TOURISTS (its a top #5 tourist destination), as Mario told me himself. So, that’s just not true. Marge is already going to Eataly when she’s visiting New York.
    Or what about a Vegas branch of Batali’s sister’s place, Salumi? That would be godlike. Would you say Marge from Montpelier couldn’t deal with that either??
    I don’t understand why Las Vegas has such a low opinion of its visitors’ tastes. Visitors to Las Vegas come from around the world.
    And as you know, a huge percentage of them come from Southern California.

    I thought Bar Masa was the “serious” sushi spot. How has that been doing?
    And isn’t Blue Ribbon “serious” sushi? I mean, it’s not crazy off the wall live tentacles stuff, but let’s be real, we’re not going to see that in the Venetian either (and I am not bringing any of this up to criticize Venetian. My only critique of Venetian would be…how many Italian restaurants are on property there already?)

    Also, I don’t want to presume, but doesn’t Maggiano’s across the street fulfill the mission of an Arthur Ave. type of Italian place, done Vegas style? Meaning, without the dead bodies in the freezer?

  • Things are getting interesting! Good times are here at last (?).

  • Welcome back John. The “kid” wrote a couple interesting pieces in your absence, but lacked the “snap, crackle and pop” commentary ELV is known for! Yowsiree!

  • Personally, I don’t agree that the Nobu brand is fading, but even if that is your position, you need to take a look at Rockwell’s brilliant design, especially of the hotel rooms. This is sort of a mini Mandarin Oriental, at a better price point. If I were a tourist, there would be no place in town I’d rather sleep.

  • And as to Eataly being too sophisto for the Ozarks, remember that it is primarily a market for people who cook, and thus, not appropriate for a tourist unless he brings his kitchen with him.

  • It’s nice to see you back JC, and I’m looking forward to blowing off watching a hockey game or three to check out your show when it airs, but has Mitchell been sent back to the junior varsity that quickly? It must have been the piece he wrote about a fun place to eat and drink in Hendertucky, right? ;) Seriously, though, it’ll be nice to have you both writing for the site. Unlike bad Vegas steakhouses, the more the merrier!

  • ELV responds: Young Wilburn will remain an active contributor for as long as he likes. As you said: the more the merrier!

  • Shintaro at the Bellagio was awesome and replaced by junk. Only other option as far as I’m concerned is kabuto. I would be stoked if they put another real sushi bar in that maybe rivaled Charlie Trotter’s old Omakase bar.

  • This Ozarker agrees with Eric Gladstone. I’ve never felt the same distain for tourists from folks in New Orleans, especially when it comes to food, that you get from Las Vegas insiders. I don’t have access to the books, but I’d wager that the locals aren’t the ones keeping Robuchon and Twist open.

  • Thx for the amen chorus, AndyA. I just want to reiterate, Max, Mr. Batali himself told me that Eataly had become a huge TOURIST destination. As I assume you know at least 50% of Eataly is on-premise eateries. So, if you think it’s not appropriate for tourists… tell the tourists in New York!

  • Eric – I don’t think anyone would quarrel with the fact that EATaly is a tourist destination. I also might assume that Mario would agree that being inside a hotel on The Strip is a major impediment for attaining the other 50% of that business. That 50% being the business of locals passing through and on their way home. Like Max suggested, Vegas tourists are also not cooking in their rooms. There is good guessing that Batali & Bastianich have a good business sense and know how to divorce themselves from the love of a concept for the success of a business. We all agree with you that EATaly is a great place and concept. But even our farmers markets barely hang-on in the neighborhoods.

  • Count me as a local who would love an Eataly in Vegas. Especially as I’m going through Mario’s cookbooks right now.

    As for the sushi chef, Jiro’s 85 and I can’t see him going outside Tokyo at this point. I’ve been praying since forever for Morimoto to open a Vegas restaurant, but he’s more than just a sushi chef.

  • Just to be precise:
    Eataly is not a Battali and Bastianich concept but was founded,is managed and operated by Natale “Oscar” Farinetti.
    First one was opened in Torino’ I think in year 2000

  • There’s no serious sushi inside a Strip hotel? What’s barMASA inside the Aria, then?

    The last thing the Strip needs (besides another steakhouse, I mean) is an ultra-high priced place to buy bait.

  • Eataly is more than just a very nice food hall. It’s part artisan food store, part restaurant, part watering hole – and unless it comes with themed slot machines or table top poker – won’t make it in Vegas unless it’s scaled down to the size of a corner store.

  • I’m hopeful the two new B&B places will fix the two major issues that exist in their current Venetian/Palazzo offerings. Namely, very inconsistent, sometimes arrogant service, and one of the most aggressive alcohol (wine especially) markups in Vegas. The food is generally quite good, but those two factors in a city as competitive as Vegas make it much easier to choose alternatives.

  • I assume one of these places will fill the long vacant Charlie Trotter space way in the back of the casino?

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