Jean-David Groff-Daudet is no longer at the stoves of Marche Bacchus. Jean Paul Labadie is the restaurant’s new Executive Chef.* Labadie previously worked in various Emeril (Has He Jumped The Shark Yet?) Lagasse’s restaurants — including Emeril’s (New Orleans), Emeril’s New Orleans Fish House (MGM Grand) and most recently, Table 10 (Palazzo).
Let’s get a few things straight between us, shall we? NobHill “Tavern” is many things. It’s an attractive restaurant with stylish decor, good service, and an interesting wine list. It is also the domain of one Sven Mede, a German by birth who cut his teeth at Le Manoir aux Quat Saisons in Oxford, England; came of age at Bradley Ogden, and now struts his considerable talent in the service of keeping the Michael Mina brand intact and in good form throughout Mina’s MGM-Mirage restaurant empire.
What NobHill “Tavern” isn’t is a tavern. It doesn’t remotely resemble one (uber-designer Tony Chi took care of that), nor does its food pander to anything like the lowest-common-denominator denoted by those words. If Mina and his minions are trying to capture the culinary zeitgeist of the seminal Gramercy Tavern in New York City, we can forgive them that. But if they’re pulling this verbal sleight-of-hand as a way of seducing the slack-jawed hordes in the MGM to give the place a taste, they’re doing a disservice both to the know-nothings and to those who might appreciate Mede’s cosmopolitan food stylings. Because if you wander into this “tavern” expecting tavern-like food, you will be disappointed. If your expectations are much higher, you will be enthralled.
Sushi and sports bars? A natural fit? You tell us. In the meantime, you can find Sushi Pop (even the name advertises how superficial it is), beside the giant screen sports bar at the entrance to Mandalay Bay’s restaurant row. Neither ELV, nor his staff, will be bumping into you there anytime soon.