Food News: Shawn McClain To Unleash Libertine Social At Mandalay Bay. James Beard Award-winning chef Shawn McClain challenges diners to free their minds from preconceived notions about bar restaurants and get ready to eat, drink and socialize at Mandalay Bay’s soon-to-be hotspot, Libertine Social. The next-generation gastropub will stimulate the senses with New American bar food by the renowned chef, a pioneering cocktail program by Modern Mixologist Tony Abou-Ganim and a range of compelling atmospheres to fit diners’ motivations. McClain’s only rules? Have fun and make the experience what you want it to be. Libertine Social will open in summer 2016 and will be located on the casino level, next to Charlie Palmer’s Aureole.
“When I think about the best times in life, they usually center around sharing good meals with friends so I look at eating as the ultimate social activity, said McClain. “With Libertine Social, we wanted to create a dynamic experience that celebrates the connections and memories made while sharing in the pleasure of delicious food and excellent drinks. It’s our vision to excite our guests by being both familiar and bold, comfortable and cutting edge with this concept. Libertine Social invites guests to define their experiences on their own terms, whether it’s stopping in for a quick drink solo or coming in for a special occasion with a large group, and everything in between. As with Sage and Five50, this concept is progressive and a little provocative, which I believe is a meaningful addition for Mandalay Bay and the Las Vegas dining scene as a whole.”
Mandalay Bay President and COO Chuck Bowling said, “Guests visit Mandalay Bay for a number of reasons including attending conventions, celebrating weddings, hosting bachelor and bachelorette parties and everything in-between, making it important to have a venue on property that meets their diverse range of needs. Shawn McClain is a master at creating welcoming concepts with a sense of sophistication and I’m certain Libertine Social will be a place where everyone will be able to relax, celebrate or host a business meeting while enjoying impeccable food and drinks.”
A combination of both small and large plates, the menu inspired by traditional American bar food, will have a foodie flair reflecting McClain’s aptness for blending the freshest ingredients in unexpected preparation methods. House-made grilled sausages, artisanal flatbreads, a selection of creative toasts and dips, seasonal salads, dry-aged steaks and cocktail-inspired desserts are just some of the selections McClain has up his sleeve. A take-out window called “Libertine To Go” will give guests on the go a restaurant-quality option served fast. The hyper-focused menu will include the venue’s signature grilled sausages, gourmet sides, craft beers and cocktails on tap.
Modern Mixologist Tony Abou-Ganim will take his signature skill for cocktails into the ultimate social context with a strong bottled cocktail program, which ensures quality, consistency and speed of service. He’s also got some more exotic tricks up his sleeve, including the show-stopping “Swizzle” cocktails – icy, frothy drinks made tableside created as a result of rapid swizzling with five-pronged swizzle sticks from the West Indies. Ice-cold artisanal shots; a robust selection of wines on tap; and a masterful selection of craft beers curated by Mandalay Bay Certified Cicerone Sarah Johnson round out the beverage menu.
A secondary, more intimate bar called Scratch Bar, celebrates the art of crafting elaborate, precise cocktails made from scratch in a ‘jewel box’ atmosphere.
The free-thinking masses wishing to eat, drink and liberate on their own terms can choose from a number of unique, interactive experiences:
· Communal tables and modular mixed-use seating in Voyeur’s Lounge, the main lounge near the restaurant entrance, will host large groups of friends or solo diners looking to make new ones; a signature juke box curated by McClain will make for great late night dance-offs and an ultra-cool vibe.
· Foodies will be in for a rare treat, sitting kitchen-side at the Chef’s Table overlooking the restaurant’s focal point – its wood-fired ovens and cooking line in which they can watch the skilled chef team in action;
· An outdoor patio will provide sunseekers the optimal place to bask in the warm Vegas weather; ideal for happy hours and private events
· Scratch Bar, a secondary bar designed for intimate socializing and specialized cocktailing, will also be available for private events.
· Those looking for a more traditional dining experience can sit at a number of tables throughout the Main Dining Room to take in the sights, sounds and smells of the bustling restaurant.
Hung throughout the warm space designed by luxury interior design firm Studio Munge, murals from Puerto Rican artist Alexis Diaz will add intrigue and encourage conversation. Diaz is known for his technique of using thousands of linear brushstrokes atop bursts of color to create images of animals with human-like qualities.
Libertine Social will be open for dinner daily. To keep up-to-date on the latest restaurant news, follow Chef Shawn McClain on Twitter and visit Mandalay Bay online.
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